In stopping by the Glebe House Museum in Woodbury while everyone is decorating for All Hollow’s Eve, you must be prepared for two things.
First, the topic of real-life haunted happenings at the museum will inevitably come up and this year, Museum Director Judith Kelz said she’s not entirely sure the spirits are going to happy with the changes to All Hollow’s Eve.
“I’m a little concerned that they might not like what we’re doing here,” she said. “It’s scarier this year.”
You must also be prepared for an electronic bat with fresh batteries to mysteriously stop working near the third floor.
“The ghost hunters came about eight years ago,” Kelz said. “I took them up to the cemetery too, at night. The cemetery they claim is haunted for sure. There was a lot of activity on the third floor. For sure, we know we have spirits here. Not to mention, they've been seen and heard by some of us.”
All Hollow's Eve features a haunted house, a tour through the nearby cemetery, spooky stories and a fortune teller, among other frightening sights.
In the past, All Hollow’s Eve was wrapped up in an historical and educational cloak. Guests toured the cemetery and heard from ghosts of Woodbury’s past. They wandered the halls of the home and learned about medical practices from yesteryear.
The Grey Lady will roam among the graves, searching for her lost beloved, and a fiddler from the 18th Century, played by Tom Handford, will share his story. Kelz said Dr. Eugene R. Zampieron will play Dr. Orton, one of Woodbury’s first doctors.
Inside the Glebe House though, is where the new thrills and chills will be.
“Even if you’ve been here before, it's all new this year,” said Glebe House board member and scare-extraordinaire Mindy Belcher. “There’s so many exciting and spooky goings-on. If you like to be scared, this year’s for you!”
All Hollow’s Eve begins at 5 p.m. Saturday. Oct. 26, and ends at 9 p.m. The address for the Glebe House is 49 Hollow Rd. and people can park at Hollow Park. The last tour leaves at 8:30 p.m.
If you buy tickets in advance, cost to attend is $10 per person or $22 per immediate family.
“The beauty of that is guaranteeing that you don’t have to wait around to get in a cemetery tour,” Kelz said.
Admission at the door is $12 per person and $25 per family. All Hollow’s Eve proceeds go toward the museum, its programs and scholarships.
For the Younger Children
If you have smaller children you might be too frightened, Kelz recommends coming earlier, between 5 and 6 p.m.
“As the evening wears on and it gets closer to the witching hour, it gets scarier,” she said.
“Judith, the coffin is here!”
Kelz and Belcher arranged creepy hands in a coffin and took great care to make sure one of the house’s bedridden guests looked as gruesome as possible. Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home donates a coffin to the cause every year, Kelz said.
Belcher used to decorate her Bear Run home for Halloween for about three or four years. The garage would be a veritable haunted house and while she still has all the decorations, she wasn’t decorating this year. That’s when Kelz asked her if she would like to stage the Glebe House for All Hollow’s Eve this year.
Shout-Out to the Volunteers
Kelz thanked all who volunteered resources and time. She said staff from CR Salon of Woodbury are volunteering their time to do make-up for the spirit volunteers.
More than 85 people volunteer to make this happen. Kelz said they hail from all over, including Woodbury, West Hartford, Newtown, Sandy Hook, Oxford, Prospect, Southbury, Washington, Bethlehem, Watertown and Waterbury.
“For a town this size, that’s really impressive,” Belcher said.
Those volunteers were issued a challenge by Kelz, to make 100 dozen cookies and they met that challenge. Cookies, hot cocoa and cider are complimentary.
“The Perfect Venue For This”
The Glebe House was built in 1750 and has a storied and busy history in town. Kelz said it’s the perfect venue for a haunted Halloween attraction.
“Every year you have to do things bigger or better or people will go somewhere else,” she said. “I asked Mindy if she would consider stating the house. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised.”
Kelz said she’s never been able to capture people in their teens and early 20s and would like to see them come this year, in addition to all the regulars.
“We want people want to know that we've got great entertainment here,” she said. “They're going to be scared. It's worth the trip.”
For more information, call the Glebe House at 203-263-2855.