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Graveyard tour on the East End mixes history with haunts 

Victorian

Victorian "widows," portrayed by members of the North Fork Community Theatre (pictured at a previous event), will be leading guests on a tour of the graveyard. Credit: Rory MacNish

A meet-and-greet stroll among the final resting place of several locals who had a hand in the history of the Town of Southold will help get you in the Halloween spirit.

Come Saturday, Oct. 24, the nonprofit North Fork Community Theatre, the Mattituck Presbyterian Church’s graveyard restoration committee and the Mattituck-Laurel Historical Society are hosting their annual "Mattituck Presbyterian Church Historical Graveyard Tour" — a foot-powered review of the burial ground that lies between the church and theater.

"Each [local group] will be lending their expertise" along the tour, says Mary Motto Kalich, the current treasurer and former president of the North Fork Community Theatre. "The Mattituck-Cutchogue Historical Society did the historical research about the local people in the 1700-1800s; the North Fork Community Theatre does what we do best — put on live performances … and the Mattituck Presbyterian Church [is] located next to the theater," and is connected to the graveyard.

Groups of as many as 15 people — all of whom must wear face coverings and keep a proper social distance — will be led among the graves by actors wearing black Victorian garb. They'll then be introduced to more performers, who will be portraying some of the departed such as Cutchogue residents James and Francis Wickham (who were reportedly murdered with an ax by a former employee in 1854), and Andrew Gildersleeve (who built the historic Mattituck Octagon House).

"My favorite part of the tour is the first stop: The 1831 church building that was expanding in 1896 and has been the home of the North Fork Community Theatre since 1961!" Kalich says.

To join in on the graveyard tour, you must register in advance. Tours run between 2 and 5 p.m.

INFO 12700 Old Sound Ave., Mattituck. Tickets are $20; advance purchase is required. All proceeds will be shared between the groups hosting the event; for more information and to buy tickets visit nfct.com or call 631-298- 6328.

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