UpFront - Haunted Overload

Photo courtesy of Haunted Overload Like being scared on Halloween? We’ve got just the place for you. Go to the Coppal House Farm in Lee for an amazing Halloween frightfest called Haunted Overload. It was voted one of America’s best haunted attractions by HauntWorld.com. You can get a taste of it on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRteiyRHhf8), but you have to see it all to believe it. With its movie-quality sets and 30-foot monsters, Haunted Overload definitely lives up to its name. The Night Haunt is Oct. 27, 28, 30 and 31, at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Haunted Overload is open in the daytime for young children and the faint of heart beginning October 20. Entry is by advance ticket only, purchased at the farmstand for $12 each or online for $15 at www.hauntedoverload.com. You might have experienced Haunted Overload when it was in a suburban front yard in Exeter. Now that it’s has moved to the Coppal House Farm, it will be six times larger. Among the undead actors those four scary nights will be the chainsaw-wielding Eric Lowther, who designed and built much of what you will see. Prop design began in March and on-site construction in July. “It’s artistic and extremely scary,” promises Lowther. If you go in the daytime, check out the farm’s corn maze (www.nhcornmaze.com). A feat of agricultural engineering, six acres of 11-foot-high corn have been cut in the shape of a coyote howling at the moon (photo at right). Mailboxes inside the maze have questions about coyotes and farming that provide clues to help navigate the maze. — By Amy Kane Be A-Mazed Terror not your thing? A tamer time can be had in a corn maze. Use this list to find one near you. Gilford: Beans and Greens Farm Rte. 11B, (603) 293-2853 $7, adults; $5, children Greenville: Washburn’s Windy Hill Orchard, Rte. 123, (603) 878-2101 $4, adults and children Hopkinton: Beech Hill Farm 107 Beech Hill Rd., (603) 223-0828 One maze, $3; three mazes, $5 Lee: Coppal House Farm Rte. 155, (603) 659-3572 $8, adults; 5-12, $4; under 5 free Milford: Trombly Farmstand 148 N. River Rod., (603) 620-5785 $5, adults; $4, children; under 2, free Piermont: Piermont Plant Pantry 143 Rte. 25, (603) 272-4372 $20/family Photo by Dan Habib Moving Pictures An award-winning still photographer mixes media to make a very personal statement. When Samuel Habib was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, his parents went through all the grief and fear you might imagine, then they got busy making changes in their hearts and their home to fully include him, disabilities and all, into their lives. Samuel’s condition would make speech difficult and necessitate wheelchairs to get around. They tackled these challenges with enthusiasm that was fueled by Samuel’s own persistence — his desire to keep up with his older brother, Isaiah, and his obvious love of life. Soon the challenge enlarged. School beckoned. Would the community outside be able to make a place for Samuel? Dan Habib, Samuel’s father knew a lot about that community — he had chronicled it in detail as an acclaimed photojournalist and as photo editor for the Concord Monitor. Twenty years ago, as a new staff photographer for the Monitor, he had shot a story on Beaver Meadow Elementary School — one of the first in the the state to include kids with disabilities in mainstream classes. Habib and his wife Betsy immersed themselves in the effort, assisting Samuel in T-ball and community activities and providing state of the art tools for mobility and communication. More dismaying than Samuel’s disability was the number of hospital stays it required. It was during one of those dire times that a friendly physician gave Dan some therapeutic advice. “You should document this,” the doctor said. Dan took those words to heart. He had produced award-winning photo studies before, but he also knew that the most compelling language of media was not still photography but moving images. He began learning the techniques of videography, allying himself with disability rights groups to better raise funds and finding the best collaborators. He tapped Ken Burns’ studio in Walpole to locate the best freelance editor in New England. He mixed his own still photography and some home movies with fresh footage. To chronicle the family’s experience with Samuel necessitated a study of the greater question of inclusion, in school, society, and the future. This required an even greater depth of field, so Habib involved four other subjects, each with a unique point of view on the subject. For four years the film has been in production, a creative thread woven into the life of a family and a community and outlining both the bonds and the boundaries. Now it’s