CONWAY – Storyteller, adventurer and journalist Jeff Bélanger enlivened his audience during a spooky session at the Conway Public Library on the origin of Halloween. He also had other weird facts to share.
He spoke on October 21 at 7 p.m. in the boardroom, his speech following on from one given a week earlier at the same location by the Luna Paranormal Research team of Kelly Rogers of North Conway and Linda Merritt of North Conway. Effingham (see related article).
Bélanger’s multimedia extravagance was inspired by his books, podcasts, adventures and the various television shows he worked on. There was also a question-and-answer session and a book signing for the 35 people in attendance, who seemed engaged and laughed with his jokes.
One anecdote he recounted concerned an obsession in the White House.
“President Harry S. Truman has written about the ghost on numerous occasions in letters to his wife,” Belanger said. “To quote the president, ‘Sure the shoot, this place is haunted,’” said Bélanger who worked in a joke. “He would hear footsteps walking… (then, as someone’s cell phone rang in the audience), he would hear, for example, a cell phone ringing.
Bélanger also had some serious information about the origins of our beloved Halloween vacation.
“Our Celtic ancestors believed that on October 31, when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is thinnest, the goddess Morrigan would pass, bringing hordes of ghosts and monsters, imps and fairies to our world. . and mind our own business, ”Bélanger explained, adding that the date is no accident.
The date of October 31 was chosen because it is halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice … they disguise their children as ghosts and monsters.
“So when all these hordes of creatures came out, they were confused and wouldn’t tear the children up and bring them back downstairs.” “
Today, Halloween is the second biggest consumer holiday after Christmas, said Belanger, who grew up in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
During the question-and-answer session, Bélanger was asked if he himself had had any ghost experiences.
“It’s extremely rare for me to have a ghost experience. I’m what they call “insensitive” – you can ask my wife, ”Belanger said.
“I had some visual experiences. I heard a lot of things … I tell myself, this is usually inconclusive for me … It sounded like phantom footsteps, but I don’t know.
Bélanger is the author of more than a dozen books published in six languages. He is also the Emmy-nominated host, writer and producer of the PBS and Amazon Prime series “New England Legends” and the weekly podcast “New England Legends”.
He is also a writer and researcher for the “Ghost Adventures” series, and has been a guest on hundreds of television and radio networks and programs, including History, Travel Channel, Biography Channel, PBS, CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, BBC and Coast to Côte AM.