September 30, 2014

I Hope To See You This Week: Legends and Lore of the North Shore Book Tour!

My Massachusetts "world tour" happens this week, with three readings and book signings. The first one is tonight in Harvard Square! Please stop by and say hello.

 Here are the dates and times:

1. Harvard Coop, Cambridge, Tuesday, September 30th at 7:00 pm

2. Buttonwoods Museum, Haverhill, Friday, October 3rd at 6:00 pm. This one's a group reading with several other paranormal/horror writers, so you'll get more bang for you buck.

3. Barnes and Noble, Peabody, Saturday, October 4th from 1:00 - 3:00 pm

I hope to see you this week! It would be great to meet you in person.

September 28, 2014

Seeing Fairies, Here and Elsewhere: Books About Fairies

Do you believe in fairies? It's a loaded question, of course. If you were asked during a performance of Peter Pan, you'd respond affirmatively and clap your hands. Otherwise, Tinkerbell will die, and you don't want that on your conscience.

Asked that question in another context, you'd probably hesitate before saying yes, even if you did believe in fairies. After all, you probably don't want people to think you're eccentric! But there are quite a few people who unashamedly believe in fairies and many who claim to have seen them.

One of those people was  Marjorie Johnson (1911 - 2011), an English Spiritualist and Theosophist who was also a member of the Fairy Investigation Society (FIS), a British organization whose mission was apparent from its title. In the 1950s she compiled sightings from members of the FIS and also solicited them from the general public through ads in magazines. The resulting book, Seeing Fairies, is nearly 400 pages long. Although a German edition was published in 2000, it was published for the first time this year in English by Anomalist Books.

Seeing Fairies is probably the largest collection of modern fairy sightings ever compiled. Marjorie Johnson divided her books into chapters with titles like "Nature Spirits in Gardens and the Countryside" or "Fairies in Houses, Fairy Glamour." Each chapter contains multiple accounts of fairy sightings, including the name of the person who encountered the fairies and where they saw them. She doesn't include much overt theory or analysis of the material, but Johnson's interests in Spiritualism and Theosophy determine the overall tone of Seeing Fairies. As the book's editor Simon Young notes, Spiritualism was "more than just table rapping and knocks and 'ether.' It was an attempt, honest in the case of most members of the movement, to open vistas onto a wider world beyond the physical realm. It was only natural that fairies were eventually appropriated by spiritualists as part of this wider spirit land..."

Gustave Moreau, Fairy and Griffon

Because many of the book's accounts came from Marjorie's fellow Spiritualists, the majority of the fairy sightings are of gentle nature spirits. These fairies tend to be small, beautiful and associated with gardens, woods, trees, and flowers. Simon Young calls these the "new traditional fairies." Picture Tinkerbell or even Angelina Jolie as Maleficent and her fellow fairies in the recent Disney film. These beings care for the natural world and sometimes help humans who are in distress.

This is relatively new role for fairies. Up until the 19th century fairies were often viewed as frightening and dangerous, more likely to steal a child or cause illness than to tend a flower bed. Seeing Fairies does contain a few accounts in this vein. For example, a man tells what he saw in a deserted moorland brickyard when he was a boy:

... For some reason I looked over my shoulder, and about a minute's walk away I saw in broad daylight a man about a foot high, dressed in red, running along the path after me, waving his arms in what I took to be a threatening manner. But the impression that has remained with me most clearly over the 23 years or so between now and then is that he looked demented, and his face was shiny and so suffused with color that it was redder than his clothing. Being a timid child, I started running...

A woman in Australia saw the following:

It was coming down backwards from a branchless tree-trunk, and in shape it resembled a large-sized ape. Its body had a dark leaf covering; its neck was short and I saw no hair but a dark green head with a cap-like covering. Its feet were flat with nails like claws; its had had small hooks. ... I was not brave enough to go after it with a torch.

I wouldn't either!

If you are at all interested in fairies I would recommend this book. It's a testament to the enduring power of fairies, whether new traditional or old traditional, and how they still occasionally erupt into our modern rational world.

Simon Young, the book's editor, is a professor of history in Florence, Italy and we have collaborated on some research about pixies which will be published next year. Professor Young also hopes to restart the Fairy Investigation Society and to collect modern fairy sightings through a survey. Stay tuned!

Seeing Fairies includes a few sightings from America, but sadly none are from New England. As I've noted before, fairies aren't seen much in our part of the country. Another Theosophist, Dora Van Gelder Kunz, did see nature spirits and fairies near her home in New Hampshire, but as a trained psychic perhaps she had an advantage over the average New Englander. Her sightings in New Hampshire and elsewhere are recounted in her 1977 book The Real World of Fairies.

Overall, it's slim pickings for New England in modern fairy literature. Another book, Janet Bord's 1997 Fairies: Real Encounters with Little People, gives an excellent overview of the fairy phenomenon and also discusses several theories about what fairies may be. Are they pagan gods? Are they related to UFOs? A few New England encounters are included in Bord's book, including the famous Dover Demon as well as some fairy sightings from Massachusetts that appeared in the 1970s. If I can get more information on the latter I'll blog about them.

If you have ever seen a fairy in New England let me know, or you can wait until the fairy survey appears in the future. Maybe when the survey is published we'll know for sure how many fairies are in New England!

September 23, 2014

Come Say Hello: Readings and Book Signings This Fall!

I'll be doing a bunch of readings in the next few weeks to promote my book Legends and Lore of the North Shore. I like to think of it as my world tour, even though I'm not leaving Massachusetts.

  • Harvard Coop, Cambridge, September 30th at 7:00 pm
  • Buttonwoods Museum, Haverhill, October 3rd at 6:00 pm. This one's a group reading with several other paranormal/horror writers, so you'll get more bang for you buck.
  • Barnes and Noble, Peabody, October 4th from 1:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Tewksbury Library, Tewksbury, October 21st at 7:00 pm
  • Boston Book Festival, Copley Square in Boston, October 25th from 3 - 4:00 pm
Stop by one of the readings and say hello. If you have a good creepy story I'd love to hear it!

September 22, 2014

Another (Extra Creepy) Bigfoot Story from the Cape

I found the following story on the web a while ago. I was going to save it for the winter (you'll see why), but it's just too creepy for me to withhold any longer. Enjoy!?


Back in the winter of 1977 or 1978, an eleven year old boy was watching TV at his home in Sandwich. It was a Saturday afternoon in December, the sky was low and grey, and there was snow on the ground. His parents were gone for the day and he was home alone.

Their house was the last house on the street. After their house - nothing but woods.

The family's TV was located in the den, which had two windows looking out into the backyard. I imagine that other than the TV things were very quiet. A dead-end road on Cape Cod in the winter is not a lively place. Maybe the boy could hear some crows cawing in the woods, but probably not much more.

The boy's attention was captured by the TV for quite a while, but eventually something in one of the windows caught his eye. He looked up to see a hairy face peering in at him. It didn't look quite human, and the hairy face belonged to an equally hairy creature that was about five feet tall.

The boy screamed in surprise, and the creature grunted at him before it ran away from the window. He heard the creature run through the breezeway that connected the house to the garage, and then saw it run off into the woods.

The boy stood in the middle of the den in shock, trying to determine what to do. He eventually realized that his terrifying encounter might just have been a hoax played on him by a friend. But when he called his friends he found they were all at home, and denied playing any tricks on him.

A couple of his friend agreed to come over, and only when they arrived did he unlock the door. Nervously, the boy and his friends walked around the house, searching the snow for clues in the cold grey light.

Underneath the den windows they saw footprints in the snow. All the boys stared in shock at what they saw.

The footprints had been made by something with large, hoofed feet. The hoof prints led into the woods, but the boys didn't follow.


I love this story! It's one of only two reports on the Bigfoot Field Research Organization website from Cape Cod. The other one is the story about Bigfoot and his dog.

This story at first seems like your standard Bigfoot sighting (if such a thing exists). Bigfoot loves to look in windows, according to reports from across the country. Lots of people claim they've seen Bigfoot watching them in the bathroom or bedroom, which is kind of creepy. Is he a voyeur? Maybe, or maybe he's not just looking in our windows, but peering into our world from wherever creatures like Bigfoot exist.

But this story isn't your standard Bigfoot sighting at all. It's more like a campfire story or a ghost story. "If you think Bigfoot is scary, wait until you hear how this one ends..." The hoof prints in the snow will remind most people of our region's number one monster, the Devil. The Evil One has left his mark all over New England, even a dead-end street in Sandwich. Those hooves transport this story from the cryptozoological realm into the supernatural. This story fools you into thinking you're  getting one thing, but you really end up with something else.

The hairy, hoofy monster doesn't necessarily have to be the Devil, or even a demon. Maybe it was just another of the satyr-like creatures that sometimes pop up in New England. Whatever it was, I love this story. There's no closure, just a mysterious encounter on a gloomy Cape Cod day.

I found the story in the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website, which is of course a great resource.

September 14, 2014

The Witches' Sabbath in New England: Part 2

Witch hunting in New England practically disappeared after the brutality and excesses of the Salem witch trials. Those trials served as a wake-up call to the fledgling society of old New England and as time passed more and more people realized they had just been a case of mob mentality running wild. Personal grudges and petty disputes had been erroneously inflated into a cosmic battle of good versus evil.

But that doesn't mean people stopped believing in witches. Folklore from New England is full of stories about witches after the 17th century. And like the witches the Puritans feared, these later witches also gathered to celebrate their Sabbath.

The Reverend Parris's meadow was no longer the main focal point for their magical activities. Instead, witches were said to gather in many different locales across New England for their nocturnal meetings.

For example, Charles Skinner writes in Myths and Legends of Our Own Land (1896) that

Barrow Hill, near Amesbury (Massachusetts) was said to be the meeting place for Indian powwows and witches, and at late hours of the night the light of fires gleamed from its top, while shadowy forms glanced athwart it. Old men say the lights are still there in winter, though modern doubters declare they were the aurora borealis. 

Not far off, in the town of Medway, witches gathered by an enormous, strangely shaped pine tree. They came to celebrate with the Devil, and arrived as weasels, raccoons, and other small forest animals. The tree grew near a swampy depression called Dinglehole, which still exists in the town of Millis. (Millis separated from Medway in the late 1800s.)

In Plymouth, the witches celebrated their Sabbath in a grassy area called the Witches Hollow:

"After you pass Carver Green on the old road from the bay to Plymouth", said one of these women, "you will see a green hollow in a field. It is Witches' Hollow, and is green in winter and summer, and on moonlit nights witches have been seen dancing in it to the music of a fiddle played by an old black man. I never saw them, but I know some people who saw witches dancing there..." (William Root Bliss, The Old Colony Town and Other Sketches, 1893)
Those three are just a few examples from Massachusetts. There are many examples from the other New England states. In Connecticut, the witches held their Sabbath in an area called the Devil's Hopyard, while in 19th century New Hampshire it was believed they congregated at night in abandoned houses. They traveled there in spectral form, and sometimes forcibly dragged the spirits of their sleeping neighbors along with them. It was an invitation they couldn't resist!

The idea that innocent people can be dragged to a witches' Sabbath is an old one. During the Salem trials, a man named John Ring testified he had been
strangely carried about, by daemons, from one witch-meeting to another, for near two years together.. Unknown shapes... which would force him away with them, unto unknown places, where he saw meetings, feastings, dancings... (Joseph Merrill, History of Amesbury, 1880)

Witches often flew spectrally to their Sabbaths, or traveled there in the shape of animals. Sometimes, however, they would ride spectral horses, which were usually the captive spirits of sleeping neighbors. There are quite a few legends where witches throw an enchanted bridle over the head of a sleeping man and ride him all night, quite often to the Sabbath. The man who was witch-ridden would awake exhausted, and sometimes complain of a pain in his mouth where the bit had been.

Another story from Plymouth tells of witches using magic bridles to transform bales of straw into black horses, which they ride to an abandoned house for a Sabbath celebration. When they arrive they dance around a mysterious black fiddler.

One of the stranger Sabbath stories comes from the village of Moodus, in Haddam, Connecticut. Moodus is famous for strange, subterranean noises that have been heard for centuries. Several explanations have been proposed for these noises, which are described as sounding like thunder or cannon shots. The local Indians told the earliest settlers that a god who was unhappy with the English colonists caused the noises. Other explanations have claimed the sounds are caused by pearls growing in the nearby rivers' shellfish (???), or by micro-earthquakes.

The explanation most relevant to our current topic is the following:

It was finally understood that Haddam witches, who practised black magic, met the Moodus witches, who used white magic, in a cave beneath Mount Tom, and fought them in the light of a great carbuncle that was fastened to the roof... If the witch-fights were continued too long the king of Machimoddi, who sat on a throne of solid sapphire in the cave whence the noises came, raised his wand: then the light of the carbuncle went out, peals of thunder rolled through the rocky chambers, and the witches rushed into the air. (Skinner, Myths and Legends of Our Own Land)

Machimoddi seems to be a name for the Indian manitou who ruled over Moodus, and his appearance in this story shows how Algonquian and English supernatural themes sometimes merged. Another version of this story appearing in a 1901 edition of Connecticut Magazine says the witch battles were refereed by the Devil. 

A witch battle seems different from the traditional witches' Sabbath, but European stories of battles between supernatural beings may originally have contributed to the idea of the Sabbath. Carlo Ginzburg, the Italian historian I mentioned last week, claims many European cultures shared a common myth: that good supernatural beings, often people whose spirits could leave their bodies at night, would fight evil supernatural beings, usually witches, for the fertility of the land and bounty of the harvest. Quite often, the battle was between the spiritual warriors of two adjacent villages, as in the story about Moodus.

Historical records show that many people in Europe thought they did leave their bodies at night to participate in these battles, and they shared this information openly with neighbors. As you can imagine, they were not popular with the Catholic Church, and these night battlers were often accused of witchcraft. Over time and under the influence of the Church, the myth changed. Rather than good and evil spirits fighting for fertility, these nocturnal gatherings were now said to filled only with evil spirits (witches) who worked for the Devil. Voila! The idea of the witches' Sabbath was born.

I don't know where the story about the battling witches of Moodus originated, but it's amazing to see such an old European mythic idea in Connecticut. It's definitely something that could use more investigation, but for now I'll just accept it as one more mystery of the witches' Sabbath. I hope you enjoyed this little overview of the Sabbath, and be careful when you walk around at night...

September 07, 2014

The Witches' Sabbath in New England: Part 1

Imagine yourself walking through the New England forest on a moonlit night. You're lost in your thoughts, concentrating on the path so you can get home safely, when suddenly you hear the sound of voices off among the trees. 

You stop, and looking off into the woods you see a fire flickering. You see silhouettes of women and men gathered around it. A tall dark figure climbs onto a boulder. Holding a book in one hand he begins to speak in a deep, sepulchral voice. Is it the local minister holding a special outdoor service?

Curious, you leave the path and draw closer. As you get closer to the fire you realize the man on the boulder isn’t the pastor, and maybe isn’t even fully human. You’ve stumbled upon the witches’ Sabbath.

Ooops. Make sure you don't sign your name into that big book they're offering you...

That witches gather together to work evil magic communally is an idea appearing sporadically throughout history, but texts like the Compendium Maleficarium made it very popular in Europe beginning sometime in the Renaissance. Medieval Europe had previously been riven by conspiracy theories claiming lepers, Muslims or Jews were conspiring to overthrow Christianity, but with the witches’ Sabbath Europeans could now fear that their own neighbors were conspiring with the Devil to destroy society. Truly, the Renaissance was an age of progress!

Detail from a painting by Goya.

The historian Carlo Ginzburg gives a brief summary of what the Sabbath entails:

Male and female witches met at night, generally in solitary places, in fields or on mountains. Sometimes, having anointed their bodies, they flew, arriving astride poles or brooms sticks; sometimes they arrived on the backs of animals, or transformed into animals themselves. Those who came for the first time had to renounce the Christian faith, desecrate the sacrament and offer homage to the Devil, who was present in human or (most often) animal or semi-animal form. There would follow banquets, dancing, sexual orgies. Before returning home the female and male witches received evil ointments made from children’s fat and other ingredients.

Ginzburg is an Italian historian, and he writes mostly about continental Europe. The Sabbath was not as prevalent an idea in the British Islands, and since Englishmen originally colonized this area it was not at first prevalent here either. The earliest, pre-Salem witch trials don’t mention any Sabbath-like meetings, just solitary witches working alone.

The Salem trials changed that. So many people were accused of witchcraft it seemed obvious they must be working together. As the trials went on the image of the witches’ Sabbath began to appear in both the accusations and confessions. It was similar to what appeared in European trials, but with some significant differences.

