"You counted up yesterday how many there'd be, and you said twelve, so I set the table for twelve," said Pauline.
"Well, I don't see how I made such a blunder," her mother replied. "There are only eleven of us, after all."
"It's a sign somebody's comin'," Pauline said.
Thus begins the eerie tale of "The Twelfth Guest" by Mary Wilkins Freeman, in which a strange young woman appears suddenly for Christmas dinner and stays awhile.
This story is one of two that are performed on the "Ghosts of Christmas Past Trolley Rides," co-sponsored by Cape May MAC and the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company. The other ghostly story is "Old Applejoy's Ghost" by Frank R. Stockton, in which a jolly spirit convinces his grand-niece to persuade her uncle to celebrate Christmas in the mansion the way it used to be celebrated. The stories were adapted for storytelling by East Lynne artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth.
Listen to these classic American ghost tales, memorized, not read, told in a dark trolley, while the twinkling lights of the beautifully decorated homes and streets are seen through the windows. This popular pastime has been running since 2007. Due to the pandemic, fewer people will be on the trolleys, windows will be open, and guests are asked to wear masks.
The "spirited" 30-minute rides begin and end at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 3-12, and run weekends from Nov. 20 through Dec. 28.
Like last year, the beautifully costumed storyteller is Susan Tischler, who has performed in several East Lynne plays, including "Sherlock Holmes' Adventure of the Speckled Band" and "Helpful Hints," that she adapted from Mae Savell Croy's "Putnam's Household Handbook."
She was selected to perform another of her one-person shows, "Tao of Tisch," at The Women's Theatre Comedy Showcase in Parsippany in 2019. For several years, she’s co-produced "Barry’s Christmas Opry," in which she portrays Minnie Pearl. Proceeds from the "Opry" go to the West Cape May Christmas Parade.
Reservations are strongly suggested and can be made by calling Cape May MAC at 609-884-5404. If tickets are available the day of the trolley ride, they will be sold at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth.
Meanwhile at East Lynne Theater Company, a fully-staged Equity production of "Nothing Matters" is available for home viewing through Nov. 21. For information, see eastlynnetheater.org/nothing-matters.html. "Yuletide Tales," holiday stories and songs, will be on East Lynne’s YouTube channel Dec. 4 through 30. The next live event, "Christmas Tales in the Backyard," is 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10. Stahlhuth is working on the 2021 season East Lynne's 41st anniversary.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!