Spooky Titanic’s Northern Lights

DATELINE:  Geo-Magnetic Anomalies

Today as I sit in my home office writing these words, I can look on the Internet to find the exact latitude at which I can be located: it is 42.695652 (within a thousandth of a degree).

I will feel no difference if my position were 41.6 or 43.6. The place is an arbitrary point on a map to help find me if I am lost or unconscious. My smartphone is a beacon of that information to a world of technological marvels.

In 1912, the passengers on the Titanic likely had no idea exactly where they were when the ship hit the iceberg. Their compasses and rudimentary radio communications systems had an idea. Crew members and radio operators did send out appeals for help. Yet, for over seventy years the exact location of the wreckage was not precisely known.

Something had thrown off the numbers, or the inexactitude may be attributed to primitive technology. Today we know that the Titanic wreck is at approximately Latitude 41.72. It broke into pieces and they scattered over a ten-mile area. The ship may have hit the berg within a range somewhere between 41.5 and 42.5 latitude. We cannot be sure how much the ship drifted during its two-mile descent to the ocean floor.

I live in a house at 42.69 latitude once owned by two of the victims who died on Titanic. The ship hit the berg and sank ten miles north or south of this latitudinal location. Their home was directly west of the spot of their deaths. Directly.

New theories have emerged that solar flares and geomagnetic factors could have contributed to the sinking of the Titanic. conditions on Earth.

Mila Zinkova, a retired computer expert, explained that she discovered that more than a few witnesses reported seeing the Northern Lights around the time that Titanic made its voyage across the North Atlantic.

Usually the Aurora Borealis  can be seen above or at 55°N geomagnetic latitude. In a particularly strong geomagnetic storm, such sights can fall to the lower reading of 45 to 55°N. It seems highly unlikely that victims on the ship, fighting for their lives, in a state of shock, would be watching the sky for a beautiful display of Northern Lights. Some might regard it as a paranormal omen of doom, and others might ignore the phenomenon for the same reason.

Zinkova states: “Most people who write about Titanic, they don’t know that northern lights were seen on that night.” In fact, she goes beyond that to postulate:an ejection of charged particles from the sun may have caused the crew to make navigational adjustments that led the Titanic along a slightly different course. “Even if the compass moved only one degree, it already could have made a difference,” says Zinkova.

Besides crew member James Bisset and Officer Joseph Boxhall, at least three Titanic survivors reported seeing the aurora borealis that night. “The fact that so many people saw the aurora makes me confident that there was a space weather event happening,” concurred one scientist from England.

Author, Author: Go Away!

DATELINE: Unwanted Gifts

 Latest Affront to Gifting.

A friend kindly scoffed at me for a bad habit.

He claimed how I had a tendency to give away gifts to people who did not necessarily want them. He was referring to my bad habit to bestow a copy of one of my books to people who have been nice to me.

I usually inscribe them with thanks for some generic kindness. It is, I am told, not appreciated because I have given people something that they cannot repay or reciprocate.

Well, okay. I realize that not everyone can write a book and return a copy to me in standoff fashion. However, I thought that providing a free, gratis copy of a personal creation would qualify as an act of generosity, not as a slap with my velvet glove.

However, my friend argues that it is not that at all: it is a brazen show of ego.

Well, you can knock me over with a dust-jacket. I would never have thought that giving a personal gift would be construed as an act of selfishness. In fact, I always thought the creative process was something to be shared.

Alas, if you share it with those who have no appreciation, no interest, or no good manners, the writer of a book may well deserve to have the gift accepted without thanks or acknowledgement.

I often note that I give away my book as a token of my gratitude and not as homework assignment. I will not quiz the recipient on the book’s message or contents. If I did, we know the result would be a failing grade. We’ve seen enough of that in the nation’s body politic.

As a resolution, I have now promised my old friend that I will be more circumspect in sharing my books. Never give a page away that is not requested, or at least has some kind of interest expressed by another. It means I will save money on copies and postage.

It is an age when reading is a chore, not a pleasure, and the disrespected writer is a prophet without honor in any country.

 

Dr. William Russo is too prolific for his own good, and he has written many movie history books and biographies.

