Alyssa tells some spooky stories and learns about State Street Cemetery. Mike gets scared. Plus, book and movie reviews.. and more!
Michael Pierry 0:22
Hello and welcome to episode two of the Hamden Library Podcast. I'm your host, Michael Pierry. I'm a librarian at the main branch of Hamden Public Library. And joining me today, once again is my co host, Alyssa Bussard.
Alyssa Bussard 0:37
Hello, and happy October, everyone. We have some fun stuff happening today on the podcast. It's my favorite time of year, and I can't wait to share some great stories with you all. First, as always, here's what's happening at the library.
Michael Pierry 0:51
If you're listening to this podcast on Monday, the 25th there might still be time for you to register for our book discussion. This month, our book discussion mastermind Pam Ross will lead readers in talking about "Magic Lessons", the novel by Alice Hoffman. That takes place again on Monday the 25th at 6:30pm on Zoom.
Then on Tuesday, the 26th at 2pm, the Hamden High Mainstage Ensemble will give a special sneak peak performance of Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" in the Thornton Wilder Hall, appropriately enough. They will be performing select scenes from the play. Registration is required as seating is limited.
That very same evening of the 26th at 6:30pm, we will have an online program called "Frugal Shopping: Couponing for Holiday Savings". That's hosted by Paula Ginter, staff member here and our local coupon guru.
Then on Wednesday, November 3 at the Brundage Community Library, we'll have "Propagating Pollinator Plants from Seed" presented by Jim search of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. That's from six to 7:45pm at Brundage.
On November 9, we'll have a presentation called "The Effects of Sugar on Women's Health" on Zoom. That's at 6:30pm and it's presented by Marcia Witter, of Certified Health Coach, and finally on November 16, at 6:30pm, the library hosts a discussion with Howard Sherman, the author of "Another Day's Begun: Thornton Wilder's Our Town in the 21st century", that will again be held in the Thornton Wilder Hall, please visit our website or call 203-287-2680 for more information or to register for any of these programs. So are you excited?
Alyssa Bussard 2:43
For my book recommendation? Yes, I am.
Michael Pierry 2:45
Alyssa Bussard 2:47
So my recommendation is also kind of a podcast.
Michael Pierry 2:50
Wait, you're gonna recommend a podcast on our podcast? Cool.
Alyssa Bussard 2:54
Yeah, kinda. So it's also kind of funny because anybody who listens to this from our staff will know that I love this book because I keep recommending it to everybody here. So anyway, my recommendation is the book "Sadie", which is written by Courtney Summers. Our main character Sadie has had a really rough life, she raises her sister and does her best to keep them both safe from a toxic home, and then her sister's found dead. Sadie's determined to find the truth behind her death and what follows is her journey uncovering her sister's killer. The coolest part about this book is that we have a dual point of view. So one of our points of view is Sadie, obviously, and she's uncovering the truth about her sister's death, and the other chapters are told from the point of view of a radio personality, who actually starts a podcast all about Sadie, who has now gone missing. So as the reader you're seeing Sadie's journey and then one step behind her, you're seeing the podcast host, West McCray, following in her footsteps, trying to find her and save her. It was really compelling and also honestly very frustrating in a great way, because I just couldn't stop reading it. And I don't want to talk about the ending and spoil things, but wow. I read this one in print, but I hear the audio book is actually pretty amazing, so pick it up. And there you have it: "Sadie" by Courtney Summers, one of my most recommended books.
Michael Pierry 4:16
Got it. One of the most frustrating reads of the year. Don't pick it up.
Alyssa Bussard 4:20
Michael Pierry 4:20
Alyssa Bussard 4:22
Okay, so did you pick a good nonfiction book for this month? Is it creepy? I hope it's creepy.
Michael Pierry 4:27
Oh, it's creepy. Since the late 1990s, governments have been paying hackers, six or seven figures to find what are called "zero days." This name refers to the number of days a software vendor has had to respond to a known bug or exploit in one of their software programs. So zero days is basically a euphemism for a bug that someone finds that the software developer doesn't know about, and when you find a bug like that, you have a couple of different options. Some hackers will warn developers about the bugs they found. Those are the nice white hat ones that you hear about sometimes, and then once that happens, it's no longer a zero day bug and the developer can patch it. The more nefarious option is to sell the details of the bug to the highest bidder.
