Niagara Gazette

September 5, 2013

Marble Orchard Ghost Walks rise again

by Timothy Chipp
Night & Day

Night & Day — As the calendar turns to September, there are a few reasons to get excited. But for me, the most significant may just be the start to another season of Marble Orchard Ghost Walks.

If you’re like me, a fan of storytelling and history, you’ll love these approximately 90-minute walking tours of Historic Lewiston’s 400 block of Center Street, the Lewiston History Museum’s grounds and, of course, the Marble Orchard cemetery, which gives the event its name.

Throughout both September and October, the cast, of which I’m pleased to join for a second season, brings to life the spirits of some of Lewiston’s past residents and famous visitors, who rise to tell their tales of love, loss and untimely death. Enjoy the tales of war tragedies, mysterious beauties and even the bay of a vengeful dog.

“The dead do not rest easy in Lewiston, and they like to remind the living that they refuse to be forgotten,” Eva Nicklas, artistic director of the Lewiston Council on the Arts, said.

If you took the tour last year, you witnessed me playing the role of James Fenimore Cooper, one of America’s first novelist. Cooper, famous for his frontier stories, visited Lewiston while a member of the United States Navy, and later based a character in one of his first stories, “The Spy,” on a local bar owner at the time, Catherine Hustler.

As Cooper, I spoke last year of The Griffon, a trade ship built in the 1600s to travel from the Great Lakes to the far east. The ship sank before it ever left the five lakes, returning its designer to his home in Michigan. Though no one knows exactly why the ship sank, which allows for the story to come out, the details are all true.

So enjoy the secrets you’ll learn on the tour, both funny and sinister, and have a blast this autumn as the leaves change and fall from their branches. The atmosphere will be prime for a fright and just in time for Halloween season.

Tickets are $15 per adult and $8 per child under 12 years old. Lewiston Council on the Arts members can purchase tickets for $12. The walks kick off promptly at 7 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 26, from the Lewiston Peace Garden, 476 Center St., Lewiston. Bring a flashlight, wear comfortable walking shoes when attending and be prepared for the elements, as tours aren’t canceled due to rain.