 

 

Titanic’s Marconi Radio & a Spirit’s Reaction

DATELINE: Titanic Spirit

 New Book: Titanic’s Forgotten Movie.

You may have noticed the latest Titanic news: a judge’s ruling that violates the graveyard sanctity of shipwrecks in the name of historical preservation. The Titanic will now be drilled open like a can of sardines, and the Marconi radio will be extracted.

The arguments in favor of this are that the ship is collapsing and, if salvage does not occur immediately, all these historical items, lost for over 108 years will be lost forever.

My own personal interest in the topic may be tied to a couple of books I wrote about the Titanic (if you are interested, the latest is TITANIC’S FORGOTTEN MOVIE,which details the attempts to have Greta Garbo and Alfred Hitchcock join the movie manifest).

I also have a personal interest in that my home once belonged to several victims of the White family, who died during their first-class voyage to destiny.

Richard White was a 21-year old Bowdoin student coming home to graduate in 1912, but he only made it there for a memorial service. His body was recovered among the 300 or so, and he was brought home to a cemetery one mile from where I live and he lived. I often visit him there.

Some time ago, I discovered he was hanging around in spirit. Never believing in that stuff, I went to various psychics who confirmed he selected me to write his biography. I have done so, and he continues to visit me from time to time, a grateful spirit friend.

The preferred method of communication with someone on the Other Side for me is divining rods. He always responds quickly for me, and so I asked him what his opinion might be about the retrieval of the Marconi.

Richard’s response on the metal sticks was surprising. He is often strong in his responses to me, but there was a great great deal of ambivalence about this going into the ship for the Marconi. He had strong mixed feelings. I think he feels helpless to react to it.

His answer reminded me me of my own reaction to the coronavirus. What can we do? Profiteers want their profit.

As far as Titanic is concerned, I do think this opens the door to retrieving safety deposit boxes and the like. If you decide the ship is collapsing, they will take all they can out with that excuse.

By the same token, there is not much an oldster can do when the doors are open to ending social distance. Victims are always victims. Old people may be susceptible to the virus, but the greater need to have society continue on its merry way supersedes those whose lives are nearly over.

Richard White could surely empathize with a death that causes respiratory failure: fluid in the lungs killed him too.

Now the place where his father’s body was never recovered will be violated for profit and the higher motive of historical value. Those always take precedence over the life of an individual.

Richard White and I can only shrug at the latest turn of events.

 

Merlin Among the Stars!

DATELINE: Jan Merlin’s Final Book!

Hand-made card drawn by Jan at Kilimanjaro during film Woman & the Hunter.

My dear friend and coauthor Jan Merlin died a few months ago. He lived a long and creative life. That does not lessen the effect of a hard loss, and I have managed to complete something that was brewing for decades.

Jan knew that I kept all his letters, copies of his emails, and took notes on many of our conversations over the course of thirty years. He steadfastly said he did not want a biography in any traditional sense. But, as the years passed, he often gave me a flood of memories about his years on Broadway, in early TV, and later in movies. I have completed a memoir in his own words.

He worked with so many famous—and he was one of them, knew their foibles and secrets. If I learned anything, it was a secret society—and they all kept their privilege sacred. Yet, he provided me with anecdotes with people from stage like Josh Logan, from movies such as Marlon Brando, from literature like Gore Vidal and Truman Capote, from TV like every Western TV star over 15 years (from Chuck Connors to Michael Landon).

So, I have compiled his memories to provide some amazing insights into the profession of acting and the business of movies. It did not take long to do—as I had been adding bits and pieces after each chat or text.

Now, I have for you a record of an era: the star of two TV series, Tom Corbett and Rough Riders,who played mostly the bad guy on TV westerns, committing every dastardly act and finding come-uppance weekly in a variety of ways.

His voice is clear and direct on every page; he never pulled punches, never played the social game, and he felt he damaged his career with projects like The List of Adrian Messengerwith Kirk Douglas, and he felt John Huston misused him. Even today, he is the man under the masks—but Douglas takes credit for the performance (even in an Oscar compilation clip!).

He gave me a title:  We Were All Six Feet Tall,which I have kept with the main focus, Merlin Among the Stars.It is now available on Kindle as an ebook and the paperback will soon be out for his fans and friends.

