Friday, October 23, 2015


It has been a month full of fun-filled Halloween activities and the good times aren't over yet.  We had the pleasure of enjoying a few more spooky treats.  Wednesday night we headed out for the 7:30 p.m. show of DRACULA at The Schenectady Civic Players, a community theater on Church Street in the historic Stockade Neighborhood in Schenectady.  This all volunteer community theater is the oldest in Capital Region, founded in 1927.

The theater is a 19th century Masonic Temple.
The play was spectacular, written by Stephen Dietz, it is a very unique staging.  Relying on limited sets and props and staged using music, lighting and effects. 
 Obviously photography is not allowed but there are a few photos from a rehearsals.
Renfield is not in costume, but Dracula is!
On Thursday evening we headed to the Schenectady County Library's main branch,
on Liberty Street in downtown Schenectady for a "telling."  Two story tellers were there from 6:00 7:00 p.m. telling spooky stories for the holiday.
We heard an Irish folklore tale, a ghost story about Minot's Ledge Lighthouse off the coast of Cohasset, MA and about an old country general store as well as a few others.
And on Friday night we attended MURDER AT CHERRY HILL at the very beautiful Historic Cherry Hill on South Pearl Street in Albany.
The house is undergoing a major restoration, and is very much under construction, but still open.
This famous murder is very real.  In 1827 a murder occurred in this home belonging to the very prominent Van Rensselaer family.  Jesse Strang from Putman County had deserted his family and became a drifter and eventual found work under an assumed name at the house.  He met Elsie (Van Rensselaer) Whipple at a bar in Albany and they had an affair.  Strang shot John Whipple (Elsie's husband) at the house.  Strang's defense was Elsie compelled him to kill her husband so they could be together and she could be in control of her money.'
And even tho they both went on trial, no one believed that the ever "swooning" Elsie, from the prominent  Van Rensselaer family, could do such a thing; she was acquitted and he found guilty.  And of course she did sell him out.  Strang was hung where the Empire State Plaza now stands in Albany and this was the last public hanging in Albany,
This dramatic telling of the story included costumed interpreters, props and audience participation, all while touring the house and grounds.
This is poor dead John Whipple.
Elisa's Auntie sitting up in her room prior to the murder.
And Jesse lurking through the house.
From ghost tours in the Stockade, to haunted historic mansions like Clermont and Cherry Hill, to plays and tellings to cemetery tours and Booings; it has been a fabulous October so far.

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