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Witches & Tombstones Halloween Tours (Wethersfield)
October 27, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
One event on October 28, 2018 at 10:00 am
Bone-chilling, but historically accurate, Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum’s Witches and Tombstones Tours will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: $18 per person. Advance tickets go on sale September 25 and may be purchased on the website
Note: Witches and Tombstones Tours include walking on uneven ground and the use of stairs, and are not appropriate for children under 12.
The First Stop: An up-close and creepy examination of all things funereal, Witches and Tombstones Tours begin in the museum’s Stevens House. Visitors step back in time and into the parlor set up for the wake of little Henry Stevens, who perished in 1828 at the age of three. The tiny coffin is surrounded by tansy and rosemary, herbs used to mask any “odors.” The windows and mirrors are covered, and a small silhouette representing Henry is displayed. A silhouette would likely have been the only portrait the family would have to remember him by. A guide will detail 19th-century mourning practices, how illnesses were treated in the Stevens House, and how the living dealt with fears of being buried alive.
The Second Stop: the Wethersfield Ancient Burying Ground. Visitors will view Henry Stevens’s tiny headstone and those of his father and mother, nearby. Among other gruesome particulars, visitors will view the grave of those who met their end during Connecticut’s first mass murder and see how gravestones warn the living of their own impending peril.
The Third Stop: is the circa 1714 Buttolph-Williams House, for tales from the notorious Wethersfield Witch Trials, which preceded the Salem Witch Trials by 30 years. The confession of witchcraft by Wethersfield resident Mary Johnson in 1648 was the first of 43 Connecticut cases, with 11 of them ending in execution. Katherine Harrison narrowly escaped the noose thanks to a technicality. Instead, she was banished and financially ruined.
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