This column was contributed by a association member.
Looking for awful bounded legends and tales of the cadaverous to canyon about the address this Halloween?
With the advice of Middletown-based author , as able-bodied as Dark New England Productions, producers of this year’s “Fort Adams’ Fortress of Nightmares, Newport and Middletown Patch assembled a arbitrary of several bounded legends involving several annihilation cases spanning 300 years, acutely linked…by blood…
Did the 1673 afterlife of Rebecca Cornell in Portsmouth aftereffect in the confidence and beheading of an innocent man?
Is his active spirit somehow affiliated to a alternation of camp murders in Newport, Tiverton and Fall River over the aftermost 300 years—which accept active added Cornell descendants, complex a sitting President at the time, and set off the best abominable baffling axe annihilation case in U.S. history?
Rondina, columnist of “Ghost Ships of New England” and “Vampires of New England,” walks us through some of these histories in the video actuality at right, forth with a arbitrary of the askance tales below.
And if that doesn’t get the aback amazing enough, we’ve added a few added “unrelated” bounded legends to stoke those Aquidneck Island bivouac tales a little best into the night…
1. The February 1673 Afterlife of , Portsmouth
Today’s Valley Inn restaurant in Portsmouth stands breadth this abnormal annihilation case took place—the alone case in U.S. history breadth “spectral evidence” or apparition affidavit offered at balloon resulted in the confidence and blind of the accused killer. One algid winter night in 1673, Rebecca, 73, was begin asleep on her bedchamber attic lying center in the fireplace, partially burned. Did her developed son Thomas Cornell annihilate her? An abnormal attestant accused him as such, and appropriate up until his execution, he proclaimed his innocence.
Portsmouth Patch Bounded Editor Sandy McGee afresh interviewed today’s Valley Inn owners who anecdotal the account and gave her a claimed bout of the old Cornell ancestors house. .
2. The 1819 Shooting Afterlife of William Kane, Fort Adams, Newport
Is the active apparition of an aboriginal 1800s Army clandestine mischievously throwing pebbles? Some visitors say so. During some “Ghost Hunt” abstruse analysis tours guided by Dark New England Productions over the summer, some guests central the old aggressive accession appear actuality hit by pebbles, axis and award no one there. (Crumbling walls and bags of bits are abounding throughout the ruins.)
When bounded abstruse researcher and columnist Christopher Rondina heard this, he recalled a agnate appointment decades ago aback he visited the acropolis at night, as adventure-seeking youths acclimated to do aback then, he recalled. At the time, he and his buddies ample added youths charge accept been central and were “messing with them,” but they never begin anyone abroad there that night.
The contempo “Ghost Hunt” letters set Rondina off on a analysis activity that dug up the afterward annihilation case at the fort. The balloon would afterwards absorb a sitting President at the time and—you estimated it—resulted in a actor called “Cornell.”
On July 4, 1819 about 10 p.m., afterwards an Independence Day affair had amorphous to wind down, Clandestine William Cornell had aloof been adequate from assignment for the night and was abiding to his barracks, afterwards indulging in a bit of rum himself, aback Clandestine William Kane threw a scattering of dust at Cornell, according to Rondina.
Seeing it was Kane, with whom he had a active feud, Cornell reportedly spun around, drew his pistol and attempt Kane. A attestant shouted that he anticipation Cornell had asleep Kane, to which Cornell reportedly replied, “By God, I achievement I have.”
Private Kane was asleep aural three account and Cornell was arrested, approved and bedevilled of the barbarous murder.
“However, in a aberrant abortion of justice, President [James] Monroe absolutely pardoned Clandestine Cornell,” said Rondina, acquainted that in his research, he could not acquisition a acumen or account for the pardon, but alone a almanac that it had occurred.
Whether befuddled by ghosts or not, the detail of befuddled dust complex in both the annihilation case and the contempo “Ghost Hunts” letters is, at the actual least, a actual absorbing casual actuality that has unearthed an absorbing actual annihilation case accompanying to yet addition Cornell from the area, says Rondina.
Rondina currently is researching this case, he says, and attractive for ties, if any, to the added Cornell families complex in added murders over the aftermost 300 years.
3. The 1832 Tiverton Annihilation of Sarah Maria Cornell
On December 21, 1832, John Durfee of Tiverton, Rhode Island, apparent the arctic asleep anatomy of a abundant woman blind from a pole on his acreage on a alpine pale acclimated to dry hay.Born in Vermont, 28-year-old comminute artisan Sarah Maria Cornell, lived in Fall River, MA and formed in bounded t mills, according to several histories begin on the internet.
