We’ve compiled a special collection of Vermont oddities, myths and legends about people, places and things around VT. If you think the weirdest experience you’ve had in Vermont is strolling down Church St., think again. Some of the articles below are sure to curl your toes. Also, when truth is stranger than fiction, there are quite a few skeletons hidden in Vermont’s closet.
- The Premature Burial in Vermont?
One man’s Insurance against premature burial in Vermont. Things are looking up…for someone who’s been dead for over 100 years. Discover Evergreen Cemetery in New Haven, Vermont, final resting place of Timothy Clark Smith, whose 1893 crypt includes a window to help him escape in case he was buried alive.
- Black Agnes – Sit on Her Lap and You Might Die!
Like many similar legends, “Black Agnes” supposedly is cursed with the power to some pretty bad things to those who may be tempted to sit on his lap. The list of not so wonderful circumstances include a certain death within seven days and a really bad range of just bad luck.
- Jacques Boisvert – Scuba Diver, Historian, Ecologist, and Monster Hunter
Jacques Boisvert, of Magog, Quebec, was a scuba diver, historian, ecologist, and a monster hunter all wrapped into one. He is probably best known for bringing the legendary, many say, mythical, dinosaur-like creature of Lake Memphremagog – Memphre – to life, or at least into the region’s collective consciousness.
- Curse of the Brunswick Springs
Ripley’s Believe it or Not called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World” in 1984. To Abenaki American Indians, it is a sacred spot with natural healing powers. Over the last two centuries, people with enterprising ideas have envisioned it as a place of business. Four hotel fires later, they were left to wonder: was it coincidence that led to their failure, or the curse of Brunswick Springs?
- Bootlegging in Vermont Was Risky Business
Because North Troy was on one of Orleans County’s busiest rum-running routes, the village became a popular stopover point for out-of-town smugglers. Notorious gangsters passed through town, and unsubstantiated stories even have Chicago gangster Al Capone staying overnight in a small North Troy hotel.
- The Lake Mempremagog Monster
Lake Memphremagog is home to a gigantic monster—at least that is what some people say!
- The Icy Cold Heart of a Vermont Winter Storm
Late winter 1869 brought about one of the biggest snowstorms in Danville, VT’s recorded history. By all accounts, farmers and residents alike would not know just how cold and tragic the storm had actually been until they gathered by wood stoves to read the weekly newspaper. A tragedy had occurred in the neighboring town of Peacham, which would embarrass even the most prosperous of its citizens.
- The Pigman of Vermont
Is there really a “Pigman” terrorizing the Green Mountains of Vermont or is it merely someone’s over active imagination at work?
- Where is Ethan Allen Buried?
In life, Ethan Allen was a controversial Revolutionary War hero that history often describes as fiercely independent, a bit crude, brash and undoubtedly, daring. Allen was no military genius, rather an overbearing, loud-mouthed braggart. But where is this legendary figure now?
- Legend of “Johnny Seesaw”
Johnny Seesaw’s was built in 1920 by Russian logger, Ivan Sesow. Sesow called his enterprise “The Wonderview Log Pavilion” and began the legend with his wild Saturday night dances, homemade moonshine and rumored sin cabins out back. If you didn’t know someone who had stayed here, you didn’t stay here.
- Slipperyskin – Bear, Bigfoot, or Indian?
In the 1700s the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont was (and still is to a certain degree) frontier country. It was inhabited by woodsmen, hunters, trappers, and fishermen extended families, mostly Wabanaki, but also a few sturdy others. It is told that it was also the haunt of Slipperyskin, a bear, which is supposed to have caused a general misery among the settlers. His name Slipperyskin was because he managed to elude every trap that was ever set for him. The Indians knew him and called him Wejuk or Wet Skin.
- Willoughby Lake Monster and other Oddities
Willoughby Lake is a scenic body of water located in the northern Vermont town of Westmore, nestled between two mountains, Mt. Hor and Mt. Pisgah. In earlier years, the region was a well known and popular destination with several large tourist hotels and much to see and do.
- Vermont’s Deep Frozen Folks
Vermonters are a frugal bunch and have been for many generations. In order to save energy during a long, cold Vermont winter, the truly ingenious old-time Vermont natives would find a way conserve food and heat….by freezing their old folks, for the duration of winter, and thawing them out in the spring time!
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