Photo via MHM
What better way to celebrate Halloween this year than a history lesson in 19th-century death and mourning? The Merchant’s House Museum released its list of “events to die for” happening in October, all of which promise to be a ghostly good time. Spooky events include a walking tour following Edgar Allan Poe’s life in Greenwich Village, a reenactment of an 1865 funeral, candlelight ghost tours of the most haunted house in Manhattan, and much more.
Photo by Hal Hishorn for the MHM
Unless otherwise noted, reservations are required for the events. Purchase tickets online here. Ahead, find more information on the museum’s events:
A Good Death: 19th Century Lessons in Dying Well
Thursday, Oct. 4 to Monday, Nov. 7
This exhibition allows visitors to pay last respects to Seabury Tredwell, the former owner of the home, at his deathbed. Reenacted scenes explore deaths and grief during the 19th century when funerals were held in the home. Museum-goers can stage their own “pre” postmortem photo in a 19th-century coffin. “A Good Death” is included in regular admission, reservations not required.
Walking Tour: Edgar Allan Poe in Greenwich Village
Wednesday, Oct. 10
A two-hour walking tour takes you through Edgar Allan Poe’s life in Greenwich Village, including sites like his former home and places where he wrote some of his most famous deadly tales. The tour is $25 and reservations are required.
Killing an Evening with Edgar Allan Poe: Murder at the Merchant’s House
Catch a performance of The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado and The Raven in the museum’s double parlor. John Kevin Jones will take on Poe’s 19th-century works and the parlor will be decked out with a coffin and mirrors with black crepe. Tickets to the show cost $18.
“Sacred to the Memory;” 1865 Funeral Reenactment
Sunday, Oct. 14
A reenactment of the funeral of family patriarch Seabury Tredwell will take place in the museum’s parlor. This year, visitors can speak with Eliza Tredwell and her children to talk about death and dying as a common part of 19th-century living. Rev. Samuel Cooke will be on hand to talk about funeral customs and in the kitchen, funeral biscuits will be served. Tickets are $35 or $25 for Merchant’s House Museum members.
Chant Macabre: Songs from the Crypt
Thursday, Oct. 18
Get spooked by the Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society, who will be singing haunting melodies about ghosts, ghouls, and goblins. Tickets to the 75-minute performance cost $30 or $20 for museum members.
Candlelight Ghost Tours of ‘Manhattan’s Most Haunted House’
Friday, Oct. 19, Saturday, Oct.20 and Oct. 24-Oct.30
Members of the Treadwell family lived at the Merchant’s House for almost a century. Many say their spirits still haunt its grounds. Since the house opened to the public as a museum in the 1930s, visitors have witnessed happenings, sounds, sightings, and smells, without any explanation. The museum is offering a candlelight tour and storytelling event to hear about the chilling tales and occurrences from the people who actually experienced them. This haunting tour is $40, or $25 for members.
Candlelight Ghost Tour & Investigation with Paranormal Investigator Dan Sturges
Friday, Oct. 19 & 26, Saturday, Oct. 20 & 27, midnight
Paranormal investigator Dan Sturges will give a special midnight ghost tour of the house, during its “darkest hour.” In the 75-minute tour, Sturges discusses his methodology and shares his scariest experiences as an investigator. At the end of the tour, guests are able to test out their ghost-hunting skills. Tickets cost $100 or $90 for members.
Reimagine End of Life New York
Oct. 27 to Nov. 3
This week-long series of events breaks down taboos and explores questions about life and death. There will be over 250 events across the five boroughs, all centered on different perspectives about death. Find more information on the events here.
The Art of Mourning: 19th Century Postmortem and Memorial Photography
Thursday, Nov. 1
When photography was first invented in 1839, death was often the subject of photographs, a way to memorialize loved ones. Elizabeth Burns, the creative and operations director of the Burns Archive, which houses more than one million photographs, will lead a talk on Nov. 1 about the relatable and common experience of death shared through photographs. Tickets to the lecture are $20 and $10 for members.
Icons in Ash: Contemporary and Historic Mourning Practices
Friday, Nov. 2
A presentation led by artist Heide Hatry and Professor Zoë Crossland examines mourning practices of past and present, comparing traditions. The lecture poses the question: “What do the changing attitudes to death and mourning mean in the modern world?”
- Go pumpkin picking and trick-or-treating on Governors Island
- The Urban Lens: A walk through the wild and wonderful Village Halloween Parade
- Plan for eight-story hotel next to historic Merchant’s House Museum faces major setback
Neighborhoods : Greenwich Village