For Halloween and for the following weekend your friends at the Weird City Theatre Company take you on a ghost tour. In the program they express special thanks to Monica Ballard and the Austin Ghost Tours for help with research on the late night attacks and rapes of 1884-1885 recalled in the piece.
The title is taken from a comment in a letter written by the 23-year-old William Sydney Porter -- O. Henry -- who had recently relocated from the Northeast to Texas for health reasons: "Town is fearfully dull, except for the frequent raids of the Servant Girl Annihilators, who make things lively during the dead hours of the night."
Weird City shows you a murky movie to set the atmosphere and then shepherds your limited group through a series of experiences. Not a tour of the sites of the attacks, but, rather, a series of encounters with the ghosts of the victims and of the spectre of one very worried marshal. Your guide is the very contained Sarah Griffin-Covey, who conducts you to the western entrance to backstage and moves your group from one to another of the stations established on the stage itself. White lines on the floor mark the "no-go" areas, so participants shift about in a sort of Brownian motion in order to find their vantage points. Lighting is minimal but carefully coordinated and directed, both for atmosphere and for visibility.