Bewitched in Andover

bewitched 2014This year, the Andover Historical Society is delighted to explore the haunting subject of Victorian spiritualism with event partners Memorial Hall Library, Circles of Wisdom, and the Andover Bookstore as we present a wide variety of programs for all ages! Advance registration is requested for all events.

2014 Series of Eerie Events

October 7: Séances: Searching for the Spirits
October 11: Spooktacular Story Hour
October 15: Who’s Who at the Burial Ground
October 16: An Evening with Michael Nethercott
October 18: Spooktacular Story Hour
October 18: Murder at the Blanchard House
October 21: Mourning Locks in a Locket
October 24: Spirits in the House
October 25: Spooktacular Story Hour
October 25: Stories & S’mores
October 30: Haunt-the-Halls Halloween Party


calendar page - Rory Raven Oct 7Séances: Searching for the Spirits
Tuesday, October 7 at 7pm at Memorial Hall Library

Join ‘mentalist and mindbender’ Rory Raven for an interactive lecture-demonstration
on the history of séances. Raven, originator of the Providence Ghost Walk, and author of four books about Rhode Island’s history, has nurtured a life-long interest in all things psychic and paranormal. His goal is to reproduce the kind of effects parapsychologists have been researching for years – live and onstage. Sponsored by the Friends of Memorial Hall Library. Reserve your free seat at or call 978-623-8401 x31.

9781596438552_500X500Little Spooks Story Hour
Saturday, October 11 at 11am, for ages 6+ at the Andover Bookstore

Halloween loving youngsters will have fun listening to The Ghost with the Bloody Fingers by Alvin Schwartz & The Monsterator by Keith Graves read aloud by staff at this fun event. Program also includes time to play an ice breaker game, Make a Pair!, and learn to make a popsicle stick haunted house to take home. To sign up for this free event, please call or email the Andover Bookstore at (978) 475-0143 or

southchurchHigh Tea & History: Who’s Who at the Burial Ground
Wednesday, October 15 at 2pm at the Center at Punchard

Join us for our final High Tea & History program as local historian Char Lyons provides a virtual tour of Andover through the early settler’s burial yard, the South Church Cemetery. Learn about the famous and infamous residents of Andover’s earliest resting place. High Tea & History is a collaboration between Andover Historical Society and the Center at Punchard. Register for this free event by calling 978-623-8321.

calendar page - Michael Nethercott Oct 16An Evening with Michael Nethercott
Thursday, October 16 at 7pm at the Andover Historical Society

As part of his ongoing book tour, mystery writer and storyteller Michael Nethercott will be appearing in Andover for a night of memorable story-telling. He will begin the event by telling several ghost stories, both traditional and (presumably) true—from his sprawling Irish family. Following the storytelling, Nethercott will read a short excerpt from his first novel, The Séance Society, discuss the book, and field audience questions. Copies of both novels will be available for sale, courtesy of the Andover Bookstore, and can be signed by the author. $10 members, $15 non-members. Register for this event online by calling 978-475-2236. Online registration now available.

MonsterCoverFINALSpooktacular Story Hour
Saturday, October 18 at 11am for ages 3+ at the Andover Bookstore

Little spooks will enjoy a morning playing Pin the Tail on the Black Cat (a Halloween version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey) and making Q-tip skeletons to take home. This week’s stories, Green Ribbon by Alvin Schwartz & Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak, will be read aloud to participants. To sign up for this free event, please call or email the Andover Bookstore at (978) 475-0143 or

murder-mystery1Murder at Blanchard House: A Mystery Dinner
Saturday, October 18, 6-9pm at the Andover Historical Society

The year is 1912 and Henry Robinson, home owner of the Blanchard House has been murdered! Can you solve the crime? Limited to just 24 guests, each attendee will be assigned a character from Andover’s history and will receive a personalized character dossier. Guests will search for clues, gossip with the servants, and enjoy a sit-down dinner while trying to discover the identity of the murderer among their fellow guests. $60 members, $75 non-members. Register for this event online or by calling 978-475-2236. Online registration now available!

back cover - full broochLocks in a Locket: Mourning Jewelry
Tuesday, October 21 at 7pm at the Andover Historical Society

Sarah Nehama will present a brief history of memorial jewelry from the 17th through the 20th centuries and show examples of how it relates to memento-mori and sentimental jewels. She will share examples of mourning items from historic collections, her own personal collection, and highlights from the Andover Historical Society’s holdings. Finally, Sarah will discuss how mourning customs changed after the turn of the 20th century, and why the industry declined. Questions will be welcomed after the presentation. Sarah is a fine jewelry designer and metalsmith working in Jamaica Plain, MA. She has been volunteering at the Massachusetts Historical Society cataloging and photographing their mourning jewelry collection since 2007. $5 members, $10 non-members. Register for this event online by calling 978-475-2236. Online registration now available.

table1Spirits in the House
Friday, October 24, 7-10pm at the Andover Historical Society

In cooperation with local shop, Circles of Wisdom, this eerie evening event this season will find guests enjoying spirited drinks and seasonal fare while exploring the mystical side of Victorian spiritualism. From psychic and mediumship readings to demonstrations of table tipping, this unique gathering is sure to raise the hairs on the back of your neck! Learn about vintage Ouija boards, talk with a practicing Wiccan about how to honor departed loved ones in a traditional way, or delve into Andover’s 19th century newspapers to discover the strange happenings that once occurred right here in town. $15 members, $20 non-members. 15-minute psychic readings available for an additional fee. Register for this event online by calling 978-475-2236. Online registration now available.

scareSpooktacular Story Hour (HALLOWEEN COSTUMES REQUIRED!)
Saturday, October 25 at 11am for ages 8+ at the Andover Bookstore

Come play a sensory game called The Dead Man’s Brains – children will be asked to reach their hands into “mystery boxes” to feel and guess the body parts (eyes, hair, etc) of the dead man in the story. Story hour also includes a reading of The Viper by Alvin Schwartz & A Halloween Scare in New England by Eric James plus a competition to see see who is the fastest to eat a hanging doughnut! To sign up for this free event, please call or email the Andover Bookstore at (978) 475-0143 or

Smores2Stories & S’mores at Andover Bookstore
Saturday, October 25 at 6pm, for ages 13+

Join us around the fireplace at 6pm, when we will toast marshmallows in our fireplace & make s’mores! Our staff will share their favorite scary stories, and you are encouraged to share yours as well!

To sign up for this free event, please call or email the Andover Bookstore at (978) 475-0143 or

witchcardHaunt-the-Halls Halloween Party
Thursday, October 30, 3:30-5pm at the Andover Historical Society

Just for students, this after-school Halloween party will feature old-fashioned refreshments, Victorian games, a costume parade, and a spooky holiday craft – all connected to our Bewitched in Andover series. Not too scary and not too plain, this afternoon adventure is perfect for children in grades 2-5. $12 members, $15 non-members. Register for this event by calling 978-475-2236. Online registration available September 24.