ready to unveil: a 55-minute documentary titled “Including Samuel.” Dan Habib’s first film has been accepted to compete in the N.H. Film Festival in October and the Concord premiere will take place on November 6 at the Concord City Auditorium. Details on the movie and other ways to see and acquire it are available at www.includingsamuel.com. Book Shelf Like a good, spooky read for October? Try this. Think about witchcraft in New England and no doubt you think of Salem, Mass., in 1692. But there is another, earlier, time and place where witches seemed to roam — in a small New Hampshire town then known as Great Island, now known as New Castle. Ten years before the Salem witch trials, a local tavern was plagued by strange events — demonic noises and objects moving about the tavern, even disappearing altogether. Most significant, though, were the hundreds of flying stones that pelted the tavern for months on end. Was it, as people then imagined, “the stone-throwing devil” or “lithobolia”? It is a question that Emerson W. Baker, a Salem State College historian, explores in his recently released book, “The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft & Conflict in Early New England.” [Palgrave/Macmillan, N.Y., N.Y., $24.95] Emerson traces stories of stone-throwing from early Roman and Greek cultures up to 17th-century Colonial society, when political intrigue and religious and ethnic tensions allowed witchcraft hysterics to flourish and spread to towns like Salem. From the first stone thrown, “The Devil” draws you into a well-told tale that, amazingly, is true. Road Trip Charlestown to Lebanon: Travel Connecticut River byways for history and beauty. By Barbara Radcliffe Rogers The placid farms and pastures along the Connecticut valley were not always so serene. The river was the major route for Native Americans, as it was for settlers, and the French and Indian War was fought along its banks. Leave Charleston heading north on Rte. 12, the town’s main street. About a mile beyond the Stick-Gothic Episcopal church, sidetrack left to The Fort at No. 4. The stockaded settlement was once the northernmost English-speaking village in the New World. In 1747, it withstood attack by a force of 400, a success that caused the French forces to withdraw to Canada. Today its reconstruction is New England’s only living history museum of that era. Return to Rte. 12 and continue north past Hemingway Farms stand, turning left onto Rte. 12A (4 miles). Turn right at the roadside historical marker for Union Church (about 7 miles) to see two historic churches that sit facing one another — the state’s oldest standing Episcopal church, dating from 1773, and the brick St. Mary’s, the state’s first Roman Catholic church. Return to Route 12A, which crosses Rte. 12/103 and travels north along the Connecticut River. On the left, at Northstar Canoe Livery, you can rent a canoe for half-day, full-day, or overnight trips on the river. Rentals include a shuttle to put-ins either 4 or 12 miles upstream (542-5802, www.kayak-canoe.com). An historic sign marks Chase House B&B, a National Historic Landmark as birthplace of Salmon P. Chase, Supreme Court Chief Justice and Lincoln’s Secretary of Treasury (675-5391). About a mile beyond is the historic Trinity Church in Cornish, then the longest covered bridge in the United States comes into view, stretching across the Connecticut. Built in 1886 with an unusual timber lattice truss construction, it crosses to Windsor, Vt., in two spans. About .5 miles upstream is a good canoe put-in, followed by Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, where the sculptures of Augustus Saint-Gaudens are beautifully displayed in his summer studio, home and elegant gardens. Walking trails lead throughout the grounds (675-2175, www.nps.gov/saga). Blow-me-down Mill stands just beyond on the right, and about a mile farther, on the left, is the former summer home of Rose Standish Nichols, one of America’s pioneer landscape designers. Catch a glimpse of the restored gardens south of the yellow clapboard house. Plainfield Town Hall may not look like an important art landmark, but inside is a complete stage set by Maxfield Parrish (4 miles). The Cornish Colony artists and writers enjoyed their summers, combining work with social activities that included theatrical performances, such as the one for which the stage sets were painted. On October 6 and 7, the annual Maxfield Parrish Vintage Print and Collectibles Sale, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., supports the upkeep of the stage, which will be on display (675-6866). Across the street, the library has records of the Art Colony and a Maxfield Parrish gift nook (675-6866). Rte. 12A continues along the river, past McNamara