Showing posts with label King Philip & The Bridgewater Triangle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label King Philip & The Bridgewater Triangle. Show all posts

Sachem Rock Farm: Monumental History, Murder & War


Not only is Sachem Rock Farm--owned by the town of East Bridgewater and the site of the East Bridgewater Senior Center-- the precise spot where first inland Native American land sale in the United States was made, it is also the site of the of one of the nine homes in East Bridgewater to burned to the ground by King Philip’s warriors in King Philip's War. It’s no surprise the Latham farm was first to be attacked. With this house, it was personal. Robert Latham’s wife, Susanna was a Winslow--a name that was almost royalty in the colony. Susanna’s mother was the famous Mary Chilton, the first woman to step on American soil off of the Mayflower. Her father was John Winslow, the brother of the esteemed Governor Edward Winslow. But more importantly…her other uncle was General Josias Winslow of The Plymouth Colony Militia, the captor and suspected murderer of Alexander, King Philip’s elder brother.

Robert Latham was a well respected man, even serving as town constable at the time of the war. The fact that not ten years earlier, Latham and his wife Susanna were charged and found guilty of murder seemed to do little to effect the Latham’s social standing in the colony.


The Murder

In 1659, Robert and Susanna were charged with the murder of their servant, John Walker. In the book Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691 it says of the crime: "On 31 January 1654/55 a coroner's jury was called to view the body of Latham's servant boy, John Walker." The jury found that the body of John Walker was blackish and blew, and the skine broken in divers places from the middle to the haire of his head, viz, all his backe with stripes given him by his master, Robert Latham, as Robert himselfe did testify; and also wee found a bruise of his left arme, and one of his left hipp, and one great bruise of his brest; and there was the knuckles of one hand and one of his fingers frozen, and alsoe both his heeles frozen, and one of the heeles the flesh was much broken, and alsoe one of his little toes frozen and very much perished, and one of his great toes frozen, and alsoe the side of his foot frozen; and alsoe, upon the reviewing the body, wee found three gaules like holes in the hames, which wee formerly, the body being frozen, thought they had been holes; and alsoe wee find that the said John was forced to carry a logg which was beyond his strength, which hee indeavoring to doe, the logg fell upon him, and hee, being downe, had a stripe or two, as Joseph Beedle doth testify; and wee find that it was some few daies before his death; and wee find, by the testimony of John Howland and John Adams, that heard Robert Latham say that hee gave John Walker som stripes that morning before his death; and alsoe wee find the flesh much broken of the knees of John Walker, and that he did want sufficient food and clothing and lodging, and that the said John did constantly wett his bedd and his cloathes, lying in them, and so suffered by it, his clothes being frozen about him; and that the said John was put forth in the extremity of cold, though thuse unabled by lamenes and sorenes to performe what was required; and therefore in respect of crewelty and hard usage he died.

The Land Sale


1661. Massasoit dies. The peaceful era between colonist and Indian was over. After his brother Alexander is allegedly poisoned by General Josiah Winslow in 1662, it is now perfectly clear to Massasoit’s son, Metacom (commonly known by his English name “Philip”) what the intentions of the people who had arrived upon the shores of a land that had already been inhabited for 10,000 years just 40 years before: They wanted it all and did not play by any rule understood by the Wampanoags.

The native name for Sachem Rock was Wonnocoote. Up until the turn of the 20th century, locals still referred to Sachem Rock Farm as “Cootah Hill.” In 1649 Massasoit met with reprentatives of Duxbury at Sachem Rock. It was on March 23, 1649, when Chief Massasoit unknowingly traded miles of fertile land enriched by the waters of The Matfield, Hockomock, and Town Rivers as well as West Meadow Brook for mere provisions for his tribe. Seven coats, nine hatchets, eight hoes, twenty knives, four moose skins and 10 yards of cotton is what the Wompanoags were paid for the territory of Bridgewater. The implications of a “land sale” was unfathomable to the Native American psyche at this time. The concept that land could be regarded as ‘ownable’ was unfamiliar one to the Wompanoags. It is no wonder that Sachem Rock, the very site of this monumental land sale has been witness to tragic events that date back to King Philip’s War in 1676.

On April 9, 1676, the Natives crept up Satucket Path to the Latham farm. Robert Latham’s house would be the first of nine houses to be destroyed by fire that day, the natives sparing only one dwelling…that of Nicholas Byram. Byram settled in East Bridgewater in 1662, and during that time it seems he broke the strict law of the colony not to sell cider or any other spirits to the red man. Breaking the law earned him one of the only surviving houses in the Bridgewater area after King Philip’s War.

Today, a stone marks the very spot Latham house stood before it was destroyed by arson.




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Did King Philip Curse The Bridgewater Triangle? The Likely Origin of The Legend


Image source: Native Village.org.
One of the most popular theories on why the Bridgewater Triangle powerhouses so much paranormal activity is that Chief Metacom, otherwise known as King Philip, cursed the land that the war that would be named after him was fought on. Specifically, the area that stretches from Narragansett Bay to Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Many books on the Bridgewater Triangle almost state this curse theory as fact. But where did the legend come from? If King Philip HAD cursed the land upon his death, would he really announce it? Certainly the great chief didn't go into a soliloquy upon his grotesque death about how he would curse the land! Can you imagine? "Wait, before you cut my head off where it will be spiked for 25 years on display and dismember my body and hang it in the trees...I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY! I WILL CURSE YOU AND A LAND THAT SOMEDAY WILL BE KNOWN AS THE BRIDGEWATER TRIANGLE. Okay, you may now continue your butchery." 

The concept of an Indian cursing land is a highly unlikely one. To the Wampanoag, land and the tribe were ONE. To curse one would certainly curse the other. This curse of King Philip legend came from the imagination of poet John Greenleaf Whittier in his 1831 classic, "Legends of New England." Specifically, from this passage on from a poem entitled, "Metacom."

Yet, Brother, from this awful hour The dying curse of Metacom Shall linger with abiding power Upon the spoilers of my home. The fearful veil of things to come, By Kitchtan's hand is lifted from The shadows of the embryo years; And I can see more clearly through Than ever visioned Powwah did, For all the future comes unbid Yet welcome to my tranced view, As battle-yell to warrior-ears! From stream and lake and hunting-hill, Our tribes may vanish like a dream, And even my dark curse may seem Like idle winds when Heaven is still—No bodeful harbinger of ill, But, fiercer than the downright thunder, When yawns the mountain-rock asunder, And riven pine and knotted oak Are reeling to the fearful stroke, That curse shall work its master's will! The bed of yon blue mountain stream shall pour a darker tide than rain—The sea shall catch its blood-red stain, And broadly on its banks shall gleam The steel of those who should be brothers Yea—those whom one fond parent nursed Shall meet in strife, like fiends accursed—And trample down the once loved form, While yet with breathing passion warm, As fiercely as they would another's!"

