FC 063 Mysteries and Legends New England with Diana Ross McCain

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Diana Ross McCain, author of the book Mysteries and Legends New England: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained.

Bio

Mysteries and Legends New England with Diana Ross McCain on Fieldstone CommonDiana Ross McCain has written about Connecticut’s past for more than 25 years and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. A frequent contributor to Early American Life and Connecticut magazines, and The Hartford Courant, McCain wrote the award-winning publication To All on Equal Terms, the story of Connecticut’s official state heroine, Prudence Crandall. She is the head of the Research Center at the Connecticut Historical Society.

Book Summary

Have you ever heard of the Leather Man who wandered a 365 mile route through Connecticut and Eastern New York? Is there any truth to the tale of Captain Kidd’s treasure being buried in New England? What was the terrifying fear of 19th century Americans? Mysteries and Legends New England contains thirteen mind-boggling tales from Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. From vampires to an angel, a ghost rapper to a phantom ship, Mysteries and Legends of New England pulls back the curtain on some of the region’s most fascinating and compelling stories.

Book InfoMysteries and Legends New England with Diana Ross McCain on Fieldstone Common

Title: Mysteries and Legends New England: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained

Publisher: Globe Pequot Press (2009)

Trade paperback; 181 pages with bibliography, index and some BxW photos and illustrations.

Mysteries and Legends New England: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview we explore in-depth the story of the mysterious Leather Man who walked a 34 day route through 365 miles of Connecticut and Eastern New York and how he became a familiar face and a legend during his lifetime. We also look into the curious but very real fear that 19th century Americans had of being buried alive despite the fact that there were very few documented cases of it actually occurring. Are you familiar with the story of Captiain Kidd? He was more than just a pirate legend! He was a gentleman with a wife and daughter living in New York City until things went very, very wrong. And let’s not forget the discussion on concealed garments and shoes. The tradition, brought over from England, was that these items would be tucked into the walls of houses during construction to ward off evil spirits or to bring good luck.

At the end of the interview Diana tells us about the Connecticut Historical Society and the amazing historical and genealogical resources available there. She also mentions some of her other books which are listed here:

Prize Winners

Two copies of Mysteries and Legends New England were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Globe Pequot Press.

The winners are:

  • Kim Myers of Oregon
  • Connie Pine of Texas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the Globe Pequot Press for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

News & Announcements

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 063)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 63 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

FC 062 Vampires: Food for the Dead with Michael Bell

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Michael Bell, author of the book Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires.

Bio

Michael E. Bell was awarded a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University at Bloomington, where his dissertation topic was African-American voodoo practices. He also has an M.A. Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires with Michael Bell on Fieldstone Commonin Folklore and Mythology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Arizona, Tucson. For more than twenty-five years, Bell was the Consulting Folklorist at the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission in Providence, Rhode Island. He has also taught folklore, English, and anthropology at several colleges and universities. Dr. Bell has served as a scholar or consultant on numerous projects, particularly those concerned with folklore, folk art, oral history, and humanities programs for young adults. These projects have taken a variety of forms, including primary research and fieldwork, exhibits, publications, school curricula, workshops and lectures, festivals, performances, and media productions. In addition to many state and local grants, project funding sources have included the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution. Bell has completed a variety of publications and media productions on topics ranging from local legends and the magical black cat bone to the occupational folklife of the shell fishing industry of Narragansett Bay. He lives in Pawtuxet Village, near Providence, Rhode Island.

You can learn more about Michael at his website www.foodforthedeadcom.com. Also, check out his schedule of upcoming appearances.

Book Summary

For nineteenth-century New Englanders, “vampires” lurked behind tuberculosis. To try to rid their houses and communities from the scourge of the wasting disease, families sometimes relied on folk practices, including exhuming and consuming the bodies of the deceased. Author and folklorist Michael E. Bell spent twenty years pursuing stories of the vampire in New England. While writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Henry David Thoreau, and Amy Lowell drew on portions of these stories in their writings, Bell brings the actual practices to light for the first time. He shows that the belief in vampires was widespread, and, for some families, lasted well into the twentieth century. With humor, insight, and sympathy, he uncovers story upon story of dying men, women, and children who believed they were food for the dead.

Book InfoFood for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires with Michael Bell on Fieldstone Common

Title: Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires

Publisher: Wesleyan University Press (2011)

Trade paperback; 337 pages with appendices, end notes, works cited and some BxW photos.

Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Michael Bell and I explore the folk stories and folk beliefs behind the tragic epidemic of tuberculosis that lead some New Englanders to believe that they were being sickened and fed upon by the dead. New England vampirism differed greatly with traditional mass media images of Eastern European vampires.  In New England the practice arose from the fear and sense of helplessness in combating the spread of tuberculosis.  Yet it had the very real consequence of exhuming loved ones who had died from the disease and the ritual treatment of their bodies to put an end to further deaths of family members. Is vampirism in New England for real? Listen to the interview and decide for yourself!

Prize Winners

Two copies of Food for the Dead were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Wesleyan University Press.

The winners are:

  • Kathy Hyde of California
  • Rice Jackson of Texas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the Wesleyan University Press for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

News & Announcements

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 062)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 62 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

Show Notes – Sleepy Hollow with Jonathan Kruk

The Legend and Lore of Sleepy Hollow with Jonathan Kruk on Fieldstone CommonFollowing are some items that were mentioned during the 11 October 2012 Fieldstone Common interview with storyteller Jonathan Kruk, author of The Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley.

The podcast of the interview is now available.

Jonathan Kruk’s book the Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley is available from Amazon.com and other books sellers. For an autographed copy of Jonathan’s book please order through his website.

Learn more about Jonathan Kruk from his website and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

In July 2013, Jonathan’s second book, The Legends and Lore of the Hudson Highlands, will be published by the History Press.

One of Jonathan’s current projects is to provide content for the historical research subscription site BiblioLabs.

Jonathan Kruk has recorded many of his Sleepy Hollow and Hudson Valley tales for digital listening. You can find them on Amazon.com.

He also gives many presentations to school and organizations. You can find information about his programs and book one through his website.

The History Press, the publisher of Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley, donated two copies that were given as a door prizes during the live show. A big thank you to the History Press for  their generosity!

Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis

The Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow with Jonathan Kruk

Author and storyteller Jonathan Kruk
photo by Todd Atteberry

Listen in to Fieldstone Common this week as host Marian Pierre-Louis talks to Jonathan Kruk, author of Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley.

Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is one of the best-known works of American literature. But what other myths lie hidden behind the landscape of New York’s Hudson Valley? Imps cause mischief on the Hudson River; a white lady haunts Raven Rock, Major Andre’s ghost seeks redemption and real headless Hessians search for their severed skulls. Storyteller Jonathan Kruk tells these and other tales of the lore of the Hudson Valley–the stories that have created an atmosphere of mystery that helped inspire Irving’s legend.

Studying English, and educational theater, Kruk earned a B.A. from Holy Cross College, and a M.A. from New York University. He performed Ritual Urban Theater with Gabrielle Roth, and entertained at over 1000 children’s birthday parties. The Freeport Schools on Long Island made him storyteller in residence. Now, he enchants children every year at hundreds of schools, libraries, historic sites and festivals performing finger fables, story theater and New York lore.

His book Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley was published in 2011 by The History Press. He has keynoted for New York State reading teachers, environmental educators, national native plants conference, and the Hudson River Quadricentennial, and American Revolution’s 225th anniversary.

LIVE: THURSDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2012 at 1:00pm EST

Copyright 2012-2013 Marian Pierre-Louis