[UPDATE: Moved Because of Rain] Students Learn About Grave Matters and Share a Haunting Performance

Little girl in old fashioned dress

Ashley Carr, a Casterlin student, dressed as Emma O’Conner, who was fairly well known for being a woman photographer in the Blocksburg area. [Photo provided by O’Hara]

A group of Blocksburg students will be taking visitors on a haunting hike through history this coming Monday. They have a graveyard tour planned and all are invited.

Among others from the ghostly past, visitors will meet Inez Patton who died of typhoid fever in 1918, Adolphus Davis, a Civil War veteran, and Myrtle Murphy, who died at the age of 11 after suffering injuries from falling out of an apple tree.

Susan O’Hara, Casterlin School’s sixth through eighth grade teacher said, “T]he students have selected eight individuals buried in the cemetery to learn about.”

The kids researched the person behind the gravestone and then wrote biographies of that person as well as a fictionalized account that they will share at the Blocksburg Cemetery on Halloween Day.

“[The] students will be wearing period costumes to help make their character come alive,” explained O’Hara.

Haunting Moments from the Past

As you can see I had a pretty good life. I got to see the railroads get constructed, I survived the Civil War, participated in the great western movement, and I built a home for me and my family. 

Excerpt from a student’s presentation.

On November 22, 1936 I was lying in bed sleeping, when the cold hand of death reached out and took my hand….It hurt me to see them cry, but I couldn’t do anything because I was in heaven now, and they would soon join me.

Excerpt from another student’s presentation.

The students have put a lot of work into their presentations. “The money for the costumes came from the sales at the snack shack for their home volleyball games,” O’Hara said proudly. She explained that the students have been assisted by Dr. Alex Service, Curator of the Fortuna Depot Museum, and director and researcher for the Fortuna Grave Matters and Untimely Departures.

“The students hope you can join us at the cemetery at 10:00 a.m. to hear about our local history and the people who made it,” O’Hara wrote. “In case of rain, the students will do their performances at school.”

With lessons like this, these students won’t be dying of boredom anytime soon.

UPDATE: Because of rain, the performance will be at Casterlin school.




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