Tales of spirits and local legends will return with a live performance when SUNY Oswego's storytelling class presents the 6th annual Oswego Town Rural Cemetery: Ghost and History Storytelling Tour at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29.

Under the direction of professor Jonel Langenfeld of Oswego's theatre faculty, costumed performers bring the tales of local historical figures to life in this admission-free family-friendly event.

Performers will recount the stories of college founder Edward Austin Sheldon; Dr. Mary Walker, the local women’s rights pioneer and only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor; Underground Railroad hero Harriet Tubman; Queen Lili’uokalni Kamaka'eha (and her Oswego connection to Walker); Saint Marianne Cope; Chief Pontiac; college library namesake Lida Penfield; and many more. This year will feature the addition of a few new people, including Dr. Richard Shineman and Audrey Munson (sometimes known as the “first supermodel”).

"The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged everyone and not being able to offer a live cemetery tour last year was a disappointment," Langenfeld said. "However, we are very excited to be able to resume the live tour this year."

Presenters ask attendees to respect safety protocols and wear a mask if they or anyone in their party are not vaccinated.

“I am very proud of the students in the storytelling class and their passion for sharing the stories of famous and not-so-famous historical figures residing in this and other cemeteries”, said Langenfeld, who teaches the interdisciplinary course. “The students have had a great time researching this area where they are going to school. They have learned a great deal about Oswego, the college, the people, the area and its history."

This year will feature a new collaboration with Candis Haak of the SUNY Oswego history faculty and her "Death, Data and Local Cemeteries" course.

The event will take place rain or shine. Attendees are recommended to arrive by 5:30 p.m. to either secure parking at Oswego Town Rural Cemetery -- 242 Cemetery Road in Oswego -- or be dropped off in time to ensure an on-time performance.

This is a walking tour, so participants should plan appropriately: Dress warmly, wear proper footwear and bring a flashlight and umbrella in case of rain.

Admission is free and sponsored by the Oswego Town Historical Society. Langenfeld offered a special thanks to Oswego Town Historian George DeMass, who is a 1966 SUNY Oswego alumnus.