Three cheers for Kathy Fisher and her team at Ermitinger-Clergue National Historic Site’s 1st ‘guided-by-spirits’, Spirit Walk. The inaugural event, as part of the annual Fall Rendezvous at EMHS, was very well attended by families, teenagers & older folks with a penchant for curiosity. Spirit Walk, which is a guided tour through the grounds and inner sanctum of The Old Stone House, provided the perfect blend of spooky story-telling, some frightening moments, good natured fun, historical reflections, and an all star cast of characters.
On Oct 2nd & 3rd, starting at 7:30, the first walk began, with a group session in the theatre of the Heritage Discovery Centre, led by a ‘mysterious matron’ who shared stories of things long ago, and the possibilities woven into the history of EMHS for encountering spirits who lived and died in the old house. The Old Stone House. The old Ermitinger place.
There is live theatre unfolding as a person, tentatively, under dimmed lighting, takes a step into the world of Spirits. Creaking floors, hushed tones, outlandish doctors, colourful coureur-de-bois, voyageurs qui chantent, gun-powdered british soldiers, a most unhappy judge, mournful mothers, and more were present in Spirit. Through the ambiance and storytelling, an air of uncertainty as to what might lay ahead, kept the brave souls alert to the unknown.
Each room creates a new story, as volunteer actors unveil historical spirit connections. Ian Ganton, lantern bearer and guide, addresses the group throughout the Spirit Walk, introducing the gathered to the possibilities around every corner. Inside and outside of the Old Stone House, the assembled peered into the lens of the spirit world. In the summer kitchen, a warm cup of apple cider and cookies was offered before heading to the voyageur fire, and on to visit the coureur de bois and british soldiers. Thankfully, a doctors’ visit to the doctor we met along the Spirit walk was not in order for any of the group.
Well done all. Spirit Walk at ECNHS is sure to become a Fall Rendezvous favourite. Discover the spirited stories for yourself next year. Be warned. Don’t go alone. The buddy system is best. Boo.