When I re-read his letters, there was so much I had forgotten—and never followed up. One example was his friendship with noted crypto-scientist Willy Ley who was tech advisor on his show Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.

There are gems from the era—and can only be appreciated by those with a grand sense of the past.

 

 

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0831S1RVZ

 

Jan Merlin: Statuesque Among the Stars, 1925-2019

  Jan with his Emmy Award!

My co-author and most important literary collaborator has gone from this world.

Jan Merlin might be recognizable to a generation or two of film and TV fans as the villain who populated a hundred TV shows. He made movies with Ann Sheridan, George C. Scott, and Woody Allen. He starred in two 1950s TV series, The Rough Riders—and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, with Frankie Thomas.

A veteran of the Navy in World War II, Jan went from the military during the big war to the Neighborhood Playhouse where he learned the craft of acting, though he had many talents. He always thought his acting fame was a lesser role. He was always the antagonist to some western star, or some dubious military man.

Yet, despite playing dastardly villains almost constantly, with his Aryan looks (Polish American out of New York City), he was a genteel man with a sense of art and brilliantly self-educated. Like a generation of those who were never able to attend college, he more than made up for it with a dozen books to his credit. He loved fiction—drawing  upon his movie background, or his experiences in Japan after the war.

Together we did a half-dozen books of which I am most proud. We did only one work of fiction, The Paid Companion of J. Wilkes Booth. Most of our Hollywood history tales were based on his insider knowledge of how a set work, from knowing nearly every star of the 1950s and 1960s. He laughed they were all “six feet tall,” no matter what the truth might be.

We wrote about Boys Town, Billy Budd, Reflections in a Golden Eye, among other films, giving a unique perspective on daily life during the studio shoot. He knew Brando, Taylor, Clift, James Dean, in ways that others could never understand. He threw James Dean out of the Pier Angeli house at her mother’s request.

When we did not write books together, he gave me editorial and research insights for my books on James Kirkwood and Audie Murphy. Oh, he knew them too.

Now he is gone, irreplaceable in my life and in Hollywood history, with all those insights and memories. He had stories he would not tell about the damaged figures of show business. He took those secrets with him, as much as I wanted to hear them. He was loyal to the memory of the business he loved and hated.

Once I called it ‘Tinseltown’, and he reprimanded me: it was a cherished professional location, not a frivolous tabloid fantasy to him. He introduced me as his “son” on occasion, which amused me–and made movie star Frankie Thomas look at me with quite an impression.

Goodbye, dear Jan. I am so lucky to have known you and to have worked with you. I have been left a treasure trove of his life, and maybe one day I will tell what he told me. He was my touchstone to a bygone era and glorious movie history.

One Hour on the Decks of Titanic!

DATELINE: Seance on a Saturday PM

carol and orb Kadrolsha with orb (Richard?) next to bookrack!

When your home is haunted by one of the victims of the Titanic, and you are on a first-name basis with that spirit, you may find yourself engaged in strange activities.

So, we came to have a séance on a Saturday afternoon that would try to reach Richard White, a 21-year old college student who died on April 15, 1912. He has been following me for some time, and he was likely responsible for my discovery of his old family estate not far from his grave.

On an August day, we finally arranged the first séance to reach him. Like Arthur Conan Doyle or W.T. Stead, notable 19th century spiritualists, we were about to embark on a great adventure.

To help with this was foremost spiritualist and healer, Kadrolsha Ona Carole, who is known professionally as the Queen of the Paranormal.

Also to join us in my study were long-time ghost hunters Susan Allen, Karen Raymond, and Eric Metzler. They have visited my home often and helped me communicate with the spirits around me. Primarily, this is Richard, a student with a penchant for spending time with a retired professor: Dr. William Russo.

The Queen of Paranormal told us we would conduct a professional investigation, not the usual hand-holding, table-tipping that often occurs in Hollywood movies.

As a first timer, I had a bit of nerves: we set up an antique round table for five, each with a white candle on a red tablecloth. There would be sage to cleanse the air and block out the entrances. There would be bread, home-made, natural.

Our contact, Kadrolsha is fairly active in media—with graphic novels, TV and movie tie-ins. She is a stunning blond woman, tall and with a healer’s kindness. She did not engage in fancy chants to set us up: but did a silent prayer and touched each of us on the head to open up.