Now, who would want to buy these bugs? Well, a lot of people, including people at the NSA, the CIA, and lots of other three letter government agencies have been buying them for years because it turns out some of these bugs can be used to do things the developer didn't have in mind, like break into the computer's file system, steal data, control a computer remotely and almost anything else you can think of.
"This is How They Tell Me the World Ends" by Nicole Perlroth begins with these zero day exploits, and goes on to weave an expansive, globe trotting tale of corporate greed, political intrigue, and the overall fever pitch short sightedness that's led us to the world we now inhabit, a world that is historically unique, and how vulnerable we all are not just on an individual level, but also on the level of nation states and their infrastructures. We are in danger, and if we don't make a lot of changes, she concludes we're facing a ticking time bomb of unknown but extremely vast and wide reaching proportions.
Reporting for The New York Times on cybersecurity for over 10 years, Nicole Perlroth really knows her stuff. She's written a book that could be considered alarmist if it weren't so incredibly well researched. Like the best journalism, Pearl Roth aims first, to inform rather than to persuade. And indeed, reading this book is emitting education in itself. Scientists have been warning us since the 1960s, that our technology is insecure. And we've been paying the price for not hitting those warnings ever since. That said, this is not a technical book or a how to guide for hackers by any means. I would highly recommend "This is How They Tell Me the World Ends" to anyone who wants to understand the current state of cybersecurity, and why the risks are much, much larger than the public has been made aware of up until now.
Alyssa Bussard 6:59
Okay, wow, I have two things to say.
Michael Pierry 7:02
Alyssa Bussard 7:03
First, I wish that these hackers would maybe erase my student loan debt, and second, that is a pretty terrifying choice for October. Good one.
Michael Pierry 7:13
Well, they certainly could erase everyone's debt just like on the TV show, "Mr. Robot", but counting on the benevolence of everyone who has these capabilities is not something I would advise, so read the book. Now let's hear from Mike Wheatley and see what movie he's recommending to us this month.
Mike Wheatley 7:59
As that great fantasy and horror writer Ray Bradbury would say, welcome to October country. In no particular order, my favorite movies this time of the year are
Number one, "Young Frankenstein".
Number two, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein".
Number three, "The Exorcist".
Number four, "Carrie", the DePalma version.
Number five, "Changeling", the version with George C. Scott from 1980.
Number 6, 1983's "The Haunting of Hill House" with Claire Bloom. I think it's just actually called "The Haunting". There was another TV series recently made. It isn't bad. I love the original.
Seven "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", both the 1956 and the 1960s version.
Nine, "Doctor Sleep" the sequel to "The Shining" from 2019.
10, "Get Out" a 2017 film directed by Jordan Peele.
This month's recommendation for the younger set is 2007's "Monster House", nominated for an Academy Award, produced by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg and directed by Gil Kenan, rated PG with some scenes too intense for young or sensitive children. It's a haunted house story where the house is doing the haunting. I recommend watching through the credits for a full resolution of the story. I love the characters and the animation. Fun watch for both adults and the over seven set.
My main recommendation for you older, less sensitive ones is actually a double feature. Even if you have watched it before, watch them together. "A Quiet Place" from 2018 and "A Quiet Place 2" (2021). John Krasinski, who also directed, and Emily Blunt, who is actually John's wife in real life, star as a husband and wife who tried to protect their family from the aliens who have exceptional hearing and mean dispositions. One interesting twist is that their older daughter is deaf, played by Millicent Simmonds, who is Deaf. I thought her arc through both films was one of the best reasons for watching. I will be rewatching both this Halloween. And finally, not for the weak of heart, "The Vigil" (2019), a new release, is an electrifying supernatural thriller. From first time feature Director Keith Thomas. It is full of under the skin scary stuff in the vein of "The Exorcist", one of my top 10 horror films
Alyssa Bussard 11:00
So can I say something about a movie?
Michael Pierry 11:03
I guess, but you're not Mike Wheatley.
Alyssa Bussard 11:05
I know, but listen. Remember Michael Keaton's best film of all time?
Michael Pierry 11:10
Um, you mean "Batman Returns"?
Alyssa Bussard 11:14
Okay, close, but no, I meant "Beetlejuice". Oh, do you remember where they live?
Michael Pierry 11:19
Yeah, yeah, Connecticut.
Alyssa Bussard 11:20
It was Connecticut.