Here is the poem in it's entirety:

MetacomByJohn Greenleaf Whittier

 [Metacom, or Philip, the chief of the Wampanoags, was the most powerful and sagacious Sachem who ever made war upon the English. He had all the qualities of a high statesman—a noble monarch, and a courageous warrior. The rude majesty of untamed and unchastened nature was never more boldly developed than in the character of Metacom. He had the elements of a giant mind—the unformed chaos of a world of intellect. He perilled his all in one fast enterprise—in one mighty effort to shake off the White Vampyre which was draining the life-blood of his people; and had his enemies been any other than the stern settlers of New-England, they must assuredly have fallen. The War of King Philip forms a dark page in the history of New-England.—It is red with blood,—with the blood of the strong man and the meek and beseeching woman, and the fair-haired child, and the cradled infant.] 


RED as the banner which enshrouds The warrior-dead, when strife is done,A broken mass of crimson clouds Hung over the departed sun. The shadow of the western hill Crept swiftly down, and darkly still, As if a sullen wave of night Were rushing on the pale twilight—The forest-openings grew more dim, As glimpses of the arching blue And waking stars came softly through The rifts of many a giant limb. Above the wet and tangled swamp White vapors gathered thick and damp, And through their cloudy-curtaining Flapped many a brown and dusky wing—Pinions that fan the moonless dun, But fold them at the rising sun!


Beneath the closing veil of night, And leafy bough and curling fog, With his few warriors ranged in sight—Scarred relics of his latest fight—Rested the fiery Wampanoag. He leaned upon his loaded gun, Warm with its recent work of death, And, save the struggling of his breath That, slow and hard, and long-suppressed,Shook the damp folds around his breast. An eye, that was unused to scan The sterner moods of that dark man. Had deemed his tall and silent form, With hidden passion fierce and warm, With that fixed eye, as still and dark As clouds which veil their lightning spark—That of some forest-champion, Whom sudden death had passed upon—A giant frozen into stone! Son of the throned Sachem!—Thou, The sternest of the forest kings,—Shall the scorned pale-one trample now, Unambushed on thy mountain's brow, Yea, drive his vile and hated plough Among thy nation's holy things, Crushing the warrior-skeleton In scorn beneath his armed heel, And not a hand be left to deal A kindred vengeance fiercely back, And cross in blood the Spoiler's track!

He started,—for a sudden shot came booming through the forest-trees—The thunder of the fierce Yengeese: It passed away, and injured not; But, to the Sachem's brow it brought The token of his lion thought. He stood erect—his dark eye burned, As if to meteor-brightness turned; And o'er his forehead passed the frown Of an archangel stricken down, Ruined and lost, yet chainless still—Weakened of power but strong of will! It passed—a sudden tremor came Like ague o'er his giant frame,—It was not terror—he had stood For hours, with death in grim attendance, 
When moccasins grew stiff with blood, And through the clearing's midnight flame, Dark, as a storm, the Pequod came, His red, right arm their strong dependence—When thrilling through the forest gloom The onset-cry of "Metacom!" Rang on the red and smoky air!—No—it was agony which passed Upon his soul—the strong man's last And fearful struggle with despair.


He turned him to his trustiest one—The old and war-tried Annawon—"Brother!"—The favored warrior stood In hushed and listening attitude—"This night the Vision-Spirit hath Unrolled the scroll of fate before me; And ere the sunrise cometh, Death Will wave his dusky pinion o'er me! Nay, start not—well I know thy faith—Thy weapon now may keep its sheath; But, when the bodeful morning breaks, And the green forest widely wakes, Unto the roar of Yengeese thunder, Then trusted brother, be it thine To burst upon the foeman's line, 
And rend his serried strength asunder. Perchance thyself and yet a few Of faithful ones may struggle through, And, rallying on the wooded plain, Strike deep for vengeance once again, And offer up in Yengeese blood An offering to the Indian's God."
Another shot—a sharp, quick yell—And then the stifled groan of pain, Told that another red man fell,—And blazed a sudden light again Across that kingly brow and eye, Like lightning on a clouded sky,—And a low growl, like that which thrills The hunter of the Eastern hills, Burst through clenched teeth and rigid lip—And, when the Monarch spoke again His deep voice shook beneath its rein, As wrath and grief held fellowship.
"Brother! methought when as but now I pondered on my nation's wrong, With sadness on his shadowy brow My father's spirit passed along! He pointed to the far south-west,
Where sunset's gold was growing dim, And seemed to beckon me to him, And to the forests of the blest!—My father loved the Yengeese, when They were but children, shelterless,For his great spirit at distress Melted to woman's tenderness—Nor was it given him to know That, children whom he cherished then, Would rise at length, like armed men, To work his people's overthrow. Yet thus it is;—the God, before Whose awful shrine the pale ones bow, Hath frowned upon, and given o'er The red man to the stranger now!—A few more moons—and there will beNo gathering to the council tree—The scorched earth—the blackened log—The naked bones of warriors slain, Be the sole relics which remain Of the once mighty Wampanoag! The forests of our hunting-land, With all their old and solemn green, Will bow before the Spoiler's axe—The plough displace the hunter's tracks,The morning star sat dimly on The lighted eastern horizon—The deadly glare of levelled gun Came streaking through the twilight haze And naked to its reddest blaze, A hundred warriors sprang in view—One dark red arm was tossed on high—One giant shout came hoarsely through The clangour and the charging cry, Just as across the scattering gloom, Red as the naked hand of Doom, The Yengeese volley hurtled by—The arm—the voice of Metacom!—One piercing shriek—one vengeful yell, Sent like an arrow to the sky, Told when the hunter-monarch fell!



And the tall Yengeese altar stand Where the Great Spirit's shrine hath been

Yet, brother, from this awful hour The dying curse of Metacom Shall linger with abiding power Upon the spoilers of my home. The fearful veil of things to come, By Kitchtan's hand is lifted from The shadows of the embryo years; And I can see more clearly through Than ever visioned Powwah did, For all the future comes unbid Yet welcome to my tranced view, As battle-yell to warrior-ears! From stream and lake and hunting-hill, Our tribes may vanish like a dream, And even my dark curse may seem Like idle winds when Heaven is still—No bodeful harbinger of ill, But, fiercer than the downright thunder, When yawns the mountain-rock asunder, And riven pine and knotted oak Are reeling to the fearful stroke, That curse shall work its master's will! The bed of yon blue mountain stream shall pour a darker tide than rain—The sea shall catch its blood-red stain, And broadly on its banks shall gleam The steel of those who should be brothers Yea—those whom one fond parent nursed Shall meet in strife, like fiends accursed—And trample down the once loved form, While yet with breathing passion warm, As fiercely as they would another's!"

