The City of Salem could tell countless tales of history it has seen over the years if it could talk. Because that is not possible, the Salem Museum has hosted a Ghost Walk event for the last 22 years where volunteer actors portray different historical figures and reenact powerful moments of yesteryear.
Normally, the event starts at the Salem Museum and continues through East Hill Cemetery. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ghost Walk on October 17 was held at the Sherwood Amphitheatre to allow for social distancing and safety. Tickets were $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students while children three and under were admitted for free. All guests were required to wear a mask at all times over both the mouth and nose
After the signing of the Declaration of Independence, General Andrew Lewis, portrayed by local resident Joe LaRocca, was chosen for the task of driving out the last British Governor of Virginia. Other ghosts from last Saturday were John Hook Griffith (portrayed by Rob Laing), Grace Smyth, Jr. (Peggy Shifflett), H.L. Roberts (Garrett Channell), Clementine Chapman (Emma Boyer), Nellie Peery (Deena Sasser) and Orran Oakey (Norman Ferguson).
“Cemeteries are the places that we remember those that came before us, their legacy, their lives and their contributions to our community. It is important to remember that many of the things we enjoy today are because of the hard work and sacrifices of the generations that came before us,” said Susan Mini, Sherwood Memorial Park President and CEO.
She added, “The cemetery is also a place to honor and celebrate life. So, it is nice to be able to safely bring the community together to enjoy some history and entertainment for such a great cause.”
Joe LaRocca as General Andrew Lewis is a familiar actor. His commitment to detail was well-received from the approximately 140 people who purchased a ticket. No Ghost Walk event would be complete without the actors answering questions from the audience and that is exactly what happened before the evening concluded.
Support from the City of Salem and the William Margaret Robertson Endowment Fund made last Saturday’s Ghost Walk possible. All proceeds will benefit the Salem Museum and Historical Society.