The dark and morbid works of Edgar Allan Poe are immortal, and will be the focus of this year’s annual Haunted Lantern Tours at historic Strauss Mansion in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. This event has become one of the biggest fundraisers for the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society which hosts it. The tours will take place in and around the haunted 1893-Victorian manor. Visitors will start on the first floor and then work their way through the house, outside, and into the basement, before emerging in the backyard for the grand finale. At each stop along the way, guests will see a short vignette acted out. The characters and settings from Annabelle Lee, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, Cask of Amontillado, The Premature Burial, and a few others will be used. The tour itself will become an interactive storybook of Poe’s most terrifying tales.
In some cases, the scenes will be word-for-word from Poe’s original short stories and poetry while others have been adapted to include special twists. There will also be some other classics worked into the Gothic and Victorian theme. I am thrilled to be working alongside several veterans of the Strauss Mansion Haunted Lantern Tour productions from over the years, including Joanne and Roy Dellosso, and Lou Fligor and his family. As you may know, Lou and I run the public paranormal investigations at the location in October and various times throughout the year. Everyone involved has a deep love and passion for the paranormal and giving people a night of fun and fright.
The tours this year will be held one weekend only: Friday and Saturday, October 23rd and 24th, from 7-10pm. Cost of the tour will be $7 per person, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting AHHS and the ongoing restoration effort at Strauss Mansion. The event will be held rain or shine, as we can easily adapt the tour in case of poor weather. We look forward to seeing you at this year’s exciting event!
P.S: If you are interested in volunteering this weekend and helping to get the house ready for the attraction, please join us at Strauss Mansion on Tuesday, October 6th at 7pm for a brief meeting. We will be walking through the house to go over the tour structure as well as casting some of the parts. Volunteers must be of high school age or older to help. Adults are needed for tour guides and some of the major acting roles, while younger participants can help as background actors or behind the scenes. If you want to help, we will find something for you to do. There are plenty of non-acting jobs that we also could use assistance with. 27 Prospect Circle, Atlantic Highlands, NJ.
More articles in this special “Halloween Twenty-Fifteen” column can be found here.