Horror, Hauntings and History

Haunted Huguenot Street returns for spooky historical tours to celebrate Halloween this October.
Haunted Huguenot Street returns for spooky historical tours to celebrate Halloween this October.

Haunted Huguenot Street  staffers will once again aim to lead visitors on spooky, historic tours this Halloween weekend.

The annual Halloween event has been a highlight of the fall season in New Paltz for more than 10 years. Haunted Huguenot Street features a staff-led candlelight tour, where local ghost stories are told.

“It is a nighttime candlelight tour that brings guests through the museum houses to experience vignettes concerning the darker, nefarious side of local history,” said Rebecca Mackey, director of visitor services.

The tour will last a little over an hour and visitors will see re-enacted scenes from these ghost stories in the different houses on the street.

“At each stop the participants will hear and view chilling scenes, recreating terrible incidents that happened in our past,” said Director of Exhibits, Educational and Public Programs Susan Stessin-Cohn. “All the stories we will relate come straight out of the newspapers. That is totally different from any place they will go to.”

According to Mackey, all of the tales come from primary sources including newspapers, diaries, ledgers, books and oral histories.

Forty people will be running the event this year. Stessin-Cohn particularly appreciated how two SUNY New Paltz interns helped out from the beginning stages of planning.

Both Mackey and Stessin-Cohn believe Haunted Huguenot Street is a true community event for New Paltz.

“Huguenot Street was the original Main Street of New Paltz and it is important to honor that history and support local museums and non-profits that serve to preserve and interpret the past for the public,” Mackey said.

Stessin-Cohn said everything about Haunted Huguenot Street has been made for and by the community.

Mackey finds the event to be unique and believes it is “an alternative for those seeking a more sophisticated yet truly haunting experience.”

“Visitors hear true stories, not just tall tales, of those who lived here before while seeing the street lit by candles and blocked off to all traffic, which helps create the atmosphere of days past,” Mackey said.

Tickets cost $10 for students and for community members in advance. Tickets are $15 the night of. the tour.

Tours can be booked ahead of time online, with times listed for Oct. 28 and 29 from 7 to 11 p.m. and Oct. 30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Members of the organization strongly recommends registering ahead of time, as spots are limited.

Stessin-Cohn said this event will be- “a perfect night of horror and Halloween entertainment for all.”

For more information about Haunted visit huguenotstreet.org/haunted.html.