Experience a Historic New England Halloween

Oct 6, 2017

Ghost Story by William Verplanck. From the Cincinnati Art Museum Collection. 

Since colonial times, New Englanders have observed some version of the eerie autumnal holiday we now know as Halloween. The spooky celebration came to America via English and Irish settlers, who brought with them the Celtic, pagan festival called “Samhain.” Celts believed that the dead could roam the earth on this sacred holiday, and outfitted themselves in costumes to confuse and distract the spirits.

Samhain traditions eventually mixed with Christian and Native American rituals, superstitions, and old wives’ tales to become “Halloween.” By the mid-1800s, it was popular in most American households to gather on October 31 for parties, pranks, and ghostly tales.

Come celebrate Halloween with Historic New England. Join us at one of our upcoming events:

Thursday, October 26

Classic Poems for All Hallows’ Eve
Gedney House, Salem, Mass.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Enjoy a curated selection of classic poems about ghosts, goblins, spirits, and All Hallows’ Eve, dramatically presented in a seventeenth-century shipbuilder’s house by lantern light.
$5 Historic New England members
$10 nonmembers

Friday, October 27

Trick or Treat at Roseland Cottage
Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, Conn.
5:00-7:30 p.m.
Ghosts of Halloweens past hand out candy at Roseland Cottage to anyone with the courage to knock on our doors. Stop by and put the “Gothic” in Gothic Revival this Halloween. Cosponsored by Hometown Bank, Woodstock Business Association, and Woodstock Rec.
Free

Saturday, October 28

Victorian Frightful
Sarah Orne Jewett Museum and Visitor Center, South Berwick, Maine
6:00-7:00 p.m., 6:30-7:30 p.m., 7:00-8:00 p.m., 7:30-8:30 p.m., 8:00-9:00 p.m., and 8:30-9:30 p.m.
“The lamplight struck across the room between us. I couldn’t tell the shape, but ’twas a woman’s dark face lookin’ right at us…” — Sarah Orne Jewett, The Foreigner
Hear Victorian tales of hauntings and horror read in portrayals of their authors, including Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Sarah Orne Jewett, in the Victorian surroundings of the Sarah Orne Jewett House Museum at night.
Performances last one hour and begin at half-hour intervals.
$10 Historic New England members
$15 nonmembers
$12 nonmember seniors
$5 children (ages 8 and up)

Halloween Harvest Market
Casey Farm, Saunderstown, R.I.
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
It’s no tricks and all treats when the harvest season bounty of Casey Farm is on display. Join the vendors in costume and bring the kids to trick or treat at the Coastal Growers Market stalls. A harvest maze, pumpkin bowling, and more surprises await you at the last outdoor market of the season.
Free

Classic Poems for All Hallows’ Eve
Gedney House, Salem, Mass.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Enjoy a curated selection of classic poems about ghosts, goblins , spirits, and All Hallows’ Eve, dramatically presented in a seventeenth-century shipbuilder’s house by lantern light.
$5 Historic New England members
$10 nonmembers

Sunday, October 29

Cradle to Grave: Lamplight Tour of Coffin House, Swett-Isley House, and First Parish Burying Ground
Coffin House, Newbury, Mass.
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Spend an evening getting to know the Coffin family and their neighbors, in their home and in their final resting places.
Enjoy special evening tours of Coffin House (1678), a beer tasting in Swett-Ilsley House (1670), and a visit to the townsfolk across the street in the First Parish Burying Ground. Hear true tales of murder, heroism, and heartbreak from Newbury’s storied past. Refreshments provided by Ipswich Ale Brewery.
$15 Historic New England members
$30 nonmembers

**This event is SOLD OUT. If your party is still interested in this event, consider booking a Coffin House Group Tour.**

Monday, October 30

Roseland After Dark
Roseland Cottage, Woodstock, Conn.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Have you ever wondered what our landmark Gothic cottage is like after dark? Experience the light and shadows of the house as the family did on this intimate and evocative tour.
$10 Historic New England members
$15 nonmembers

Tuesday, October 31

Tricks, Treats, and Treasures
Phillips House, Salem, Mass.
5:30-7:00 p.m.
Trick or treat along historic Chestnut Street, including Historic New England’s Phillips House, on Halloween night.
Free

Registration is recommended or required for most events. And remember, Historic New England members may receive discounted or free admission. Not a member? Join today.