Hear voices ringing in the night and feel shadows lurking on paths at the 2011 Ghost Walk of Chestnut Hill, organized and run once again by Teenagers, Inc.

Families will be treated to four storytellers on Saturday, Oct. 29 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Three more tours will follow, leaving from Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Ave., every half hour. Each walk will take participants around the historic homes and churches of Chestnut Hill.

Masked characters will haunt the alleys and lead walkers through luminary-lit paths where storytellers wait to share tales of hauntings and fright.

The storytellers

Vernyce Dannells will tell a murder ballad called “Fair Alice.” Dannells thas been part of the Ghost Walk for five years. Known for her eerie song stories and performance poetry, Vernyce has spent time as a producer for National Public Radio and has written for several Fortune 100 companies and academic institutions. Cadenza Press published her poetry chapbook, “Temporarily Abated,” and her poetry and prose has appeared in numerous national publications.

Joining the Ghost Walk for the first time is Claudia Lees. Lees will treat walkers to “He Kept His Promise,” a story of privateers, romance and misfortune. Lees discovered her love of storytelling by attending a workshop led by Bill Harley in July 2009. Since that time Lees has performed at the “Tellebration” in Chestnut Hill in 2010, n the Fusion Festival in May of 2011, and, most recently, in the New Jersey Storytelling Festival at the Grounds for Sculpture outside of Princeton, N.J.

Loretta Lucy Miller, the third storyteller, joined the Ghost Walk last year. Her story will be a combined tale that will make your hair rise and teeth fall out. Miller was a member of the Southern Order of Storytellers – telling at Callenwolde Art Center, Winterfest Storytelling Festival, Atlanta Meeting and family events.

Now, a member of Patchwork Storytellers Guild, Miller has told at “Tellebration” a worldwide storytelling event, Plymouth Friends School and most importantly of all, her grandchildren’s nursery school.  Miller has been an actor and director for more than 46 years and is so happy that storytelling is a part of her life. She has also performed in numerous shows of Stagecrafters, Germantown Theatre Guild, Philadelphia Theatre Company, various community-based theatre and Plays For Living for 15 years.

Storyteller Denise Valentine

The fourth storyteller, Denise Valentine, will enchant audiences with her stories of White Witches and spine-chilling tales that come from the Deep South and Appalachia. This is Valentine’s second year with the Ghost Walk and her voice will mesmerize you into believing the story is happening next to you.


She debuted at Keepers of the Culture in 1997 and joined the National Association of Black Storytellers. Valentine has also performed with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.  She has been a delegate to South Africa to study the preservation of folklore traditions and is a teaching artist using themes of conflict resolution and ecological sustainability to work with at risk kids.

In addition, characters will roam the dimly lit regions and lend the evening a ghoulish effect. Attendees can enjoy a sip from the cauldron if you dare and a bite of treats! Settle inside the backroom of the library for a showing of the film “Most Haunted Mansion in Chestnut Hill,” Balleroy. Don’t miss a delicacy from the secret bowl. Little trick or treaters can sit for face painting too.

For a haunting night, reserve your tickets today for a timed show departing the Chestnut Hill Library at 8711 Germantown Ave. between 6:30-8 on the half hour. Tickets can be purchased at Sovereign Bank; 8623 Germantown Ave. or Chestnut Hill Welcome Center; 8426 Germantown Ave.

For more information or tickets, call Marianne Dwyer at 215-242-4976 or email Mdwyer325@aol.com. Tickets are $8 for persons 12 and older, and $5 for children 6 and older. Check out the Teens, Inc. web-site at  www.teensincphilly.org or find us on Facebook for more information on activities.

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