Serious Strangeness

Some unbelievable tales with “just enough truth” It’s one weird tale after the other — 279 pages of them. The events took place (we think) all over New England, but “Weird New England” [Sterling Publishing Co., $19.95] has plenty of New Hampshire stories. There’s the “Dreadful Doc Benton,” a black-caped figure with long white hair who has roamed the slopes of Mount Moosilauke for nearly 200 years. He was a doctor turned killer, his mark — a red swelling behind the ear — left on his numerous victims. Among the other stories: “Cling-Clang, the Vaulting Peddler,” “Orford’s Electrifying Lady,” “the Derry Fairy” and, of course, Barney and Betty Hill’s tale of being abducted by aliens. The tales are told by celebrity author Joseph Citro, a Vermonter who had been collecting weird stories about New England long before he was asked by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman to help create “Weird New England.” The two men have produced a long series of “Weird” books. Their mission: to unearth unearthly tales in each of the country’s 50 states and regions. If you’re looking for a light read that comes in easily digestible chunks, this is a good one. — Barbara Coles
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