The Mini Lights of St. Petersburg ended up being one of the most interesting legend trips we’ve done, not because of any evidence we got, but for the rich insight it gave us into the community and the challenges it provided for trying to figure out where things happened and what the straight story might be.
Ends up there isn’t one location and there isn’t one story. You can spend your time trying to straighten out spaghetti or you can devour the bowl and ask for some garlic bread and meatballs.
Check out the episode we did on the way and after… http://triplegend.hipcast.com/deluge/triplegend-20170326103541-9630.mp3
As well as some follow up on that case and the Devil’s Tree in Port St. Lucie… http://triplegend.hipcast.com/deluge/triplegend-20170327012736-6406.mp3
…and hear the show where we first talk about it…http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HtJFN9GQ
…and more about the Devil’s Tree and the mysterious draw to the ruins. http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HQRrNrBQ
Subscibe to the full show at http://triplegend.hipcast.com/rss/tol1.xml or search for us on Sticher, TuneIn and Itunes and Google Play.
Most of the locals who walk along the picturesque trails circling Horn Pond know little of its history. They do not know how it was once used to carry supplies in and out of nearby Boston. They look across its empty surface and do not know that boats and swimmers used to sail and play and laugh.
They do not know it is haunted.
Horn Pond has been a source of mystery since before it was settled. Native Americans in the area stayed away from the pond. Their legends tell of a great battle between the gods of light and the gods of darkness. The bad guys were winning victories all across the land, forcing the good guys to run and hide and try to regroup. Finding a hiding place in Woburn, they made the mountains of Woburn their home until they got word the bad guys had found their hiding place. They dug out a trench, waited for the evil ones to enter it and then filled it with water, trapping the demons beneath the surface but not killing them.
It’s not a new story. In fact, there are several similar references to this kind of battle, including one in Lakeville, Massachusetts, where the legend is attached to Pukwudgies. There the curse was responsible for the sketchy murder of John Sassamon, the spark of King Phillip’s War. The backstory is also responsible for haunted ponds and lakes in Minnesota, Michigan, and Oregon.
It may be the demons that have taken the lives of the people on Horn Pond, but it the human spirits people believe they see at night. In the past two hundred years the body of water has taken the life of over forty-five people, an amount made even more outrageous by the size of the pond. Most of the accidents involved boating errors or small children. There have been some reports of falling through the ice, but what is unusual is that there is no curse or negative Native American-settler story attached to the area. Most bodies of water considered this haunted in New England have a story of a settler taking the life of a Native and the pond becoming a source of death as revenge. Natives and modern Americans seem equally affected by the forces.
The haunting happen at night and during the day. The pond is used for nature walks and has foot traffic even on the coldest day. Some people have said the mood changes when they reach certain spots. They have feeling fine and then need to stop walking and turn around. They often feel as if they are being watched. Dogs have been known to bark or whimper and then become normal again.
At night lights have been seen above the water. They have been described as bright blue, round, several feet tall and hovering above the water. Several people have seen people walking on the water, always with their back to the viewer. One local tells of a canoe she has seen several times. The canoe always is seen sailing to the middle of the pond and then fades away as she watches. The water itself is closed to both boats and swimmers.
When I first approached Gerhard it was for a much different show than the one that will air tonight. Back in 2007, John Horrigan appeared to debate the merits of the Roswell Crash with Matt Moniz. The show, which falls outside of what I’m normally drawn to in the world of the paranormal, is still one of my favorites because of the format. Side were drawn, topics about the event were chosen, and Horrigan and Moniz went round by round, battling it out over whether the incident had happened and whether details of the case added to its credibility. After each round, the audience voted over who had made the better argument. I don’t remember who won (feel free to listen to the podcast and decide for yourself who makes the better case), I just remember enjoying listening to these two well educated and articulate men go blow for blow on the case.
The idea I had was to do the same thing with some of the better known cryptids that were out there. It was a bit of a gimmick, but I also thought it was an interesting way for us to feature some knowledgeable guests and have them on in a new way for the audience. My first battle was to get an authority on pukwudgies to debate someone on another well known beast. Eric and Lon Strickler of Beyond the Edge Radio were quick to give me Ken Gerhard’s name, so I contacted him about the idea of putting the Jersey Devil against our little guy.
It was a no go, and looking back, I’m left wondering whether this kind of show can exist. Gerhard made the point that the two creatures really shared nothing in common other than the fact they were unexplained and mostly from the Northeast. He went on to talk about how he was unclear what the focus would be; who was the truer monster, who was more real; who was cooler or easier to investigate, who would win in a fight?
We like to do this with the paranormal, the same way we like to do this with all aspects of our life. Who would win in a fight between Batman and Captain America? Who was the best quarterback to ever play the game? What’s the greatest album of all time. We start comparing apples to oranges and think our side is always right.
I’m now convinced this can’t be done in the paranormal world, although that probably won’t stop people from trying. We can compare and contrast cases like Amityville and the Enfield Haunting and hash out what was different and what was the same, but I’m not sure we can come to any conclusion about it. There is knowledge to be found in placing them side by side, but I’m not sure we can ever place one above the other. One may be more credible, or one might have more details that can be explained, but that’s pretty much where the debate stops.
There is so much about the supernatural and paranormal world that defies compete categorization. The Jersey Devil might have a backstory like one cryptid and the actions of another and the physical description of yet another. Where can we place it? Of course, landmark cases or beasts create the standard for other comparisons. When John Tenney was recently on the show he described an elf that sounded much like a pukwudgie to some listeners. We use the details we have heard of one to establish understanding for another, which also explains how a rise in fame with the pukwudgie has made some alien witnesses start to rethink what exactly was in the room with them that night.
Tonight, instead of trying to move one monster ahead of another, we’ll hear about the Devil and some of the other cases Gerhard has looked into. Some details will be strikingly similar to others we’ve heard about while others will be new and thought provoking. Resist the urge to say one beast is better than the other, knowing there is no true yardstick for this kind of thing. We will always, as people interested in the unexplained, be drawn to the moments that connect to us, even if we don’t understand the reasons. The spooky heart wants what the spooky heart wants, and our continued search for what appeals to us always helps to move the discussion forward.
Still, a pack of pukwudgies could still take the Jersey Devil.