It is time again for the City Of The Dead! In Muskegon, that means in addition to the usual pumpkin carving, candy corn and costumes; a walk through Muskegon’s historic Evergreen Cemetery is in order. But there is nothing to fear, unless you didn’t like history class. No worries; no pop quizzes afterwards. Paranormal Muskegon met up with my friend, Bruce Froelich at the cemetery located on Keating Street, Muskegon, Michigan to tell us all about the City of the Dead. Evergreen Cemetery is one of Muskegon’s oldest cemeteries and is the resting place of many of Muskegon’s most prominent historical individuals.
This event, put on by full reenactment cast through Harbor Unitarian Universalist Congregation, has been a principal part of Muskegon’s season’s celebrations this time of year for over ten years; and was started as a living memorial to the people who made Muskegon what it is today.
This tour, as a living history lesson, is made all the more tangible and understandable by period costumes, a wealth of information and poignant personal stories; with the characters sharing personal anecdotes about their lives, which occasionally are sad; as well as giving accurate historical details, all while staying in character throughout the tour. This has the effect of bringing these “spirits” of Muskegon to life in a charming yet respectful manner.
Bruce, as Charles Hackley, came dressed to the nines in authentic Victorian style clothing including a bowler hat and cane and sporting a long white beard. He shared some personal stories and historical details about Mr. Hackley, one of Muskegon’s most prominent historical figures as well as some stories about Mr. Hackley’s business associates. With Bruce in character standing in front of Hackley’s immense and somber mausoleum, amongst soaring monuments and towering trees, one couldn’t help the feeling that we had been transported back in time.
While in years past, the tour was open to the public; this year it is an online historical tour, giving it a world-wide audience. And just like in years past, tour guides will guide you through this Victorian-era cemetery and introduce Evergreen’s residents who tell us their stories. With a full cast that accurately portray their characters, period clothing given in a picturesque and serene setting, this tour is not to be missed. Our thanks to Charles Hackley for talking with us, we hope he has a happy Halloween.
Muskegon’s City of the Dead Historical Cemetery Tour runs from October 1sat until October 31st and is available now on YouTube.
For information, links to the video and interactive maps go to: https://www.facebook.com/CityoftheDeadMuskegon/