Curiosities of Central New York

Curiosities of Central New York

by Melanie Zimmer


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The people of Central New York know there's something different—perhaps strange—in the air. Across this vast and often wild region, history and lore are remarkably and markedly unusual. Ancient Iroquois mystical traditions still infuse the landscape with a sense of the otherworldly, and for some, witchcraft was a constant fear throughout the nineteenth century. Monsters and even fairies roam the region, frightening or delighting those who say they have encountered them. Visit the world's smallest church in Oneida and North America's only Tibetan monastery, Namgyal, in Ithaca. Join local folklorist Melanie Zimmer as she explores the curiosities of Central New York.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609496661
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,176,464
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Melanie Zimmer is very active in the folklore and storytelling community. She is currently a member of the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling, the Puppeteers of America, the Puppetry Guild of Upstate New York and the New York Folklore Society. She has published numerous books and articles and frequently presents and performs at libraries, schools, museums and historical societies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

1 Witchcraft 11

The Story of Dr. Daniel Roberts, the Witch Doctor of Steuben 11

Iroquois Witchcraft 18

2 Iroquois Mystical Traditions 21

Dreams 21

The Religious Use of Tobacco 29

3 Monsters, Fairies and Other Beings 33

Stone Giants 33

Bigfoot 39

The Flying Heads 40

Lake Monsters 41

The Ro-tay-yo or Giant Mosquito 44

The Giant Mosquito of the Oneidas 45

The Iroquois Little People 46

Non-Iroquois Little People 53

Mummies of Central New York 55

4 Curious Places in Central New York 67

The House of Josiah Whipple Jenkins 67

The Secret Room Beneath the Jenkins House 71

Josiah Whipple Jenkins, Esq., John Brown and Abolitionist Gerrit Smith 80

The Brown Donkeys in Vernon 90

The World's Smallest Church 91

The Spirit House 93

The Mystery of the Muller Château 103

A Tibetan Monastery in Central New York 115

5 Final Comments 121

Bibliography 123

About the Author 127

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