For twelve years now, Riverside Cemetery & Conservancy’s Spirits in October has been combining history, storytelling, theater, and the eerie thrill of wandering around a cemetery at dusk during Halloween season to create one of middle Georgia’s most unique and beloved events. These guided, lighted cemetery tours aren’t meant to be frightening; instead, they’re an innovative way to help put a human face on our city’s fascinating history. Local actors delight in taking on the roles of some of the more intriguing residents of the 132-year-old Riverside Cemetery, delivering graveside monologues and interacting with enthralled audiences. This year’s theme, “Requiem of Rock,” touches on one of Macon’s favorite topics– music.
Expect to run into some Southern rock royalty on this year’s tour– Duane Allman, co-founder of the Allman Brothers, was briefly entombed in the Macon Public Mausoleum here before heading to his final resting place at Rose Hill. And you’ll also get to meet Bob Barnett, talented musician turned band director, who spent his early years playing in the Glenn Miller Orchestra and went on to direct Central High School’s Sugarbear Band for three noteworthy decades. Barnett was a fan of elaborate spectacles; his first halftime show was a James Bond-themed affair that featured helicopters landing and houses exploding on the field. Curious to hear more? Of course, you are!
This year’s tour dates run from Thursday, October 17th through Sunday, October 20th and then again from Friday, October 25th through Sunday, October 27th. Tours begin at 6 pm and depart from the Gatehouse every 15 minutes; guests are asked to arrive 15 minutes ahead of their scheduled tour time. At the end of each tour, guests will stop in the beautiful Macon Public Mausoleum for some light refreshments and the chance to check out t-shirts, books, and other souvenirs at the museum shop. All proceeds go to the Conservancy, which works to preserve the cemetery both as a beautiful green space and as an important source of history and cultural legacy.
Ticket prices are $15.00 general admission, and children 5 and under are free. For group rates, call 478-297-6035. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit riversidecemetery.com.