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Owner and operator Cooper Boone says that “Halloween is my favorite time of year—and fall in general.”

Foundry42 spreads the Halloween spirit

PORT JERVIS, NY — “Foundry42 is a combination of food, design and events,” says founder and owner Cooper Boone, and since 2016, Foundry42 has offered plenty of all three: music, arts and crafts and kids’ story times stand alongside a coffee bar and retail/rental spaces. But throughout the month of October, it will also serve as the starting and ending location of the Historic Ghost Tour of Port Jervis, an hour-long guided tour that promises to “inform and entertain” patrons through storytelling and surprises.

“About a year ago, I started doing a lot of research on tourism in the state of New York, and the number-one utilized tourist map were the ghost tours of New York. So I formulated a proposal, and we got a grant from the Orange County Department of Tourism to develop a ghost tour. I love it because I’m a history buff, and basically, ghost tours are about history at the end of the day—and Port Jervis has a very rich history. It’s an old industrial commerce town, and the railroad was very active with shipping as well. So once we got the grant, I hired someone to do the research and development of the tour, and she worked on it for seven months.”

Boone credits Jonel Langenfeld with that creation and R&D process, and cites William Schill and Helen Curreri as guides for the tour, whose attractions and stories were validated by Etta-Lyn Cavataio.

“[Cavataio] is a psychic medium—they don’t have licenses for these in the world, but I have experienced her personally doing readings, as well as a number of other people. Without any information... she is able to pretty much contact dead people… We purposely didn’t give her any information, and when she came down, for example, she went into one of the spaces [on the tour], and she’s like, ‘Oh my God, I keep smelling formaldehyde, there’s this thick stench,” Boone reports. “Many iterations ago, it was a funeral home, and she was smelling embalming liquid and all of that stuff.”

Boone further elaborates on the paranormal occurrences in his own backyard: “At Foundry42, we have a jokester and a prankster ghost who is definitely male, and feels like a very young male—almost like teenager humor. We were doing an event, and we have these birch trees that [appear to be growing] through the shelf. They’re all glued and nailed in, and literally they flew out across the room. No one was hurt—it isn’t anything that’s bad, but it’s like, standing-behind-a-corner-and-scaring-your-sister kind of stuff.

“Port Jervis is going through this massive renaissance… all of the buildings downtown have been purchased… So with all of this construction going on on Front Street—evidently, when there’s renovation of any kind in old buildings, it stirs up a lot of ghost activity. So when [Cavataio] came the first time, she was like, ‘Oh my God, my head is spinning.’”

Also among Foundry42’s autumn and Halloween events is an Autumn Bounty Dinner prepared by Dafna Mizrahi of “Chopped” (October 21, 6 to 9 p.m., $85+tax), a kids’ costume party (October 28, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., $15 per child+tax) a ball and adult costume party themed around Kenny Ortega’s 1993 comedy “Hocus Pocus” (October 28, 7 to 11 p.m., $40+tax). “It’s one of my favorite movies,” says Boone. “It’s become a classic American kind of Halloween film, and it’s light. It doesn’t feel scary to me. It’s something I would let my daughters watch at a young age and feel OK about it… I think that also [the witches are] misfits, and people connect with that as well... I was a psychologist for 20 years, and I think that some of the fanciest, most buttoned-up people still experienced feelings of being ultimately nerdy, and kind of not fitting in, but doing their best to do so. And I think that witches in general speak to that.”

In addition to his personal history across the worlds of music and the culinary arts, Boone describes his approach to psychology as “eclectic,” which extends to his general perspective on life and the supernatural. “Einstein said, ‘Energy never dies, it goes somewhere.’ I certainly have had some very, very interesting experiences throughout my lifetime, and when you bring up this subject, it’s fascinating to me how people respond. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never told anyone this’… It’s almost like people are chomping at the bit to talk about their own ghost stories.

“I have this sense of time… it’s one life, and I’m perpetually curious and kind of fearless with my curiosity.  I’m more than just one-note. I pursue what I feel passionate about—but I have to feel passionate about it.”

The Historic Ghost Tour of Port Jervis will be held on October 7, 14 and 21 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 plus tax, and each event date is limited to 20 tickets. Foundry42 is located at 42 Front St., and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about upcoming events in October and beyond, visit the Foundry42 website at www.f42home.com or call 845/858-4942.

 

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