Author Discusses State's Eerie Occurrences
Jeff Belanger talked about his book, "Weird Massachusetts," at the Fiske Public Library.
For researcher, historian and writer Jeff Belanger, October is the busiest, and best, month of the year.
During its 31 days, Belanger, a Bellingham native, travels both across Massachusetts and across the country to talk about what he loves most: anything and everything paranormal. From ghosts, to UFOs, to legends, to simply learning more about a state's history, Belanger loves and does it all.
"It beats a real job!" he says.
On the night of October 19, Wrentham residents had the opportunity to attend Belanger's lecture based on his book, Weird Massachusetts, at Wrentham's Fiske Public Library. The event was sponsored by Friends of the Fiske.
His book, published in May 2008, explored the rich, unexplained history of the Bay State, including local legends, unidentified beasts and even ghost and UFO sightings.
Some of the "extra-weird" mentioned in Belanger's lecture included sightings of the ghost of a red-haired hitchhiker along route 44. The ghost has been spotted at night, and was even reported running next to an onlooker's car as they traveled at speeds of over 40 miles per hour!
Belanger also spoke of the "Dover Demon," whose only sightings fall within a two-day span in the spring of 1977. Both witnesses sketched what they saw with eerie similarity — an oblong head, skinny body and large, frog-like hands and feet, but the so-called beast was never seen again.
Belanger spoke of multiple UFO sightings — dating back to 1760 — in the land between the towns of Abington, Freetown and Rehoboth, known as "The Bridgewater Triangle."
Belanger's book, though, explores much more than local ghost stories. He also included local oddities that make the state unique. It includes points like the Burnt Food Museum, a place where culinary disasters become pieces of art, and the Museum of Bad Art, where artistic disasters are just as treasured as a Van Gogh.
All in all, the best part of Belanger's lecture was Belanger himself. With his youthful, realist attitude and genuine passion for his work, even the biggest of skeptics would have thoroughly enjoyed listening to him speak.
For more information on Jeff or his book Weird Massachusetts, visit www.JeffBelanger.com. There, you can also find information on upcoming lectures and other works to which he has contributed. If discussing legends and the paranormal interest you, check out www.GhostVillage.com, started by Belanger, which is now the largest online forum on the paranormal.