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The Bridgewater Triangle's Devil's Footprints

The Devil's Footprints can still be seen today imprinted in a large boulder in
Norton, Massachusetts. Photo by Kristen Good

“As he turned up the soil unconsciously, his staff struck against something hard. He raked it out of the vegetable mould, and lo! a cloven skull with an Indian tomahawk buried deep in it, lay before him. The rust on the weapon showed the time that had elapsed since this death blow had been given. It was a dreary memento of the fierce struggle that had taken place in this last foothold of the Indian warriors.” The Devil and Tom Walker, Washington Irving, 1824.

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Who needs the tales of Washington Irving when you have the history of the “Leonard Family of Taunton”? The Leonard family history sounds like a Washington Irving tale, with its themes of pacts with the Satan, devil's footprints, buried bones, a man on galloping on horseback through the woods carrying a severed head…even sacred Indian land. Washington Irving, most famous for spinning the legendary yarn,“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” wrote a short story called “The Devil and Tom Walker” in 1824. In many ways, Irving's story of a man who makes a pact with the devil, exchanging the promise of his soul in return for riches, mirrors the legend of the very real George Leonard, a wealthy ironworker who figures prominently in the history of the town of Norton.

According to the Norton Historical Society: “It is said that Leonard made a league with the devil in order to acquire great wealth. He promised his body to the devil when he died. Leonard became very rich and an influential citizen of the town. In 1716 when Leonard died, the devil came to claim his body. Surprised in the act, the devil climbed out a window. He jumped so hard on a nearby boulder, that he left footprints there. One can see those footprints on the rock by the parking lot of the Solomonese School. The mansion was situated at the corner of West Main and North Worcester Streets where Chartley Corner Plaza is today,” Says the Norton Historical society about the legend. Norton Historical Society’s George Yelle says that while he is not a believer in the paranormal, he has to admit he found it odd that when he was filmed for a local cable station special about the Devil’s Footprints at the rock he had to do the entire shoot over again. The producers of the show contacted Yelle and explained–though this had never happened before in their careers–inexplicably his interview at the Devil’s Footprints was now blank and they needed to schedule a reshoot. The second attempt at filming was successful. Washington Irving's tale of another fortune-seeking Colonial character that Irving named Tom Walker, also has a man on horseback encounter a man in black in the dark woods, but Irving places Walker in a dark swamp:

“One day that Tom Walker had been to a distant part of the neighbourhood, he took what he considered a short cut homewards through the swamp. Like most short cuts, it was an ill chosen route. The swamp was thickly grown with great gloomy pines and hemlocks, some of them ninety feet high; which made it dark at noonday, and a retreat for all the owls of the neighbourhood. In Irvings tale, Walker's destination is an old Indian Fort. “At length he arrived at a piece of firm ground, which ran out like a peninsula into the deep bosom of the swamp. It had been one of the strong holds of the Indians during their wars with the first colonists. Here they had thrown up a kind of fort which they had looked upon as almost impregnable, and had used as a place of refuge for their squaws and children.” “It was late in the dusk of evening that Tom Walker reached the old fort, and he paused there for a while to rest himself. Anyone but he would have felt unwilling to linger in this lonely melancholy place, for the common people had a bad opinion of it from the stories handed down from the time of the Indian wars; when it was asserted that the savages held incantations here and made sacrifices to the evil spirit. Tom Walker, however, was not a man to be troubled with any fears of the kind. As he turned up the soil unconsciously, his staff struck against something hard. He raked it out of the vegetable mould, and lo! a cloven skull with an Indian tomahawk buried deep in it, lay before him. It was a dreary memento of the fierce struggle that had taken place in this last foothold of the Indian warriors.”

 Strange that George Leonard’s grandfather played a role in that very Indian wars Irving refers to. Because this story of the Leonard’s begins with Thomas Leonard, George Leonard’s grandfather, who was among the first men to settle the area of Taunton in the area now known as Raynham. The son of an English iron worker, Thomas Leonard and his brother immediately set out to build the first successful iron forge in the country, using the rich iron ore deposits of nearby Fowling Pond and Lake Nippenicket. Fowling Pond has long since disappeared, now a swath of land known as Pine Swamp on King Philip’s Street. Reportedly two miles long and nearly three-quarters of mile wide, historians of the 19th century recorded recollections of old timers who remembered swimming and boating on Fowling Pond in their youth.

Fowling Pond. Image courtesy of Old Colony Historical Society.

How Fowling Pond, once the summer camp of King Philip (Massasoit’s son) disappeared is a bit of a mystery. “Perhaps a great storm cut a swath through the embankment and drained the pond, it is one of nature’s curiosities where once King Philip rested and summered on the banks of a beautiful body of water and the tribe stocked to food to last through the long cold months ahead, there is now nothing left but the tall trees rising from a murky swamp.” Carolyn Owen, former Old Colony Historical Society Archivist. Before 1670, Thomas Leonard built a house that might have been the oldest house in country to bare the scars of war. It was said until at least the 1900s, there was “an ancient case of drawers that used to stand in this house upon which the deep scars of King Philip’s War and mangled impressions are to be seen” that was still in existence. Until its destruction in 1850, the Leonard house was officially the oldest mansion in the country The house was enormous compared to America’s standards at the time. Thomas Leonard would have no way of knowing that his grand home would serve as a garrison in a war that would go down as being the most grizzly, barbaric, and bloodiest war in the history of America. He would have no way of knowing that the house would be attacked by a band of Wampanoags. That two young girls would be savagely slain and buried beneath his prized porch. If he had the knowledge that the severed head of a man he considered a friend would lay in waiting in his cellar in that house, surely Leonard never would have built a house so grand. If he known. The sheer size of the“old gothic” Leonard house made it a perfect garrison. Known locally until its destruction as “The House of Seven Gables,” the old Leonard house rose two-and-half stories, framed with its famed facade gables. The house’s most unique feature was its impressive two story, gable-roofed porch.

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The “House of Seven Gables.” Courtesy of The Old Colony Historical Society.

