Tomorrow is my birthday, and one way I’d like to celebrate is by doing something Gothic. Like last year, when we went to the Lizzie Borden House bed and breakfast.
(If you don’t know me well, I’ve long studied Gothic lit. That was the subject of my dissertation, some articles, two book projects, probably the most popular class I ever taught, one chronic blog, another epic blog, etc. The Gothic and creepy stories are also a passion my wife and I share; our first date was in a cemetery, and we hope to lead a Gothic Road Trip expedition at some point.)
So being a web-centric person, I crowdsourced a question last week on the Vermont Reddit board:
It’s normally a fairly quiet board – recall that Vermont only has just over 600,000 people, and is not a very high tech place. But this query must have come at the right time, or hit a long-buried desire, because people really cut loose, firing off 82 comments, as of this writing.
It’s a nice example of digital creativity, digital storytelling, and of a mixture of attitudes with humor.
To begin with, many people simply answered the question with good suggestions, like Satan’s Kingdom (a weird name for a small bit of a local town), Emily’s Bridge (probably the most famous such spot in the state), the so-called Bennington Triangle (multiple disappearances),the Black Cemetery in Berlin (pronounced BER-lin), the Brunswick Springs (said to be cursed), an abandoned Air Force base, and the supposedly lethal Black Agnes statue in Montpelier.
People also offered more sarcastic answers, such as the state capitol, or simply the town of Barre, or “Food City in St Albans” (“those donuts tho” “I love Food City! It’s like shopping in 1986” “Once you get used the weird smell. And don’t forget to check dates.”). At least one was directly about real darkness: “Basically any methadone clinic.”
Some offered their own stories: made up or recollected? Hard to say:
Another is either sincere, pure fiction, or a riff on some famous creepypasta: