MATTAPOISETT – The Mattapoisett Museum hosted a Halloween day for the whole family on Saturday, October 30, featuring a scavenger hunt, tarot card readings and spooky stories performed by theater volunteers from ORR High School.
Jessica DeCicco-Carey, who helped organize the event, said it was the first time the museum has had a Halloween event, aside from a few Halloween dances held right after the shed was built.
“It’s just not something they’ve ever thought of doing, which strikes me as odd because it’s a great place for Halloween stuff,” she said. “They didn’t even give out candy.”
So when a museum volunteer brought up the idea over the summer, DeCicco-Carey accepted it.
“It was kind of a group effort,” she said.
One of the highlights of the event was the local spooky stories that were adapted into skits by museum volunteer and ORR drama club alumnus Luke Couto.
Couto said that when DeCicco-Carey approached him with the idea, he loved it and immediately went looking for local scary stories that he could turn into short plays in one act.
In one such story from the turn of the century, a woman from Mattapoisett named Annie Paine is grieved when her young daughter dies. But the poor woman can’t let her daughter go and instead keeps her remains on display in her living room until the neighbors find out and the board of health has to confiscate the girl’s body.
In another, a Mattapoisett native named Joshua Cushing is captured by Nigerian pirates while sailing off the coast of Africa. But Cushing and his crew are able to outsmart the pirates, causing them to jump off the ship under the pretext of teaching them a new fishing technique.
Cushing even manages to take one of the pirate daggers as a trophy for his quick wit. The skit reaches a crescendo as the actors pull out the real dagger the museum has in its collection.
“It really is the perfect story,” Couto said. “It happened on Halloween and it’s relevant to the city.”