The house served a major role in King Philip’s War– a war that would only last fourteen months and would totally decimate the Wampanoag Tribe, whose territories stretched from Halifax to Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island at the time of the war. “King Philip,” whose Native American name was either Pometacom or Metacom, was the second son of Chief Massasoit, who aided the pilgrims in their early years and taught them how to survive in an unfamiliar land. In 1675, after over ten years of tension between the tribe and the colonists, war broke out. Before the late 1800s, King Philip’s War was simply known as “The Indian War,” as Washington Irving refers to it in “The Devil and Tom Walker.” Massasoit’s first son Alexander (Wamsutta) was taken prisoner by the Plymouth Colony Militia in 1662 who mysteriously fell ill while being held for questioning in Duxbury. Many historians speculate, based on Plymouth Colony records, that Alexander was murdered. After Alexander’s death, Philip became chief and in the next thirteen years, tensions would only mount between the Wampanoag Tribe, who had inhabited the land for over 30,000 years and the English, who had been here roughly 40 years. There was no tension between the Leonard Family and the Wampanoag Tribe. The great chief and the Leonards were neighbors and spent time together in the summer when Philip “was in town” as well as traded amongst each other. The Leonards had valuable metal tools needed by the tribe. In 1675, inevitable war broke out. But King Philip gave strict orders to his warriors to spare Leonard Country from attacks and burning. He made them promise “never to harm a Leonard.” The Chief’s order was ignored at least twice. Once when James’ brother Uriah was shot at as he tried to escape on horseback, but fortunately for Leonard, the bullets shot at him by the Wampanoags simply passed through his hat.

The most tragic betrayal of King Philip’s men to their Chief’s command would be the shooting of two young girls who tried to flee the garrison (If it is indeed true.)  In 1797,  Dr. Fobes of Taunton wrote a genealogical sketch of the Leonard family. In it, this story appears for the first time. According to The Old Colony Historical Society, it seems if this happened, there would be some kind of documentation of the event, not just a blurb in a historical recollection. Fobes reported that the two girls were buried beneath the porch, (likely because the area was surrounded and people of inside the garrison, mostly woman and children, did not want to stray too far from the house to bury the two girls for fear of being shot.) Another note Fobes makes is reference to something that if it is indeed true, then was by far the most horrific act ever performed in the Old Leonard house: the “deposition” of King Philip’s head. Captured and killed on August 12, 1776, Captain Benjamin Church ordered the chief’s beheading and quartering of his body. The four corners of his body were hung in trees, Church vowing that “bones” The image of Church riding his horse, carrying around a severed head through the forests of New England on his way to present to Plymouth is gruesome indeed. That he kept the great chief’s head may have been kept at the Leonard House–King Philip’s trusted friends– is simply horrific. This writer cannot help but to wonder if James Leonard even knew, or if Church hid the head in the cellar of the garrison without consent from Leonard. Wonder is all we can do. Since no details of how long or when the head “was deposited” at the Leonard family exist on record, even the Old Colony Historical Society is forced to speculate.





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Bridgewater Triangle Monster Snakes & Vanishing Lakes



Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) workers clear a swamp.


"Huge mystery snakes have been sighted before in the Hockomock region. In 1939, Roosevelt-era CCC workers, completing a project on King Philip's Street at the edge of the swamp, reported seeing a huge snake as large around and black as a stove-pipe.' The snake coiled for a moment, raised its spade-like head and disappeared into the swamp. Local legends claim that a huge snake appears every seven years." Loren Coleman, Mysterious America: The Ultimate Guide To The Nation's Weirdest Wonders, Strangest Spots, and Creepiest Creatures.



Raynham, King Philip, Pine Swamp and Fowling Pond



Although Fowling Pond was the same size as nearby Lake Nip, this lake disappeared in less than a hundred years. By 1800, only small remnants of the pond remained. By the turn of the century, it had completely dried up to a swath of land known as Pine Swamp on King Philip's Street. In 1840, the following was included in a book called "Historical Collections of Massachusetts" by John Barber: "Fowling Pond, is itself a great curiosity. Before Philips' war it seems to have been a large pond, nearly two miles long and three quarters of a mile wide. Since then, the water is almost gone, and the large tract it once covered is grown up to a thick-set swamp of cedar and pine. That this, however, was once a large pond, haunted by fowls, and supplied with fish in great plenty, is more than probable, for here is found, upon dry land, a large quantity of white floor sand, and a great number of smooth stones, which are never found except on shores or places long washed by water."

"What could induce Philip to build his house here? It was undoubtedly, fishing and fowling, in this, then large pond. But more than than all, there is yet living in this town a man of more than ninety years old, who can well remember, than when he was a boy, he had frequently gone off in a canoe to fish in this pond; and says, that many a fish had been catched, where the pines and cedars are now more than fifty feet high. If an instance, at once so rare, and well attested, as this, should not be admitted as a curious scrap of the natural history of this country; yet it must be admitted as a strong analogical proof, that many of our swamps were originally ponds of water: but more than this, it suggests a new argument in the favor of the wisdom and goodness of that Diving Providence, which "changes the face of the earth," to supply the wants of man, as often as he changes from uncivilized nature, to a state of cultivation and refinement." (Collections of the The Massachusetts Historical Society.)

Carolyn Owen, former Old Colony Historical Society Archivist speculated on the mysterious disappearance: “Perhaps a great storm cut a swath through the embankment and drained the pond, it is one of nature’s curiosities where once King Philip rested and summered on the banks of a beautiful body of water and the tribe stocked to food to last through the long cold months ahead, there is now nothing left but the tall trees rising from a murky swamp.”

It is interesting to explore the connection between the location of the CCC worker's sighting of the monster snake and what that area was: A place King Philip called home. I personally have never heard of a disappearing lake. But if one was going to disappear, I am not surprised it vanished in the Bridgewater Triangle.

Almost every Bridgewater Triangle enthusiast knows this story. But there is much more to this legend. What Coleman didn't mention is that the King Philip's Street, located in Raynham (not Bridgewater), is home to the former summer camp of King Philip (hence the name of the street.)
King Philip's Street, Raynham, Photo by Kristen Good
In researching Fowling Pond recently, I was stunned when I stumbled across information that proved that Fowling Pond--a lake reported to have been a sizable body of water that mysteriously disappeared by the turn of the century--was on a tract of land now known as Pine Swamp. THIS, not Hockomock Swamp--as legend has it--is the true location of the Civil Conservation Corps workers terrifying sighting in the 1939.