Michael Pierry 11:23
Cool. Is that all?
Alyssa Bussard 11:24
Yeah, I just thought it was neat.
Michael Pierry 11:26
Neat. Okay, well, here we are. It's time--
Alyssa Bussard 11:31
to tell you about haunted Connecticut?
Michael Pierry 11:33
Yes, I know how excited you are.
Alyssa Bussard 11:35
I am. Remember when we were talking about topics for our podcast, and someone mentioned October and I was like "Mine! Give me. Mine. Mine."
Michael Pierry 11:42
I remember it was, it was a little scary.
Alyssa Bussard 11:44
Or it was very exciting because you know that I have the stories.
Michael Pierry 11:48
Yeah, a little from Column A, a little from Column B. So go on. Tell me about haunted Connecticut.
Alyssa Bussard 11:56
Alright, so I was reading this book--
Michael Pierry 11:58
Oh, that's shocking--
Alyssa Bussard 11:59
Shh. I was reading this book about haunted New England as one does--
Michael Pierry 12:03
As you do.
Alyssa Bussard 12:04
Right, right. And it got me thinking about some of the names we have in Connecticut names like Satan's Ridge, Devil's Den--
Michael Pierry 12:11
Alyssa Bussard 12:12
Yes, Devil's Hopyard, and I started to wonder at why we have so many, let's say, unconventional names.
Michael Pierry 12:20
Well, why do they?
Alyssa Bussard 12:21
Honestly, you're gonna laugh, mostly because of farming and colonists. Basically, if the crops were bad, it was Satan's fault, so the area got a satanic name. Early settlers saw the holes in the rocks at Devil's Hopyard -- I don't know if you've ever been there -- and they decided that the devil must have been hopping around and caused those holes in the stones because his feet are warm.
Michael Pierry 12:46
Alyssa Bussard 12:47
Yes. Those are the stories.
Michael Pierry 12:49
Wow, that's. Okay. So what else? I thought Connecticut was, like, so haunted?
Alyssa Bussard 12:54
Well, I think it would be wrong for us to speak of any sort of paranormal activity in Connecticut and not mention Ed and Lorraine Warren.
Michael Pierry 13:03
Yes, of course, who?
Alyssa Bussard 13:06
Honestly, really? You've never heard of the Warrens? They founded the New England Society for Psychic Research back in 1952, and Ed was a professed demonologist and his wife Lorraine claimed to be clairvoyant.
Michael Pierry 13:19
So what are they famous for?
Alyssa Bussard 13:22
They investigated Amityville Horror, and a whole bunch of other paranormal incidents that some people claim were hoaxes, but that's all right. They also tried to help a guy from Connecticut plead not guilty in a murder trial by claiming that he had been possessed.
Michael Pierry 13:36
Alyssa Bussard 13:38
Yeah. Just to be clear, that defense did not work.
Michael Pierry 13:40
Alyssa Bussard 13:41
Yeah, like he submitted it as his defense and the judge was like, "no". So anyway, that's not even the story I wanted to tell you.
Michael Pierry 13:49
Alright, so tell me.
Alyssa Bussard 13:50
Okay. Have you ever heard about the White Lady of Union Cemetery?
Michael Pierry 13:54
Alyssa Bussard 13:54
Oh, good. Storytime. Okay. Union Cemetery is in eastern Connecticut and it is old. I think I read that the site is from the 1700s. It's considered one of the most haunted cemeteries in the United States.
Michael Pierry 14:09
According to who?
Alyssa Bussard 14:10
According to a lot of people. Honestly, I grew up hearing these stories. But again, I was reading another book about haunted New England called "Old Ghosts of New England", and it's written by CJ Fusco, and it had a lot of great information about these alleged hauntings, and as I said, it's apparently one of the most haunted cemeteries in the country.
Michael Pierry 14:31
Yes, but why? What are the stories?
Alyssa Bussard 14:33
Allegedly, there are stories that an apparition called the White Lady -- because she's dressed in all white, which may or may not be a wedding dress -- haunts the cemetery. Some of the things people experience are hearing a woman sobbing or seeing her apparition. The best stories, though, are from those who are driving and see her appear in the road. Usually she disappears before the car gets close enough to hit her or the car goes right through her, but there was one story where a man was driving his truck, and suddenly he saw a man who he took to be a farmer sitting in his passenger seat. He looked away from the farmer to the road, and there was the White Lady standing there. Apparently his truck actually struck her or something and the farmer disappeared from his passenger seat. He got out of his car to investigate and no one was there, but there was a dent in his bumper.
