It’s time for a Halloween science lesson.      We have so many who think they’re ‘scientific’ because they are secularists.       By definition, the only thing that exists is what they see, what they hear and what they measure.       Secularists don’t fuss with God, or the supernatural or any spiritual concepts.         To them, these things simply do not exist.

These 19th-century relics think they’re being scientific when they are anything but.       Quantum Physics, multi-dimensional universes, parallel worlds are all theoretically scientific.     The problem lies that they do not fall within the realm of experimental science until they can be measured, and measured again, and then measured again.      That’s why Einstein’s Theory of Relativity is still a theory.       Countless tests have shown it is valid but other aspects can not be proved because we simply don’t have the measuring equipment to define it as a law.

So here’s the dilemma!      Our modern world’s technology is based on two un-verified concepts: Quantum Physics and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

So, those who poo-poo ghosts must surely have some fancy measuring equipment that has ‘proved’ they don’t exist.

We can’t say what’s happening– but something’s going on.

And something is going on in Newbury and Newburyport that I would call ‘creepy’.       You can’t put your finger on it – but I’m sorry – you won’t catch me in those locations at night.

Curzon Mills and Maudsley State Park. (Home to the Gates of Hell)

Oak Hill Cemetery (Speaking of zombies – read the inscription on the Tappan Gate.)

Old Hill Burying Ground at the junction of Auburn Street and Greenleaf Street near the Old Gaol. (Lord Timothy Dexter is perhaps still pissed he wasn’t buried in his Temple of Reason that was located at his house.)

The Haunted Crossing at the Little River Nature Trail (A distinct feeling of being ‘watched’)

And the worst,

Boston Road in Newbury. (From railroad tracks to the transfer station)

I don’t care if I’m in a car, on a bike or walking through the area, this stretch is creepy.      It has taken me a bit of time but I have discovered enough through research to find out possibly why.

I’ve been conducting tours at the Old South and Rev. George Whitefield has been a large part of the subject.     His last ‘official’ sermon was done in Exeter, NH and he was noted to use pulpit rocks (large massive stones with flat tops).      One is famously located in Byfield.       I had been told by a local that he thought that another of those pulpit rocks is located right by the Newbury landfill right smack dab on that creepy stretch of road.           And I found it!

Front of the Devil's Pulpit Rock

So, excitedly I went to the Library archives to confirm it.        My heart sank when I read about the large stone.

Back of the Devil's Pulpit RockI found it alright – I had found THE DEVIL’S PULPIT.Top of the Devil's Pulpit - Unholy Ground

According to local legend (as in nineteenth century legend), the large stone was used by the reckless – the rumor was that if you wanted to be protected from any future physical harm, you had to climb the Devil’s pulpit – look out upon the field (now covered by the landfill), and issue forth a great amount of curses and swearing.       By doing so, the Devil would then protect you from all harm forthwith.

As the march of time progressed, this tradition died away (Thankfully) and most of the local residents have had no idea of the significance of this great rock.     And with the advent of the landfill, and the tangling of forest, its evil intent has been lost.

Folklore has also fostered another evil.       An abandoned Limestone mine lies just north of the road – its caverns created from the harmless intent of digging, it was renamed due to the wild imaginations of youth that it was not a mine but the Devil’s DenAbove Devil's Den        In earnest to reach out to some occult mystery, it became a hideout for witch’s covens, drug use and other illicit goings on.        Evil begets evil and though it was once a harmless hole, there is now a sinister feel about this patch of forest.

If you look across the road diagonally from The Devil’s Pulpit, you can see the entrance.

Boston Road Entrance

So, even with all my research, I still can’t put my finger on why this area is creepy – at least I know one thing certain.

You can visit that stretch of road anytime you like, but if you are going to do it at night – don’t ever ask me to join you!

-P. Preservationist

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