New England Legends Podcast

Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger

About

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

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278 episodes

The White Mountains Search for Pammy

In Episode 275 – the Thanksgiving Special – Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger search the White Mountains near Albany, New Hampshire, for Pamela Hollingworth, a five-year-old girl who went missing back in the Autumn of 1941. What followed was one of the largest and most closely-watched search parties to ever grace the region. For days New Englanders held their breath waiting for news of little Pammy’s fate.  See more on our Web site: https://ournewenglandlegends.com/podcast-275-the-white-mountains-search-for-pammy/

25m
Nov 24
A Ship Crewed By the Damned

In Episode 274, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger sail out of Gloucester Harbor in Massachusetts, aboard the fishing schooner Charles Haskell. In March of 1869, the Haskell was fishing on Georges Bank when a perfect storm knocked her into another vessel sinking the other ship and damning her crew. The ghosts of the sunken crew came back to haunt the Haskell. The story still haunts Gloucester Harbor. See more here: https://ournewenglandlegends.com/podcast-274-a-ship-crewed-by-the-damned/

23m
Nov 17
Little Shop of Ponemah Bog Horrors

In Episode 273, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger hike into Ponemah Bog in Amherst, New Hampshire, searching for some strange carnivorous plants that grow in the region. These plants are downright deadly… to the right species. Like the Venus Fly Trap that grows in the Carolinas, Ponemah Bog is home to plants like Sundews, Pitcher Plants, and Bladderworts. Could these plants have inspired the classic story and musical Little Shop of Horrors? Seymour (get it?) here: https://ournewenglandlegends.com/podcast-273-little-shop-of-ponemah-bog-horrors/

25m
Nov 10
The Phineas Gage Incident

In Episode 272, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger walk along the railroad tracks just south of Cavendish, Vermont, in search of the location of a horrible 1848 accident that launched an iron rod through the skull of railroad worker Phineas Gage. Gage became a medical miracle surviving the incident and becoming the subject of medical studies as well as a temporary living exhibit in P.T. Barnum’s American Museum. Today a monument in Cavendish commemorates the event and the doctor who saved Gage’s life.

21m
Nov 03
Halloween: The Shadow People

For Halloween Episode 271, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger remake an old radio drama called “The Shadow People.” Our friends Lorna Nogueira, Michael Legge, and John Wilbur join us to help recreate this spooky audio drama from the 1950s. We break our usual format for the sake of the most haunted holiday of the year. Enjoy!

31m
Oct 27
Berlin’s Crying House

In Episode 270, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger search for a house in Berlin, Connecticut, that was once so haunted locals wouldn’t live there very long. Doors opened and closed by themselves, but most frightening, the last tenant was haunted by the ghostly cries of an infant, though no children lived in the house at the time. The haunt made the newspapers back in 1888.

18m
Oct 20
The Ghost Ship Sea Bird

In Episode 269, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger search for the Sea Bird, a seaworthy ghost ship that beached near Newport, Rhode Island, in the Autumn of 1750. With no crew on board, and no sign of any trouble or theft, a legend was born. The captain and crew were never seen again. 135 years later, a plausible tale of mutiny and murder surfaced that made the newspapers, keeping us wondering what happened to the Sea Bird.

20m
Oct 13
Bangor Library’s Death Couch

In Episode 268, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the Bangor Public Library in Maine, in search of a couch where former Vice President Hannibal Hamlin drew his last breath. The couch has become a macabre attraction in the library due to its connection with presidential royalty… but you can’t sit on it! What happened? And how did it get here?

22m
Oct 06
The Dover Demon

In Episode 267, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger cruise down Farm Street in Dover, Massachusetts, looking for a strange monster who made an appearance back on April 21, 1977. Bill Bartlett didn’t have a camera, but being an artist, he was able to draw what he saw. It was like no other creature anyone had ever seen before. By the following night, three more people witnessed this strange creature that Loren Coleman first chronicled and dubbed the Dover Demon. Was it a cryptid? An alien? Something else?

20m
Sep 29
The Haunted Mt. Washington Hotel

In Episode 266, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the haunted Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Built in the White Mountains in 1900 by Joseph Stickney, he didn’t live long enough to get much use out of the hotel. His widow, Princess Carolyn inherited the hotel and made a reputation for throwing lavish parties and always being the best dressed. In 1944, the hotel was home to a huge international conference that would give rise to the IMF, the World Bank, and conspiracy theories that suggest maybe darker forces infiltrated those meetings.