Michael Pierry 15:26
Well, that's creepy.
Alyssa Bussard 15:28
It is. The Warrens investigated this and they and other ghost hunters found a lot of evidence of paranormal happenings. The Warrens actually wrote a book about it called "Graveyard". They allege the Lady was scorned by a lover.
Michael Pierry 15:41
Yeah. Isn't that always the way
Alyssa Bussard 15:43
Michael Pierry 15:46
So speaking of cemeteries, we actually have some great guests for the podcast this month. Mr. Scott Howland, Dan Ioime, and Tom Shillieto. Alyssa, you talked to them about State Street Cemetery here in Hamden.
Alyssa Bussard 15:59
I did, let's see what they have to say.
So we can actually just get right into it. State Street Cemetery is located at 2125 State Street in Hamden, but from what I understand, this wasn't always the case. The cemetery has had a few names and a different location. How do you even go about moving an entire cemetery? And what can you tell us about the cemetery and its relocation?
Dan Ioime 16:25
According to Rachel Hartley's book, the cemetery is originally located north of the current cemetery about a few rods [Editor's note: one rod is approximately 16.5 feet] but Tony did some research and he believes it's more located around 2199 State Street, which is where currently, I think, Litchfield Builders is located. There's a warehouse there. The old deeds in that area referenced the old cemetery. Tony believes that that's where the cemetery is located, and when they were building an old school house, some old bones were dug up there and a portion of that property was, used to be owned, by the town of Hamden. So that's very likely where it was located, and it was there between 1790 and 1855, which is when it was moved to its current location. We don't know why it was moved.
Alyssa Bussard 17:36
Oh, you don't know why.
Dan Ioime 17:37
Tony was not able to figure that out. He actually interviewed the Antonellis, which I believe owned a garden center at 2199 State Street, and they didn't know why, but no one really knows why it was moved.
Alyssa Bussard 17:57
What can you tell us about the oldest burial at State Street Cemetery?
Dan Ioime 18:02
It's Timothy Potter. He died October 24, 1799, and that's the oldest grave.
Alyssa Bussard 18:12
I know that there are some Revolutionary and Civil War soldiers buried in the cemetery. Can you tell us anything about them?
Dan Ioime 18:18
Yes, there are five Revolutionary soldiers buried at the cemetery. I'm not sure about Civil War soldiers. But Tony, again, has that information. Probably the most famous burial at the cemetery is someone by the name of William Linton. He was a British immigrant and he died in 1897. He came to the United States in 1870, and he was famous as an artist, engraver and social reformer. He was anti monarchist and supported pro labor causes.
Alyssa Bussard 19:02
Moving to the topic of cemetery associations, what exactly is a Cemetery Association? And what do they do?
Dan Ioime 19:08
I suppose I'll take this too. Again, I've never been involved--
Scott Howland 19:13
Tom Shillieto 19:13
Go, Dan, go.
Scott Howland 19:15
Dan Ioime 19:17
I've never been involved with a Cemetery Association, but they do have to be organized and incorporated with the state of Connecticut, and they're supposed to take care and upkeep the cemetery. They're required to maintain funds for that care and upkeep and they're required to have a board of trustees.
Alyssa Bussard 19:43
From what I understand State Street Cemetery does not have an association, but a Friends of the State Street Cemetery. Is that who handles the maintenance of the grounds? Or is this something controlled by the Town of Hamden?
Scott Howland 19:53
It's a loose group of folks who expressed an interest in keeping the cemetery in good condition so that people can visit their loved ones' graves. An email lists of folks. Whenever we want to do a cleanup or any type of work at the cemetery, I send a blast email out and we get who we can, but it's usually just, you know, the folks on the phone with Tony and two or three others. We do it all. When I started 12, 14 years ago, as a member of a town commission, I was told absolutely not to go into that cemetery, as a member of a commission. The town wanted nothing to do with it because of their experience with Hamden Plains Cemetery.
Alyssa Bussard 20:46
What happens if the stones or other things on the ground go into disrepair? Do the Friends take care of those as well?
