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Frightful history

Historians to offer ‘haunted’ tours of Amsterdam City Hall, cemetery

Thursday, October 18, 2012
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Frightful history


Guy Tomlinson, left, laughs with Tom Pikul at the Green Hill Cemetery in Amsterdam, before doing a dress rehearsal for the Haunted History Tour Wednesday.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber
Guy Tomlinson, left, laughs with Tom Pikul at the Green Hill Cemetery in Amsterdam, before doing a dress rehearsal for the Haunted History Tour Wednesday.

— Historians are inviting guests to evening tours at a 154-year-old burial grounds Friday and Saturday where prominent Amsterdam residents will be honored and, in some cases, all but awakened.

The Historic Amsterdam League and the Green Hill Cemetery Association are collaborating on “Haunted History Tours,” an opportunity for people to learn more about the city’s heroes at the site of their final resting place.

Re-enactors will be on hand to play the role of some of the city’s prominent residents who left a legacy that shouldn’t be forgotten, said historian Alessa Wylie, a member of the Green Hill Cemetery Association.

“It’s a cross between a regular tour and almost a play, where people will be meeting some of these individuals. They’ll be coming to life, so to speak,” she said.

Founded in 1858, the Green Hill Cemetery on Church Street in the city preserves the remains of numerous Civil War soldiers and people like Benedict Arnold — not the Revolutionary War turncoat but the Amsterdam native born a couple weeks before the other Benedict Arnold’s treason who became a noted merchant and congressman, Wylie said.

The tour will take guests to the graves of other notable residents, including Ellis Clizbe, Charles Kline, Mary Duncan Sanford and Capt. E.S. Young.

In keeping with October’s place as the Halloween month, the start of the tour at City Hall near the cemetery will feature discussions about supernatural discoveries.

Psychic Georgia O’Connor and paranormal investigator Ann Marie DeMarco will be discussing their own discoveries at historic City Hall.

DeMarco, of Northeast Forensic Paranormal Research, states on her blog a photograph taken during her investigation at City Hall shows a facial apparition in an orb — describing it as a “well defined face with facial details.”

Tours to be held every half-hour starting at 6 p.m. both days will be limited to 20 people.

Wylie said those considering a visit should be warned that the walk from City Hall to the cemetery is uphill, as is the stairway to the cemetery, and the tour will take place in the dark and on uneven ground.

 
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