At 5:00 p.m. last Saturday the National Colonial Farm was the perfect picture of a pastoral scene. Cows and sheep grazed in green pastures as shadows lengthened and light softened. By 6:00 p.m. the scene had become a spectacular 19th century landscape painting. An absolutely stunning sunset backlit house and barns with pink and orange and violet hues. But by 7:00 a chill crept across the fields as an inky purple sky sucked in all the sun’s light, and history took a turn toward the sinister. The near darkness revealed a shadowy scene where colonial ghouls lurked behind fences and spectral children played “Ring around the Rosie” and all fell – dead! Lost souls dined in an eerie tavern from which they knew they would never take leave. Nearby a ghostly farm wife snatched from the 18th century headlines told tales of her three late unfortunate husbands and how each met his fate.
“Twilight Tales,” this first-ever experiment in the darker side of colonial Maryland’s history, turned out to be a crowd pleaser. Visitors came out in numbers to be shocked and frightened and entertained. We don’t know how many made it home safely, but we heard from most of them that they liked it. Many stayed after their tours for cider and cookies.
Is this history? Real characters, recreated and embellished with a flair for the theatrical? What will they think of next?