Dinner With The Dead – A Special Event

I am incredibly privileged to live in an area so rich with history and local legend, especially around Halloween time. Before Ichabod Crane became a weekly regular on the FOX network, those who live near Sleepy Hollow knew all about the school teacher who went missing after the Van Tassel family’s party, as well as the legendary author, Washington Irving, who retold the tale. Last night, I got to meet Mr. Irving, who incidentally has been dead for almost 155 years. How? Dinner with the Dead!

With Washington Irving #dinnerwiththedead #lyndhurstcastle #legendofsleepyhollow

A post shared by Christine Souza (@souzapalooza79) on

As part of a collaborative fundraiser for Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and The Historical Society serving Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, Lyndhusrt Castle hosted a “Dinner with the Dead” where well-known historical figures from the area (many who’s final resting place is Sleepy Hollow Cemetery) came to life. The “Dead” guest list included the following :

  • Washington Irving – Author and Diplomat
  • Alice Brady – Silent film start that transitioned in to talkies and won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar
  • Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Carnegie – Scottish American industrialist and high-profile philanthropists
  • Amand Foster – African-American riverboat barber, entrepreneur and founder of the Zion church that still exists in Sleepy Hollow today.
  • Lydia Locke- Professional Opera singer with four husbands!
  • Minna Irving – journalist and poet. No relation to Washington Irving, “Minna Irving” was one of several pen names of Minna Odell who also published under the names Aurelia Maxwell Michener and Mrs. Harry Michener.
  • Francis Saltus Saltus – American poet and music critic, elder brother of novelist Edgar Saltus, who wrote “racy” novels
  • John Dustin Archibald – a director of the Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company.
  • Frank Romer Pierson – local florist and bulb importer who was the first president of the Chamber of Commerce of Tarrytown and lost all his money in the stock market crash.
  • William Wallace –  a local chocolate manufacturer, who had the idea to build a theater in the heart of Tarrytown (the current Tarrytown Music Hall)

Dinner by the bite was provided by local restaurants and beverage providers including the follow (I’ve provided links to their websites where available)

Oh, and guess who won two items in the silent auction …This Girl! I won a black and white photo of the Headless Horseman in front of the crypts of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery called “Capture the Horseman II” by Jim Logan (who in addition to being an avid photographer is the Superintendent of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery). In addition, I won a Gift Certificate for 10 classes at Westchester Circus Arts Center so I can try my skills at being the girl on the flying trapeze!

It was a unique experience that was I excited to have participated in. The actors were well versed regarding their “characters” and the dinner samplings were diverse. I’m excited to have had the opportunity to get a taste of these local business and look forward to trying them again soon!


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