GREENSBORO, N.C. — On a warm Wednesday evening, local storyteller Cynthia Moore Brown shared her haunted tales with a small audience - socially distanced - outside the Blandwood Mansion. It's a change from the tradition: for about 15 years, she's told ghost stories at Blandwood - inside of the historic house.
"We really did not want to give up having our storytelling," she said, "[Stories] bring us together, but they also keep history alive."
It may be different this year - but Brown was up to the challenge. She says opportunities to perform are rare, so Wednesday's event - as well as an upcoming show on Friday at 6 p.m. - are memorable for so many reasons.
"It’s been a tough, tough year for everyone," Brown said, "And we need each other. We need to get out and we need to have stories.
"My husband isn’t with me this year. It’s been a hard year. In fact, I lost a lot of people in his family... today is special because I am doing the storytelling in their honor."
The art of storytelling always came easy to her. Brown reminisced about how her husband used to lovingly pick on her about her passion for performing.
"My husband Fred always said that I was addicted to the attention, the people looking at me. I said - you don't understand. It's not that. He wasn't a performer," she said, "You got to understand that it is a rush, it's an energy, it's a heart to heart with people, and that just brings me to life."
Brown hopes to return one day, when it's safe, to perform in front of crowds, without so many pandemic restrictions. For now, she welcomes opportunities like this.
"I just feel like people really want to get back their 'normal.' What is normal? Who knows anymore!" she said, "But I feel so normal tonight. I feel the most normal I have felt since... I don’t know... probably last October."