HAUNTED TOWER.

We’ve all heard stories of people finding strange things in the middle of the woods. Or perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. Objects, structures, cars, staircases, graves, ancient relics and other random oddities that seem like they were dropped out of nowhere. The same puzzling thoughts enter our minds. Why is this here? How did it get here? Where the hell am I?

It happened to Uncle T during a recent weekend trip to the (almost) tip of Cape Cod when a TOWER FORTRESS appeared seemingly out of thin air. Soon after I would discover a legend behind the tower…

Photos by Uncle T

It’s called the “Jenny Lind Tower” and it’s location is on the property of an abandoned air force base in North Truro, Massachusetts. It’s also pretty much footsteps from the ocean and the beautiful National Seashore. The story of how this castle-like structure found its way out here goes like this:

A 19th century opera singer named Jenny Lind was supposed to perform in Boston in 1850 in an auditorium above a railroad station. *This tower was part of the original railroad station structure.* However the concert was oversold and when many people couldn’t get in, they rioted and crashed the gates. As legend has it, to calm the angry concertgoers Jenny Lind climbed the tower and sang to the public. P.T. Barnum was the publicist for Lind so its possible he created the legend behind the name.

Looking up into the tower

In 1927, the station was being torn down and a rich man named Henry Aldrich had the tower dismantled and transported by train way out to Truro, Massachusetts. Aside from having the money and resources to do this, it’s unclear as to why exactly he wanted this specific tower near his seaside property.

Where this story gets ghastly is its connection to a famous ghost called “The Witch of Wellfleet” who haunts the woods of Truro and the town of Wellfleet. Her real name was Goody Hallett and she was the lover of an actual pirate captain named Samuel Bellamy. For over 300 years stories have been passed down about “banshee screams” heard on the sea cliffs, putting a curse on the passing ships and causing them to wreck as Samuel Bellamy’s pirate ship did in 1717. Local legend says that when the banshee witch starts screaming, the ghost of Jenny Lind ascends her tower to sing and her enchanting voice stops the witch and frightens her away.

That’s right, Jenny Lind is a good witch.

I should also note that the walk to this “haunted” tower through an abandoned air force base was also very cool. The base has been inactive for some 27 years, but the radar structures and old buildings are still very much intact.

Happy wandering, TNUC disciples. You never know what you’ll encounter.

LADY OF THE DUNES.

Submitted for the approval of the TNUC midnight society, I call this story, the LADY OF THE DUNES. 

Actually “I” have nothing to do with this story. This is a well documented, real life tragedy that is no TNUC tall tale. The story revolves around the remains of an unidentifiable murder victim’s body found mutilated out in the dunes of Cape Cod during the summer of 1974. To this day the “lady of the dunes” death is a complete mystery.

On July 26, 1974 a young girl was walking the beach with her family and dog when they discovered a decomposing body. According to police reports, the body was that of a woman laid face down on part of a beach blanket, covered in insects after having been sitting in the sun for two weeks. A blue bandana and pair of Wrangler jeans were under her head. She had long auburn/red hair. Both hands and one forearm were missing. Her head was nearly decapitated. 

Race Point Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Photos by Uncle T.

Her body was exhumed several times, as recently as 2013 and composite drawings were done. Where this story gets mighty interesting and spooky is how it might be somehow tied to the movie JAWS. This revelation was theorized by horror writer Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son) a few years ago while he was attending a 40th anniversary screening of the classic film.

Something caught his eye about a third of a way into the film. The scene where flocks of tourists are shuffling on and off the ferry to “Amity” (fictionalized Martha’s Vineyard), a woman with dark hair and a blue bandana is seen for a brief moment. According to Hill, he shot up in his seat when he saw the “startling resemblance”.

His theory goes like this: Jaws was filmed in the summer of 1974 only 100 miles away from where “Jane Doe” was murdered. Often times locals would have gotten word that there was a movie being filmed nearby and would want to be involved — especially something so simple as being an extra.

Production companies back in the day would assign extras to wear their regular clothes to make it look as authentic as possible with the territory. Unfortunately during these times they didn’t keep records for background actors.

She was buried in an unmarked grave site in a Provincetown cemetery that reads:
Unidentified Female Body, Found Race Point Dunes, July 26, 1974

Hill wondered, “What if the young murder victim no one has ever been able to identify has been seen by hundreds of millions of people in a beloved summer classic and they didn’t even know they were looking at her?”

“What if,” he wrote in 2015, “the ghost of the Lady of the Dunes haunts JAWS?”

Call it far fetched if you will, but it’s definitely something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. TNUC visited Race Point Beach this summer and while walking the shoreline couldn’t help but start thinking…what if..?

Hill added “It would be no surprise at all if a girl summering on the Cape decided to take a few days to explore the Vineyard… especially with the added bait of celebrity to draw her in.”

47 years later and the case remains an unsolved mystery.

RETURN TO SUMMER CAMP MIX.

As the morning sun shines on the dew soaked grass, a rooster lets out a cock-a-doodle-doo, Nurse Davenport’s giant underpants go flying up the flagpole and Uncle T lets out a huge belch over the outside loudspeaker. Just another morning at Camp TNUC.

That prior evening, Camp TNUC held their 2nd annual ‘Beer Can Mountain’ party where we invite the neighboring camps from Lake Waramaug into our lair for a beer guzzling contest like no other. It begins with gathering the worst beer we can find, which campers refer to as “deadbeat beer” or “horse piss”. You know, the bottom of the barrel crap that’s only sold in 30-packs to the low budget alcoholics of the world and the stuff you can’t believe is still made. “Brewed in a prison sweat sock!” as Counselor “Rad” Chad likes to say.