Dairy (4 miles), which sells fresh milk in bottles. Ahead, past a stretch of strip-mall sprawl, is I-89 and the classier Power House Mall in West Lebanon. Turn right onto Rte. 4 and right again onto Poverty Lane, where Farnum Hill Ciders sits amid the apple trees of Poverty Lane Orchards. The juices of heritage varieties are fermented, blended and aged here to create ciders that compare favorably to the finest from Normandy. In September and October, tastings are offered at the cidery (other times, call ahead). Return to Rte. 4, which leads into Lebanon. Facing the common is Three Tomatoes Trattoria, where pizzas and grilled dishes emerge from a huge brick oven at lunch and dinner (448-1711, www.threetomatoestrattoria.com). Length of trip: 35 miles Plan Ahead: www.fortat4.com www.kayak-canoe.com www.nps.gov/saga www.threetomatoestrattoria.com Two For One Forget boring old handbags — have a bag that gives you two looks in one, maybe even three. When Carrie Saunders and her husband Nick created a line of colorful fabric handbags back in 2001, they wanted them to have the look of a “New England coastal lifestyle.” To them, that meant versatile — good for both the beach and the city, day and night, and the changing seasons as well. To make that possible, they made the bags reversible. The formula worked and today Anna Street, their now-Portsmouth-based business, sells bags all over New England and in an ever-expanding number of other states. The bags range from change purses starting at $24 to overnight bags at $190. More than 200 fabrics — cotton, nylon, corduroy and more — are available at the Portsmouth store, where you can buy already-made bags or create your own. In recent months, Anna Street (named for a street that’s been important in Carrie and Nick’s lives) has taken versatility up a notch with a new 3-in-1 bag. “We can’t keep it in stock,“ says Carrie. For more information visit www.annastreet.com. Feeling Sheepish? When Donna and Gordon Carlstrom started to raise sheep and sell their wool, Donna sketched a sheep to use as a logo for their business, called The Sheepshed. She took her drawing to a graphic artist to spiff it up, but she was told it was perfect the way it was. The Sheepshed has since switched from sheep to llamas, but Donna’s seriously cute sheep live on in a line of stoneware-style tableware made exclusively for The Sheepshed by Great Bay Pottery in Rye. It’s hand-thrown, hand-glazed and hand-decorated. Also lead-free, dishwasher-safe and oven-safe. Prices range from $14 for a mug to $45 for a casserole. Occasionally, as in life, there will be a black sheep on the pottery. At The Sheepshed you can also get handspun yarns, spinning fibers and finished wool products like scarves and vests. If you need custom dyeing, Gordon can do it. For more information call (603) 487-2072 or visit www.sheepshed.net. 24th Annual Wool Arts Tour Oct. 6 & 7 Open house at local farms in Francestown, Antrim, Washington and Henniker Who's Top Dog? You’ve probably heard of the Iron Man competition, where very-in-shape contenders run, bike and swim for more miles than most of us could walk. But did you know that dogs can vie for the prize, too? On Oct. 20 at the Iron Dog Challenge at the N.H. Police Academy in Portsmouth you can see it happen. Very-in-shape police dogs and their handlers will run a 1 1/2-mile obstacle course together, both of them going under drainage culverts, over six-foot walls and much more. “The dogs think it’s nothing to run the course, but for the handlers it’s excruciating,” says Capt. David Ferland, who’s done the course many times. “You wake up the next morning knowing you’ve done something.” The police dogs, which are also known as working dogs, also have a Doggie Drag Race. It’s a timed 100-yard run, without the handlers. The dogs can go 25 to 35 mph, according to Ferland, who is a Portsmouth police officer and a founder of the Working Dog Foundation (“Keeping Your Family Safe”) that is sponsoring the event. There are more than 75 to 85 police dogs working in New Hampshire at any one time — most of them German Shepherds; a few are Bloodhounds or Belgian Malinois. They’re used for search and rescue, drug and explosive detection, and finding lost children or Alzheimer’s patients in the woods. Plus, says Ferland, “they’re good at finding bad guys in buildings.” Police dogs and their handlers form a close bond. They live and work together — and some run obstacle courses together. For more information about the Iron Dog Challenge visit www.workingdog.org. Pumpkin Chuckin' A medieval contraption in Greenfield has set world records for throwing pumpkins — the realization of one (slightly eccentric) man’s dream. As you drive past it on Rte. 31 in Greenfield you can hardly