Fowling Pond, I learned  (a very sacred spot to the Wampanoag) was the summer home of the great King Philip, Metacom, Chief of the Wampanoag Tribe, until the end of the war that was named after him; when he has shot, dismembered, his remains being intentionally scattered throughout southern Massachusetts so that his "soul would never rest." In times of peace Metacom spent many a summer night on the shores of Fowling pond in Raynham.
Fowling Pond--King Phillip's Summer home--was a pond the size of nearby Lake Nippenicket. But this lake mysteriously disappeared by the turn of the century. The spot where Fowling Pond was is located on King Philip's Street in Raynham is now a tract of land known as Pine Swamp. In the 1939,  CCC workers witnessed an enormous black snake that did not look indigenous to the area. Photo courtesy of the Old Colony Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Although Fowling Pond was the same size as nearby Lake Nip, this lake disappeared in less than a hundred years. By 1800, only small remnants of the pond remained. By the turn of the century, it had completely dried up to a swath of land known as Pine Swamp on King Philip's Street. In 1840, the following was included in a book called "Historical Collections of Massachusetts" by John Barber: "Fowling Pond, is itself a great curiosity. Before Philips' war it seems to have been a large pond, nearly two miles long and three quarters of a mile wide. Since then, the water is almost gone, and the large tract it once covered is grown up to a thick-set swamp of cedar and pine. That this, however, was once a large pond, haunted by fowls, and supplied with fish in great plenty, is more than probable, for here is found, upon dry land, a large quantity of white floor sand, and a great number of smooth stones, which are never found except on shores or places long washed by water."


"What could induce Philip to build his house here? It was undoubtedly, fishing and fowling, in this, then large pond. But more than than all, there is yet living in this town a man of more than ninety years old, who can well remember, than when he was a boy, he had frequently gone off in a canoe to fish in this pond; and says, that many a fish had been catched, where the pines and cedars are now more than fifty feet high. If an instance, at once so rare, and well attested, as this, should not be admitted as a curious scrap of the natural history of this country; yet it must be admitted as a strong analogical proof, that many of our swamps were originally ponds of water: but more than this, it suggests a new argument in the favor of the wisdom and goodness of that Diving Providence, which "changes the face of the earth," to supply the wants of man, as often as he changes from uncivilized nature, to a state of cultivation and refinement." (Collections of the The Massachusetts Historical Society.)


Carolyn Owen, former Old Colony Historical Society Archivist speculated on the mysterious disappearance: “Perhaps a great storm cut a swath through the embankment and drained the pond, it is one of nature’s curiosities where once King Philip rested and summered on the banks of a beautiful body of water and the tribe stocked to food to last through the long cold months ahead, there is now nothing left but the tall trees rising from a murky swamp.”


It is interesting to explore the connection between the location of the CCC worker's sighting of the monster snake and what that area was: A place King Philip called home. I personally have never heard of a disappearing lake. But if one was going to disappear, I am not surprised it vanished in the Bridgewater Triangle.

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King Philip's War Synopsis



The following is excerpted from "The History of Raynham," By Patrice White

MASSASOIT WAS KING PHILIP'S DAD;
WHEN HE DIED, THE WHITE MEN WERE SAD

Massasoit, sachem of the Wampanoags, had established peaceful relations with the white men, and when he died, Massasoit' s sons Alexander (Indian name, Wamsutta) and Philip (Indian name Metacom or Pometacom) pledged to keep the peace. This was not easy, however, as the English and the Indians struggled for survival and land. At times Philip and his men felt humiliated by the English.

The primary causes of the bloody conflict known asKing Philip's War go far back of the  outbreak of hostilities in 1675. It was undoubtedly inevitable, sooner or later. When Philip became sachem of the Wampanoags in 1662, it became evident that he was not likely to maintain the friendly relations with the English - so firmly established by his father. He was jealous of the progress of the settlers in occupation of the lands they had purchased, and he early began plotting with the Narragansetts and other Indians for their
extermination.

It took some time before the Indians realized that they were losing their land. The Indians did notpossess the land in the same sense that the white men owned it. The land, the woods, the lakes, the streams, belonged to the Indians as they belonged to the birds and the beasts. They did not realize what they were selling.

Later, however, the Indians' children realized what possession meant to the white man, and they became resentful. They obtained the same kind of weapons as the white man used, and when finally the Indians' anger rose to fighting pitch, there was a bitter struggle as the Indians were driven from their home. An early book evidencing sympathy for the Indian included this passage. "The savage, the child of a wild environment, knew none of the restraints common to the stranger who broke over the horizon of his solitude, his freedom of living, and his independence of movement, with the advent of that first ship from Plymouth." The English, uninvited, were trying to take over the land of the New England Indians. Anger and resentment had been rising, and when three of Philip' s warriorsmurdered an informer, John Sassamon, and then were themselves executed for the murder, Philip's young braves started war.



KING PHILIP COULD NO LONGER HOLD HIS BRAVES;
THEY PUT MANY WHITE MEN IN THEIR GRAVES.

Although war had been contemplated, no coordinated plan had been worked out. In proportion to population, the King Philip War was one of the most costly, in lives, ever fought in North America. Neither side had been ready for war. Philip became a symbol of the struggle, but he was never really in command and might not have been the great leader he was once assumed to be. However, he was influential enough to
protect the area that is now Raynham. Philip had spent many summers at his summer residence on Fowling Pond, which was near the Leonards' iron forge. (Fowling Pond has now grown up to be woods. It's on King Philip Street near the end of Mill Street.)

He had become friendly with the Leonards, and they had supplied Philip with beef, repaired his muskets, and furnished him with tools. He remembered these acts of friendship and gave orders to the warriors that they were not to injure any member of the Leonard family. Although King Philip War spread terror and desolation through many towns nearby, the inhabitants of Raynham were saved from savage invasion.

Although the Leonards shared the feelings of friendship with Philip, the Leonard house just east of the forge was surrounded by palisades for protection and provisioned, just in case.

The white men lived in fear of Indian attack. "By day, or by night, no white man was safe. As the white man ploughed or reaped, the fences along his fields were the crouching places of his inveterate enemy. The thickets by the roadside were likely at any moment to breathe forth a wisp of musket smoke when the fatal bullet would speed to his heart."

Shortly before Philip' s death, his wife and nine-year old son were taken prisoners by the English, an event that crushed the heart and life of the sachem. On Saturday, August 12th, early in the morning, Philip was shot by a faithless Indian, and Captain Church cut off his head, and it was carried on a pole to Plymouth.

KING PHILIP'S HEAD WAS CUT OFF ONE DAY;
IT WAS THEN IN PLYMOUTH AND IN RAYNHAM - ON DISPLAY

Present Day Wampanoags

There are still some Wampanoag Indians in this area. At one of their New Year' s celebrations in Middleboro, they emphasized the importance of cooperation and communication among people of all races.

Lightning Foot, a tribal leader, said, "There is only one race, the human race, and we are all members."

The Wampanoag New Year is celebrated around May 1 because the nature-loving Wampanoags believed that life returned to the earth at that time. The group expressed the desire that a study of the American Indian be a part of every school curriculum, andthey felt that the American Indian is entitled to a national holiday.





