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Find Out “What to Do with a Dead Hessian” During a Spooky Lunchtime Talk on Oct. 31

PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 5, 2017 — This Halloween Weekend, the Museum of the American Revolution will show guests a different side to All Hallow’s Eve for those looking to learn more about what has inspired the current Halloween trends and walk away with a few surprising treats.

In preparation for the Halloween festivities, on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Betsy Coe, “The Pumpkin Genie,” will be onsite to carve Revolution-inspired pumpkins for display at the Museum. Visitors can observe her demonstrations and see the transformation take place with her “shading” technique.

On Saturday, Oct. 28 - Sunday, Oct. 29, kids are encouraged to dress as their favorite Revolutionary (open to a wide range of interpretation) and get $2 off admission to the Museum. Kids of all ages are welcome to take a piece of candy and show off their ensemble in costume parades between 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. on both days.

At 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Museum’s Patriots Gallery, visitors can gather for ghost stories with a costumed gallery educator, and explore 18th-century folk customs that might remind them of today’s Halloween rituals. Why did early Americans carve turnips instead of pumpkins? Which spooky stories haunted their nightmares? Why did they stop buying sugar before the war broke out? After the storytelling, color your own paper turnip to take home and scare away any lurking spirits.

On Saturday and Sunday from Noon – 2 p.m., composer Tod Machover, who is currently writing a collaborative symphony titled "Philadelphia Voices," will be at the Museum to record sounds that capture the spirit of Philadelphia as the birthplace of democracy. The sounds will be used to inspire – and perhaps to become part of – his original composition that will be premiered by The Philadelphia Orchestra and a chorus of hundreds of Philadelphians in April*. During Machover’s visit, he will illustrate the simple process of capturing sounds and especially voices – songs, stories, shouts, etc. – that can be recorded on the spot or submitted anytime through the “Philadelphia Voices” mobile app (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). Come share your favorite sounds of Philadelphia! *The performances are made possible in part by the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Saturday, Oct. 28 also marks “Free Streets Day” from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Third Street will be closed to traffic in order to promote pedestrian cycling and walking. The Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and encourages all who participate in Free Streets Day to come and participate in the activities.

On Halloween Day, Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., historian Dr. Robert A. Selig will present “Of Skulls, Severed Heads and Skeletons: What to Do with a Dead Hessian, Brit, Frenchman or American, As the Case May Be.” Following almost any military engagement, corpses in various stages of mutilation litter the countryside. During the American War of Independence, disposing of them, or not, sooner, or sometimes later, fell mostly to the civilian population. But can we tell who buried whom? How were they buried? If they are ever found? And if so, who would dig them up and why? Selig will answer these questions and more in the Museum’s Patriots Gallery. If you’ve got a strong stomach, bring your own lunch or purchase one in the Museum’s Cross Keys Café.

Halloween festivities are all free with Museum admission. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 215-253-6731.

About the Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution explores the dynamic story of the American Revolution using its rich collection of Revolutionary-era weapons, personal items, letters, diaries, and works of art. Immersive galleries, theater experiences, and recreated historical environments bring to life the events, people, and ideals of our nation’s founding and engage people in the history and continuing relevance of the American Revolution. Located just steps away from Independence Hall, Carpenters’ Hall, and Franklin Court, the Museum serves as a portal to the region’s many Revolutionary sites, sparking interest, providing context, and encouraging exploration. The Museum is a private, non-profit, and non-partisan organization. For more information, visit or call 877.740.1776.