believe your eyes. Up on the hill, surrounded by an imposing heavy chain fence, is a medieval castle and a very large something or other with wheels. Stop at the farmstand across the road to ask what on earth this medieval-looking stuff is doing in this quintessential Colonial town and you can get the skinny from Steven and Kathy Seigars, the owners of both the farmstand and the castle. “We were looking for a way to promote the farmstand, to get people to come here. We’re in the middle of nowhere,” says Kathy. “One night Steven saw a ‘Nova’ program on trebuchets and he said, ‘I’m going to build one.’” For 200 years, in the 14th and 15th centuries, before the cannon was invented, the trebuchet — a counterweight, gravity-driven machine with a sling at the end of a long throwing arm — was the ultimate military weapon. Two and a half years later, Steven had built both a trebuchet and a castle made of oil drums to use as a target for the pumpkins the trebuchet would throw. “It’s kooky fun,” Kathy says, “but it’s doing the job. We’re getting a lot of people to come.” The approx. 40,000-pound machine, called the “Yankee Siege,” can be seen in action every Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. until the end of October, weather permitting. It’s free. Call (603) 547-6421 or visit www.yankeesiege.com. Street Smarts [A quickie guide to E. Main Street, Warner] This small town right off of I-89 is in full regalia during its annual Autumn Festival on Columbus Day weekend. Arts and crafts exhibitors, a lobster and chicken bake, an oxen pull and a parade on Sunday showcases the local charm. Don’t miss the Telephone Museum at 22 E. Main Street, either. Rick Stewart and Megan Hunt say they have the only shop in New Hampshire that is 100 percent Fair Trade. Hunt’s quest for drums for her adopted West African twins led to her discovery of the global crafts marketplace. Besides creating opportunities for the economically disadvantaged, Fair Trade principles encourage better environmental practices. The shop, Rowe Mountain Fair Trade (25 E. Main St.), has textiles, glassware, instruments and more from 48 countries. The painted gourds above are from Peru ($18 to $110). www.rowemountain.com Wingdoodle Studio Workshop and Gift Gallery (19 E. Main Street) has a great collection of fun gifts and art and craft supplies in the back. Start squeezing polymer clay with cool tools and take classes with master Kathleen Dustin. You will also find one of the largest collections of stamping equipment around. Many of the stamps are designed by owner Sandy Bartholomew and include a few created by local school children. wingdoodle.com Mary Webb, owner of the Rolling Pin (17 E. Main Street) has assembled a nice array of kitchen supplies and unique accessories, including silicone spatulas with seasonal designs (think spiders for Halloween cookie making) and cute graters ($28.50). A fine selection of gourmet foods can be assembled for a foodie gift basket. (456-2590) Woodsum Gallery owner Mary Morris represents regional artists who paint “what people like.” The room is filled with luscious oils, realistic watercolors, hand-blown glass and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Morris moved her gallery last year from Sunapee to reach a year-round audience in the quaint town of Warner (25 E. Main St.) . Realistic Portsmouth cityscapes (above) in oil are painted by Craig Morris, Mary’s husband. woodsumgallery.com The nearby Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum has opened a gift shop in town (25 E. Main St.) featuring the work of Native tribes across the nation. You can find horse hair pottery, painted ponies (albeit made in China, but none-the-less charming and collectible), smudge sticks, fetishes, dream catchers made by local Abenaki Len Novak and seed bead earrings made by Rhonda Besaw. A collection of contemporary Navajo decorative arrows signed with the maker’s census number make yesterday’s war tool today’s object d’art — and quite poignant. MainStreet Bookends (16 E. Main Street) is a great resource for the local community with a full schedule of concerts and lectures by visiting artists. Inside you will find a plethora of autographed books by local authors and prints and original art by area artists, including David M. Carroll. Besides a good collection of award-winning and locally authored children’s books, a section is devoted to educational and hard-to-find toys. mainstreetbookends.com Treasure Hunt A 19th-Century Favorite It’s just a knock-off, but it’s still eye-catching. Above - Provenance: This majolica-style pottery was purchased in a New Hampshire group antique shop in the 1980s. Thank you for sending me pictures of your majolica cream pitcher. It is a nice example of