After board disqualified out an beforehand award of suicide and begin a agenda from Sarah accounting the day she died implicating Ephraim Kingsbury Avery, a affiliated Methodist minister, he was arrested and brought to balloon for murder, alone to be afterwards acquitted afterward a awful sensationalized balloon at the time.
Cornell was said to accept been built-in into affluence but fell on adamantine times in her adolescent developed activity afterwards the affectionate amount in her domiciliary alone her family. She was reportedly 4 1/2 months abundant at the time of the murder.
The Durfee Acreage in Tiverton breadth Sarah’s anatomy had been apparent is today allotment of Kennedy Park in Fall River.
4. The Abominable Fall River Axe Murders of 1892
Remember Rebecca Cornell aback in 1673? The accused son, Thomas, had maintained his chastity to his abortive end and his wife had been abundant at the time of his trial. Anon afterwards his beheading by hanging, his babe was built-in and Thomas’ actual wife called her Innocent Cornell.
Innocent Cornell eventually had her own accouchement whose afterwards branches on the ancestors timberline eventually produced addition abominable name anecdotal every Halloween, abnormally in adjoining Fall River, MA.
Innocent Cornell is the great-great-great-great grandmother of Lizzie Borden, who had been the actor in the best amazing annihilation balloon of the U.S. Victorian era and was afterwards acquitted of killing her aged ancestor and stepmother.
Oh, but the access don’t stop there…
Remember the Sarah Maria Cornell annihilation in Tiverton at the duke of the methodist Abbot aloof 60 years earlier?
After Sarah’s murder, bounded authorities were afterwards an organized badge force and did what was accepted at the time; The communities of Fall River and Tiverton formed two committees, or posses, to investigate the crime, according to the 2009 book “Wicked Conduct” by Rory Raven.
Nathaniel Briggs Borden, an anterior of Lizzie Borden, served on the Fall River board investigating that crime.
Purgatory Chasm, Middletown
It is said that in the 1500-1600s, a adolescent Native American was block a adolescent woman, conceivably the barren article of his affections, and as they accomplished Purgatory Chasm, she leapt beyond cautiously but he did not and fell to his death. Some say his apparition is trapped there, analytic for the woman and block visitors through the abounding trails there…
Many developed adults in Middletown still anamnesis the awesome assurance that had already afraid in one area of the cemetery adjoining to Saint Columba’s Chapel off Indian Avenue. It apprehend “Babyland,” acquainted a appropriate area aloof for baby burials. Likely acquaint with the sweetest of intentions in the aboriginal 1900s, against the end of the contempo aeon its awkward appellation became a allurement for teens’ pop ability and media-inspired imaginations to aberrate the area at night in chase of apparitional adventures.
Still, bounded ballad includes claims of audition mournful, unearthly cries some nights. Rondina himself recalled one abnormal and “inexplicable” appointment one night in his aboriginal 20s, although he hesitates to characterization it as “proof” of aerial alcohol afterwards any absolute evidence. One night, a blubbery fog abruptly formed in anon afterwards he and some accompany arrived.
“I heard a aberrant and plaintiff sound,” recalled Rondina. “It was like annihilation I had anytime heard before. It was a acute atrocious sound. At aboriginal we anticipation maybe it was an afflicted animal, or conceivably a bird that we had never heard before.”
The accumulation approved to acquisition the sound’s source, which appeared to be appearing from the fog. “It articulate like it was appropriate in advanced of us. But no amount how far we absolved into the fog, it articulate like it was abbreviating from us from all admonition at once.”
Suddenly, the fog blown and the cries stopped, Rondina recalled. “To this day, I accept no explanation,” he said. “But I’ll never balloon that.”
Today, the comatose grounds, which bald no above-ground grave markers, is labeled “Garden of Angels.”
The Legend of Gravelly Point, Newport
In July of 1720, a aggregation 26 men accused of piracy from aboard the address The Ranger were afraid publically at Gravelly Point in Newport and again tarred to bottle their bodies for display. The authorities at the time capital to accelerate out a able arresting to others that piracy would not be tolerated. “They additionally capital these pirates to ache into the afterlife,” said Rondina.
Do those 26 pirates abide adversity in the afterlife and abide to abode Gravelly Point?
That, baby readers, is the accountable of Rondina’s “Ghost Ships of New England” and additionally will be advised added in a film-based activity amid Rondina and Dark New England Productions that’s currently in development…
About Middletown Columnist Christopher Rondina
ABOUT DARK NEW ENGLAND PRODUCTIONS
To apprentice added about Dark New England Productions, click here.
View the appropriate Halloween video at aloft right.
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