LEWISBORO, N.Y. With Halloween looming ominously on the horizon, students from John Jay High School and several area private schools are teaming up with the Lewisboro Library and town historian Maureen Koehl in an effort to scare you senseless.
The students are members of the librarys teen advisory group and they came up with the idea to put on a ghost walk. The 90-minute tour, which will be held Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m., will take participants through some of Lewisboros most notoriously haunted areas, including the Old White Churchyard behind the South Salem Presbyterian Church and the Horse and Hound restaurant, an old Colonial Era building that purportedly has a ghost known for tormenting one particular bartender.
In fact, Lewisboro has so many homes, buildings and areas that are allegedly haunted, Koehl wrote a book about it Lewisboro Ghosts.
The students recruited Koehl to lead the tour and many of its stops are featured in Lewisboro Ghosts.
The tour isnt in any type of chronological order, Koehl said. Its a logical progression. It starts at the library and we go to the South Salem Presbyterian Churchyard were some of the graves there are pre-revolutionary. We also stop at the site of a fatal fire at what was an old South Salem schoolhouse.
While Koehl, has led ghost tours in the past, usually in conjunction with the towns rec department, this is the first one that will use actors to portray the ghosts. Kate Holmes, a senior at John Jay High, will play the ghost at the Horse and Hound.
I play the tormentor of Debbie the bartender, Holmes said. Today, we are doing a run-through to see exactly what well be doing. We dont have scripts, but we have stories that we look at [for background].
Holmes said playing a ghost that might really exist is somewhat of a challenge.
Personally, I dont want to evoke the spirits, she said. We dont want to provoke them, but if they do come out, thats great. Theres supposed to be a near full moon that night so that might help.
Sarah Wallace, a ninth grader at John Jay, will play a suicide victim who hung herself in 1802 and is buried in the old cemetery. She said playing such a macabre role doesnt really disturb her.
It creeps me out a little, yeah, but mostly its fun, she said.
Another ghost that will be portrayed is that of Kathleen Durst. On New Years Eve in 1980, Durst was leaving Lewisboro to take a train to Grand Central Station. She never arrived and, to this day, no one knows what happened to her. Her husband was a person of interest, but never was charged with a crime.
Where is she? Koehl asked. Is her body in Lake Truesdale? Maybe its in the reservoir.
Dolores Antonetz, the teen librarian, said the students from the teen advisory committee were the true catalyst behind the event.
The idea behind the teen advisory group was to get more teens involved in the library, Antonetz said. We started with three; now we have 11. This was their idea. Weve done something like this before, but not as involved like we are this year using actors.
Antonetz said Kohel brings authenticity to the tour.
Maureen is wonderful, she said. She really makes it interesting. Shes done all the research.
The tour will start at the library and thrill seekers and history buffs are encouraged to bring flashlights. Refreshments will be served following the event. In case of bad weather, the program will be held inside the library as a slide presentation.
For more information, call the library at 914-763-3857.
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