Victorian customs were often peculiar, no more so than with their burial traditions.
A local expert will reveal some surprising details about all things funerary, including practices that existed in the Victorian era and others that have survived and have become part of the fabric of our mourning customs.
The Lansford Historical Society will host the special Halloween program titled 'Victorian Death, Mourning and Burial Customs' at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17.
The presentation will feature Bob Vybrenner of Tamaqua, a Lansford native and authority on Victorian funeral customs.
Vybrenner is a living historian well known for street theater performances and traveling portrayals throughout the region as part of the Eckley Players of Eckley Miners Village. Vybrenner has served for decades as a volunteer at historic Eckley and with the board of the museum facility, operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
The funeral program and display of original artifacts will be presented at the Lansford Historical Society Museum on East Bertsch Street, taking place on the upper level above the Panther Valley Public Library.
Vybrenner will appear in an authentic period undertaker's costume. A display of original artifacts including an 1800s coffin will be on loan from the collections of the Tamaqua Historical Society, Lansford Historical Society and local historian Dale Freudenberger.
The public is invited to explore the origins of many customs still practiced today in one form or another during a time of grief and mourning.
"This fascinating program is a great way to learn about our history and celebrate the Halloween season at the same time," explained Bill Harleman, president, Lansford Historical Society. "We hope many people come out for this interesting program and exhibit. The lights will be dim and the spirits might join us."
The program promises to be not only entertaining, but educational as well.
The Lansford Historical Society continues to offer cultural and enrichment programs for the benefit of local residents. The all-volunteer group most recently offered presentations by Bob Perrin, Coaldale, an expert in antique bottles.