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The Mystery of The Royal Wampum Belt of the Wampanoag




When the colonists explored the area south and west of Plimouth Colony, they found many abandoned Wampanoag villages. Much of the land around these ghostly vacant villages was littered with the skulls and bones of Wampanoag people who died from a devastating smallpox invasion brought to New England in 1617 by Captain John Smith. By the time the mayflower landed, the numbers of natives had been reduced to a "manageable" number.
A treaty of peace between the survivors of the Wampanoag tribe and Plimouth Colony lasted forty years. During that time, the innocence of the Wampanoag was lost when their land was taken from them under the guise of lies and misconception on the colonists' part. The first example of this, was the deed to Bridgewater, signed by Massasoit in 1649 for the equivalent of $35 in today's standards. The great chief thought he was merely granting permission for the colonists to use the very fertile 70 square miles sold under the terms of a treaty unfathomable for a native American to understand.
For four decades, relations were peaceful. But after the death of Massasoit and the alleged murder of his son, Alexander, at the hands of Major Josiah Winslow of the Plimouth colony Militia, that era was over. A new one was brewing. Alexander's younger brother, "King Philip" was now chief. And decisions needed to be made. The plan of the colonists was clear now. All pretense gone.
The course of events that followed would be the most brutal, inhumane, horrific war ever to be fought on American soil...and even ever fought by a man born in America. Skinnings and corpal mutilation. Bodies chopped with axes and hung in trees. Heads chopped and spiked for display. The 100% true events of King Philip's War are far more horrific than anything anyone in Hollywood could possibly dream up.




A very unlikely scenerio of how Church gained control of the belt in his narrative:
 "Entertaining passages from King Philip's War".
At the end of the war, the royal belongings of the Wampanoag Tribe were taken by Captain Benjamin Church in Rehoboth, MA upon the capture of Chief Annawon. Those belongings included six feet of beads "curiously wrought with wompom, being nine inches broad, wrought with black and white in various figures and flower, and pictures of many birds and beasts".  The sacred royal wampum belt was believed to be very powerful. It had belonged to King Philip. This victory of capturing the most single most sacred item to the Wampanoags was a source of great pride for Plimouth Colony. Now Church had King Philip's head the royal tribal belt. TWO trophies to present to Plimouth. Church must have been proud, indeed.

Benjamin Church claimed that Annawon simply passed over the royal items of King Philip. This is highly unlikely. However Church came to possess them, where they ended up in a 300-year old mystery. Where the belts were stored for the next nine months or so is unknown. Possibly they were kept at a private residence in Swansea. But we do know that in the spring of 1677, the belts were supposedly sent to the King of England. But yet the royal tribal items were never received.

In the 1990s, members of The Rehoboth Historical Society wrote a letter to Prince Charles asking for a search of England's archives and museums for the missing Wampum Belt. According to Charles Turek Robinson in his book, True New England Mysteries, Ghosts, Crimes and Oddities, what resulted was "what might become the most thorough and comprehensive search to date in England." But the belt was never found.

​The theory of the missing belt is a very popular one as to why the Bridgewater Triangle is tainted with so many instances of depression, insanity, suicide, tragic car accidents and drownings and murders. To this day, all of this strange phenomenon is still occurring. And it will continue.
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Middleboro: The Tragedy of the Nemaskets

"They lodged the first night on Nemasket, where so many Indians had died a few years before that the living could not bury the dead, but their sculls and bones lied in many places where the dead had been."

From "History of the Town of Middleboro," by Thomas Weston





The Wampanoag lived peacefully in a territory now known as the town of Middleboro (or Middleborough) for thousands of years. When the pilgrims arrived the New World, they were mystified to find entire villages abandoned by the plagues that had decimated local tribes in the years between 1617 and 1620. In those years of pestilence, some tribes lost 90% of their people.  Middleboro was no exception. When colonists first discovered the area, the land of Middleboro was covered in skulls and bones, for there were so many that were ravaged by sickness "that the living could not bury the dead."


Middleboro, or Middleborough--the town still can't decide on the correct spelling--was originally called Middlebury, named for it's midpoint location between Boston and New Bedford. The Natives who walked this territory thousands of years before it was discovered by the colonists in 1621 called it "Nemasket." 

In Eastern Algonquin, Nemasket translates to English as meaning "place of many fish," named for the river so abundant with Alewife, legend has it that the fish would leap of the river, right into the hands of Natives. Each spring the alewife (herring)  make their journey from Narraganset Bay, up the Taunton River and finally to  the "magical" waters of the Nemasket.

The waters of Nemasket were rumored to have healing properties. Doctors would prescribe the water to heal a long list of ailments and physicians would continue doing so all the way up to the beginning of the turn of the century. At one point, even scientists studied the water's composition to see what made it so special.





It was here in Nemasket that Weetamoo (meaning 'sweetheart'), the Sachem Princess lived seasonally at their royal camp with her father, Chief Corbitant,  and her younger sister, Wootonekanuske. As was customary for the sons and daughters of powerful sachems, Weetamoo would marry into another royal family as would Wootonekanuske. The sisters would both marry brothers from the Pokonet tribe, Weetamoo to Massasoit's son Alexander and her sister to King Philip, the sons of the famous Chief Massasoit. The Sachem Squaw Princess Weetamoo was the most powerful woman of all the tribes, poised to inherit the title of Sachem upon Corbitant's passing. Weetamoo would never get the chance to lead her people, dying within weeks of her father in King Philip's War. Both father and daughter would share the same horrific fate: Their heads would be cut off and placed proudly on spikes at the hands of the English. Weetamoo's head paraded through the streets of Taunton and Corbitant's head displayed at Plymouth Fort near King Philip's and the rest of the Sachems captured.




Weetamoo died in August of 1676, when she  (according to the English version) drowned in the Taunton River "slipped and fell attempting escape across a fallen tree."  When her body "washed ashore,"  the Plymouth Colony Militia  mutilated  her and and finally cut off her head. (It was reported that she was naked when her body was found. It was also reported that her body was "taunted." Whether she was captured, raped and killed in the river or if she really drowned...we will never know. All we have is the written history of the colonists to tell us, and while those references are good information for locations and dates, they are often inaccurate descriptions of what really occurred.)

 Just before the death of Weetamoo, many of her Pocasset people were taken prisoner out of the Hockomock Swamp where they were taking temporary refuge from the Colonists. They were so frightened upon capture, that they surrendered without a fight.  The prisoners were marched to Taunton where a gully served as their prisoner camp. They were then forced to bare witness to the horror of the parading of Weetamoo's head upon a spike back and forth in front of there disbelieving eyes.

