FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Candlelight Halloween Jazz: Haunted Soul Melodies at Laurel Hill Cemetery

by Yasser Ogando

Oct 20, 2021

What’s spookier than a graveyard concert? Well, a graveyard concert after sundown, of course!

Laurel Hill Cemetery
My boyfriend, his sister, her best friend and I adopted the name “Spooky Gang” a few years ago. It all started in 2018 when we decided to tour the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery — I wrote about this experience in my Spooky Weekend in Upstate New York blog — and ever since, we have done at least one escape room or haunted tour to celebrate the ghostly season.

As my title suggests, this year was not going to be the exception, and so we spent our Sunday evening listening to live Halloween classics at Philly’s very own Laurel Hill Cemetery. We planned this outing in late August and were excited to finally experience it during one of the first chilly nights of the season.

Laurel Hill Cemetery
The cemetery was beautifully lit with candles all around making it feel — dare I say it? — well, kind of magical. The part of it that overlooks the Schuylkill River was beautiful as the sunset’s warm tones reflected over it. Upon checking in, a kindly ghost guided us closer to our seats through the candlelit trails. The views and vibes were impeccable!

Laurel Hill Cemetery Laurel Hill CemeteryThe event is sponsored by Fever, and it showcased the amazing talent of musicians sourced by PureSoul Presents, Philly — a musical collective dedicated to the preservation of soul, jazz and blues. Some of the hits played included MJ’s “Thriller,” “I Put a Spell on You,” “Spooky” by Dusty Springfield, “Somebody’s Watching Me,” Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and more. The cherry on top was the dynamic closing performance of the Ghostbusters’ theme song.

Laurel Hill CemeteryThe vocalist, Lee Mo, did an amazing job keeping the audience engaged and highlighting the beautiful arrangements Joshua Madoff, the director and keys player, put together for this event. The show lasted a little more than an hour; and since we opted for the sunset slot, we were on our way home before 8 p.m., which is lovely if you ask me. There will be another sunset show on Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m., and the late show will start at 9 p.m.; ticket prices vary depending on your seating area. If you’re into Halloween, I highly suggest doing this with a group of friends, family and maybe even kids (10 years old or older); you will not regret it!

Next on the Spooky Gang’s agenda is a drive-in viewing of Scream; I’ll keep you posted on that!

— Yasser Ogando, advertising & production manager

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