Goblin Hor­ror mur­der mes­mer­izes crowds

One-hun­dred-and-fifty year old un­solved crime marks Hal­loween cel­e­bra­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - The Province -

ORWELL — They ran out of cider, they ran out of cook­ies, but they didn’t run out of sus­pense.

The rustling leaves and misty moon added shiv­ers to the twi­light walk through the his­toric vil­lage here Thurs­day evening that cel­e­brated Hal­loween by por­tray­ing the tale of a grue­some un­solved mur­der.

It was 150 years ago that Ann Beaton was ruth­lessly mur­dered with a grub­bing hoe a few short kilo­me­tres away and more than 300 vis­i­tors packed the Orwell Cor­ner grounds to take part in the Mur­der at Goblin’s Hol­low. It was walk­ing room only.

“ We were hop­ing we might get 60 peo­ple,’’ said vil­lage board chair­woman El­iz­a­beth Leath. “ We never thought we’d get this kind of crowd.”

Or­ga­niz­ers like vil­lage man­ager Tom Le­Clair were de­lighted with the turnout as cars filled the park­ing lot and fam­i­lies packed the grounds to hear P.E.I. his­to­rian Boyde Beck lead the in dark cap and cloth­ing and car­ry­ing a lantern stick. “And there weren’t any two­day wakes with vis­it­ing hours.”

The de­ceased was laid out in a barn and vil­lagers were re­quired to pass by and touch the body. The be­lief was the touch of the guilty party would make the body bleed even more.

The Hal­loween event was so packed Beck had to con­duct two walk­ing ses­sions be­cause the church, schoolhouse and black­smith shop were too small to ac­com­mo­date so many on the tour.

“ This is so spooky,’’ said Halle MacLeod from Char­lot­te­town un­der a haunt­ing moon. “I think I saw a ghost back there.”

Orwell vol­un­teers donned pe­riod cos­tumes to rep­re­sent the var­i­ous char­ac­ters of the story and Amanda MacDon­ald por­trayed the lead­ing lady — even as the corpse in the barn cov­ered with a bloody sheet.

“It’s a great idea and I don’t see it end­ing here,’’ said board mem­ber Kevin Doyle.

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