By Lauren Albanese
A haunted attic, a spooky burial ground and a horrifying encounter with a spirit means Haunted Huguenot Street has resurrected from the dead!
The annual Halloween event, created over a decade ago, will once again take visitors on an hour-long tour to uncover the darker side of the quaint New Paltz community established over 300 years ago.
“It’s not just about ghosts and haunted houses,” said Communications and Marketing Manager Kaitlin Gallucci. “We are looking at the history from a different perspective this time of year.”
Haunted Huguenot staffers will re-enact creepy tales inspired by the Jean Hasbrouck House, the burial ground and the Deyo House.
“In the Jean Hasbrouck house, the first half is a true story from Abraham Hasbrouck’s diary, recounting the death of his daughter Catherine who dies of tuberculosis,” said Director of Strategy and Historic Interpretation Thomas Weikel. “We took that tragic story and combined it with a ghost story that a child haunts the attic, drawing people up to it.”
According to Gallucci, all of the stories told are true encounters excerpted from diaries, legends and oral histories of people who once lived on Huguenot Street.
Most of the tour guides, interpreters and volunteers running the event are SUNY New Paltz acting students.
Gallucci and Director of Public Programming, Kara Gaffken especially appreciated the help of Scott Phillips Jr. and Casey Morris, two student volunteers who worked closely with Weikel to script and develop the program.
Despite having written most of the program’s script, Weikel does not believe in the paranormal. However, he does believe in the message Haunted Huguenot Street creates.
“We can make monsters represent the worst in human nature and we can deal with subjects often too sensitive to deal with, in a safe way, all in the name of horror and delight,” he said.
Weikel and Gallucci agree that the program is unlike other Halloween event that are too scholastic or “go for the shock and awe.”
“People that are interested in history will enjoy this, as well as people who want to be spooked,” Gallucci said.
Tickets cost $20 in advance for students and Historic Huguenot Street members, while tickets purchased the night of the tour are $30. Tours sell out quickly, so the staff strongly encourages visitors to pre-register online for the following dates and times: Oct. 23, 24 and 30 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 7 to 10 p.m.
For more information and to register for the event, visit: www.huguenotstreet.org/hauntedhuguenotstreet.