It was an overcast Sunday afternoon for the fifth annual Halloween on the Green at the Fairfield Historical Society, but the weather did not dampen the lively atmosphere of the event. As I walked towards the event I could hear loud music, chatter and children laughing. On turning the corner, it was like a scene from a movie. Kids were dressed in a multitude of costumes, running between parents, playing tag and comparing the loot of candy they acquired. There were little pirates, fairies, Buzz Lightyears and even a girl dressed as a box of donuts.
There was a bouncy line that can only be compared to that of the parents waiting for their turn in the beer garden during Parents Weekend. Booths were set up around the perimeter, with face painting, trick-or-treat stations, advertisements and a hut with a fortune teller inside. A DJ was spinning some fan favorite tracks and there was even a station with witches, who were gracious enough to take a picture with me! It felt enchanting to stand with them, especially when one of them said, “we should be on all the newspapers!” after I introduced myself as a writer for The Mirror.
The picturesque scene was made thanks to the mighty oak trees that stood around the square. The leaves were just in that transitory stage between a light green to a zesty orange and deep red. The crunch of the dry leaves below me paired well with the warm breeze mingling through all the attendees.
And yet, during a Halloween event, my history nerd sensors were ringing at the opportunity to go to a colonial house that was open to walk through. People shuffled through the creaking house, and keeping with the Halloween theme, there was a display of the witch trials that were local to Fairfield, Conn. Infographics lined the wall that told the story of those condemned to death for witchcraft. One such case study was the trial of Goodwife Knapp who was hanged for witchcraft in 1653.
She was a resident of Fairfield, where at her trial she refused to implicate others. In 2019 she was honored with a ceremony of remembrance, and she was acquitted posthumously, which was also on display in the house. There was even a replica of the cloak she wore tucked away in the corner, which was an eerie, but appropriate touch for this time of year.
Upstairs I found myself looking through the paned window from the 18th century and I felt like I was transported to colonial Fairfield. Seeing the crowd outside, the kids running and the leaves changing would be a tranquil moment for any viewer. I loved it: pure and simple.
The staff was most gracious and was happy to tell me about the museum and the other upcoming events it will host, one being “Legends and Hauntings,” through the centuries-old cemetery at Fairfield on Oct. 29 and 30. It sounds like a great, local experience and one that I will definitely be attending.
It was clear to me that there is a great sense of community here at Fairfield. At the Halloween on the Green event a sense of family reigned above all else and it made me even happier that I chose to study in this town and attend Fairfield University.
As I left, there was a chalk board with the header: “What would you change in history?” and one answer stuck out the most saying “to make all candy free!” and going into this “Halloweekend”, I couldn’t agree more.