History is filled with lessons and stories for all ages. Tales of bravery and tragedy, triumph and despair. Sprinkled amid truth and legend are those lesser known, uninvited cousins of history, the slippery things that cannot be explained: the macabre, the paranormal, the stories that are shushed in polite company. For three nights Haunted Huguenot Street removes the veil of secrecy that stands between the living and the dead. On Huguenot Street in New Paltz, that veil often seems fragile. The dead must hear their stories being told and strain to be a part of it. There certainly have been “sightings.”
For almost 400 years, generations of European and African descendants have walked these streets, slept in these beds, cooked, married, bore children, lived and died — many even rest in the burial ground just down the way. And as it happens each year, as autumn moves in and September’s soft evening breeze becomes October’s chilling wind and the darkness falls early again, a swarm of new, grislier and more gruesome stories find their way out of the shadows on Haunted Huguenot Street.
If you are prepared for an experience that may be chilling, certainly repugnant, probably morbid, horrid or simply scary, this may be the perfect way to spend an autumn evening. Tours run every 15 minutes on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29 from 7 to 11 p.m. and Oct. 30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. This event is not recommended for children under 12.
A special craft activity prepared and presented by a team of art teacher and curator will be available for younger children for $5.
Reservations are strongly recommended. The cost is $10/book line, $15/day of and $10/students. To reserve, visit www.huguenotstreet.org or call 255-1660/1889.