Scott Howland 20:52
We had people from - it might have been Historic Properties. Remember, Tom, we had that one guy who came, he was going to reset some stones? He was very excited. He took some pictures. Nothing much came of it. We'll move stones if they're in the way and we'll try to do what we can but it's more maintenance--
Alyssa Bussard 21:17
Scott Howland 21:19
Than taking care of stones.
Tom Shillieto 21:21
We like to rake, we like to mow, pick up branches, that kind of thing.
Scott Howland 21:27
Alyssa Bussard 21:28
I assume that there's no longer burials happening here, but what about the relatives of those buried? I did some research, and it seems that if there's a lack of information regarding plot owners, I would assume that if a family owned the plot, they would want some control over the upkeep.
Dan Ioime 21:42
We set up a website called www.statestreetcemetery.com, and on the website, we kind of mentioned that we're looking for people who own plots. There's been news articles where we've mentioned it, that we're looking for a plot owners. If we can find a plot owner, just one, we may be able to reconstitute the association, if we can get enough people to join the association and maybe at that point, create perpetual care for the cemetery. Until we find a plot owner, we can't form an association, and also until the most recent burial is 40 years [ago], I believe, it's not considered an abandoned cemetery. So the former caretaker who had no authority to bury people there but did it anyways, was burying people there, I think, as recently as 2010.
Scott Howland 22:53
One thing that we found is people showed up while we're there, and we've helped them find their family members' plot. We've had people that have come in for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Veterans Day, and we've uncovered more graves by as Tom said by raking and by picking up, we found stones that were buried.
Alyssa Bussard 23:21
So what made you want to create the Friends of the State Street Cemetery?
Tom Shillieto 23:25
Well, Scott was in the in the Veterans Commission, and got me involved because of that. So we couldn't put flags on the vets' graves and I found that horrible. My dad's a deceased Marine, and this is just a terrible thing. So Scott got me involved through the Veterans Association.
Scott Howland 23:54
Yeah, I was on I was on the Veterans Commission and prior , or after Clean and Green Commission, I guess, and we we wanted to make sure that this cemetery had graves on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, and we had the head of the commission come down, take a look, and he said there's no way I'm gonna let the Boy Scouts, who put the grave flags on veterans' graves, come into the cemetery because of the condition. After a year or so of cleanup, and Tom's wife took a lot of pictures -- and you can see where we were to where we are today -- that same head of the Commission came down and gave us a thumbs up and I think that was the most satisfying thing we did, and it's continued every Memorial Day, every Veterans Day, flags are put on the graves.
Alyssa Bussard 24:45
What can you tell the public about the care or preservation of cemeteries? I'm sure that there are neglected cemeteries all over.
Scott Howland 24:52
Get some volunteers. [Unintelligable] They can roll up their sleeves and go there three or four times a year.
Alyssa Bussard 25:00
How can Hamden residents get involved with the Friends of the State Street Cemetery?
Scott Howland 25:03
Oh, it's kind of word of mouth, and one other thing we should mention is once the cemetery started to get in fairly decent shape, there's been probably two families, if not three, that come in on regular basis, and they maintain graves of their loved ones, and, you know, probably, I don't know, eight or nine graves, but it's kind of taken a life of its own once people have felt safe enough to go in there.
Dan Ioime 25:31
Yeah, I think that if people have family members buried there, if they can take a proactive approach, and come in, maybe just clean up that cemetery, that plot site, every, you know, every year, every twice a year, that would go a long way in helping to upkeep the cemetery and give the perpetual care.
Alyssa Bussard 25:59
Is there anything else you want to tell us about the cemetery?
Scott Howland 26:02
One of the things that helped us early on is there's a neglected cemetery account up at the State House and we did get help from the Town of Hamden to get two grants, two years in a row that helped do some of that heavy cleanup and some of the grubbing. We would like to encourage the town to keep applying for those grants if monies are available, because the whole back, across the back north to south, needs to be clean.
Dan Ioime 26:36
And not only that, the the grant is available every year, but every town which has neglected cemeteries can apply for it. So Hamden doesn't necessarily get it every year even if they apply, but there is a public act that was enacted a couple years ago, which allows the town to go into these neglected cemeteries and clean it up twice a year without any liability. So we'd like to encourage the town to do that as well.
Scott Howland 27:11
Yea, we've had to push them.
