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By Janese Silvey | columbiatribune.com | Posted 8/06/11

FULTON -- Mandy Plybon is pretty sure there is a ghost in the National Churchill Museum, but she had a tough time convincing the kids visiting last night.

"This place is haunted -- did you know that?" Plybon, the museum's education coordinator, asked the group.

"In London, it probably was, but not here," 11-year-old Lucas DeSmit replied matter-of-factly.

That was about the time music began drifting downstairs from the old organ in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury.

The first "Night at the Museum" event at the National Churchill Museum on the Westminster College campus was expected to be full of ghostly twists and turns.

Even though the seven young participants were pretty quick to figure out Karen Montgomery, a museum intern, was the organ player behind the mysterious sounds, sleeping over at the museum promised to be spooky. The statues and life-size cutouts of figures cast creepy shadows and silhouettes. Gas mask, bullet and war exhibits are ominous enough in the daytime. And bomb sounds, voices and other noises are set on motion sensors, meaning they can go off at any time.

The idea of combining the nighttime thrills with the historical aspects of the museum made Cathy Reid quick to sign her son, A.J., up for the overnight program.

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“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.”

Winston S. Churchill