Many times I had told Richard through divining rods that I did not want to see him on Titanic and felt he was cheated by life. So, I felt some protection. Only later did we find an orb in a corner photo of our session. My belief is that Richard stood next to a bookrack where my work Chess-Mate from Titanic detailed his life.

What happened shocked me, and it was unexpected: we felt the rock of ship in distress. Many of us were freezing cold and shaking to and fro. I was actually warm, and grew flush, but Eric was profusely sweating and overheated: it was a description that survivors gave of Richard’s father who seemed to suffer a heart attack on deck.

As for me, I felt my hands and arms involuntarily raising off my lap—as if buoyant by water. Yet, I was never cold, but in a stunned state at the reactions of the others at our little circular table.

Our hostess, Kadrolsha also felt choked with heart pains—but Sue was most affected, having visions of a woman forced to separate from her husband who was not allowed on the lifeboat.

Her panic grew exponentially and consoling her was nearly impossible. Kadrolsha recognized this, and she brought us back after a harrowing hour aboard a sinking luxury liner.

This experience lasted an hour, though it felt much quicker and sudden. Once the spell was broken, we felt a great relief: recordings taken will document the time aboard the ship at our table.

Should we try this again? I am wary: for a day after I suffered paranormal hangover, tired and headachey. No bad spirits took up residence in my home, thanks to Richard. Yet, I never again want to be on a Titanic deck, even in a hypnotic trance of a séance.

Dr. William Russo has written three books on his Titanic connections:  Tales of a Titanic Family, Chess-mate from Titanic, and Titanic Mysteries on Mill Circle. All are available on Amazon.com in print and in ebook format.

 

 

 

Titanic Mysteries on Mill Circle

DATELINE:   Paranormal Book on Titanic!

new kindle mystery cover Richard White (picture from college yearbook).

When you live in a haunted house and create an enchanted library, you may end up with some paranormal mysteries to explain.

That is the premise of William Russo’s latest book about the spirit of a Titanic victim who shows his host both devotion and protection.

You may question why a college student who died on the Titanic would follow a retired college professor, but the overriding sense of being haunted is not demonic according to a new book about Titanic Mysteries on Mill Circle.

Psychics hint that there may be a reincarnation involved, or merely crossed wires of time and space. Whatever the cause, the effect is exhilarating:  messages and orbs fly all over the library. Russo’s path to his spirit guest crossed the lines of attending the same high school, but fifty years apart, and being members of the school chess team.

Whether you can accept DVDs thrown off shelves and other bizarre coincidences as regular daily activity, there is something definitely happening beyond normal. 

Dr. William Russo often contends that where he lives, the normal is paranormal. You may become convinced along with him.

A long-time skeptic of occult and paranormal, Russo cannot fight the barrage of evidence in his own home’s library that he has now turned over to a victim of the Titanic.

Richard Frazar White has taken up residence here and happily accepts his library as a gift. When he was a young man in 1912, he was a budding intellectual who spent time at his Aunt Julia’s library at Waikiki (the largest private library on the Hawaiian Islands in 1900). He is photographed, at the end of his life, two days before Titanic sinks, in the First-Class Reading Room of the grand ship.

And now, he has taken possession of a memorial library dedicated to him. Included in the volume are the weird anecdotes about Richard White’s ties to the art world, how Russo found Richard’s 1912 Bowdoin Bugle Yearbook, and how the orbs and noises of the library respond to his every request.

Other haunted people contact him with their own tales of connections to Richard, including a young lawyer from Brazil who was an exchange student at Bowdoin.

You may not believe it, but you cannot turn away from this page-turner.

Now available in soft-cover and e-book format on Amazon. Titanic Mysteries on Mill Circle is the final volume of the Mill Circle series, and the third volume of the continuing tales of the Titanic by the author!

William Russo’s other works include: Tales of a Titanic Family, Chess-Mate from Titanic.    Dr. Russo will teach a course on Titanic: a Local History at the CALL Program at Keene State College in the Fall term. He also will give a guest lecture at Monty Tech Continuing Education program in Fitchburg, MA, in October.