Dan Ioime 27:12
We actually talked about this last night, and our historic properties commission that we're going to take an active role every year in applying for that grant, but not necessarily just for the State Street Cemetery, but for other neglected cemeteries in town as well.
Tom Shillieto 27:32
Yeah, we should have a little shout out to Quinnipiac University, we're part of their big events every year. They sent 30 students, all with rakes and strong backs, and they're a big helping the spring cleanup.
Michael Pierry 27:54
Alyssa was also able to connect with Mr. Tony Griego, a local Hamden historian. He provided a statement that I'd like to read to you. We have edited it for time and clarity, but it offers a lot of insight into State Street Cemetery:
"State Street Cemetery has been part of my life starting back as early as the 1950s. When I attended school at the State Street school next door, I remember walking the dirt road with my classmates to the Whitney Cotton Mills factory, which was in the rear of the cemetery. They would give us a tour.
At the rear of the cemetery on its dirt road, was a big maple tree with a large wooden box next to it. Our imaginations went wild when someone said that that was where they stored the bodies until burial. We later learned from one of the braver kids that the box was filled with the caretakers tools.
Later when I went to the middle school, I pretty much forgot the cemetery. After getting out of the Army in 1964, I made several trips to the cemetery. My love of history would guide me amongst those ancient stones.
Rachel M. Hartley's book "The history of Hamden, Connecticut 1786-1959" told me that the State Street Cemetery was originally a few rods north, and when the cellar for the wooden schoolhouse was dug ancient bones were found. Rumor was the two front rows of stones of the cemetery contained no remains. I later also learned that the yard contained the graves of five men who'd fought in the Revolutionary War.
One of the cemetery's more famous persons was James J. Linton, a printer from England. During the Boss Tweed scandal, Linton wrote a piece entitled "The House That Tweed Built". Linton died in 1897.
At one time, there was a maintenance company that took care of the yard, who was the son in law of the last surviving Cemetery Board member. After she died, the cemetery changed. There seem to be many more burials without headstones. By 2007 I noticed on one occasion stones had been uprooted for another nearby burial. One stone had been broken in half as if a backhoe had driven over it. I was so outraged I took several photos. I wrote to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in an effort to stop the damage to those ancient stones.
A similar issue with the same maintenance company was taking place at Hamden Plains Cemetery. I wrote several articles about this problem in local newspapers.
The town is not helpful, and apparently there was no town agency that monitored burials. Cemeteries are tax exempt.
Today the State Street Cemetery remains deserted and forgotten. A dedicated group of a few volunteers and veterans try their best to make the cemetery presentable. Students from Quinnipiac University help twice a year with spring and fall leaf cleanup.
One family plot area is maintained by one member of the Angeletti family, other graves may be attended by family. One plot -- unknown location -- contains the remains of a young woman who was found murdered August 16, 1975, behind a department store in East Haven. She remains unidentified and her killer unknown. We have an approximate location for her plot from an old newspaper account. Her case is still active with the East Haven police.
I witnessed and photographed the last burial there on January 6 2014. It was a prepaid plot. It was for Rozilla Nelson, 82 years old, Jewish Home Life Care who died in the Bronx, New York, December 27, 2013. Three men dug her last resting place by hand.
So sad that we have done so little to protect these abandoned cemeteries in Connecticut. State Street holds the remains of veterans from many wars. It holds the remains of those in life who were forgotten and now in death, they continue to be forgotten. Rest in peace. They are not forgotten." - 2021 Tony Griego.
Wow, that was so interesting.
Alyssa Bussard 31:50
I know. I had so much fun doing the interview. I learned a lot.
Michael Pierry 31:53
Yeah. So what's next? Do you have any other stories for us?
Alyssa Bussard 31:57
Honestly, this stuff is my jam. I could go on and on.
Michael Pierry 31:59
Yeah, I bet you could, and I enjoy listening to this stuff. So what's one more story?
Alyssa Bussard 32:04
Huh? Okay, let me think. Oh, I haven't really shared this one with anybody, but do you know Trinity College in Hartford?
Michael Pierry 32:12
Yeah, sure, do.
Alyssa Bussard 32:13
Okay. I have a story. A long time ago I was still in college, and I'm not going to tell you how long ago that was, but it was a long time ago. My aunt picked me up from school and brought me to Trinity where she was finishing up her master's degree. She had one class and dropped me at the library to hang out for an hour or so. Unfortunately, the library was closed because it was winter break, and I had no idea where her class was and there was no one to ask because it was deserted on campus. It was also December and I was freezing. So I kind of panicked here.
