New England Legends Podcast

New England Legends Podcast

Each week, folklorist, author, and historian Jeff Belanger and radio host Ray Auger explore the ghosts, monsters, folklore, history, and legends of New England. If you give us about ten minutes, we’ll give you something strange to talk about today. The bizarre is closer than you think!... Show More

Episodes

February 25, 2021 13 min

In Episode 184, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger don their gym shorts and pump some iron in Voluntown, Connecticut, while they search for Elmer Bitgood: the strongest man in New England. Bitgood kept himself in the newspapers between 1909 and 1916 by performing various feats of strength, including lifting 2600 pounds in front of reporters! But when you make bold claims, others will come gunning for you. Enter Bartello the Great for a po...

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February 18, 2021 12 min

In Episode 183, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the haunted Nordica Auditorium on the campus of the University of Maine, Farmington. Lillian Nordica was an opera singer from Farmington who rose to international fame in the 1880s. Unlucky at love, but adored by millions, she’s considered the first American Diva. They say her ghost can still be heard warming up in the auditorium named after her.

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February 11, 2021 12 min

In Episode 182, for Valentine’s Day, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger visit a Little Compton, Rhode Island, cemetery in search of the grave of Elizabeth, whose epitaph reads: Should have been the wife of Simeon Palmer. Elizabeth died in 1776. Was her epitaph an indication that she’s still pining for Simeon, the guy who got away? Or is there something else behind the strange message?

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February 4, 2021 13 min

In Episode 181, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger stroll down Charles Street in Newburyport, Massachusetts, searching for a haunted schoolhouse. Back in 1870, the schoolhouse ghosts kept this building in the newspapers for years to come, drawing in the curious and the skeptical. Much was published on the details of this on-going haunting that rattled the students and the poor teacher.

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January 28, 2021 13 min

In Episode 180, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger travel to the banks of the White River in Hartford, Vermont, searching for ghostly legends that dates back to 1887, when the Montreal Express train jumped the track just before bridge. The event led to a horrific loss of life, it changed the way the rail system operates, and left a stain on this region that can never be washed away.

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January 21, 2021 10 min

In Episode 179, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the shores of Beaver Lake in Derry, New Hampshire, searching for the Derry Fairy. In the 1600s, Tsienneto, came to the lake and built shelter on an enchanted island in the middle. While hunting near the lake, he had a run-in with the local Pawtucket people. The capture lead to prophecy and legend with later ties to colonists and even (possibly) the United States space program.

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January 14, 2021 12 min

In Episode 178, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger head to Peck’s Hollow in Franklin, Connecticut, in search of Micah Rood’s former farm and a cursed apple tree that dates back to an alleged murder from the early 1700s. For many decades, folks in eastern Connecticut had to wonder when they bit into a Mike apple if those red specs were just pigmentation, or drops of blood from a murdered French peddler.

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January 7, 2021 11 min

In Episode 177, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the shores of Rockport Harbor in Maine, searching for the legend of a seal who stole the hearts of locals and tourists from 1961 to 1986. Andre the seal was adopted by Harry Goodridge when he was two days old, then became a local fixture. His story led to books, a statue, and even a Hollywood movie. But not everyone loved Andre.

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December 31, 2020 12 min

In Episode 176, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger return to the scene of a New Year’s Eve murder in Cranston, Rhode Island, in search of the events that lead to the haunting of the Governor Sprague Mansion. The accused man was hanged in 1845, but posthumously pardoned in 2011. So who done it? And who haunts the Sprague Mansion today?

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December 24, 2020 13 min

In Episode 175, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger stroll Boston Common to see this year’s Christmas tree. The tree is an annual gift from the people of Halifax, Nova Scotia – a gift that traces its roots back to a horrible tragedy that took place December 6, 1917, when a French ship carrying munitions exploded, instantly killing hundreds of people, and injuring thousands more. Out of this dark day came a bright light of hope when neighbo...

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December 17, 2020 12 min

In Episode 174, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger head to Jericho, Vermont, in search of snow. In 1885, Wilson Bentley figured out a way to attach his camera to a microscope and capture the first close-up photograph of a snowflake. In the coming years he would photograph thousands of images showing the intricate beauty of these ice crystals. His images would be published around the world and even hang in art galleries proving no two flak...

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December 10, 2020 12 min

In Episode 173, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger hike up to an old cellar hole and cemetery in Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire, in search of an eccentric photographer from the late 1800s named George Goodrich. However, folks around the nearby town of Raymond called him: The Barefoot Farmer. Though he looked like a disheveled vagabond to the untrained eye of tourists, locals knew he was one of the wealthiest men in town.

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December 3, 2020 12 min

In Episode 172, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger hike through a Bristol, Rhode Island, cemetery searching for a burial mound and crime scene. In the woods behind this small cemetery sits a mound of dirt containing the robbed crypt of Captain James DeWolf, a former slave trader who whose grave was desecrated in 1842. Today this crypt is a once-prominent family’s dirty secret.

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In Episode 171, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger spend Thanksgiving in a Whitman, Massachusetts, parking lot located between a fast food restaurant and a chain drug store in search of the sacred birthplace of the one of America’s most beloved holiday baked goods: the Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie. In 1938, Ruth Wakefield’s kitchen concoction turned from a happy accident into a nation-wide phenomenon. We’ll find out how!

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November 19, 2020 22 min

In Episode 170, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger drive through the suburbs of Griswold, Connecticut, in search of a vampire unearthed by state archaeologist Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni back in 1990. The vampire, dubbed J.B. 55, may have been Griswold’s first vampire, but he would not be the last. As we’ve seen before, vampires show up in times of plagues. We can’t help but wonder if they’re poised to return.

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November 12, 2020 12 min

In Episode 169, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger sail out from Freeport, Maine, in search of the ghost ship Dash, a merchant brig and privateer made famous during the War of 1812. In January of 1815, Dash sailed into a storm and into legend when she vanished. But that wasn’t the last of her. They say for years to come the ghost ship Dash would sail into Casco Bay when some loved one from the lost crew was ready to pass on.

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November 5, 2020 13 min

In Episode 168, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger stroll the grounds of Green Mount Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont, searching for the mortal remains of war hero General Ethan Allen. A 42-foot-tall monument to Allen stands as the tallest structure in the cemetery, however, his bones are NOT buried there. So where IS the body of Ethan Allen today?

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October 29, 2020 37 min

In Episode 167, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger go trick-or-treating at the haunted Lizzie Borden House and Museum in Fall River, Massachusetts. In this Halloween special, we explore the infamous case from August 4, 1892, and the haunt the double-murder left behind. We walk room-by-room with tour guide Sue as we take in the house, examine crime scene photos, and sit where Andrew Borden’s skull was crushed in while he napped. Happy Hall...

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In Episode 166, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger hike up to Purgatory Falls in Lyndeborough, New Hampshire, searching for the Devil’s Footprint and the Devil’s Bean Pot. How were these unique stone features formed? They say Old Scratch came calling one day, and tried to cook lunch for some local ministers.

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October 15, 2020 9 min

In Episode 165, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger stroll down Tucker Hollow Road in Foster, Rhode Island, in search of the ghost of Aunt Lonnie – a hermit of a woman who placed a curse on her house. Her wish upon her death was that her home be dismantled so no one else could ever live there. Today she still haunts the old dirt road.

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