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Historical tour on Victorian age mourning customs hits San Ramon for Halloween season

Tours at Glass House to feature common customs and superstitions of nineteenth century

Taking advantage of the spooky season, this October San Ramon’s historic David Glass House will feature a special tour highlighting the death and funeral customs of people living in the 1800s, with the inaugural Glass House Victorian Mourning Tour.

Starting Saturday, the tour will educate participants on the elaborate and often strange Victorian mourning customs and superstitions including why mirrors and pictures were covered in homes after a death, and why bodies were always carried out of the house feet first.

“We love history and want to show people that history can be fun. Not just a bunch of boring dates in an old book,” said tour organizer Ruth Ebert. “We try to do it in a way people can relate to. And we’re thinking it will be different enough to get people interested enough to come and see. And Halloween really is the perfect time to do it.”

Volunteers will be dressed in the traditional mourning garb of the 1800s and discuss proper Victorian mourning etiquette for home décor, clothing, funerals and social behavior, in addition to superstitions, séances, mementos and a few other popular practices of the time.

The tour will also explain the common causes for premature death during and medical care for the sick during the Victorian age.

Parents are advised that although the historical tour is not meant to be frightening in and of itself, the content and imagery may be scary to very young children, so parental discretion is advised.

Located on the Southern portion of San Ramon’s historic Forest Home Farms property, the first annual Glass House Mourning Tour will be held every Saturday of October from 1 to 2 p.m. at the David Glass House, 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd. Tickets are $5 per participant.

Future planning for a more festive time, come December the Glass House will celebrate the holiday season with a very special Victorian Christmas tour. The house will be decked out with four Christmas trees and each room will come to life with authentic Victorian holiday decorations. Christmas tours are scheduled to be held on Dec. 1, 8 and 15.

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