So it's no news to regular splattworks readers that I'm co-producing Dead of Winter, three ghost stories written for the stage, with Portland's The Bluestockings (we open February 1st, run through February 23rd, blah blah blah). But as kind of a fun rehearsal night off/group activity/weird adventure, I'm booked to stay Friday night at Portland's notoriously haunted White Eagle Tavern, which has been lovingly restored as a hotel, and the cast and crew are going to drop by as my guests. We'll tell some ghost stories, maybe watch the classic 1964, black and white version of The Haunting. And, of course, drink. Good times...we hope.
But, since the Eagle is set up with wireless Internet, we're also hoping to blog live from the site, so, if you're curious, check in with this blog starting around 9:00 PM tomorrow, and see what, if anything, happens. (That is, of course, assuming the equipment doesn't suddenly cease to function for unexplainable reasons.) My suspicion is that we'll have some fun and ghosts will be scarce, but I suppose you never know. This isn't a public event--it's a private party--but the blog is a way for those outside the cast and crew to vicariously join the festivities. So log on, turn the lights down, put on Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and come along for the ride.
For the record, the story has it that the upstairs, where I'll be, ahem, sleeping, is haunted by Rose, a prostitute who was murdered on the premises, and Sam, an alcoholic handyman sort of "adopted" by the original tavern owners and who spent most of his life, between and sometimes during binges, on-site. Sam also occasionally pulls a prank or two on the ground floor, but most of the spirits there are in bottles. There's also a malevolent presence in the Eagle's basement, but that's off-limits to guests, and, having once visited it in the company of McMenamin's resident historian, I can say I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in ever going down there again...if you get my drift. I don't really know whether or not I believe in ghosts, but, having gone down there, I do believe I don't want to go there again. Seriously.
My ancestors may be Irish, where ghosts come with the property deed, but some basements you just don't want to mess with....
Finally, it's worth noting that something strange seems to be in air this winter: Dead of Winter will be the third Portland production in a month's time that has to do with ghosts, the other two being Third Rail Repertory's Shining City and Theatre Vertigo's Where's My Money? (Both worth seeing.) And we're all working independently of each other and didn't really know about each other's show's paranormal aspects until the shows went up. How...odd.
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