LEWISTON — Shamrock spirits will linger in Mount Hope Cemetery on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. as John Henderson portrays local resident Cornelius Murphy in a Halloween walk among Celtic crosses and tombs.

The 90-minute program, sponsored by the Androscoggin Historical Society, will begin at the cemetery entrance at 81 Mt. Hope Ave., rain or shine. Children are welcome to attend with adults. Donations will be accepted.

Henderson says the Irish have a long tradition of “portal and passage” that can be traced back to pre-Celtic tombs and old burial customs. “This will be a walking look at local Irish history through the cemetery, from 1860 to the present.”

He also will talk about the history of the jack-o’-lantern and how the name can be traced to an Irish folk tale. The legend originally involved the use of a turnip, not a pumpkin, he says.

Henderson, who lives in Auburn, is a graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy graduate logistics management program, and holds bachelors degrees in political science and German studies from the University of Southern Maine. He is a member of the Androscoggin Historical Society, Maine Historical Society and the Irish American Club of Maine. He has authored two books, “Early Murphy Descendants of Mary Hurley and James McCarthy” and “Androscoggin Irish.”

Last September he presented a series of five well-attended lectures on the role of Irish immigrants in Lewiston and Auburn history, under sponsorship of the Androscoggin Historical Society.


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