21m
Sep 22
The Goonyak of Northern Vermont

In Episode 265, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger hunt for an eight-foot-tall humanoid giant of a creature in Craftsbury, Vermont, that locals called the Goonyak. Back in November of 1978, the Goonyak was all the talk on morning radio and in the newspapers. Some even said the body was recovered and sent to the University of Vermont. Is this the Northeast Kingdom’s version of Bigfoot? What exactly happened back in 1978?

18m
Sep 15
The Ghost of Wadsworth Athenaeum

In Episode 264, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger hunt for the ghost of the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut. Opened in 1844, this is the oldest continually-operating art museum in the United States. The haunting first made the newspapers back in 1911, when a group of past and present employees gathered to share their unexplained experiences inside the old building. The group thinks they know who is haunting the old Athenaeum.

18m
Sep 08
Purgatory Chasm’s Lover’s Leap

In Episode 263, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore a dangerous piece of rock at Purgatory Chasm in Middletown, Rhode Island, called Lover’s Leap. It was here long ago that they say a young heiress dared her would-be suitor to prove his love to her by jumping across the chasm. Will he make the jump? Will he get the girl? This was also the place where the Devil once landed after a cross-harbor leap.

19m
Sep 01
The Haunted Well of Sabattus

In Episode 262, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger search for a haunted well located at the back of Sabattus, Maine, cemetery where they say back in 2001, a kid was lowered down, and when he came back up his hair turned white, he’d ages decades, and he lost his mind. But is it true? We found the source!

20m
Aug 25
Half-Hanged Mary of Hadley

In Episode 261, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore Old Hadley Cemetery, in Hadley, Massachusetts, which is the final resting place of accused witch, Mary Webster. A ward of the town, Webster was accused of witchcraft in 1683 but found innocent. Though the court’s verdict wasn’t good enough for the people of Hadley. When a prominent church deacon fell under a strange illness in 1684, some locals were sure he was under a spell of Mary Webster, and they took matters into their own hands. They attempted to hang Webster, but she survived to go on an inspire author Margaret Atwood to write The Handmaid’s Tale.

22m
Aug 18
Orford is Electric Lady Land

In Episode 260, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the small town of Orford, New Hampshire, searching for a woman written up in the 1837 American Journal of Science for exhibiting the strange ability to shoot sparks from her body all day long with no ability to stop. Dr. Willard Hosford or Orford, documented this strange case that we’re still talking about today.

17m
Aug 11
From the Vault: The Bootlegger Queen of Vermont

In Episode 259, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger are forced to take a week off because they both have Covid! So this week they introduce you to an episode from the vault: The Bootlegger Queen of Vermont, which originally aired September 24, 2020. Back to 1925 in West Halifax, Vermont, during the height of prohibition, Hilda Stone made a name for herself running illegal booze from Canada. Stone became an icon in the newspapers, and was arrested more times than you can count on one hand.

15m
Aug 04
Connecticut’s Sleeping Giant

In Episode 258, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the hilly woods of Hamden, Connecticut, searching for a giant named Hobbomock. For centuries the Quinnipiac people told the story of a pesky giant who plagued their people. A giant who could change the course of rivers, and devour the local delicacies. The giant was ultimately tricked, and today you can still see where he lies sleeping in Hamden.

17m
Jul 28
From the Vault: The Day it Rained Fish in Olneyville, Rhode Island

In Episode 257, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger take a week off, so they introduce you to an episode from the vault: The Day it Rained Fish in Olneyville, Rhode Island, which originally aired June 24, 2021. At an unremarkable intersection in Providence, it once rained fish down from the sky back on May 15, 1900, but that wasn’t the only weird thing to make the headlines that day. Just across town, an explosion in a trolley car covered the occupants with a mysterious goo. May 15, 1900, may just be Providence’s weirdest day.

13m
Jul 21
From the Vault: Three Strange Beasts from the Woods of Maine

In Episode 256, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger take a week off, so they introduce you to an episode from the vault: Three Strange Beasts from the Woods of Maine, which originally aired March 5, 2020. In the woods of western Maine, we search for the Agropelter, the Billdad, and the Tote Road Shagamaw. These legendary creatures have haunted and hunted loggers for decades. Are they just tall tales told around the campfire at the end of the day, or could there be something more to it? 

