Local actors Brittany Strout, left, and Jocelyn Handy portray Eliza Fulton Brown and Olive Brown, the first and second wives of Capt. Jeremiah Brown, during the inaugural “Stroll Haunted Yarmouth” event put on by the Royal River Community Players. This year’s show opens at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18. Courtesy / Royal River Community Players

YARMOUTH — While the stories told through “Stroll Haunted Yarmouth” are embellished, they do tell the tales of real people who lived in town long ago and are now buried at the historic Hillside Cemetery.

The show, a production of the Royal River Community Players in collaboration with the Yarmouth Historical Society and the Yarmouth Village Improvement Society, opens at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at the Old Meeting House, 25 Hillside St.  The show also runs 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25 and 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 and 26.

Actor David Ray portrays the Rev. Thomas Green during last year’s “Stroll Haunted Yarmouth” event. This year’s show includes all new ghost stories. Courtesy / Royal River Community Players

Director Jocelyn Handy said the people and stories featured in the show were selected with the help of Maura Goessling at the Yarmouth History Center.

“She provided us with some fantastic research on the lives and family histories and details of how these folks lived and died,” Handy said. “The stories we share are not 100% true, but we aim to make them as factual as possible.”

Adrienne Nardi, executive director of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce, said “it’s always great to see (local) organizations partnering up for the benefit of the (whole) community. We’re (also) excited that the Royal River Community Players now has a permanent home on Route 1.”

The script is original and was written by Handy, Brittany Strout, Kate Connelly and Kent Pierce.

Along with the real people depicted, Handy said there are “one or two composite characters.” She said some of the stories being shared are of people whose names have been lost to history and are only noted on a headstone as “wife” or “child.”

Handy said she can’t pick a favorite tale among those being shared.

“They are all unique and each of our actors do a great job bringing these long-gone people and stories to life,” she said.

Handy said “Stroll Haunted Yarmouth” was the brainchild of Melina Roberts, whose family lives in the original 1798 home of the Rev. Thomas Green, the first pastor at the North Yarmouth-Freeport Meetinghouse, which was built in 1796.

“The Royal River Community Players thought it was a fun, unique idea for a show that fit with our mission to provide quality theatrical experiences here in Yarmouth for and by all ages,” Handy said.

She said the cast includes 24 actors who range in age from 6 to 70, and while “we felt like Yarmouth could use a good ghost event around Halloween, it’s not a scary, adult-only show.”

The show takes place in three different locations: the Old Meeting House, the cemetery, and the Green house. Audiences are divided into groups and walk to each spot. The whole experience takes about an hour, Handy said.

During the show audiences meet Green, along with seven other people from Yarmouth’s past, she said.

The hope is that attendees will “feel connected to the people who lived in town so many years ago,” Handy said. “We hope they will learn something about Yarmouth’s history and the lives of folks who lived before them. And, of course, we hope they will be entertained and enjoy themselves.”

Tickets are $15 per person on the “Stroll Haunted Yarmouth” Facebook page or $17 at the door. Audiences are encouraged to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. The event also includes hot cider and a special treat based on a historic recipe. Lighting is provided.

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