Some days later, "someone of Taunton finding an Indian squaw in Metapoiset, newly dead, cut off her head, and it happened to be Weetamoo, squaw sachem, her head, which, placed on a pole and paraded through Taunton, was greeted by the lamentations of the captive Indians who knew her, crying out that it was their queen's head.
Reverend Increase Mather, of Salem Witch Trials fame, was present at the beheading event. Of the grieving and horrified Pocasset prisoners as they were taunted with their Queen's head,  Mather callously would recount, "They made a most horrid and 'diabolical' lamentation, crying out that it was their queen's head."




 

 

 

Haunted Woods?

One day, a local woman was walking her dog in an area of Middleboro where the unbeknown to her, the Nemaskets once lived. She was shocked when the figures of what looks like an Indian family appeared in the photo. She was not even aware that the woods where she took the photo was sacred land. This was in the same area where Weetamoo lived (near Oliver Mills park.)

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The Grizzly Death of King Philip: Beheaded and Quartered, Body tied in Trees For the Birds To Pluck


On August of 1676, King Philip's luck had run out. Though he escaped capture by the skin of his teeth twice before in Hockomock Swamp, in Miery Swamp in Mount Hope, he had nowhere to hide. Philip was shot in the chest by John Alderman, "a praying Indian whose brother King Philip had ordered executed after a being deemed a traitor." Alderman was accompanied by Captain Benjamin Church himself, the most famous Indian hunter of the day. (It is interesting to note that in the scene depicted in the picture below of the death of King Philip, it is Church and not Alderman who is holding the gun.)


"The Death of King Philip," Harper's Magazine, 1883 
Church ordered Philip's body to pulled up to higher ground to begin the act of his mutilation. His body was beheaded and dismembered. Quartered, Church picked four nearby trees and ordered four pieces of Philip's body to be tied to them for the birds to pluck. His hand was given to Alderman as a trophy of the kill. Philip's hand was very unique. It had been disfigured when a pistol misfired years before. Alderman took the maimed hand happily and later would place it in a jar preserved with rum. Alderman would take the jar to taverns where he would allow the owners to display it in exchange for free drinks.

Philip's head was spiked and proudly carried through the streets of Plymouth before it would meet it's final resting place upon Plymouth Colony Fort, now Burial Hill Cemetery. It would soon be joined by the heads of Chief Anawan and Tispaquin. How long the other Wampanoag leader's heads remained displayed on the fort is unknown. But we know that Philip's head remained on the fort for at least 25 years. As if sight of Philip's skull was not horrific enough, one day the Puritan leader Cotton Mather removed the jawbone, to keep "the devil from speaking from the grave." Historian's estimate that King Philip was 38 at the time of his death.
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Legend Tripping: The Haunts of Taunton & Rehoboth


Most residents of Taunton and Rehoboth frown upon the national attention their towns have gained as being among the most active paranormal areas in the country. Try visiting such famed haunted sites as Shad Factory Pond and Palmer River Burial Ground and neighbors will come right out their houses and ask you to leave. Residents will come right out and ask you what you are you doing there. They know exactly what you are doing here. But you feel you have to hide your agenda. You can try to tell them that you are bird watching or from a Historical Society, but they won’t buy it. The police that arrive about 30 seconds after you get to Taunton State Hospital seem a little more understanding of your curiosity, as long as you are polite and honest. But they still will demand that you leave…and in timely fashion.

Next, you want to next visit the famed Hornbine School in Rehoboth, a “haunted” site that makes it’s way into virtually every book and article about the subject of paranormal activity in Rehoboth. As recently as October 18th, ghost tours have visited the famed school. Here is a description of the alleged activity that takes place there from the masscrossroads website (one of the most comprehensive and well-organized sites on The Bridgewater Triangle):

"Rehoboth has several of its own haunted schools. The most notorious is the historic Hornbine School. Originally built in 1845 and enlarged in the 1920’s, the school has not been used to educate youth since the late thirties. The one room schoolhouse was restored in 1968 to celebrate the town’s 325th anniversary. Whether it was the renovation and the import of other desks and materials or just the added people coming in contact with the school, it has now become known as a paranormal hotspot. People hear noises, usually the laughter of children, coming from the area of the school and then find no one there when investigate. On at least one occasion a visitor to the town stopped by the school and watched a teacher dressed in period clothes teach a room full of eager students. When the teacher sensed his presence she turned to him, annoyed he had disturbed class. He then went inside to apologize and found no sign of the children or the angry teacher."

According to The Rehoboth Historical Society, there is no haunting, and a logical explanation for the "sighting." Each school year, grade schoolers attend class at the old school...the class all dressed in period garb. One day a local woman was driving by Horbine School when out of the corner of her eye,she thought she saw movement inside. So she turned around and pulled up to the school. Upon looking in the window, she saw the Rehoboth children on their annual field trip. It was a natural assumption. Especially if the light was right, the windows were dirty...I have no doubt that what this woman saw appeared supernatural.

Later that evening, the woman, disturbed by what she saw, returned to the school only to find it empty. Conclusion? Haunted schoolhouse. And there it is. That is how the legend started. And now, thank to Russell, it can be put to rest and crossed off the list of places to check out in The Bridgewater Triangle.

You have the most luck at Anawan Rock, which sits almost hidden off of Route 44 in Rehoboth. Blink as you are driving by  and you will surely miss it. Luckily, no houses abut the most significant haunted landmark of The Bridgewater Triangle -- the very site that many paranormal investigators holds the key to unlocking the Bridgewater Triangle mystery. On August 28, 1676, the last Chief of the Wampanoag's surrendered to Captain Benjamin Church. Upon surrender, Church took King Philip's sacred belt and presented it to Church. The belt disappeared centuries ago. Some believe that until this belt is returned to the Wampanoag Tribe, the area of the Bridgewater Triangle will continue to be "cursed."

At Anawan Rock, you immediately spot three quick moving beams of light on the dark path that leads to the rock. It's not orbs or anything supernatural, though. It is three people running out the darkness as fast as they can. The first, a man somewhere in his fifties, is covered in sweat though it is September, ten o‘clock at night, and in the low 60s. You ask him if he saw anything. And he answers, “Oh…yeah…we…sure did.” And he waits to catch his breath. A younger man that is with him says, “We were just sitting on top of the rock, when all of a sudden it got real cold and we saw about 100 eyes floating over the rock watching us.” You are in shock. You can’t believe your luck. Adrenaline pulses through you. You ask them if they will go back and show you exactly where they saw the eyes.

