from the Headless Horseman of Mill Circle
from the Headless Horseman of Mill Circle
DATELINE: Haunted Chessboard
In retrospect of my life, I realize today that Richard Frazar White orchestrated so much for me along my spiritual journey.
Only now do I recognize the strange effects he has arranged: how did I manage to meet by chance the man who played Richard in a movie?
Yes, there were always Titanic movies that featured a young, heroic figure: in the 1953 version with Barbara Stanwyk and Clifton Webb, there was a young actor rising by the name of Robert Wagner.
He played a version of Richard aboard the doomed ship. We were on a plane out of Burbank, and he plopped down next to me in first-class. I said, “I think I know you.” He said wearily, “Yes, you probably do.” We proceeded to down Bloody Marys and find our compatability.
Robert Wagner’s character in the movie Titanic survived, unlike his real counterpart.
Later he asked, “Have we met before?” It was the famous question of my life. Have we met before? How familiar so much was: like it was reincarnation at work. He played Richard in a movie and here he was, a decade before I bought my home in Richard’s backyard.
According to a visit by a group of psychics recently, Richard Frazar White always knew we would end up together in one of the family houses, living next to where he played as a child. I was never quite so sure that I would become the companion to a ghost.
Wagner thought I should have gone to Hollywood as a writer years ago. It was where he thought I was meant to be.
Call it fate, kismet, karma, coincidence, ESP, light-working, or whatever concept you accept.
Instead of Hollywood, I ended up a mile from Richard’s grave in Winchendon Springs. Wagner wound up having his own tragedy on the open sea: his wife Natalie Wood mysteriously fell overboard and drowned. He too is haunted by a watery grave.
Please do not call me Topper or Mrs. Muir, and I do not live in Gull Cottage—but in a house once in the neighborhood of a ghost from the sunken Titanic.
And now, I am his chess partner. Through a recent visit with a group of psychics to my home, Richard let it be known that he wants to play a game of chess with me.
One friend noted that he hasn’t played in over 100 years and has to be a little rusty. Another said, he likely has the angels on his side.
When first I moved here, I set up a chessboard in my library (on the truly haunted side of my house), and there the pieces began to move off their magnetic base erratically. Pawns were tipped over, and a castle and pawn try to share the same square.
I knew of Richard 30 years ago from the plaque in my classroom at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts, that mentioned his heroism on the Titanic. I had no idea who he was back then.
The psychics told me that the one ghost I have seen in my home is Richard’s cat. Yes, a spirit cat emerged from the wall behind a bookcase and ran into the kitchen. I followed but found nothing. I learned how this creature belongs to Richard—and observes the household and reports back to the Titanic spirit.
During research for a book on the Titanic, I discovered that Richard and I went to the same high school (Cambridge High & Latin), and we likely both belonged to the high school chess team about 60 years apart.
As a result of the psychics’ recommendation, I set up a chessboard in my home office and put a photo of Richard on the wall above it. An hour later it promptly fell off the wall, hit the chessboard and knocked over ALL the black pieces. Not one white piece was touched. I await his first move; if time is immaterial to the afterlife, he might take quite a while before the game truly is underway!
Dr. Russo has written extensively on the history of Mill Circle, including books entitled MURDER AT MILL CIRCLE, GHOSTS OF MILL CIRCLE, and TALES OF A TITANIC FAMILY. All are available for download or in print at Amazon.
DATELINE: And a Turtledove in a Maple Tree!
Mill Circle is not a place for underdogs.
There is not much sympathy for those who face the ravages of natural disaster—or predatory problems. And, this week a few of the denizens of Mill Circle found themselves in crisis mode.
Of all the sad misadventures of the week, our local turtledove may have had the worst. Though a sudden summer squall came through the hills of Worcester County, knocking out power overnight for residents, only one resident actually lost his home.
There, sitting in the yard amidst the branches of fallen limbs was a long, deep, carefully crafted bird’s nest, likely blown out of the tallest nearby maple tree. The grand maple of Mill Circle stands over the private park, but it is on the windiest hill and angle.
When we looked out in the dim sunset light, there was a morose and perfectly still turtledove, standing next to the nest.
He seemed to be contemplating all his work for naught. Whereas on a normal visit, he would swoop in, peck about and be gone quickly, he was in a state of shock. He walked around the fallen nest for a long time.
We were able to retrieve our camera from the iPhone and snap a picture, and even a little movie of the tragedy.
On the other hand, across the field on the other side of the private park, we watched ruffian gang members taking a toll on another resident.
Six crows had alighted in the field, dancing about in a circle, taking turns jumping into the middle. Then, we saw the object of their cruelty. Each one, in turn, picked up a field mouse and tossed it into the air. Another rushed over and pecked. We could see that the mouse was alive during their cat and mouse games.
The field rodent tried to run away but was pulled back into the circle where he was tossed about like a rag-doll. Every time he tried to escape, they yanked him back to their circle jerk.
It was another typical occasion of life’s inhumanity on Mill Circle.
Dr. William Russo often writes natural tales about Mill Circle. Some of these are collected in A Grand Maple Tree on Mill Circle and Mysterious Mill Circle. These stories are available on Amazon.com for smart-readers and in book form.