SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY — As summer yields to fall, and day yields to night, spirits stir at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
On autumn evenings, as lantern tours illuminate the hills of headstones, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and Washington Irving chill the air inside the cemetery’s chapel.
The teller of those tales is David Neilsen, an actor and author who performs at the cemetery every fall.
His schedule this year, which began with a murder mystery party on Sept. 28, continues with Poe on Oct. 9, Irving on Oct. 19 and 26, and Spooky Stores from Six Feet Under on Oct. 22 and 29. For more information, click here.
Neilsen grew in California up as the son of computer programmers. Though he earned a BFA in acting from UC Santa Barbara, his initial career was in online advertising and marketing.
“Huge mistake,” he recalled. “I regretted it, but I was addicted to the salary and benefits.”
Ten years ago, Neilsen and his wife, and their two children, settled in Tarrytown. The move to an area steeped in legends and lore reignited his passion for acting and writing. So he decided to shift careers after shifting coasts.
In addition to Irving and Poe, Neilsen’s repertoire includes Roald Dahl and H.P. Lovecraft. In the following audio clip, he reads an excerpt from Lovecraft’s The Call of the Cthulhu.
Tim Lamorte is an award-winning journalist who has spent almost two decades documenting life along the Hudson River.