A ghoulish figure waits on a stairway landing. Spiders crawl across Mr. Vanderbilt’s bed. A vulture sits on a window sill, and a mummy stands near the fireplace in one of the grand rooms. It’s Halloween at the Vanderbilt Mansion.
In addition to the ghoulish fun, this is the time of year communities also remember those in need. During October 2014, in the spirit of the next holiday, Thanksgiving, the Vanderbilt (on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) will accept donations to the Northport/East Northport Food Pantry. See details below.
Saturday and Sunday, October 18-19 and 25-26, and November 1-2 are Haunted Weekends at the Vanderbilt Museum. Festivities include Un-Living History tours of the Mansion on Saturday at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00. Sunday tours are given at 12:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00.
Tickets for the tour, at $5 per person, are available at the door. All visitors also pay general museum admission –$7, adult; $6, students with ID and seniors 62 and older; and $3, children 12 and under.
Tours include Vanderbilt ghost stories told by Mansion guides dressed for the occasion – Delia O’Rourke, the Irish cook, dressed in her bloody apron and carrying a meat cleaver, and the Vanderbilt family’s guest, aviator-industrialist Howard Hughes, dressed in the dirty, bloody clothing from his plane crash. Visitors also might run into the Phantom of the Opera or the occasional witch (see photo).
The Vanderbilt Mansion has a few ghost stories of its own, experienced by staff members from years ago. Those tales include hearing the laughter of young girls in the nursery wing of the Mansion, in the evening after hours, and the nighttime sighting of the ghostly figure of a young boy in knickers and a cap running across the Mansion lawn.
Food Pantry Donations
During October, labeled bins will be placed in the Vanderbilt Mansion and Planetarium for visitors who wish to make donations to the Northport/East Northport Food Pantry, which collaborates with Long Island Cares. The project – which serves nearly 160 families weekly – is sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Northport and the Ecumenical Lay CouncilThe pantry needs these non-perishable, packaged foods:
- Traditional Thanksgiving foods
- Juice boxes
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Dry pasta
- Pasta (spaghetti) sauce
- Tuna fish
- Canned vegetables
- Pet food