It’s the season of Halloween, and the setting is a cemetery, but the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve likes to promote its annual Deja Vu Spirit Reunion as fun and educational for the entire family as opposed to scary and spooky.
More than two dozen spirits — re-enactors playing the roles of those buried in Memorial Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in the state of Missouri — will be above ground in the historic burial ground to tell the stories of their lives and deaths this weekend.
The event takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday (October 26).
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 18, and free for children 5 and under.
Those who attend will take part in a self-guided lantern-lit tour of the cemetery and meet various spirits along the way.
The event benefits the foundation, which has overseen restoration of the cemetery.
The spirits expected to attend this Saturday night, and those who will portray them, include: Vital St. Gemme Beauvais (played by Al Keiser), Madame Beauvais (played by Donna Rausch), Genevieve Schwab (played by Lu Huck), the Okenfuss family (portrayed by Mary Elise Samson), Louis Bolduc (played by Harold “Butch” Frick), Marie Courtois Bolduc (played by Jan Frick), Julianne Sucker (played by Chelsi Montgomery), Regina Sucker (played by Aurilia Clovis), Marie Villers (played by Deb Cambron), Marie Barbeau (played by Sandra Cabot), Odile Valle (played by Ellie Douglass), Martha Bossier (played by Melissa Blank), Francois Janis (played by Doug Harding), Francois LeClere (played by Skip Weiler), Lt. Col. St. James of the Union Army (played by Gary Scheel), Count Delassus de Luziere (played by Bob Mueller), Senator Lewis Linn (played by John Orem), stonemason Dennis McGill (played by Carl Kinsky), the Aubuchon family (portrayed by Marty Aubuchon), Jean Gregoire (portrayed by Suzanne Thompson), Pelagie Bienvenue Janis (portrayed by Rita Diamond), fur trapper (portrayed by Mark Diamond), and Ferdinand Rozier (portrayed by Bill Naeger). Tim Middleton will tell the stories of the victims of the wreck of the steamboat Dr. Franklin II, and Mickey Koetting will again provide an orientation of Memorial Cemetery.
(Information from event organizer Ellie Douglass.)