Lewiston is steeped in history- and some say the village’s notable residents never left.
You can meet some of the figures of Lewiston’s past and listen to some creepy tales during the Marble Orchard Ghost Walks, which kick off this Saturday.
“Marble Orchard” refers to the Village Cemetery next to Lewiston’s First Presbyterian Church, which is filled with marble tombstones.
Before the opening of the Erie Canal, Lewiston was a booming community with a population larger than Buffalo, Marble Orchard Ghost Walk actor Kathryn Serianni said.
“Lewiston has a very bloody history- the whole village was burnt to the ground during the War of 1812, and many people died that night and in the following days because it happened during December,” Serianni said.
“Many of our buildings date to after the War of 1812 and the spirits have been accumulating for over 200 years now,” she added.
Serianni plays Catherine Hustler, who ran a tavern in the village in the early 1800s. She’s credited with inventing the cocktail, using a feather from a rooster to stir it.
The ghost walks are 90 minutes long and start at the Peace Garden, 476 Center Street. There are stops at some spots in the village before ending up in the Village Cemetery.
“Because of Lewiston’s age, a lot of our stops are at the original buildings, and they haven’t changed that much,” Tim Henderson, who plays tailor/Underground Railroad station master Josiah Tryon, said.
Henderson said the tour touches on some of the creepy aspects of everyday life in the 1800s.
“We talk about the fact that there weren’t sophisticated instruments that could pick up a heartbeat back then, and it wasn’t uncommon for someone to be buried alive,” Henderson said.
It’s recommended that walkers dress in layers, bring a flashlight, and wear flat shoes. The tour is open to all ages.
“We’re not the kind of ghost walk that chases you with chainsaws- we’re more theatre in the streets,” Serianni said.
Take a look at some of the characters you’ll meet on the ghost walk:
The Marble Orchard Ghost Walks are presented by the Lewiston Council for the Arts. Tickets are $15 for adults ($10 for LCA members) and $5 for brave children under 12.
No reservations are necessary.
The tours start at 7 p.m. on Saturdays starting Sept. 21 through Oct. 26.