Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides: Honoring the Old-Fashioned Pastime of Telling Ghost Stories on Christmas Eve

East Lynne Theater Company continues the Victorian custom of telling ghost stories at Christmastime with Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides, co-sponsored with Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities (MAC). Listen to classic American holiday ghost stories, told (memorized not read) by a costumed performer in a dark trolley, while the twinkling lights of the beautifully decorated homes and streets are seen through the windows of the heated vehicle.

Two of the following stories are told on one ride. Old Applejoy’s Ghost by Frank R. Stockton is about a jolly spirit who convinces his grandniece to persuade her uncle to celebrate Christmas in the mansion the way in which it used to be celebrated. The other stories are based on Mary Wilkins Freeman’s tales: The Twelfth Guest and The Christmas Masquerade. In The Twelfth Guest, a young woman, a stranger, appears in time for Christmas dinner at the child’s home. She ends up staying long enough to right some wrongs, and then disappears. The Christmas Masquerade is about an unusual costumer who, when children don his creations, behave like the outfit, i.e., pauper’s children dressed as princesses behave like royalty, and banker’s daughters behave like shepherdesses. All three stories were adapted for storytelling by Gayle Stahlhuth.

The “spirited” thirty-minute rides begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Tickets are only $10 for adults and $7 for children ages 3-12. Rides run several nights a week through the New Year’s Day weekend. Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling MAC at 884-5404. If tickets are available the day of the tour, they will be sold at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.

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