Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The dark side of Vermont

I am wondering when Tom Bauerle, on WBEN-AM, will do his annual show on ghost stories. He invites people to call in and tell about times when they felt a brush with the supernatural. That is always a lot of fun and it will be a welcome change from discussing the economy and the election. Surely Bauerle's ghost show is coming up fast. Lastnight WNED-FM played "The Flying Dutchman," a ghostly opera. So the radio is up and running with October spookiness.

Wagner got the spookiness right in "The Flying Dutchman." The eerie call of the Dutchman's sailors always gets to me. The way it echoes. The last scene is a classic, when the Dutchman finally announces who he is, and the sailors burst into that cry. I found this clip of the scene on You Tube. Senta is kind of fat but that kind of comes with the territory. But the Dutchman is great, this great biker type. And the staging is beautiful. Watch it. It gave me shivers.

Leonard Pennario's "Midnight on the Cliffs" is considered spooky music by some people because it was used in the movie "Julie," in which Pennario's friend Louis Jourdan played a creepy concert pianist trying to murder his wife, played by Doris Day. I kind of regret that music was used in that movie because I always imagine it to be a romantic, passionate theme, not a creepy theme. Pennario got the idea for it when he was walking on the beach in Newport, Rhode Island.

Wagner got the idea for "The Flying Dutchman" while he was traveling and was involved in a shipwreck. I forget the details. But it reminds me once when my family was traveling and we ran across a spooky situation.

This was in Vermont. I was about 10 years old so the details are foggy now. Maybe I will quiz my mom about this and see if she remembers more. But we stopped at this motel, the Mountain Valley Inn. And strange truths began to surface.

One thing, as I remember, the proprietors of the inn were named Phillips and when my parents registered, the Phillipses commented that their best friends were named Kunz. This was very odd because it just so happens that my parents' best friends were named Phillips. My Uncle James Phillips gave me away when I got married. That is how close they are to our family.

Another thing, my parents' house key fit the lock. Isn't that strange?

There was a sadness in the place, I remember that. There had been a suicide. I don't know how my parents got that out of the owners but they did. My father probably did. He always shared my interest in the supernatural, which my mother still does not.

Unfortunately my dad is gone so I can't quiz him on what else happened. My mom didn't pay as much attention. What I do remember, though, is that a strange atmosphere hung over the car when we left that place and continued on our way the next day. My parents were whispering about things. I sometimes wonder about that place, the Mountain Valley Inn. I wonder if it is still there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OKAY -- Mary, THAT is really weird. JUST THIS WEEK, I was JUST telling the kids the story of the big St. Bernard, Yuka, who cornered George in the hallway of this little inn in Vermont and was licking the hell out of his face while he cried hysterically. Was THAT the Mountain Valley Inn?

spooooky - Margie