Oct 2, 2013
08:55 AM

October Cemetery Tours in Connecticut

October Cemetery Tours in Connecticut

One of the tombstones you'll see on your tour of the Plymouth Burying Ground on Oct. 12.

Courtesy of our friends over at DamnedCT.com and their monster list of Halloween events, here are some cemetery tours for those who love a little history mixed in with their October fun.

All these events are outdoors and dependent on the weather; most also require reservations ahead of time. Please check directly with the websites and sponsoring organizations for full details.

1st Sunday Strolls: Ye Antientist Burial Ground Walking Tour
October 6; 1-3:30 pm
Hempsted Houses, 11 Hempsted Street, New London, 860.742.6917, ctlandmarks.org
Admission: $4; CT Landmarks members free 
More info: Tour the burying ground — one of the oldest in New England — with Hempsted Houses Site Historian Sally Ryan and conservator Lance Meyers.

Lantern Tour of Plymouth Burying Ground
October 12; 7 pm
Plymouth Green, 10 Park St., Plymouth, 860.921.6118, plymouthlandtrust.org
Admission: $5 
More info: Lantern tour of the 1747 Plymouth Burying Ground, featuring gravestones of 38 soldiers of the Revolutionary War. Learn about the symbolism of the engravings and how the inscriptions tell us what life was like in colonial Connecticut. The tour begins with “spooky music” played on the organ of the adjacent Congregational Church. Includes a tour of historic Plymouth Green with a scavenger hunt for kids. Bring flashlights or camping lanterns. 

Memento Mori Cemetery Tour
October 13; 1-3 pm
Starting at The Barney Library, 71 Main St., Farmington, 860.677.9222, stanleywhitman.org
Admission: $15 
More info: Join a walking tour of Farmington’s ancient burial ground. Learn about the people buried there, the artwork on the stones, and work being done to preserve the headstones. 

Lantern Light Tours
October 18 & 19; 6:30-8:10 pm
Starting at Keeney Memorial Cultural Center, 200 Main St., Old Wethersfield 860.529.7656, wethhist.org
Admission: $15; children $7 
More info: The popular Lantern Light Tours are back this year with different characters and stories! Generous volunteers have aided in the research, costuming, guiding and acting of the tours in order to make this event possible. Tickets are first-come, first-serve and tours fill up fast, so be sure not to miss a historic walk through Old Wethersfield’s Burying Ground with “encounters!” Not recommended for children under the age of 7.

West Hartford Hauntings
October 19, 25-27; 6-8:45 pm, every 15 minutes
North Cemetery, North Main Street, West Hartford, 860.521.5362, noahwebsterhouse.org
Admission: $13; under 17 $9 (reservations highly recommended) 
More info: A spooky theatrical lantern light tour of North Cemetery, featuring encounters with the ghosts of historical characters. The stories this year include husband and wife train accident victims, the story of a Revolutionary War prisoner, and the tale of a runaway apprentice. 

Witchcraft and Tombstone Tours
October 19 & 20, 26 & 27; Saturdays 10 am- 4 pm, Sundays 1-4 pm
Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield, 860.529.0612, webb-deane-stevens.org
Admission: $13 (reservations required) 
More info: Groups begin in the Buttolph-Williams House, which was home to the characters portrayed in the Newberry Award winning book, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Various characters in the book will be discussed with insights into what their life was like. Following the house tour, visitors will enter the Ancient Burying Ground where the headstones tell many tales. Different headstone designs and the beliefs of the times will be examined, as well as seeing the grave sites of some interesting former residents. Finally, step back in time and learn the customs and traditions of 19th century mourning practices and how illnesses were treated in the Isaac Stevens House. 

Glebe House Haunted Museum Tour 
October 20
Glebe House, 49 Hollow Rd., Woodbury, 203.263.2855, theglebehouse.org
Admission: $12; in advance $10 
More info: The museum’s seven rooms will be professionally decorated and guaranteed to scare and surprise each of your senses. The Ancient Burying Grounds Tour will include more than 25 (many new) spirits who will tell their life and death tales. Tarot Card reader Madame Suzollo and storyteller Joyce Rayno will each reprise their roles this year. Lots of Fall treats-hot chocolate, cider and homemade cookies. 

Cedar Hill’s Haunted History Lantern Tour
October 25; 6-9:30
Cedar Hill Cemetry, 453 Fairfield Avenue, Hartford, 860.956.3311, cedarhillfoundation.org
Admission: $12 
More info: The only night during the year that the cemetery is open to the public after dark. Led by lantern light, attendees will visit the final resting places of some of Cedar Hill’s notable and not-so-notable residents. Character actors will share their true-yet-darker-tales. To ensure your participation in this tour, reservations are required for specific time slots! Please note: This tour may NOT be suitable for children under 13. Wear appropriate walking shoes and bring a flashlight. 

Washington Green Cemetery Tour
October 25 (rain date October 27); 6:30-8:30 pm
Gunn Memorial Library & Museum, 5 Wykeham Rd., Washington, 860.868.7756, gunnlibrary.org
Admission: Free; donations welcome 
More info: Costumed guides will lead groups of visitors every ten minutes from the Gunn Museum to the Washington Green Cemetery where the town’s departed citizens will be stationed at their gravestones to tell their tales of tragedy and triumph. Tour groups will follow a path of 1,000 luminaries spanning a quarter of a mile through the shadowy cemetery and will hear the dramatic experiences of past students and faculty from the Gunnery. Features of this magical theatrical evening will include tales of murder, town controversies, the Titanic disaster, Civil War soldiers, abolitionists and more. This event is not to be missed! Tours depart every ten minutes from the museum and last about 45 minutes, bring a flashlight.

A Haunting at Mill Hill
October 25 & 26; tours at 6, 7:30 & 9 pm
Mill Hill Historic Park, 2 East Wall St., Norwalk, 203.846.0525, norwalkhistoricalsociety.org
Admission: $14; $9 for ages 8-12, in advance $12 & $7 respectively (reservations recommended) 
More info: Take a lantern light tour through the historic Mill Hill graveyard. Hear stories of murder, death, and destruction! Meet renegade Tory Esaias Bouton, the Leatherman, a wandering dark spirit who roams Fairfield County and others from Norwalk’s colorful past… Bring a flashlight.


October Cemetery Tours in Connecticut

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