Stories are wonderful things; they can teach, they can inspire, and they can simply entertain. And sometimes, just sometimes… a story can connect the past to the present and reunite families as well!
In 2013, my show New England Legends aired a story about the legends of October Mountain in Berkshire County, MA. The mountain is said to be home to Bigfoot, has been the site of numerous UFO sightings, and the ghost of a little girl is said to haunt a hidden cemetery deep in the woods at the mountaintop.
Throughout the course of making the program, we discovered the cemetery, and that the little girl actually has a name: Anna Pease. Anna was laid to rest on October Mountain over 185 years ago, and a gravestone marks her final resting place deep in the woods. Legends host Jeff Belanger remarked that in finding Anna’s grave and giving a name to the ghostly legend, we remember a little girl who was long forgotten countless years ago, and how a simple ghost story can keep the memory of the people who came here, worked here, lived here and died here long before us alive and well. It’s a remarkable thing! And we thought that was the end of it. I should’ve known better; as I’ve learned over the past several years of chronicling these legends, a story is continually evolving. But nothing prepared me for what happened next…
I got a phone call from a Mr. Nelson Pease. He had watched the episode recently, and in seeing Anna’s name realized that his family – whom he can trace all the way back to the Mayflower – was originally from the same part of the Berkshires. Anna was his ancestor! He wanted to go to Anna’s resting place and pay his respects to his long-lost relative, so Jeff and I took him there. Deep in the woods at the top of October Mountain, Nelson and his family played a song for Anna and laid roses on her grave… and we’ve chronicled the whole thing in a brand new New England Legends segment for Connecting Point which will air very soon.
It was a wonderful experience for all involved, and it was a great reminder of the incredible power of story: a ghost story led us to find a very real little girl who was forgotten over the past 185 years, but is now back with her family once again.