SEQUIM — Storytellers Eva Abram and Tobey Ishi-Anderson will be featured at Haunting Tales, an event Wednesday at Olympic Theatre Arts.
The event, co-sponsored by the Story People of Clallam County and Olympic Theater Arts, will begin at 7 p.m. at 414 N. Sequim Ave. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $15, and snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.
The program is suitable for listeners 13 and older, organizers said.
Abram will share the creepy story of The Black Umbrella, which begins with a character named Mary Simmons, who lives across the Cooper River near Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
“She lived near one of our old cemeteries. But she didn’t think about that. She just sat in her rocking chair by the window. One night she heard singing and found herself humming along. Before you knew it, she was out of her chair following that singing. And she found herself at a graveyard, with people gathered singing, ‘No more rain gonna wet you, no more sun gonna sun you … oh Lord, I want to go home.’
“The rain started to pour down, the people went on singing. She took the thin scarf off her head and wrung it out. Then she noticed a tall, dark stranger standing next to her, and he said, ‘No, sister, a head like yours needs a better cover.’ And he handed her a black umbrella.”
Abram was born in Louisiana and has lived in Seattle for the past 40 years. An accomplished storyteller, actor and speaker with Humanities Washington, she uses folktales from different cultures to show our human connections — our foibles, our curiosity and our humor.
At the heart of her stories of historic characters and events is this theme “We are all connected; we all affect each other.”
Ishi-Anderson’ grandmother was raised in a small village in Japan, and she told ghost stories when they were young. One is “The Hour of the Ox.”
“Mukashi, mukashi, long ago in Japan, there was a brave samurai — Saburo Sama. Of course, all the villagers respected him,” the story begins. “He married the most beautiful woman in the village, and he loved her, but she was very haughty. In time, she became very sick and told her husband, ‘When I die, I want you to remarry, find someone who will take care of you.’ And at the Hour of the Ox, 3 a.m., her spirit passed on to the beyond.”
Anderson will include traditional tales as well as personal stories from her life, including living in a haunted house in Indonesia. As a Peace Corps volunteer and then an international school teacher, she has lived in various countries in Asia and Europe.
Anderson is a member of the Asian American Storytellers in Action and the South Sound Story Guild.
“These talented and enthusiastic tellers are sure to induce shivers during this evening of frightening good fun,” said Ingrid Nixon, board member of the Story People of Clallam County.
The nonprofit Story People of Clallam County is dedicated to bringing all forms of live storytelling to the North Olympic Peninsula. Information about public events and group membership can be found at www.ClallamStory People.org.