The Tales from the Crypt is back after a two year hiatus

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s been a favorite stop on the Columbus Pilgrimage for 3 decades now.

Tales From the Crypt is back.

For 34 years students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science have been presenting the lives of past residents of Columbus buried in Friendship Cemetery.

The program was on hiatus due to the pandemic. Now teachers and students are excited to bring the experience back and welcome the community to learn about local history.

MSMS students are doing some last-minute run-throughs before their performances tonight here at Friendship Cemetery.

The 2 week run of Tales From the Crypt is the culmination of in-depth research that started back in August.

Now those students are sharing what they’ve learned with local residents and visitors

“I thought I’m supposed to hang out in a cemetery all night,” said Courtney.

If you were told that you had to do research in a cemetery you might have the same reaction as Nora Courtney.

For 34 years students from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science have been doing a deep dive into the lives of some Columbus residents.. but the interview process is a little tricky.

That’s because the subjects are no longer living.

The assignment is known as Tales From the Crypt.

History teacher and project director, Chuck Yarbrough, says the program teaches students about the history around them, and it helps them hone their research skills, but they’re not the only ones learning.

“I know a little bit about some of the stories they might uncover or may I know the title of a person or their connection of some event but then often students uncover information that I’m totally unaware of and it really is student-driven,” said Yarbrough.

Yarborough says that every year he watches this project come together, and he is always excited about the result and the community support.

“I’m particularly proud. the students turn their research into a public product to share with the community and we get anywhere from 1000 to 2000 visitors that come through during performance years we are really excited to be back in the cemetery with live performances this year for the first time since pre-pandemic 2019,” said Yarborough.

Student performers like Nora Courtney and Madison Echoles say it takes a lot of hard work to get here, but it’s not often that you get to experience something like this.

Nora: “I’ve definitely learned more in this history class than I’ve learned in other ones because it’s way more interactive and hands-on and that’s just how I learn better. It really is something special that is not done a lot,” said Courtney.

Madison: “with tales from the crypt you’re interacting with the audience a lot more. you can see how they are responding to the words you say and I think in that way its a lot more fulfilling because you see the impact that you’re making directly on the people you’re speaking to even though there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it everybody is up for the challenge and they want to fill that void in history and expose it to the community,” said Echoles.

This project is coming to an end but it’s not too late to see these students perform. You can come out tonight at seven or join them Friday night.


Categories: Local News