Titanic Leap from Shelf

 DATELINE: Shocked in the Library!

leap from Titanic   Side by Side on Shelf: DVD titled Last Mysteries of the Titanic, next to photo or Richard White in Titanic’s Reading Room.

Oh, poltergeist generally are puckish spirits who have a tendency to throw items or create havoc with a brazen sense of humor.

We have posted a video on YouTube that shows a DVD named Last Mysteries of the Titanic, sitting next to a photo of Richard White in the First Class Reading Room of the Titanic, that took on a life of its own—and jumped from the shelf leaving me speechless.

Maybe the headline for YouTube should be “Ghost Throws Book at Writer.” My spirit guardian Richard and I would receive more hits, searches, and bingo moments.

In my Titanic Memorial Library, where my roommate spirit Richard spends some time, several psychics have noted that he always has a playful sense of fun.

The library is a commemoration to him, as he lived here once long ago, and then he died on Titanic, celebrating his college graduation on a maiden voyage of a luxury ship.

Earlier my security camera had mysteriously fallen down from its perch in the library where it had been completely secured with duct tape. It provides a late-night glimpse into the space where orbs, noises, and things that go bump tend to congregate. No one really wants to be there after dark.

However, around 8pm, still with dusk at hand, the camera had fallen onto a cushion on a chair. It could be re-secured before total blackness fell. Yet, later in the early morning hours, the camera fell again. I was not going in there at that hour.

Having an early morning cup of coffee to bolster the latest visit around 6:30am, we headed over there to restore the camera and face it directly at the floor-to-ceiling shelving of books and videotapes.

Once there, we accomplished our mission and stated aloud to the spirits present that we would check on the other memorabilia and souvenirs to see if they had fallen too.

Walking to the books, we were ginger in our steps, keeping an eye out for oddities. Upon looking at the books, we were startled when one of the DVDs came off the shelf just as we asked, “Has anything else fallen?”

You can see the incident caught on camera here.  It is posted on YouTube.

The movie in question on the shelf was a documentary on Titanic, of course. What else would jump off the shelf like a passenger trying to disembark a sinking ship?

As you can see from the footage captured, your host was clearly startled. It must have amused Richard and the other resident ghosts of the library.

It’s just another day at home when your housemates are spirits from another era.

Ghost Chessmate Plays on a Dusty Board

DATELINE:  Titanic Ghost Still Present at His Home

chessmate plays Titanic Spirit Plays On!

Eight months ago, after psychics who visited noted that the ghostly spirit of a young man at Mill Circle wanted to play chess, we offered to keep you updated.

So, here is the first: Saturday afternoon, entering my second floor office, a small place where all blogs are created, we were greeted with a scene of chess movement. The ultimate gesture: the White King was down, a sign in the game of a concession.

It is a humorous response to make one’s first move the endgame gambit.

The chessboard has collected dust, never touched all this time, under the photo of the young man whom we were told was the potential player. He loved to play chess, often with his brother in this neighborhood.

At age 21 Richard White died in 1912 on the Titanic.

He was born and lived at this property, which was the family estate, the headquarters to their 19th century mill empire.  When his body was recovered a few days after the Titanic sinking, he was brought to the Winchendon Springs cemetery a mile away and buried alone. His father’s body was never recovered.

For over thirty years odd encounters with everything Titanic perplexed me.  This has included purchasing a property where Richard White lived. We had no idea at the time, but quickly learned from neighbors that conditions at Mill Circle were paranormal, not abnormal.

Richard sent a variety of signs he was here, present in this home, where he was welcomed. Where else would he go? Where else might he want to be? Psychics told me that he felt safe here in my home.

Psychics said he chose to stay here, and as a free spirit could go anywhere.

When the chessboard in the library featured odd moves and inexplicable actions, we set up another board where I could keep an eye on it daily, telling Richard that he could play the author of The Ghosts of Mill Circle right here.

It seems he has taken up the offer.

We placed a small model of the Titanic in mid-board, partly as a totem, and a yellow rose rests near the board as a symbol of friendship.

And, from a dimension where time is timeless, he has given us another sign, albeit a funny one by conceding the game in his first move.

We love it, Richard, and appreciate your presence.

