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Historical society offers spooky ‘Tales from the Tomb’

Historical society offers spooky ‘Tales from the Tomb’

Historical society offers spooky ‘Tales from the Tomb’

Graveyards are often spooky, especially around Halloween.

But when the second annual "Tales from the Tomb" historical tour takes place at Statesboro's Eastside Cemetery, the "spooks" will also deliver a treat.

The tour, hosted by the Bulloch County Historical Society, will feature eight prominent Bulloch County citizens buried in the cemetery, as well as one "surprise" traveling spirit buried in another Bulloch County cemetery, said historical society member Virginia Anne Franklin Waters, the project coordinator.

The tours will take place Thursday, Oct. 17.

Local actors will portray the spirits of these former leaders in local society while docents take small groups of tourists through the cemetery, visiting the graves of the deceased characters.

Fall refreshments will be served after the tours, of which there will be nine.

Those taking the tours, which will go out every 15 minutes beginning at 6 p.m., will also be able to take home scripts from the docents with historical information about the people portrayed, Waters said.

The tour, a fundraiser for the historical society, was a sellout last year.

"It was very successful in spite of that night being the coldest, windiest night ever at Eastside Cemetery," Waters said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, only 33 out of 135 tickets remained available for this year's tour.

The tour idea evolved after a group of historical society members "visited a cemetery in another community that did this," said society President Joe McGlamery, who also is the president of the Statesboro Herald. "It was an enjoyable experience and we learned a great deal about those historical personalities and the period during which they lived."

Actors portraying local characters who once lived in the Statesboro area and who are now buried there will be dressed in period costume according to the time that particular character lived.

"We have some very interesting people buried in Eastside Cemetery, and we wanted to tell their story," McGlamery said.

Last year, characters portrayed included popular newspaper columnist Maude Brannen Edge; local farm owners Dan and Catherine Bland; Statesboro's first mayor, James Alonzo "Lonnie" Brannen; and Marvin S. Pittman, the president of Georgia Teachers College, who was fired by segregationist Gov. Eugene Talmadge.

This year, characters portrayed will be Caroline Moore Sorrier (by Mikelle Calhoun); Col. Albert M. Deal (by grandson Roscoff Deal); Dr. Waldo Floyd (by Sims Lanier); Dr. Raymond Kennedy (by grandson Mike Kennedy); Charles Preetorious (by Rodney Harville), Manassas Foy (by great-grandson Bruce Olliff); Col. Greene Johnston (by McGlamery); and John Alexander McDougald (by grandson Michael McDougald.)

The "mystery spirit" buried in the McKelveen Cemetery near Arcola will be portrayed by Michael Van Wagnen, Waters said.

Tours for which tickets are still available are at 7:15, 7:30, 7:45 and 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at the Statesboro Herald office at 1 Proctor St., and are $5 each.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.


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