I started walking up to buildings and just trying to open doors, and of course now as I'm telling the story, I'm wondering why I didn't get arrested. But I finally found a building that was open. Can you guess what building that was?
Michael Pierry 32:57
Alyssa Bussard 32:58
The Chapel. This is how horror movies start, right? I know.
So I went into the chapel and all of the lights were on, which I thought was a little weird, but -- you know -- nobody was there and it was warm, so it was fine. So as I'm sitting there, I just keep getting this feeling of unease. I tried to talk myself out of it because it's cold, it's dark out and I'm sitting in the chapel. Of course I'm going to be creeped out. So the way I was sitting, I have my back to the main door. On my left was an organ, which was kind of up some stairs,
Michael Pierry 33:28
There wasn't like a creepy guy playing the organ at the time?
Alyssa Bussard 33:31
Like, listen to the story, because it's possible. It's possible, okay. And then on my right, there was a doorway leading down and it was very dark on there, but there was this one light shining on this huge piece of furniture -- I don't really know what it was, but it was like a big chest of some sort. It was very tall -- and right on the front of it there was this carving of a face, which I think was supposed to be an angel, but I don't know. Very Gothic looking. So time goes by and it starts to get very cold in the chapel. Like, my teeth started chattering. And then it started to smell like rotten eggs--
Michael Pierry 34:04
Alyssa Bussard 34:06
At this point, I'm thinking back to every single ghost story I've ever read and I started to get so scared that I felt like I couldn't move. So I started to hear this noise and of course, you know, I'm looking around to see what it is and that light that was shining on the piece of furniture is kind of flickering and you can hear it kind of going in and out. Which, again, horror movie set up, right?
Michael Pierry 34:26
Alyssa Bussard 34:27
Finally I had enough so I stand up to run out of there and I hear this loud noise come from the organ like just slamming their hands.
Michael Pierry 34:36
Alyssa Bussard 34:36
Yeah, but they were just slamming their hands down on the keys. So I ran out of there so fast and I walked back to the library to wait for my aunt.
Michael Pierry 34:44
Oh my god, really?
Alyssa Bussard 34:45
Wait, there's more.
Michael Pierry 34:46
Alyssa Bussard 34:47
Okay, so I decided to not tell my aunt what happened because she probably would have been furious that I didn't just call her right away and I was just wandering around campus and of course, looking back, why didn't I just call her but that's just what happened. Right?
Michael Pierry 35:01
Alyssa Bussard 35:02
So a few months passed. And I don't know how long the time had been. But my aunt tells me about this nightmare that she had about the chapel at Trinity.
Michael Pierry 35:10
Oh my god.
Alyssa Bussard 35:11
I know. So she's telling me that she had walked down this long hallway of some kind and she comes to this big, beautiful piece of furniture, very tall, like some kind of chest--
Michael Pierry 35:21
Alyssa Bussard 35:22
And there's this face carved on the front of it. So she says that the nightmare ends because when she looked at the face in the dream, it transformed into something like horrible and grotesque, and then she just wakes up.
Michael Pierry 35:35
You're kidding me.
Alyssa Bussard 35:36
No, this really, seriously. So then I had to tell her my story and it was a whole thing but, you know, I mean, I guess a lot of it could have been coincidental. The heat was off. That's why it was cold. Maybe the light needed a new light bulb? I don't know. But it was a long time ago and I still think about it all the time.
Michael Pierry 35:50
Wow. Yeah, I heard something about Trinity being haunted, but I don't know that. They don't they have like a secret society like Skull and Bones there or something?
Alyssa Bussard 36:01
Like Yale Skull and Bones, yeah. Oh man, that society. We could do a whole other episode on that one. Which actually reminds me, maybe our listeners should pick up the book "Ninth House" by Leigh Bardugo.
Michael Pierry 36:13
Oh, yeah, good idea. They should also head to our blog to read about some great October recommendations.
Alyssa Bussard 36:19
Yes, we have book recs and movie recs--
Michael Pierry 36:22
And podcast recs.
Alyssa Bussard 36:24
Yes, podcast recs. Speaking of podcasts, don't forget to subscribe to this one and tell everyone you know how fun it is. We will be back next month and thank you for listening.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai