In this atmosphere of new science and nationalist sentiment, the Linnaean society’s enthusiasm feels understandable. They were also serious about their work. Using a list of 25 questions, the Society’s investigators interviewed as many eyewitnesses as they could find. Cross referencing their pile of affidavits, the team felt they had a clear picture of the […]Read more "Uncoiling the Gloucester Sea Serpent"
The winding, strange saga of a Massachusetts town and their local sea serpent.Read more "The Gloucester Sea Serpent"
Not all vampire cases ended in snorting or drinking the ashes of the dead, sometimes the prospective Nosferatu was simply flipped over face down in their coffin to disorient them. But the hoped for result was the same, that the vampire was now banished and their hold on the victim lost. Sometimes disturbing a family […]Read more "The Unquiet Sleep of Mercy Brown"
In life, John Barber didn’t look much like a vampire. For a start the obvious incisors, along with most of his front upper teeth, had fallen out by the time he died. Instead this man lived the hapless life of a 19th Century New England farmer outside of Griswold, Connecticut. This meant rocks, thin soil, […]Read more "The New England Vampire Panic"
By the end of March, 1839, the danger was mostly over. Yet the provocations continued. In 1840 John Baker stumbles back into our narrative with one more play for the title of “biggest jerk in the Aroostook”. This time at the head of a small militia Baker hosted another town meeting in Madawaska, appointed his […]Read more "Seeing the Forest"
This is typically the moment when we transition from setup to conflict. Much like the War of 1812, a series of frustrations, border tensions, bears, and imperial ambitions had soured relations beyond repair and both sides had called up the troops. Also like the War of 1812, no one in the high leadership of either […]Read more "If Peace Be Your Wish"
On March 6th Congress authorized the President to raise 50,000 volunteers and $10,000,000 to confront the British. The crisis was going international. The popular press in both countries now felt war was almost certain. To London and Canadian editors, the Aroostook situation looked like a deliberate escalation of the Patriot War. After all, Americans had […]Read more "Marching on to Madawask"
A month after the Battle of the Windmill, the situation in Maine finally seemed primed for war. While separate from the other kerfuffles along the Canadian border, tensions had only increased. The new Governor du Annum was John Fairfield, and even more than his predecessors he fed his constituents a solid diet of red meat […]Read more "Exit, Pursued by a Bear"
In 1837, longstanding political grievances in Canada finally erupted into armed conflict. The lessons from the American Revolution hadn’t really penetrated the minds of London’s statesmen. Canada’s governing structure still started in Great Britain then was distributed across the provinces, where power had long been consolidated in two small oligarchies: the English speaking Family Compact […]Read more "A Patriotic Filibuster"
The final flashpoint was at the Libbey Farm in Sudbury on the night of August 9th, 1925. As a recurrent meeting spot for the Klan, anti-Klanners from surrounding towns knew where to cluster in response. As 150-200 Klansmen began to gather that evening so did the anti-Klanners. The Klan came equipped for a fight, arming […]Read more "The Klan in Sudbury"