Dangerous Edge: Greene for Danger

DATELINE:  Literary Marvel

Greene  The Other Shade of Greene

Before Graham Greene was known as a Native American actor and movie star, he was one of the most important writers of the 20th century.  Oh, they were different people with the same name.

British writer Greene joined Hemingway as a character as vivid as his heroes of fiction. Like them, he was a converted Roman Catholic with severe doubts and moral lapses. He was, like them, often a writer and journalist, and he shared a background as a spy with many of his literary heroes. He was not a nice man.

And he loved to write movie reviews. Well, he wasn’t all bad.

As a cinematic novelist, his works often reached the screen with great influence: from This Gun for Hire, The Third Man,  Power and Glory, The Comedians, Our Man in Havana, Brighton Rock, The Quiet American, Travels with my Aunt, and on and on.

He seemed always to visit a far-off location right before it blew up into an international crisis spot: from Cuba to Haiti to Vietnam.

As a boy, his father was the headmaster of their school—and all his classmates regarded him as a spy for the old man. The notion stuck.

He was notoriously promiscuous and a womanizer, as well as an inveterate traveler. He was virulently anti-American for the most part—and loathed the movies that messed up his message (Quiet American Audie Murphy comes to mind, which can be seen in the book Audie Murphy in Vietnam by William Russo).

He defended notorious Communist Kim Philby, the Brit spy, and one of his closest friends. He accepted honors from the Soviet Union, but not from the Nobel Prize committee. No wonder the FBI and CIA kept him under surveillance.

Greene was also a suicidal manic-depressive most of the time, though he lived until his 80s and finally came to realize his mission was to write. He believed his work ultimately was his life and his identity. He was not far wrong.

The documentary about his life, Dangerous Edge, even features people like John LeCarre, his likely successor in literature, and the film uses many clips from the famous movies. He used to call his less serious work “entertainments,” but it all ended up as serious and entertaining.

More Spirit Activity on Mill Circle!

DATELINE: Titanic Ghost?

 scrabble in library

Photos:  September 13, 2018   and October 6, 2018

For those who have followed my odd paranormal adventures, let me post an update.

As you may know, I have written several books about my experiences in my home, once owned by two victims of the Titanic disaster in 1912. Based on several (now four visits) sessions with psychics, they agreed that the house is inhabited by at least one of those victims—and several others.

My latest book Chess-Mate from Titanic tells of the message of the psychics that explains weird activities in my library. Pieces on a magnetized chessboard have moved. They insisted that Richard, one of my ghosts, wants to play chess.

Well, he appears to have moved on to another board game. Perhaps he is bored by eternity! I set up the Scrabble board in hopes that spirits might find it more pleasant to spell out their messages than using a Ouija board. The psychics tell me that the library is a portal and a vortex.

My message was simple:  ‘HELLO’  facing the tiles that could be arranged in response.

I set it up on the anniversary of the Titanic disaster on April 15 of this year. When I visit the library, I always check for a response.

Today I found one.

As the enclosed photos show, someone or some thing has decided to move the tiles I set up in greeting.

The photos side by side show the board in September, and now in October. I presume the spirit is taking the “hell” out of “hello.”

Your amusing responses are always appreciated. Thanks for reading my latest. For more details you can always go to the ebooks on Amazon:  Tales of a Titanic Family, Ghosts of Mill Circle, and Chess-Mate from Titanic.

 

 

Playing Chess with a Ghost from the Titanic

DATELINE:  Haunted Chessboard

game underway

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.

Stanwyk & Wagner

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!Richard & chess

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.

Did Peddler’s Murder in 1820s Spark Supernatural Events?

DATELINE:  New Book on Historical Murder

 millmurderkindlecover

Murder at Mill Circle is a shocking tale of a haunted neighborhood.

Crime, passion, murder, and literary celebrities like Henry David Thoreau, provide a backdrop to the deaths and cursed lives of residents in a small New England neighborhood during early 19th century and the mineral spring at the epicenter of trouble. 

This is a book that could not be written twenty years ago, nor even ten years ago. The proliferation of family histories online from sites like Ancestry.com and Find-a-Grave have allowed researchers the luxury of looking at sources across the country instantly.

Instead of traveling to murky library dungeons, all the work can be painstakingly completed in the comfort of one’s home office.

