Witch Trials, Ancient Burying Grounds & a 19th-Century Wake at WDS
The Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum will offer an up-close and creepy examination of all things macabre during their annual Witches and Tombstones Tours on Saturday and Sunday, October 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission for the 90-minute tour is $13 per person. Space is limited and reservations are strongly advised. *Please note - Witches and Tombstones Tours include walking on uneven ground and the use of stairs.
Starting from the Webb House, at 211 Main Street, a tour guide leads the way to the c. 1714 Buttolph-Williams House for tales from the notorious Wethersfield Witch Trials – which preceded the Salem Witch Trials by 30 years. In fact, the confession of witchcraft by Wethersfield resident Mary Johnson in 1648 was the first of 43 Connecticut cases, with 11 of them ending in execution.
The second stop on the tour is the Wethersfield Ancient Burying Ground, where, among other gruesome details, visitors will hear details of Connecticut’s first mass murder, and discover how gravestones warned the living of their own impending peril.
Back at the Isaac Stevens House, visitors will step back in time and view a room fully prepared for a wake, replete with coffin, draped windows and mirrors. A guide will explain 19th-century mourning practices, how illnesses were treated in the Isaac Stevens House, and discuss how the living dealt with fears of being buried alive.
About the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
Located in the heart of Connecticut’s largest historic district, the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum provides the quintessential New England experience - from the American Revolution to the early 20th century. Tours include the 1752 Joseph Webb House, where General George Washington met with French General Rochambeau and planned the military campaign leading to the end of the Revolutionary War, the 1770 Silas Deane House, built for America’s first diplomat to France, and the 1788 Isaac Stevens House, which depicts Connecticut life in the 18th and 19th centuries. For more information visit: www.webb-deane-stevens.org or call (860) 529-0612, and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WDSMUSEUM.