Legends & Lanterns: A "Spirited" Journey Through Halloween History

Legends & Lanterns

Finding its inspiration from the past, this festival will offer the vintage charm of Halloween in the 1910s-1930s, to the historical rituals and customs brought to the holiday by the Druids and Victorians, to the ethereal atmosphere depicted in American ghost stories and Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Please click here to view the flyer.

Legends & Lanterns will offer fun for guests of all ages - a little silly, a little macabre, but all in fun.

FESTIVAL HOURS
Saturday, October 22:   11:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday, October 23:   Noon - 5:00pm
and
Friday, October 28:   5:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday, October 29:   11:00am - 8:00pm
Sunday, October 30:   Noon - 5:00pm

MEET THE 13 GHOSTLY GUESTS OF MAIN STREET!

ICHABOD CRANE: The ill-fated school master and protagonist of Washington Irving's classic 1820 American ghost story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The eternally nervous and devoutly superstitious Ichabod has his biggest fears confront him as he encounters the terrifying Headless Horseman late one Halloween night. He was never seen in Sleepy Hollow again.

EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849): "Quoth the Raven, nevermore!" This quote is just one of the many chilling passages that have cemented Edgar Allan Poe as America's "master of horror." Known for his poetry and short stories, Poe is beloved for his tales of mystery and the macabre including: The Raven, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Pit and the Pendulum. Poe died under mysterious circumstances in Baltimore, Maryland on October 7, 1849. Beginning in 1949, an unknown visitor known as the "Poe Toaster" began making an annual pilgrimage to Poe's grave, raising a toast with a glass of cognac and leaving three roses. The tradition continued for over six decades until January 19, 2009, the Poe Toaster made their final appearance...on Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday.

LIZZIE BORDEN (1860-1927): Did she or didn't she? Acquitted for the infamous 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie never quite convinced history of her innocence. The sensationalized dramatics of the courtroom led Lizzie to become an overnight celebrity, and for the trial to dominate conversation around the country. After the trial, Borden decided to remain in Fall River (though she was greatly ostracized by the community). The story of Lizzie Borden was immortalized in a famous school rhyme. The exact identity of who crafted the poem is unknown, but some folklore points to the author as being nursery rhyme celebrity Mother Goose.

VLAD TEPES (1431-1477): Given the nickname "Vlad the Impaler" by his enemies, the ruthless Vlad was the Prince of Wallachia (now Romania) and a member of the House of Draculesti. The legend of this imposing figure (as well as his family name) inspired a young writer named Bram Stoker to write his 1897 novel Dracula. To date, the villainous Count has appeared in more motion pictures than any other horror character (with over 200 film credits...everything from cartoons to comedies).

BABA YAGA: As the most famous witch in Slavic folklore, Baba Yaga forgoes the stereotypical pointed black hat and broomstick of  conventional witches, instead choosing to fly through the night sky in a giant mortar. The old crone resides deep in the forest in a hut that spins around on a giant chicken leg. Like an ethereal Earth Mother, she has a strong connection to her woodland surroundings, but like nature, she too can sway from being kind and gentle to wild and untamed. So beware, the mysterious Baba Yaga may either help or hinder those who seek her out.

DRUID PRIESTESS: Many of the beloved traditions of Halloween originated with these ancient Celtic peoples. All Hallow's Eve began as the Gaelic festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, the "darker half" of the year. It was during Samhain that it was believed the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was lifted. Gifts of food were left to appease the Aos Si (the spirits or fairies that could cross over into the living realm), and many individuals would disguise themselves in animal pelts in an effort to avoid being recognized by any malevolent spirits. This practice (known as "mumming") morphed into what we know today as Trick or Treating.

STINGY JACK: Centuries ago in Ireland lived the miserable ne'er-do-well known as "Stingy Jack." Jack took great joy in playing pranks on people. One day, however, when he played a trick on the Devil himself, Jack was cursed to wander the earth aimlessly for all eternity with only a glowing red ember from the underworld to light his way (which Jack placed in a hollowed out turnip). Irish peasants who grew up listening to this tale, took to placing candles in turnips, beets, and other vegetables carved with grotesque faces as a way to ward off Stingy Jack (and any other evil spirits), hence creating the first Jack O'Lanterns.

GINGERBREAD WITCH: One of the most infamous villains from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, this old crone has been teaching children to never take candy from strangers since 1812. When German siblings Hansel and Gretel are left in the woods by their father and stepmother, they are entranced by a house made entirely of gingerbread and sweets. They are tricked into entering the sugary abode by a witch who in turn makes Gretel into a servant and locks Hansel in a cage (fattening him up to make a meal out of him). When Gretel pushes the witch into an oven, the children are able to make their daring escape.

IGOR: As the intensely loyal hunchbacked servant of many Gothic horror icons, most notably Dr. Frankenstein, Igor lends his services (from grave robbing to laboratory assistant) to help the mad scientist achieve his goal of reanimating dead tissue into a certain well known bolt-necked monster.

GUY FAWKES (1570-1606): "Remember, remember the 5th of November!" As a co-conspirator of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 to blow up England's Parliament, Guy Fawkes is burned in effigy throughout the United Kingdom every November on what has become known as "Bonfire Night," a holiday which shares many similarities to Halloween. On the evening before Bonfire Night, children throughout England  march their homemade effigies of Guy Fawkes door to door requesting "a penny for the Guy," (payment with which to buy fireworks), if this request is refused, children may retaliate by playing pranks, giving this evening an appropriate name...Mischief Night.

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS (1680-1690s): The ringleader of the "afflicted girls" of Salem, whose accusations led to the arrest and imprisonment of more than 150 innocent people as "witches" during the infamous Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692. Some experts speculate that fungus-infected rye may have led to hallucinations that Abigail Williams and others believed to be witchcraft. In June of 1692, Abigail disappeared from the historical record, and what happened to her is unknown. 

MADAME ESMERALDA: Bobbing for apples, jumping over open candle flames, reading tea leaves...these vintage autumn activities did not start as trivial Halloween party games, but instead were viewed as legitimate ways to get a glimpse into the future. When it comes to these divination games and Halloween season superstitions, the befuddled spiritual medium, Madame Esmeralda knows all! With her gift of clairvoyance (and a significant dose of theatrical hocus pocus), Madame Esmeralda was among scores of crystal ball-gazers who rose to popularity in the 1910s and 1920s as public interest in the supernatural and communicating with individuals on the "other side" skyrocketed.

LA CATRINA: THE SPIRIT OF DIA DE LOS MUERTOS: Every year on November 1st and 2nd, towns and villages throughout Mexico are filled with images of skulls and skeletons. While this sounds spooky, it is all part of the cheerful holiday known as Dia de los Muertos (or the "day of the dead"). Filled with music and food and bright decorations, Dia de los Muertos is far from being a somber occasion, but is instead seen as a way to celebrate and honor the souls of departed loved ones. La Catrina, our spirit of Dia de los Muertos will share some of the beloved traditions of the Day of the Dead, from building altars, to decorating graves with bright Mexican cempasuchit (marigolds-orange like the sun, representing hope and life), making calaveritas (folk art candy skulls), and eating Pan de muerto (a sweet roll that is often baked to resemble bones).

THE ANGRY VILLAGERS: What's a good monster story without the proverbial hoard of angry villagers? It appears that a small, merry band of bumbling peasants have found their way to St. Charles to vanquish any supernatural visitors. Armed with pitchforks, stakes, and cloves of garlic, these villagers are not only angry but-musical?! That's right! So keep an eye out, they may have a special seasonal tune or two to share with you-in between their quest to rid Main Street of ghosts, of course.