Hear tales, hunt ducks Thursday night

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

There may be a burn ban in Adams County this year, but that won’t stop Historic Jefferson College’s 4th Annual Ghost Tales Around the Campfire and the After-Dark Halloween Duck Hunt, scheduled for Thursday. Though this year, it might be more accurately referred to as “Ghost Tales Around the Pile of Unburnt Wood!”

We have had such great success with this program over the past three years that we are upping our duck count to over 1,200! When asked what the duck hunt is all about, I reply that it’s just like an Easter Egg hunt…but it’s Halloween, it’s at night, and instead of eggs, we have themed rubber ducks. Other than that, it’s just like it!

Ghost Tales is family-friendly program in which local storytellers regale visitors with not-too-scary stories, while gathered around the traditional autumn bonfire. As always, we are continuing to refine our sound system.

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As for the After-Dark Duck Hunt, rubber ducks, in the shapes of various monsters, nurses, dogs, chefs, and the aforementioned sock monkeys, etc. (and much more!) will be hidden in designated areas on the grounds. Kids and their parents are invited to search for these adorable prizes with a flashlight, and they get to keep all the ducks they find. A separate area for younger kids will be roped off in a section with a little more light.

In addition, this year we are adding a little twist—fifty ducks will have numbers on the bottoms. Kids who find a numbered duck can bring it in to the visitors C=center, find their number on our exhibit panels, and answer a question about the history of HJC. Once they tell a staff member what their question and answer are, they get a Halloween-themed goodie bag to take home!

Ghost tales start at 6:30 in the grassy bowl next to the Visitors Center. Please bring a blanket or chair, and a bag, and your flashlights. If there is bad weather, we’ll do the Ghost Tales in the West Wing building. The Duck Hunt, however, will go on, even if it’s raining, so bring an umbrella if it is! Because this event is so popular, I’d recommend coming a little early to get a better parking spot.

There will be signs directing you to parking areas. Because of the help of our numerous community sponsors, this event is free of charge and open to all ages.

Historic Jefferson College was chartered in 1802, making it Mississippi’s oldest institute of higher learning. Classes started here in 1811, but the school finally closed its doors for good in 1964. In 1972, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History began restoration work on the buildings and grounds, and it’s been an ongoing project ever since then! We are located off Hwy. 61, about four miles northeast of Natchez, in the little town of Washington.

For more information about Ghost Tales or the Duck Hunt, or any of our other programs, please contact me at 601-442-2901, info@historicjeffersoncollege.com, or check the HJC Facebook page.


Robin Person is branch director of Historic Jefferson College.