Once we’ve cornered the market in shitty brew, we extend the invite to the other nearby summer camps from up the creek. Computer Camp, Fat Camp, Bible Camp…you name it. Each group then chooses (1) power camper to engage in a battle of who can annihilate the most beers. Funnels, ice luges, turkey basters and other tools of the trade are acceptable means of consumption.

All finished cans and bottles are tossed into a pit in the middle of the campground. Whoever is deemed the weakest and finishes the least amount of beers has to spend a night sleeping under BEER CAN MOUNTAIN. Smothered in a 20-foot pile of stale beer cans dripping with warm deadbeat juice, they do what they can to survive the night.

Everyone aside from the weakest link gets to party all night with the girls — excuse me, WOMEN, from Wrinkle’s Gentlemen’s Club, the only exclusively 60+ elderly exotic dancing club in the Northeast. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t knock these golden gals until you try ’em. Linda, Laverne, Florence, Ruth, Diane and Winifred “Winnie” Whoppers will show you an old fashioned good time that you shall never forget. Plus — as a major bonus, Winnie makes a mean French Toast that you’ll want to devour the next morning to help with that hangover. Just make sure the old bird remembers to put her dentures in!

To commemorate such a meaningful event, we’ve brewed up a brand new mixtape of songs (a sequel to Part 1) that have been playing at Camp TNUC all summer long. Enjoy it and thanks for listening. Now go out and hit the lake!

[[Download link]]

ROXY MUSIC’S AVALON.

According to ancient legend, Avalon was the magical “Island of the Blessed” – a mythical land where King Arthur recovered from his wounds after the Battle of Camalann. This is also where his sword the Excalibur is said to have been forged. 

“Avalon is part of the King Arthur legend and is a very romantic thing. When King Arthur dies, the Queens ferry him off to Avalon, which is sort of an enchanted island. It’s the ultimate romantic fantasy place.”
– Bryan Ferry

I was probably 14 or 15 when I first laid eyes on this artwork. Up until this point, I pretty much only gravitated to album covers that featured heavy metal people, skulls, face paint, chicks, things on fire, etc.  

In the case of Avalon, this intriguing photo of a knight holding a falcon and gazing out at a beautiful sunrise checked all my boxes but mystified me in a new way like nothing else before it. That balance of stark power and natural beauty would also amazingly transition to reflect the sound of this album. To this day it’s still one of my favorite recordings of all time. 

People throw around the word “dreamy” probably too often, but listening to this album is like walking around in a dream. From the opening track ‘More Than This’ to the closing instrumental ‘Tara’, the listener is taken on a swirling ride of luxurious compositions, seductive sax and Bryan Ferry’s ultra-smooth but dramatic vocals. Guitars and washes of synth create evocative new sounds that depict exotic images of foreign lands and a world of mystique. 

The production quality suggests it must have cost a fortune. I used to daydream and picture Roxy Music’s recording sessions taking place inside an all-glass studio that sat at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, while flocks of falcons guarded the studio fortress.

The title track possesses such an elegant atmosphere with it’s sexy structure and Ferry’s words about late-night possibilities. Take a moment to revisit:

It’s way too easy to drift into another dimension while listening to this music. The music video features Bryan Ferry in his white dinner jacket– captivated by a beautiful woman dancing around in a castle. I should also note that Auntie TNUC walked down the aisle during our ceremony to this song a couple years ago, so this one is pretty damn special to me.

These photos are taken from the show Red Oaks, a TV series that ran from 2014 to 2017. One of the main characters Wheeler, is making serious moves on his lifelong crush Misty and in one of the scenes he gives her a cassette tape of Roxy Music’s Avalon. There are scenes that follow with Misty listening to the album that I can tell you are pure magic. In fact Red Oaks features a ton of great music and montages. TNUC strongly recommends watching the show, especially seasons 1&2.

I’m eternally grateful for this album. It opened my eyes to a world of new sounds and music at a time in high school when I didn’t picture myself deviating from certain genres. Artists like Duran Duran, King Crimson, Deadsy and Billy Idol. It all started with Roxy Music and this 1982 opus.

CHUCKY IN PARADISE.

Sometimes you just have to wonder what a guy like Chucky would be doing if instead of murdering people and trying to perform a voodoo ritual to transfer his soul into a 6-year old, he took the high road and chose a slightly different path.

If Charles Lee Ray had come to terms with being a redheaded doll in overalls and just embraced the whole thing, society might have welcomed him with open arms. Charles joins a fortune 500 company, owns a tanning bed at home and spends summers in Morocco.

The above video clip explores these ideas.

“Footprints” written & recorded by FM Attack
Remix by Jasper De Ceuster
https://fmattack.bandcamp.com/track/footprints-jasper-de-ceuster-remix

WIPEOUT.

The other day the strangest thing happened to me. I’ve had this reoccurring dream for years that I’m playing drums like a maniac in the middle of a mystical beach, surrounded by a pack of wild, beach-bum party freaks.

In some sort of subconscious dreamstate foreshadowing, this dream I’ve had already existed in reality 30-something years ago(!) made possible by “Herman Ze German” aka Herman Rarebell, ex-drummer from The Scorpions. I swear to you people that I was not aware of this music video, nor his cover of the surfer classic “Wipeout”.

I have my barbarian brother Big Mike Ballermann to thank for letting me know about this. Not only does this blow my mind but the music video itself couldn’t be more perfect. It was filmed on Malibu beach in 1984 and is the definition of the ultimate summer.

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