a type of ceramic that has a long history. Known for its vibrant colors and mystique, majolica is a tin-glazed earthenware developed centuries ago. The name majolica is derived from the commercial export of wares that traveled through the Spanish port of Majorca. Majolica continued to develop in its intricacy of pattern, form and color throughout the 1800s. Complicated designs of serving pieces featuring rabbits, shellfish and other animals were considered prized possessions in the home. Majolica continued in its popularity and design up until the end of the 19th century. Italy, Spain, England, France and America all had popular makers of the ware, each with their own individuality. The vibrant colors and whimsical motifs of the ceramic made it a household favorite, and today it is even being reproduced. Contemporary pieces are typically lighter in weight and do not have glazed bottoms. Quality pieces are still being made in regions of Spain and Italy, but knock-offs are prevalent. Your cream pitcher, based on a 19th-century English design, is fairly contemporary and was made in China. If your piece was antique it would be worth $200; however, since it is a more modern reproduction, it is worth $35. — Jason Hackler, manager/owner of New Hampshire Antique Co-op in Milford (www.nhantiquecoop.com) and partner of Jason Samuel Antiques, is a past officer of the Granite State Antique and Appraisers Association, a principal of the Active Appraisal Group, a member of the N.H. Antique Dealers Association and a licensed auctioneer. Curious about an antique you have? Wonder what the porcelain you inherited from Grandma is worth? Send a photo to bcoles@nhmagazine.com. If there are markings, please take a clear photo of them as well. Only one item a month can be featured. If it’s selected, we’ll have expert Jason Hackler tell you what it is and appraise it. Q&A: A Cowgirl at Heart The Internet — with its lack of rules and regulations — is often called today’s “Wild West,” a term especially apt for the shoot-em-up blogosphere. That’s an environment that blogger Judy Paris, of Bradford, feels very much at home in. Maybe it comes from being raised in Oklahoma and thinking of herself as a cowgirl. No guns for her, though. All she slings are her conservative views. Is it true you didn’t even know what a blog was until the 2006 elections? I had absolutely no clue. When I found out what a blog was I thought, what a great way for ordinary people to get their viewpoints out and counteract some of the lies and propaganda you hear from much of the left-wing media. So six months later, after years in a ministry with your husband, you’re blogging for granitegrok.com and appearing on radio shows — you’re a media star. I think that’s overreaching. I’m humbled by it, to be honest. But I do love it and I hope to someday get paid to do it. We hear you’re interested in working for FOX News. I’d love to be a broadcaster, yeah. A talking head. If I can’t get that, and I am trying, I’d like to do a call-in radio show. At 57, I know a little about a lot of stuff. My kids are grown; I can go anywhere. Who would your role model be? For radio, Dennis Miller. He disagrees with people but does it respectfully. For television, Brit Hume, though I do love Bill O’Reilly. He’s a little arrogant, but I like how he keeps pounding to get at the truth. What do you say to people who think blogs are divisive? I totally disagree. You can get honest information from both sides on blogs, which I don’t find in the majority of the media. People who see it as divisive have a hard time facing the truth. What do you hope to accomplish? Truth, whatever the truth is. Walk among the books at Dartmouth College Library and you might hear some terrible roars and see some terrible claws. Wild Things in Hanover Ask any parent or child to identify this mismatched monster and chances are they’ll know — it’s one of the creatures that populate “Where the Wild Things Are,” Maurice Sendak’s famous book that won the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1964. For nine years Mort Wise — an avid book collector, friend of Dartmouth College and Sendak fan — built an extensive collection of Sendak’s books, letters and artwork (like the sketch shown here, drawn by Sendak for Wise’s daughter Alicia), which he has now donated to the college’s library. Jay Satterfield, special collections librarian, says the Sendak collection is a real treasure: “Sendak helped reshape modern children’s literature; he was a major 20th-century innovator.” His works will join those of another major innovator, Dartmouth alum Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. The collections are available to the public. For more information, visit www.dartmouth.edu/~speccoll.