Uncanny Tales on the Hill: Historical Shivers in Eastern Cemetery

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
October 19 to 21 & October 26 to 28
6:30pm to 7:30pm

Sundays: October 22 & October 29
5:30pm to 6:30pm

Adults $10
Children 12 & under: $5

For 8 dark nights, 5 ghostly storytellers will materialize in Eastern Cemetery with mysterious stories of the supernatural. Come and hear their spooky tales of phantom ships, sea monsters, black dogs, and unquiet ghosts—all set in historically-significant times and places in or near Munjoy Hill (Portland's easternmost neighborhood):

  • The mysterious fate of the schooner Dash and a strange occurrence at the Portland Observatory.
  • A sinister spirit haunts American prisoners of the War of 1812—will the curse be lifted?
  • A respectable citizen at the Munjoy Hill Reservoir encounters a horror from the ocean’s depths....
  • William Ruby saved the Abyssinian Meeting House during the Great Fire of 1866 with help from an unexpected source!
  • A haunting tale of the Eastern Cemetery, and supernatural warnings from a benevolent spirit.

The spirited storytellers are embodied by: Herb Adams, Seth Berner, Chalmers Hardenbergh, Janet Lynch, and Patricia Mew. The stories were written by Lynne Cullen who also directed the spirits (as best she could—you know spirits, sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't.)


This year, for the first time ever, we are attempting to offer A FEW OF OUR TICKETS online (sales close each day 6 hours before the event). Please bear with us as we work out the kinks in the process.

Buy WATS Tickets on Eventbrite
Even if the online tickets look sold out, THERE WILL STILL BE TICKETS AT THE GATE!

There are 4 groups each night (6:30, 6:50, 7:10, and 7:30pm or Sundays at 5:30, 5:50, 6:10, and 6:30pm). Whether you buy your tickets online or at the gate, you will still need to be put into a group by the ticket-taker at the gates. We will reserve a percentage of each tour for online ticket-holders, but anyone waiting at the gate at the time of the tour will be admitted until the tour is filled.

The ticket price (less Eventbrite fees) all goes directly to Spirits Alive to support its Eastern Cemetery work as well as the actors and playwright putting on the night's performance.

WHEN YOU ARRIVE at the Eastern Cemetery gates at 224 Congress Street:

  1. Eventbrite ticket holders: Bring the paper ticket.
    Pay-at-the-Gaters: bring cash or check to purchase your tickets.
  2. Eventbrite ticket holders: Get in the line on the West side of the gate (the side closest to the big brick North School building).
    Though by paying ahead, you are assured to be given a spot in the night's event,* you still need to stand in line to get registered for a time.
    Pay-at-the-Gaters: Get in the line on the East side of the gate (the side closer to Munjoy Hill)
  3. The ticket-taker will check your name off the list.
  4. You will sign a release from the city of Portland.
  5. You will receive a voucher for your tour (unless you are in the first group to go through at 6:30pm or Sundays at 5:30pm—in that case, wait for directions). You may then leave the line and return at the time of your tour (around 6:50pm, 7:10pm, or 7:30pm; Sundays are 5:50pm, 6:10pm, or 6:30pm).

*IF YOU ARE NOT BACK IN TIME FOR YOUR TOUR, your spot may be given to the next person standing in line at the gate. When you show up again, we would then attempt to move you to a different tour or ask you to return on a different night if the tours are full. The final decision will be made at the discretion of Spirit Alive representatives at the gate.
Note: If you must return on a different night, and you bought your ticket online, you are responsible for going back into Eventbrite and changing your ticket date.

Frequently-Asked Questions

  • Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
    This event is kid-friendly, but please children, bring your adults! Dogs are not allowed at any age.
  • What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
    Arrive early if you're looking for parking. Parking in the area surrounding the cemetery is quite limited, so be prepared to walk a couple of blocks.
  • What can I bring? 
    Bring a copy of your ticket confirmation (or your device showing it). What can I wear? What is the weather like? Wear layers and good footwear! The cemetery is located on a hill which gets very windy. You'll be still for about 40 minutes, so commit to staying warm and dry. Funeral Lane (the walking path that goes through the cemetery) is compacted, uneven dirt. Plus, it's dark, so the temperature dips from the daytime highs. Sometimes it even snows! We only cancel because of severe weather. Sprinkles and mist and light snowflakes do not deter us.
  • Is this a tour?
    Sort of—it's more like an entertaining walk! After you wait in line outside the gates, you will be put in a group of around 20 or so people inside the gates. As a group, you will be led by a person dressed in black (who has a small lantern), down the path. You will make 5 stops to hear stories told by professional actors, stationed at points along the path. The entire walk from the start to the end of the path shouldn't be more than 40 minutes.
  • How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
  • Do you cancel events? How will I know if it is canceled?
    We will only cancel events when there is very bad weather at the time of the event (unless the forecast is sure for torrential rain or snow). In that case, we will post the cancellation on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and on our website.
  • What's the refund policy?
    For online ticket buyers only: you may request a refund up to 1 day before the event through Eventbrite.

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