They are still breathless from their experience on the rock. They tell you that the would consider going back into the woods, after but after they’ve recovered from their heart attack. They tell you this is not the first time that something supernatural happened at the rock during one of their visits. “We even once got an EVP! (electric voice phenonomen) We didn’t here anything at the time, but when we played back the tape we heard a guy’s voice say something like, 'netomp.' I wish we could figure out what that means."

“I know, I tell them. It is Wampanoag for “friend.” The three of them glare at one other, jaws dropped. “Okay, I’ll go back,” said the young man. “Me too, I’ll go,” said a girl about the young man’s age. A sigh comes from the oldest of the group. “Okay.”

You know the rock pretty well from your research. You know the exact spot where Chief Anawan was captured by Captain Benjamin Church, as he lay sleeping with his son. You are not surprised when the three people tell you that this is where they saw the eyes.

The discovery of The Bridgewater Triangle is attributed to leading American Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, who coined the phrase in the 1970s in his correspondences in researching the area. In 1980, Boston Magazine published the first of many articles about the triangle written by Coleman himself. Rehoboth  and Taunton were both featured prominently in the article.

Why Rehoboth? Why Taunton? The answer could be steeped in the bloody history of the colonial period. These two towns figure prominently in the monstrosities of King Philip's War. The gruesome acts committed here seem to hale straight out of a horror movie.

Picture the scene, June. 1675: The city of Rehoboth is burning, people are screaming. And there is King Philip, sitting peacefully in a familiar chair in the shadow of this horrific inferno, taking in the scene with glee. Just days ago, the chair sat by a cozy hearth in the home of a Rehoboth family who had considered Philip a family friend. King Philip had paid many visits to the home and always chose this one particular chair on which to sit. His admiration for the chair spurned the family to call it “King Philip’s Chair.“

Now King Philip’s chair is far away from that cozy hearth. King Philip’s first order of business when he reached Rehoboth was ordering his men to retrieve the chair from the abandoned house. He sits down in the chair and watches from his front row view, the burning of Rehoboth.

Flash forward. Now it is August 2, 1676. The war will be over in less than a month. King Philip’s wife and son are captured, to be sold into slavery in the West Indies. There is a great battle in a nearby swamp. There is slaughter on both sides.

Weetamoo, Indian Sachem Queen and Philip’s sister-in-law attempts escape over the Taunton River by fleeing across a fallen tree. She slips off into the wild current and drowns. The colonists fish her body out of the river and immediately get to the work of cutting off her head. They carry her head to Taunton, where they raise it upon a pole and parade it through the streets of Taunton. The Indians captured at Hockomock Swamp that day were temporarily imprisoned in Taunton around August 4th of 1676. The colonists took a great pleasure in taunting the prisoners with the once beautiful head of Sachem Squaw Weetamoo.

The Sachem Squaw Princess Weetamoo was a powerful woman--even before she became the wife of Philip's brother Alexander. The union of Alexander and Weetamoo was a very strong one. The strength created in the marriage of the Pocasset and Pokanoket tribes was no secret to the English and no doubt contributed to the suspicions toward Alexander which led to the conspiracy of his death in 1662.

Just before the death of Weetamoo, many of her Pocasset people were taken prisoner out of the Hockomock Swamp where they were taking temporary refuge from the Colonists. They were so frightened upon capture, that they surrendered without a fight. After all, these were not warriors. These were tribe's women, children and elderly. And they were weak from hunger and travel. The prisoners were marched to Taunton where a gully served as their jail. They were then forced to bare witness to the horror of the parading of Wetamoo's head upon a spike back and forth in front of there disbelieving eyes.

Weetamoo, flying with a small remnant of her people, took refuge in a dense swamp near Taunton early in August, but an Indian deserter, in order to ingratiate himself with the whites, carried the news to the people of that place on the 6th, and offered to lead a force to the encampment, which he declared was but a few miles distant. Twenty men immediately set out, and, surprising the encampment, took over a score of prisoners, but Weetamoo herself escaped. Attempting to cross the Taunton River near its mouth, on a raft or some pieces of broken wood, and either "tired or spent with rowing, or starved with cold and hunger," her strength failed and her naked body was brought to the shore by tide or current. Some days later, "someone of Taunton finding an Indian squaw in Metapoiset, newly dead, cut off her head, and it happened to be Weetamoo, squaw sachem, her head, which, placed on a pole and paraded through Taunton, was greeted by the lamentations of the captive Indians who knew her, crying out that it was their queen's head. "A severe and proud dame she was," says Mrs. Rowlandson, "bestowing every day in dressing herself near as much time as any gentry in the land." Such treatment meted out to the dead body of a white woman would have sent Mather searching the Scriptures for a proper characterization of the barbarity and wickedness of the act.

the Rev. Increase Mather, to cloth this sad story in language inhuman and almost devilish. In describing the event, he said, - "They made a most horrid and 'diabolical' lamentation, crying out that it was their queen's head." With all the horrific pain and suffering that was inflicted in the area during the war, it is no wonder it is such a paranormal soup of activity.
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The Bridgewater Triangle & The King Philip War Theory: A Basic View



In the mid-1970s, cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman noticed an inundation of reports coming from the Bridgewater, Massachusetts area. Tales of Bigfoot sightings, Thunderbird sightings, and other cryptozoological wonders made Coleman stop and take notice. In his correspondence and research with others interested in the area, such as Peter Rodman,  Coleman knew there was something special here...this area that Bridgewater residents jokingly dubbed "The Bridgewater Triangle." Coleman liked the name and ran with it. Over thirty years later, reports of bizarre run-ins with ghosts, UFOs, and other otherworldly beings continue, making The Bridgewater Triangle one of the most charged paranormal hotspots in the world.

Why is this area a magnet for paranormal activity? Some Bridgewater Triangle investigators believe that the answer lies in history. King Philip's War was statistically the bloodiest war ever to be fought on American soil. The punishments inflicted during the war that lasted from June, 1675 to August, 1676 were unfathomly barbaric -- on both sides. Butchering, beheading, kidnapping, burning towns to the ground, this war was filled with torturous corruption. The most horrific act was the death of King Philip himself.

"Captain Church ordered his body to be pulled out of the mire to the upland. So some of Captain Church's Indians took hold of him by his stockings, and some by his small breeches (being otherwise naked) and drew him through the mud to the upland ; and a doleful, great, naked, dirty beast he looked like. Captain Church then said, that forasmuch as hs had caused many an Englishman's body to be unburied, and to rot above ground, that not one of his bones should be buried. And calling his old Indian executioner, bid him behead and quarter him."

And as Church promised, rot in the sun above ground Philip's body did. His head was sold to the village of Plymouth for thirty shillings were it was staked and proudly displayed at the Plymouth Fort for the next 25 years.
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