ELLERBE — The Rankin Museum of American Heritage will celebrate Halloween with haunting tales of history featuring bears, Civil War soldiers and local history. And bears.
Museum curator Gail Benson stresses that the stories told during the 10 flashlight tours the evening of Oct. 28 will be “haunting,” not “haunted.” That is, they will be blood-and-guts free. Still, those who attend should be 12 and older.
“It’s not scary,” Benson said Monday. “We were trying not to get gory.”
One tale, for example, features North Pole explorer Adm. William Perry, Inuit peoples and a horrible injustice. Another, a “creepy” Melanesian setting and former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. (The first story involves a polar bear — at least tangentially.)
The approximately 10-minute tours will rotate through the darkened museum from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $5 each. Museum board member Brett Webb said Monday that the planned 100 tickets were disappearing at a good clip.
“It’s a really, really cool thing,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s a full house.”
The storytelling will be captivating, he said, “but even if you’re in a dark museum with a giant brown bear,” it’ll be haunting.
Among the storytellers will be a few professionals, as well as history aficionados. They’ll guide their tours through the darkened museum, stopping to tell stories at six exhibits: The Arctic (polar bear), Alaska, Local History, The Civil War, Melanesian Art (creepy wooden masks) and The Plains Indians (giant stuffed buffalo). The giant brown bear lurks along the way but won’t be a stop.
The stories, Benson said, will be a mixture of “disturbing truths” and folk tales whose veracity may be questionable.
But whatever the truth — or lack of it — “I think everybody will get a kick out of the stories,” she said.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.