LEWISTON – As the weather cools and the nights grow longer, the ghosts of the Village of Lewiston’s past come out to educate and entertain for the Marble Orchard Ghost Walks, an eerie, yet fun-filled look into Lewiston’s past.
The Marble Orchard is named for the marble headstones and stories of those buried in the village’s historic cemetery of First Presbyterian Church, 505 Cayuga St. The tours have grown in popularity over the past 20 years, some nights drawing hundreds of people.
Sponsored by the Lewiston Council on the Arts, tours begin Saturday at 7 p.m. and continue on Saturdays through Oct. 26, beginning at the Lewiston Peace Garden, 476 Center St., behind the Lewiston Council on the Arts.
Re-enactors portray some of the famous, infamous and even overlooked personalities that make up the intricate weave of Lewiston’s history.
Some of the favorite characters “or spirits” who return each year include: Josiah Tryon, portrayed by Tim Henderson who wrote the first Marble Orchard play in 1993. Tryon was a local tailor and deacon at First Presbyterian Church who broke the law to escort fugitive slaves to Canada via the Underground Railroad.
There are also the characters of Bates Cook, portrayed by Frank Filicetti, who gives cemetery etiquette, and Catherine Hustler, portrayed by Kathryn Serianni, who tells of the Hustler’s Tavern of the 1800s, where the first cocktail was reportedly invented. In addition to some of these regulars, each year a few more characters are introduced.
Eva Nicklas, artistic director for the Lewiston Council on the Arts and a longtime re-enactor who portrays Sally Barton Tryon, cautioned about the tours: “The dead do not rest easy in Lewiston, and they like to remind the living that they refuse to be forgotten.”
She said that under Lewiston’s cheerful disposition lies an impressive past of creepy events, restless spirits and haunted buildings.
During the 1½-hour walk through the village, the Marble Orchard Players take you back in time as they share their ghost stories, myths and tales of tragedy, crime, mayhem and murder, the grim and ghastly deeds of Lewiston’s best – and worst.
As always, the tour through historic Lewiston ends up in the Village Cemetery, where visitors learn about curses, graveyard etiquette and bizarre early medical practices.
Tours are held rain or shine. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for children and $12 for Lewiston Council on the Arts members. No reservations are necessary, but flashlights and comfortable walking shoes are a must.