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What Would Longfellow Say About Ghosts and Halloween?


What ghosts did Henry Wadsworth Longfellow contact in his Cambridge, Massachusetts home? NPS photo.

Not only was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow an incredible poet, but he also believed in the supernatural. That second part is of particular interest this week, as the folks at the Longfellow National Historic Site are offering special Halloween tours to explore what they call "19th century America's fascination with death and mourning."

On Thursday and Friday, Ranger Rob Velella will be leading the tours at 6 p.m. each night. As you wander through Longfellow's home you'll learn about how the poet believed "all houses wherein men have lived and died are haunted houses," and how he tried to contact those spirits.

If indeed spirits do exist, there no doubt are quite a few at this house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. According to the National Park Service, "It was here that George Washington took command of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. The first use in the United States of anesthesia for childbirth was administered to Fanny Longfellow at the house. Famous literary figures such as Charles Dickens and Nathaniel Hawthorne were visitors, as were politicians, actors, musicians, and others."

If you want to attend one of these tours, don't hesitate. Call the park today at 617-876-4491 as reservations are needed. The cost is $3 per person for visitors age 16 and up.

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