Westport Historical Society’s festivities haunt, but also educate

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Westport Historical Society’s festivities haunt, but also educate

A horse carriage arrives at the Westport Historical Society for the Family Creep Fest, which offers families hayrides throughout downtown. Photo by Anastasia Thumser '22.

A horse carriage arrives at the Westport Historical Society for the Family Creep Fest, which offers families hayrides throughout downtown. Photo by Anastasia Thumser '22.

A horse carriage arrives at the Westport Historical Society for the Family Creep Fest, which offers families hayrides throughout downtown. Photo by Anastasia Thumser '22.

A horse carriage arrives at the Westport Historical Society for the Family Creep Fest, which offers families hayrides throughout downtown. Photo by Anastasia Thumser '22.

Anastasia Thumser ’22, Web Opinions Editor

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Ghoulish games, petrifying pumpkins and horrifying hayrides are just a few of the activities at the Family Creep Fest, which occurred on Oct. 5. With Halloween quickly approaching, the Westport Historical Society (WHS) ensures its festivities are kicked off with a proper sense of fear and fun, while also incorporating historical context. 

“October is completely dedicated to what we call ‘Spooktober,’ which is a full month-long series of programs all related to the creepy, eerie history of Westport,” Nicole Carpenter, director of programs and education for the Westport Museum of History and Culture, said. 

October is completely dedicated to what we call ‘Spooktober,’ which is a full month-long series of programs all related to the creepy, eerie history of Westport.”

— Nicole Carpenter, director of programs and education for the Westport Museum of History and Culture

In addition to Halloween-themed games, pumpkin decorating and horse-drawn wagon rides, the Creep Fest also offered a reading of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” pizza provided by truck and tarot card readings by Maria Davis. 

“I love tarot; tarot to me is about giving [people] direction. And I love when I can give, through the cards, direction to other people,” Davis said.

As a tarot teacher for Wilton Adult Education, Angel Cooperative and Turning Point Reiki classes, Davis was excited to work with kids at a festive event.

While the Westport Historical Society aims for entertainment through events like the Creep Fest, they also remain focused on educational purposes. Cat Graham ’19, an associate at WHS and graphic design contributor, likes Spooktober especially because of its historical significance. 

“Our Haunted House theme is the theme of one of our exhibits, which is public health. So we’re having a sanitarium for a spooky feel,” Graham said. 

Carpenter agrees as she values the historical message behind the fun-filled holiday. “Spooktober is really fun, because who doesn’t enjoy Halloween? But also, it’s a chance to learn about history that we don’t usually talk about for the rest of the year,” Carpenter said. “We get to explore topics like witches, graveyards, and people who may have had a darker past. And it’s really fun to talk about this unusual history in a family-friendly way.” 

Westport Historical Society's festivities haunt, but also educate

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