It was not called a Sabbath, but instead was called a witch meeting. The Puritans called their Sunday religious service “Sunday meeting”, so it makes sense the witches would use a similar term for their gathering. Unlike the European version, the Salem witch meeting didn’t involve sexual orgies or ointments made from babies’ fat. Instead, the witches gathered to listen to the Devil or his earthly delegate (supposedly the Reverend George Burroughs) urge them to work harder and overthrow God’s kingdom in New England. The witches and their master wanted to found a social order where people could “live bravely, in equality, with no future resurrection or judgment, no punishment or even shame for sin.” Just as the witches’ meeting was a reversal of Sunday meetings, their social order was going to be a reversal of the Puritan one.

To drive home this point, the witches held their meetings not in a remote forest or hilltop, but in a meadow next to the home of Salem’s minister Samuel Parris. They also celebrated an unholy sacrament by eating “red bread” and red wine. Many witches allegedly signed their pacts with the Devil using a red liquid, and it is implied that human blood was an ingredient in the bread, wine and ink.

It’s important to note that the witches supposedly attended this meeting with their spectral bodies, not their physical ones. Even those witches who flew there astride poles did so in spirit form. No one could see the witch meetings except those who attended and those who were afflicted by their magic. It happened invisibly right in the middle of Salem Village. At least, that's what was said during the trials.

A photo from Rob Zombie's film The Lords of Salem.

The Salem witch trials lasted only a year before they fell apart under the weight of ever broader accusations. But the idea of a witch’s Sabbath in New England became imprinted into the folk consciousness and literature of our region.

Probably the most famous literary depiction of the witches’ Sabbath appears in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 story “Young Goodman Brown.” Maybe you haven't read this one since high school, so here's a refresher.

The title character leaves his wife (the aptly named Faith) alone in their Salem home one night to journey with a mysterious stranger deep into the forest. The stranger (who is clearly the Devil) is leading Goodman Brown to a witch meeting so he can sell his soul. Brown is hesitant to sign himself over to Satan, but as he walks he sees many prominent neighbors heading in the same direction, including the woman who taught him the Christian catechism and the church deacon.

Goodman Brown finally arrives at a clearing in the forest dominated by a large boulder shaped like a pulpit. Gathered in the clearing are hundreds of people including the prominent pious leaders of Salem, notorious sinners, and even the local Indians. Goodman Brown is amazed to see them all mingling together.

The Devil says,

“There are all who ye have reverenced from youth. Ye deemed them holier than yourselves, and shrank from your own sin, contrasting it with their lives of righteousness and prayerful aspirations heavenward. Yet here they are the all in my worshipping assembly. This night it shall be granted you to know their secret deeds; how hoary-bearded elders of the church have whispered wanton words to the young maids of their households; how many a woman, eager for widows’ weeds, has given her husband a drink at bedtime and let him sleep his last sleep in her bosom; how beardless youths have made haste to inherit their fathers’ wealth...”

The Devil prepares to baptize (with blood) Goodman Brown and a young veiled woman, but when the woman is revealed to be his wife Faith, Goodman Brown shouts for her to look to Heaven and resist Satan. The Sabbath vanishes in an instant, and Brown staggers into Salem as the sun rises. His neighbors and wife greet him warmly, never mentioning the Sabbath, but Brown recoils at their touch.

Had Goodman Brown really just spent the night asleep in the woods? Was it all really just a dream? Perhaps, but for the rest of his life Goodman Brown is aware of the miasma of evil surrounding humanity. When he dies his family “carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone; for his dying hour was gloom.”

I'm sorry to end on a grim note, but when you read Hawthorne you have to expect that. But don't be too sad. Next week I'll delve into the more folkloric aspects of the witches' Sabbath, which are a little more fun. 

My sources for this week's post: Carlo Ginzburg Ecstasies: Deciphering the Witches' Sabbath; Marilynne K. Roach The Salem Witch Trials. A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege; and Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown."

September 01, 2014

The Lingering Wolf: Israel Putnam's Acts of Heroism

Israel Putnam (1718 - 1790) is one of the great folk heroes of Connecticut. He had the type of crazy exploits that could only be had in our country's infancy.

For example, Putnam escaped British soldiers during the Revolution by leaping over a cliff with his horse. He challenged someone to a duel where they both sat on lit kegs of gun powder. He was even briefly the commander-in-chief of American forces during the Revolution. He is also rumored to have been the person who said, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" at the Battle of Bunker Hill. I don't anyone alive will ever be quite so heroic.

