Monsters ~ Beware! will offer a socially distanced museum tour through gruesome and gripping stories about mythical characters that have terrified every culture around the world through the ages. Humans have conjured up monsters to understand the unexplainable evil in the world.
The tour will be conducted by a guide who will lead groups of eight or less to view six exhibits representing humanoids and one reptilian hybrid monster from ancient Greece to the 19th century. In each exhibit there will be educational and entertaining interpretation about different monstrous characters and their evil deeds. Local artists have created the museum exhibits as well as paintings of four animal monsters including the famous Minotaur.
Visitors will learn many stories of monsters that have plagued humanity for centuries. Monsters are alive in our imaginations as creatures of all descriptions fill horror novels, PG 13 movies and are everywhere in popular culture Generations imagined horrible creatures to help explain evil occurrences before the enlightened times of science. Many thought monsters were working in association with the devil himself. People needed someone to blame for disasters, destruction and death that terrorize the community. Sea monsters and forest creatures explain why sailors and travelers never returned.
• Take Dracula, for example. Though the evil bloodsucking vampire may be named for real life 15th Century Prince Dracula, Vlad II Dragul the Impaler. 19th century novels create the character that lives on in popular culture. However, vampirism, was also believed to have existed in early New England. The first known reference to an American vampire scare is a letter to the editor of the Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer, published in June 1784. Councilman Moses Holmes, from the town of Willington, warned people to beware of “a certain Quack Doctor” who had urged families to dig up and burn dead relatives to stop consumption.
• In another case, former CT State Archeologist, Nick Bellantoni investigated a grave that the individual “had been completely…rearranged.” The skeleton had been beheaded; skull and thighbones rested atop the ribs and vertebrae. “It looked like a skull-and-crossbones motif, a Jolly Roger. I’d never seen anything like it.” The people may have feared that the dead arose like vampires and returned to infect the living so the burials were disturbed in desperation to stop the spread of diseases like tuberculosis. Historian Michael Bell has been investigating local vampires for over 30 years and stated, the public hysteria almost invariably occurred in the midst of savage tuberculosis outbreaks.
The tours will take place in Windham Mills in a giant space, 180 feet by 64 feet, located at, 322 Main Street, Willimantic, located across the street from the museum. This will allow ample space for social distancing. Covid 19 masks required. The mill floor is not heated and windows will be open for cross ventilation. Please dress warmly. Grab and Go Refreshments will be available. The tours are not recommended for young children. Nightmare on Main: Monsters: Beware! Is a tour to benefit the Mill Museum. Subject to changes or postponement, Check website to pre-pay and Register.