Granted, there is difficulty in solving a 200-year old murder when the name of the victim is unknown, the date of the killing is not established, and the witnesses are all dead. Fortunately, the murder occurred across the street from our charming home. Our former, dead neighbors left their names on census forms and deeds. We found them easily enough.

If there is anything shocking in old records, it is discovering who died when. The juxtaposition of names is often revealing. So, too, is learning who hightailed it out of town around the time of the murder in the 1820s.

You may find it interesting to learn that Mill Circle was kind of a Peyton Place, not far from New Hampshire’s border—and had a bit of Harper Valley thrown in.

Peddlers were the 19th century social media. When one of them gave you a bad review, the gossip could do in your hotel, tavern, or mineral spring instantly. The peddlers were not unionized, but they did socialize at every wayside inn they found along New England roads.

We admit we were surprised at what we found as we moved toward offering a theory on who-done-it. We have put together the history of Mill Circle’s residents, houses, mineral spring, and social network. It provided us with a likely theory of who was murdered, why, and by whom.

Now available on amazon.com in paperback and in e-book format for smart readers.

 

Biography and history.

Another in a series of books about Mill Circle at Winchendon Springs by Dr. William Russo, resident.

Our Anti-Oscars

DATELINE: Ten Who Dared

kindleredcarpet

We saw a few movies this year, since the last Oscar ceremony, and we enjoyed them thoroughly. As you might expect, none of these movies won much of anything. In fact, they were reviled in some circles.

In no particular order, we recommend four documentaries, 2 docudramas, 6 movies about writers, and a partridge in a pear tree. They are politically incorrect for the most part.

78/52:  This little documentary gives us a full-length movie that looks at how Alfred Hitchcock put together a two-minute shower scene in Psycho.

A Ghost Story: A fascinating look at the personal, sad history of one ghost (in a classic white sheet). Eschews the normal clichés.

Chasing Pavement:  An interesting look at the life, off-screen, of a gay porn star whose life is someone else’s fantasy. Not a documentary.

Frantz:  A French-German language movie about a girl who discovers a stranger leaving flowers at her dead boyfriend’s grave after World War I.

Paterson:  Jim Jarmusch presents us with the pedestrian life of a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, who happens to be a poet.

The Man Who Invented Christmas:  The amusing story of how Charles Dickens invented Scrooge—and their intriguing discussions on how to tell his ghost story.

Rebel in the Rye:   J.D. Salinger’s life is told, through Nick Hoult’s performance, and his mentor (Kevin Spacey) who seems to have an unhealthy obsession with the writer.

The Gallapagos Affair: Documentary about a strange murder and disappearance in the Enchanted Isles of Darwin and Melville.

I am Nobody’s Negro:  The life of James Baldwin who never compromised his writing or life, and refused to become the black Truman Capote.

The list falls short of a top-ten litany, and that’s how it should be. Nobody really raved about hard-working filmmakers who came up with these labors of love. Their artistic integrity and small budgets defy the art they created.

You could watch worse movies, mostly from this year’s Oscar list.

William Russo compiled a couple of volumes of movie reviews this season:  Red Carpet Tickets and Is It Real? …or Just Another Movie.

New Book of Movie & TV Reviews

 “A compendium of enormous balderdash and overwrought and underthought insights!”

Mal Tempo, Long Time Ago book consultant

                                                    kindleredcarpet

If you enjoy Ossurworld’s movie and television reviews, with their unique and odd insights into what’s really happening in your favorite movies, then you are in luck! 

Red Carpet Tickets: Movie & TV Reviews collects the best of the blog reports in one place for easy access and reading.

The books is available for smarter readers, both in e-book and print formats, from Amazon.

If you want the perfect time-killer, Red Carpet Tickets is your ticket to ride. 

Ossurworld’s blogs on movies (& TV streams) select only films that you can and should devote time to watching. Bad films are rarely considered for examination. Bloated budgets, ridiculous acting, and skimpy budgets, will not hurt a film’s chances if something intelligent is presented. Ossurworld will let you know.

You can find Ossurworld’s new book online by simply clicking on this blue highlight!

Red Carpet Tickets: Movie & TV Reviews.  (This blog is a self-serving, commercial, and otherwise blatant attempt to win your appreciation of our mini-labors of Hercules.)