PEI

Summerside Ghost Walk offers new format for milestone year

Audience members will experience grim stories about everything from a historical accident where a train collided with a car to witchcraft accusations. Fitting in with life under COVID-19, the Spanish flu will also be part of the show.

Audience members will be seated, with a COVID-19 plan in place

The Summerside Ghost Walk is continuing this year with a new format that involves the retelling of past chilling tales. (CBC)

A Halloween tradition is continuing in Summerside this year, with a new twist to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19.

Culture Summerside's annual Ghost Walk will follow an operational plan approved by the Chief Public Health Office. 

Marlene Campbell, the organization's cultural programming co-ordinator, said it's exciting to be able to continue during a milestone anniversary. This year's walk will mark two decades since the tradition started.

Fact is much stranger than fiction.- Marlene Campbell

"It's become pretty important to a lot of people because we have an audience that comes back year after year, and many of our volunteer actors continue to come year after year," she said.

Campbell said there won't be walking this year to adhere to health guidelines. 

Three shows will be held in the yards of Wyatt Heritage Properties and audience members will be seated instead of moving about. There will be performances at 6:30, 8 and 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22.

A file photo of past Summerside Ghost Walk performers Michelle Askew, Catherine Dickson, Janet Rose Hurst and Jean MacKay. (Lindsay Carroll/CBC)

People will have to reserve tickets in advance through the MacNaught History Centre (by phone or in-person) so that seating can be determined.  

For the milestone event, Culture Summerside asked attendees from previous years which stories they wanted to hear again. The top 12 vignettes were selected, which include one outlining the history of Halloween and witches.

"We're also going to talk about a murder story where justice was not carried out," Campbell said.

Audience members will experience grim stories about everything from a historical accident in which a train collided with a car to witchcraft accusations. Fitting in with life under COVID-19, the Spanish flu will also be part of the show.

Volunteers will perform vignettes designed to frighten and entertain. (CBC)

The provincial archives finds interesting historical events for the actors to perform as vignettes.

There will be 12 actors this year and most will be retelling the stories they themselves have performed before.

"Fact is much stranger than fiction and there are so many stories on the Island that I think people probably think, 'That never happened here,'" Campbell said.

"We have such a rich history on Prince Edward Island and it's just so good to be able to bring it alive in different ways."

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now