Scaring Up Places, Stories And Happenings For A Spooky Halloween

Oct 30, 2018

From haunted places to aged cemeteries to long-whispered ghost stories, Vermont has what it takes for a spooky Halloween. But what unique traditions do you or your community have for Halloween? We're taking a tour of some places, history and stories that scream "Halloween." 

Thea Lewis, an author who's written about haunted places in Vermont and the state's "wicked" history, shared several haunted recommendations on Vermont Edition, including the Bennington Triangle and the story of Black Agnes within the supposedly haunted Montpelier cemetery of Green Mount Cemetery.

We also heard an excerpt from But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids with Boston University's Regina Hansen about why we carve pumpkins to make jack-o'-lanterns during Halloween.

Listen: "Why Do We Celebrate Halloween?" on But Why

Kim DeLong, manager at Dartmouth's Life Science greenhouse, told us about Morphy the "corpse flower," which had not bloomed by Halloween but is expected to open and share its pungent odor any day. You can watch Morphy's progress on a live web stream. DeLong says the greenhouse will offer extended viewing hours once the plant blooms so more people can "enjoy" its unique qualities.

Watch: a time lapse of Morphy the "corpse flower" blooming in 2016:

Sheila Kelly, a tour guide at the supposedly haunted Wilson Castle in Proctor, and Ruth Franklin, biographer of North Bennington horror writer Shirley Jackson, both shared their experiences in allegedly haunted places in Vermont.

Listen: A tour of Everett Mansion, one of the Vermont locales that inspired Shirley Jackson.

The unusual wall sconce at Everett Mansion, now called the Orchard House, at Southern Vermont College. The mansion was among the Vermont inspirations for Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House."
Credit Ric Cengeri / VPR

Franklin explained her theory that parts of Everett Mansion, also known as the Orchard House, on the campus of Southern Vermont College in Bennington, inspired the titular haunted house in Jackson's The Haunting Of Hill House.  

And Ilene Gillander, a tour guide at the Hope Cemetery in Barre, insists the cemetery is not haunted. But she says its more than 10,000 unique headstones of various shapes and designs make the cemetery more of a sculpture park that has engaged visitors and residents for decades.

Broadcast live on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.