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October 23, 2007

Book based on scary CW evening programs release in time for spooky season

Just in time for Halloween, Colonial Williamsburg has published “Witches and Ghosts, Pirates and Thieves, Murder and Mayhem.” The book of scary tales is based on two of the Foundation’s popular evening programs, “Cry Witch” and “Legends, Myths, Mysteries and Ghosts.”

“Have we exchanged our historical focus for one that suggests ghosts once existed here?” asks Rex Ellis, Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president of the Historic Area, in the book’s forward. “Hardly!”

“The stories in this book – true or not – were actually told in colonial America, and they reveal much about the people who told them. From these stories, we learn what colonial citizens valued, feared, lost and loved. ‘The future may learn from the past’ in a variety of ways,” adds Ellis, in a reference to Colonial Williamsburg’s mission.

"There’s another reason to listen to and read these stories,” Ellis concedes. “They are tremendous fun.”

The spooky stories were compiled by the late John Hunter, who also wrote “Red Thunder” and “Link to the Past, Bridge to the Future,” published by Colonial Williamsburg. Besides Hunter, contributors include Colonial Williamsburg storytellers Roy Bauschatz, Melanie Collins, Jan Couperthwaite, Jonathan Hallman, John Hamant, Gaynelle McNichols, Gene Mitchell, Ruth Tschan, Patti Vaticano, Jason Whitehead and Donna Wolf.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280