Yes, Halloween has come and gone. But, who says ghost stories can only be told on Halloween? Last night, my wife and I had the pleasure of having ghost stories read to us by a few celebrities of both film and television fame. Ok, so we weren’t tucked into bed and read said tales. It was a fundraising event to help support Astor Services for Children and Families in Rhinebeck, NY.
The event was spearheaded by the husband and wife duo, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hilarie Burton. For those who don’t know, Morgan plays Negan on The Walking Dead. Of course, he has been in a slew of films as well including Watchmen and The Resident. His wife, Burton, is also an actress whose credits include One Tree Hill, The List and Lethal Weapon (TV) among others.
But, what had to be a complete surprise to all in attendance was the appearance, and participation, of the Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd!
The event started with an introduction to Astor Services followed by an account of a local ghost story that was taken from the headlines of a newspaper article written in the 1800s! Next, there was audience participation where a few members of the audience we treated to a free Tarot Reading from Marcy Currier. Paul Rudd himself was treated to a reading where he asked Marcy if an Oscar is in his near future (he asked on behalf of Hilarie because “she wanted to know”). Marcy said that the cards show that he will soon be presented with a script that may garner him the prestigious Hollywood honor. To this, Mr. Rudd retorted by saying that said role will probably be given to Jason Bateman. The reading was followed by a hilarious “ghost story” read by Rudd which had the audience, including me, laughing until tears escaped our eye sockets.
There was a horror Mad Libs session where raffle winners joined the actors on stage and provided verbs, adjectives, and nouns to complete a narrative which was then read aloud and, again, induced stomach pounding laughter from the audience. Did I mention that the two winners were eleven years old?
There was also a special video made by a few of their celebrity friends that included the likes of Andrew Lincoln (Rick from Walking Dead), Norman Reedus (Darryl from Walking dead) and a slew of other noteworthy actors as they did a reading of “The Hangman” by Maurice Ogden.
Finally, the actors read ghost stories written by the children of Astor Services. This was fantastic as it reminded me of when I was a kid and used to write “scary” stories. To be fair, these stories, despite their flaws as one would expect from kids, were great! They were great stories and hilarious because as the saying goes, kids say the darndest things! As one would expect, laughter ensued.
I would say that the night was a complete success as the place was packed! Not one empty seat in the venue and as everyone walked out of the venue to their respective cars, people were recounting their favorite moments and, most importantly, everyone had a smile on their face including my wife and me. It was a special night with fantastic hosts, and I cannot wait for next year’s event!