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Valley cemeteries come alive with historic tours in October

Ancestors of a few chosen graves will line cemetery paths in Phoenix. And a Mesa event will feature speakers with historic recordings at some grave sites.

PHOENIX — In the middle of the spookiest time of year, some of the most silent spots in the Valley are bringing history to life. 

Cemetery tours are opening up ahead of Halloween, offering trips to learn about some of the dead that made history. They're happening on Oct. 23 in Mesa at the Historic Mesa Cemetery and on Oct. 30 in Phoenix, at the Pioneer Cemetery.

Mesa Historical Museum’s Susan Ricci shared some of the stars who will be unearthed during the East Valley tour. 

"Helen Dana is amazing," Ricci said. “She was instrumental in delivering over 12,000 babies. She always (bragged) that she had never lost a mom along the way and she got to her moms in a horse and buggy sometimes.”

In Phoenix, the "Hip Historian" Marshal Shore, said you can also relive Arizona's history through some of the most mysterious lives at the Beyond the Grave: Honoring our Ancestors event. 

“I definitely know we’ll be talking about Jacob Waltz," Shore said. "Jacob Waltz is the Lost Dutchman.”

Ancestors of a few chosen graves will line cemetery paths in Phoenix. The Mesa event will feature speakers with historic recordings.

“People are learning and having so much fun that they’re learning and so that’s why we have these folks coming and telling the stories of the folks who are buried here," Shore said. 

They're reliving some of Arizona's grandest tales.

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