14m
Jul 14
The Spectre Leaguers of Gloucester

In Episode 255, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger head to the woods of Gloucester, Massachusetts, to search for some ghostly soldiers and scouts who plagued the town for weeks back in July of 1692. With the Salem Witch trials happening just a few towns away, and King William’s War raging to the north, everyone is on edge. Pretty soon, the people of Gloucester think these aren’t soldiers at all, but minions of the devil who can’t be shot or scared.

22m
Jul 07
Hannah Handy the Hero of Royalton

In Episode 254, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore the town green of South Royalton, Vermont, searching for the memorial to Hannah Handy--the only memorial to a woman from the Revolutionary War in the state of Vermont. On October 16, 1780, Handy rescued nine children who were taken prisoner in a British raid. Her story was almost lost if not for a local historian who lobbied her town to raise funds for a monument.

19m
Jun 30
Suicide Pond

In Episode 253, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger head to Newton, New Hampshire, to explore the tragic story of Hannah Chase, who took her own life the day before her wedding in June of 1819. Her story and the pond where she perished may have been forgotten if not for the pen of Haverhill, Massachusetts, poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who immortalized the story and place. Chase’s story haunted Whittier as a boy.

18m
Jun 23
The Darn Man of Windham County

In Episode 252, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger walk the roads of Hampton, Connecticut, searching for the story of the Darn Man, a colorful vagabond who wandered Windham County in the 1850s and 1860s wearing the coat he was to be married in, but his bride never showed. He gave different names to different families, he’d never talk about his past or origins, yet he became a local celebrity and the focus of many stories. But who was he really?

22m
Jun 16
Nellie Vaughn: Vampire? Witch? Ghost?

In Episode 251, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger explore Plain Meeting House Cemetery in West Greenwich, Rhode Island, searching for the lost grave of Nellie Vaughn. Some say she was a vampire. Others claim she was a witch. More believe her restless spirit still haunts this boneyard trying to right a wrong from decades ago. Could this be a case of mistaken identity?

21m
Jun 09
The Smuttynose Island Murders

In Episode 250, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger sail out to the Isles of Shoals, Maine, to investigate the infamous Smuttynose Island murders. On March 5, 1873, two women were brutally murdered on the island, while a third narrowly escaped with her life. Louis Wagner was hanged for the crime, but did they execute the right man? This crime still haunts the tiny islands.

27m
Jun 02
Holyoke’s Eyrie House Ruins

In Episode 249, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger hike up Mt. Nonotuck in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in search of the Eyrie House Ruins. The site was a once-popular hotel and resort in the latter half of the 1800s featuring live music, a menagerie of exotic animals, and incredible views. But a horrible tragedy took away owner William Street’s castle in a single night back on April 13th, 1901. There was a funeral pyre that went horribly wrong.

21m
May 26
The Legend of the Norman Rockwell Switcheroo

In Episode 248, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger head to Sandgate, Vermont, to try and solve the mystery of a Norman Rockwell masterpiece painting called “Breaking Home Ties” that was proudly displayed in the Norman Rockwell museum between 2002 and 2006. The only problem is the museum painting was a fake. What happened to the original?

22m
May 19
Cling-Clang: New England’s Vaulting Peddler

In Episode 247, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger try out stilts in Rye, New Hampshire, in search of a 19th-century eccentric legendary peddler known as Cling-Clang. Known to travel on stilts along the coast between New Hampshire, Maine, and even into Nova Scotia, this odd vagabond has some strange habits, he only slept outside, and left a mark behind that we can still see today. But who was this regional folk legend? Murderer on the run? Heartbroken noble? Something else?

24m
May 12
The Ghost of Penfield Reef Lighthouse

In Episode 246, Jeff Belanger and Ray Auger row out to Penfield Reef Lighthouse in Fairfield, Connecticut, to search for the ghost of lighthouse keeper Frederick Jordan, who drowned here in 1916 trying to get home for the holidays to see his family. Bound by duty, his ghost has haunted the lighthouse and these waters ever since, still helping people to safety.

19m
May 05