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Can a True Story About an Abandoned Town Rival a Best-selling Murder Mystery?

September 30, 2010

Possibly so, if the story is about Dogtown, Massachusetts - an abandoned area near Gloucester full of supernatural looking large rocks, and boulders that remind viewers of Stonehenge. The area has not been inhabited since the last resident left in 1839. The town never recovered after the ravages of the American Revolution. It is now only an isolated ruin in 3,000 acres of woodland.

Dogtown's history contains stories of witches, super-natural sightings, and pirates. The area was named for the dogs kept by Revolutionary War widows.

To top it all off, a local schoolteacher was brutally murdered there in 1984 by a mentally disturbed local outcast. Could Dogtown's peculiar atmosphere and eerie past have influenced a modern day person to do horrific things?.

The author Joyce Carol Oates calls the story "Fascinating, richly detailed, and remarkably evocative". If you like history, there are a lot of neat angles to this story, like the information on Modernist painter Marsden Hartley who painted Dogtown landscapes in the 1930s. The artist said the area and his work saved him from a paralyzing depression.

Howard B.
Dearborn Branch 

Tags: fiction, book review

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