Today I will remember as the day that, while killing a lunch hour at Barnes & Noble, I saw my husband’s book on the shelf for the first time. There was no one with me, so unfortunately my enthusiasm had no place to land. I’m sure I looked mad standing there smiling at his title on the shelf. I mean, I’d be proud if he was published for DIY Cardboard Birdhouses, but NO, he wrote a ridiculously cool book about everything grim, macabre, roadtrip-worthy, and just totally interesting in New England. The New England Grimpendium.
Oh, and it’s full of my photographs!
Every place in the U.S. has its dark side, but New England’s often seems a few shades darker than most. The region is full of the grim, the gruesome, and the ghastly…and all of it worth visiting for the traveler who dares. The New England Grimpendium: A Guide to Macabre and Ghastly Sites in the Northeast U.S. (Countryman Press, a division of W.W. Norton, New York) catalogs hundreds of macabre sites, attractions, and artifacts, all drawn from the firsthand experiences of J. W. Ocker, who covered 7,000 miles of New England roadway in venturing to these eerie locations. From a visit to the private collection of a demonologist to a midnight jaunt at an insane asylum cemetery to an overnight stay at a murder scene, Ocker leaves no gravestone unturned in his quest to chronicle the dark heart of New England. This morbid travelogue includes locations connected to legendary personalities of the macabre, infamous crimes and tragedies, horror movies, and classic New England monsters, as well as notable cemeteries, tombs, and other memento mori. So if you find your nightmares a bit undernourished or your day trips a bit too sunny, The New England Grimpendium is the guide for you.