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Ghost tales, duck hunt at Historic Jefferson College set for Thursday

Historic Jefferson College’s 7th Annual Ghost Tales Around the Campfire and the After-Dark Halloween Duck Hunt is right around the corner, scheduled this year for Thursday, Oct. 25, starting at 6:30 p.m.

This family-friendly program begins with local storytellers regaling visitors with not-too-scary stories, while everyone gathers around the traditional autumn bonfire. After the ghost stories comes the much-anticipated After-Dark Duck Hunt, where rubber ducks are 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 is roped off in a section with a little more light.

This program is Historic Jefferson College’s biggest event, and we have again increased our duck count.  This year, we are going to be hiding over 2,000 ducks, and there are around a hundred different types. Be on the lookout for vampire ducks and Viking ducks, clown ducks and unicorn ducks.  There are ducks for those who love pirates, play football, have loved ones in the Armed Forces, and racing fans.  Some are shaped like toys, some like dinosaurs, and at least one has two heads.  You might find a camper, a snowduck, Santa Claus, an autism awareness duck, or even Ronald Reagan! Also hidden on the grounds are twenty solid white ducks—on the bottom of these special ducks are numbers.  Kids who find a numbered duck can bring it in to the Visitors 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 starts at 6:30 in the grassy bowl next to the Visitors Center.  Please bring a blanket or chair, and a bag, and your flashlights.

In case of 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 and rubber boots if it is!   Because this event is so popular, we suggest coming a little early to get a better parking spot.  Thanks to the help of our numerous community sponsors, this event is free of charge, and open to kids ages 1-12.  We do ask that parents of older kids allow their children to find the ducks on their own.  In the event that a child cannot find any ducks at all, our staff will gladly provide one to take home.

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, a task that never ends. 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 Historic Jefferson College (HJC) Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

Robin Seage Person is the site director of Historic Jefferson College.

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