Haunted History Happy Hour at Museum Center

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 10/28/18

As the winds moan and ghosts come out to play, the Museum Center at Five Points is joining the Halloween fun by hosting its final History Happy Hour of 2018. It's set for Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 6-8 …

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Haunted History Happy Hour at Museum Center

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As the winds moan and ghosts come out to play, the Museum Center at Five Points is joining the Halloween fun by hosting its final History Happy Hour of 2018. It's set for Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 6-8 p.m. and is called “Tall Betsy and Friends.”

Taking place the day before Halloween and the annual Downtown Cleveland Block Party, this History Happy Hour is still bringing the fright while not interfering with other downtown festivities.  Janice Neyman, Museum Center executive director, said that this way, you can go to all events.

“We wanted to ensure we didn’t take away from any of the other great Halloween events taking place in Cleveland like the Block Party,” Neyman said. “I think it’ll bring a new awareness of the museum to Cleveland and hopefully attract a new demographic at the same time.”

The event is a public program which takes place typically four times throughout the year. While they normally run on Thursday nights, this year is unique because of the timing directly before Halloween, which Museum Center curator of education Mitch Mizell said was too good an opportunity to pass up and is the Museum's first time attempting a Halloween-themed event.

“We normally have a guest speaker come in who gives around a 30-minute presentation about an interesting, relevant topic. This time, we’re focusing on Tall Betsy and the ghost stories that form the foundation of Cleveland,” Mizell said.

While a student at Lee University, Mizell said the Fort Hill Cemetery tour was a huge hit, with massive crowds coming to the cemetery despite near-freezing temperatures throughout the day. In doing this History Happy Hour, he said he is expecting a large crowd of around 100 to attend, due to the unique nature of the content as well as the growing interest in the series.

Relating to the “happy hour” portion of the event, Mash & Hops and Dry Valley Brewing is providing various locally brewed beers for attendees to enjoy, along with the evening’s spooky tales.

For this installment, the guest speaker is actually a group. The Cleveland Storytelling Guild is sending several of its members to regale guests with traditional Cleveland legends such as Tall Betsy, the woman in black and the Craigmiles’ mausoleum.

Although the tales are eerie, they are not over-the-top scary, so calm yourself, as horrifying tales of terror are not on the evening’s itinerary.

“People can come in, get some drinks and food, hang out and listen to some ghost stories right before Halloween,” Mizell added. “We looked at how popular Halloween is in this city and most others throughout the world, and we knew this would be a hit.”

Costumes are not required, but are encouraged, with Mizell saying they may recognize someone with the most impressive costume.

Impressions Catering is providing hors d’oeuvres, which is a new addition for the event.

Edge Billboards is the official sponsor of History Happy Hour.

Admission is free for museum members, and only $15 for nonmembers. If you aren’t a Museum Center member, sign up and take advantage of future free events like History Happy Hour.

“We hope people will see how great these events are and see that members get in free, which is just another reason to join the Museum Center,” Mizell said.

Neyman added how some people have been enjoying these events so much that they’ve already signed up for the next four installments leading into 2019 in order to secure their spots.

The next History Happy Hour is set for Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, and will discuss the anniversary of the 1993 superstorm blizzard that hit this area and others. It will feature Bill Race of News Channel 9 recalling this “Storm of the Century.”

The Museum Center is located at 200 Inman St., and can be reached at 423-339-5745.

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