Before he became a war hero Putnam was a hard-working farmer in Pomfret, Connecticut. He had moved to the town in 1739 at the tender age of 21. But even as farmer Putnam demonstrated heroism.

Israel Putnam

Pomfret was a prosperous farming community, but it had one major problem. A she-wolf lived on the outskirts of town, and she and her pups frequently ravaged the town's livestock. The townspeople had been able to trap and kill all her children, but the she-wolf herself always escaped their snares. But not without damage - she had once lost two of her toes in a trap.

One winter day Israel Putnam went to check his livestock, and was horrified when he entered the barn to see that seventy of his sheep and goats had been slaughtered. Outside the barn he saw wolf prints in the snow leading into the woods. One of the paw prints only had three toes.

Putnam rounded up some neighbors, and along with one of his slaves and some hounds set off to track down the she-wolf. The animal's tracks led them through the woods and across the hills for miles, until they led at last into a cave only a few miles from the Putnam farm. Putnam laughed! He had the murderous wolf trapped.

He first sent one of his hounds into the cave. Putnam and his neighbors heard terrible growling and barking from inside the cave. The hound came running out, wounded and bloody and with its tail between its legs. Putnam thought, "Hmmm! Time for plan two."

Putnam turned to his slave and instructed him to enter the cave and kill the wolf. Having seen what happened to the wolf, the slave refused. Putnam thought for a moment and said, "Alright, then I'll do it myself."

Putnam asked his neighbors to tie a rope around his ankle and then crawled into the cave, which was long, low and narrow. As he reached the end of the cave he could see the wolf's eyes shining in the torchlight. It growled menacingly. Putnam realized he had left his rifle outside, so he pulled on the roped. His neighbors pulled him out as fast as they could, dragging him across the sharp stones and ripping his clothes.

Bloodied but still determined, he grabbed his rifle and crawled back into the cave. His neighbors heard a single gunshot, and felt a tug on the rope. They pulled Putnam out (more slowly this time), and when he emerged from the cave he had the wolf with him. It was dead.

An 1835 drawing of the wolf's den (Connecticut Historical Society)

The wolf was hung on a spike inside the local tavern, and all the local farmers came to celebrate. Israel Putnam was declared a hero, and this youthful act of heroism set the tone for the rest of his illustrious life. Would he ever have been a war hero if he hadn't first killed that wolf?

The wolf is certainly still closely associated with Israel Putnam. Wolf heads adorn his monument in Brooklyn, Connecticut, and when the Abington Social Library in Abington, Connecticut wanted to honor Putnam's memory they asked a sculptor to carve a wolf statue from wood.

Things didn't go too well for the library. The sculptor made them a statue, but it burned in a fire of unknown cause before he could deliver it. He carved a second one, but this too burned in a mysterious fire. I would have given up, but the sculptor must have really needed a paycheck, because he finally carved and delivered a third statue to the Abington Social Library.

The third statue didn't go up in flames, but something odd happened when it was delivered to the library. Everyone in the building heard the eerie howling of a wolf, which seemed to be coming from outside the building. The next day they saw wolf tracks surrounding the library in the snow. One of the paw prints only had three toes.

The wolf's den is located in Mashamoquet Brook State Park, only a short distance from the library, and a plaque next to the den recounts Putnam's slaying of the wolf. It was the last wolf ever seen in Connecticut, but it sounds like its ghost is still lurking around. Israel Putnam's ghost is also supposedly still lurking around the area, and is seen most frequently in the building where his funeral was held.

Maybe Putnam is waiting for another heroic opportunity, but it was a lot easier to be a hero in the 1700s. New England was much more agricultural then, and of course Israel Putnam had to kill the wolf. If he didn't, more people would lose livestock and possibly starve during the winter. But to a modern sensibility killing an animal doesn't seem quite so heroic. It's not like he killed it with his bare hands - he shot it when it was cornered. And he decided to go into the cave only after his slave refused. A wolf-shooting slave owner would go to prison in the 21st century.

I'm happy the wolf's ghost might still be around. It can keep Putnam's ghost company, and maybe the two of them can resolve some of the conflicting issues of guilt and heroism that this story creates.

I got the information for this week's post from David Philips's Legendary Connecticut: Traditional Tales from the Nutmeg State, and Donna Kent's Ghost Stories and Legends of Eastern Connecticut