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Grave Matters: A History of Halloween

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Ruth Altemier and Ellen Drake welcome guests to Peggy Bancroft Hall for "A History of Halloween."

We hosted our second annual Grave Matters program on a beautiful fall afternoon, October 19. This year Ellen Drake gave a talk on the “History of Halloween,” one of four cross-quarter days celebrated in ancient times by the Celts to mark the changing seasons. Over the centuries the holiday was folded into the Christian calendar and gradually evolved to our modern-day Halloween festivities. Ruth Altemier conducted a tour of historic Kipptown Cemetery, the first cemetery in Greene Township. Participants heard interesting stories about the Kipp family, the earliest settlers along the East Branch of the Wallenpaupack and the founders of what was, at the time, called Kipptown. They were also given an overview of the extensive work the Society has done to restore and preserve the cemetery.