By Noreen Wise, author of The Secret Tortoise of Sleep Hollow SAGA I
I’ve shared several ghost stories that seem to prove irrefutably that ghosts are real, so here’s yet another one. I truly hope that more scientists will study stories like these so we can form a set of facts that the public can trust and apply to similar encounters. This will increase the amount of anecdotal evidence that will likely lead to many new discoveries.
Look at where the door to mathematics led after Pythagoras, the Father of Mathematics & Geometry, discovered the math and perfection in nature and established the Pythagorean theorem. I’m so sorry, I can never say that out loud correctly. You try it and see if you can do it.
I’ve been hypothesizing for years that there’s something about trees and nature that spirits gravitate toward, and that perhaps this is the reason why nature seems so alive (and nature is alive, of course, and brings so much comfort and solace). But I mean more alive than that.
Pythagoras’ discovery of the math in nature, and the perfection of nature, and the mathematical perfection in music’s quantum harmonies that lead us, quote unquote, “to the cosmos,” seems to be yet another clue that nature too connects with the cosmos.
Why aren’t scientists studying this, if Pythagoras uncovered all these connections 2500 years ago?
And to be honest, native Americans also believed that nature was cosmic, they referred to nature as the “Great Spirit.” So please know, I’m not the only one who wonders about the spookiness of trees.
Further, you’ll soon see just how many of these stories are connected to towns with a strong native American footprint. For example, in the first Spooky Story, the setting along the Connecticut River was South Glastonbury, Connecticut, which is considered the greatest flood plain of Native American artifacts in Connecticut, dating back 6,000 years. 6,000 years.
A recent excavation in 2015 in South Glastonbury, following the discovery of Native American artifacts by Howard Horton on his tobacco farm, unearthed a native American fire pit and shelter from 4,000 years ago. That’s 1500 years BEFORE Pythagors who lived in Greece. This is beyond mind blowing, it borders on unfathomable.
So the first Secret Tortoise of Sleepy Hollow Spooky Story that included the terrifying tree branch turned missile, doesn’t really surprise me at all. And if you’re into weird twists and turns, the farm where this 4,000 year old discovery in 2015 was made, is the exact location of where Billy Joel filmed his River of Dreams music video in 1993. Maybe someone should ask Billy Joel how he chose this location. I read that he was on a helicopter flying up the Connecticut River in search for an ideal site, and pointed to the red barns that he saw from the sky. They landed and spoke with Mr. Horton and Mr. Horton agreed for his farm and barn to be used in the music video. Maybe this is cosmic, too. After all, Billy Joel’s music has a bazillion quantum harmonies. In fact, I consider Billy Joel the father of modern day quantum harmonies.
So, the haunted red saltbox house that I rented and told you about in the Pilot first Spooky Story was less than 2 miles from this scared Native American location.
Anyway, wait for it. There’s a lot more freaky connections to add to this Native American thread.
It was an abnormally hot June day in Simsbury, Connecticut. Simsbury was founded in 1670, and is another historic Connecticut village. It’s the town where I was raised and returned to for two years with my son following my divorce. Simsbury has a mountain on one side with a big cave. As children, we referred to the cave as King Philip’s cave.
King Philip was a fairly brutal Wampanoag Indian Chief who retaliated against the early New England settlers by going from village to village and terrorizing the citizens in what was referred to as Metacom’s War. Legend has it that while King Philip’s warriors burned Simsbury to the ground in 1675, King Philip watched with glee from the cave in the mountain that today is called Avon Mountain. The cave seems to haunt everyone in the Valley because it’s so visible. Every day you look at the mountain and see the cave and say to yourself “King Philip’s Cave” and you have mental picture of the Indian Chief smiling while Simsbury burned to the ground.
So here I am back in Simsbury as an adult. My son was visiting his dad for the summer. The plan was to relocate my son and I to Chapel Hill North Carolina at the end of the year.
I was in the midst of placing everything in storage for the summer, so I could travel. I rented a uHaul. As I began unloading boxes into the storage unit that was located on the Farmington River, in the middle of the cleared forest, I was chugging ice cold water because of the intense heat, which quickly turned into sweat because of the thick humidity.
I was suddenly gripped by a bout of icy shivers. It felt bizarre, so unexplainable, making it difficult to wrap my mind around. Connecticut was in the grips of a weird heat wave, so the temperature in the direct sun hovered close to 100 degrees. I stepped into the hot sunshine to warm up, but my teeth began to chatter. I was bitter cold. After several seconds, I determined that this could only be one thing. It was the trademark phenomenon of a ghost’s presence.
The similar spooky ordeal at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, had only been 6 months prior, so my antenna was still on high alert after that experience. The challenging part though, is that no matter how confident I may feel that a spooky experience is a ghost, I’m very reluctant to say it out loud, especially if I don’t know the person who I’m about to mention it too. Last time it took champagne to get me to the front desk and spill my story. I didn’t have that inhibition this time.
My family had obviously warped me and taught me how to bite my tongue and hold back. However, I often feel like a citizen scientist, forever seeking proof, and the only way to get it, is by opening your mouth and asking questions. After ten minutes of debating back and forth, I decided, I would likely never see the girl in the office again. And she didn’t know me at all. We existed in two different bubbles. She looked like a college student with a summer job. Besides it was a hot day. I could blame my curiosity on the heat.
I threw all caution to the wind and darted to the office to ask my bizarre question “Is this land haunted? Did someone die here?” I blurted out, after opening the door and walking in.
The girl opened her eyes wide and laughed “Oh, didn’t you know? Yes, of course. This is the sight of what’s considered the first 911 call. A train crossing the river behind the storage units back in 1878, derailed and three passenger cars fell into the icy water. Thirteen people died. The bodies were all brought to lay in wait for the coroner and medical workers where the storage units are today. Lots of tenants talk about having ghost experiences. I get spooked when I’m closing. I’ve seen shadows following me as I lock up.”
The first 911 call, really? Who knew. I had to quickly research to get more information.
So the train had been traveling on January 15, 1878 following a religious revival in Hartford with Dwight L. Moody. The bridge crossing over the Farmington River collapsed as soon as the first car had nearly completed its crossing, sending the luggage car and 3 passenger cars into the icy water.
A doctor named D. P. Pelletier learned of the accident, knew that a local pharmacist had recently installed Alexander Graham Bell’s speaking telephone, and ran to the drug store, to call fellow doctors to the scene. Apparently in 1878, doctors were some of the first ones, and only ones, to have Alexander Graham Bell’s speaking telephone installed at their offices. As was mentioned, thirteen people perished and 70 were injured. It’s believed that many more would have died if not for Dr. Pelletier’s calls to his fellow doctors who rushed to the seen.
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