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Grosvenor House, the site of Halloween Poe readings. Timmy Pearce/Collegian
Grosvenor House, the site of Hal­loween Poe readings.
Timmy Pearce/Collegian

Jonesville’s his­toric Grosvenor House Museum is hosting a night of haunted Hal­loween readings and local lore fea­turing every­thing from the work of artists such as Edgar Allen Poe to those by local vol­un­teers beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28. Doughnuts and apple cider will be pro­vided afterward.

The Hal­loween reading is the next in a series of events the museum hosts over the course of the year, from Jonesville’s Riverfest to the museum’s own Vic­torian Christmas.

This is the second year the manor has held this Hal­loween cel­e­bration. According to Hillsdale College assistant Physics pro­fessor and museum vol­unteer Paul Hosmer, about 70 people, a mix of local res­i­dents and college stu­dents, attended last year’s event. Late­comers stood as the 60 seats set out were filled.

This year, the museum staff has planned for extra seats to handle the crowd, museum board vice pres­ident Dick Morgan said.

Last year, Hosmer pre­sented his own ghost story, con­structed around Pres­ident William Harrison’s removal of Hillsdale County’s local Indian pop­u­lation in 1840. Hosmer will be crafting a similar tale for Friday.

“I’ve enjoyed writing these original ghost stories,” Hosmer said. “I’m really inter­ested in local history so I try to work in real, local history into the ghost stories so you also get a fun ghost story but also learn a little bit about local history.”

To craft his ghost stories, Hosmer digs through old county records and his­tories and builds his work off what he finds, mixing an enter­taining nar­rative with some local trivia.

“There were several county his­tories in the late 1800s that were put out, so basi­cally I’ve just gone off of biogra­phies and his­tories in those,” Hosmer said. “So both my stories, last year and this year, are set in the 1840s so those stories are in the county his­tories of the 1870s and 1890s and 1903.”

Other Hillsdale College pro­fessors and local res­i­dents will be pre­senting from a series of sus­penseful and scary poetry and short stories such as Poe’s “The Raven,” pre­sented by asso­ciate pro­fessor of English Dutton Kearney.

Morgan won’t measure the success of the event by counting the number of heads who show up. Rather, he values pos­itive feedback from those who decide to attend the event.

“We already had a lot of interest from the public. That in itself is rewarding,” Morgan said. “But really, good feedback from those who come would be a suc­cessful night.”