Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Blood Alley: The Worst Ghost Story Ever

Newport, Rhode Island: Loaded with Vanderbilt mansions, where the greatest number of surviving colonial building are, where Jack married Jackie, and the home of a ghost tour that allegedly can't keep their story straight. 

I recently moved to Newport. And by 'moved' I mean I dumped all my stuff in my new house and left for vacation in Florida the next day and haven't been back since. Don't worry, we'll hang soon Newport. This hoighty-toighty town on an island on another island has to have an inkling of a seedy past, right?

According to a local ghost tour, it hasn't always been martinis and pearls in Newport. I've never been on this ghost tour. Or any ghost tour. Can't you just, like, email me the ghost stories and we don't have to do the walking around town thingy?

On one review site of this tour, three separate posts mentioned a stop known as Blood Alley, and all three recollections of the story were very different. Now, the tour could be changing up the story or these three separate people could all have memory loss, I don't know. Now I want to do the tour to see which one I get. It's like those dispensing machines with really shitty toys in the little plastic containers. I'll waste 50 cents, not for the plastic figurine of a ninja, but to see which one pops out. The one with the nunchucks or the one with the sword? I HAVE TO KNOW.

The only thing consistent in the story of Blood Alley is that there is a place called Blood Alley. 

1. Pirates frequented the harbors of Newport in the 17th and 18th centuries. One group of pirates wanted to bury their treasure in an underground cave they located but only one member of their crew, a teenage boy, could fit through the small hole. He was given a drum and instructed to beat the drum slowly until he found a safe spot to hide the treasure, where he was to beat the drum loud and rapidly. Before he even got a chance to Keith Moon the hell out of that drum, the drumming stopped and the kid vanished. Some say he fell through an opening in the cave and died, some say the tunnel flooded by a storm surge, whatever. Now, between the hours of 12 and 5 a.m., there have been reports of a faint drumbeat coming from underground.

2. Two sailors sent a boy to look for treasure in a hole they found by the ocean. The hole looked manmade, so they were certain that someone had buried riches in it. The boy was given a drum and told to beat the drum when he found the treasure. The tide came in too fast and the boy drowned.

3. Pirates would take people to the alley and mug people, sometimes brutally.

I mean, how do these vary this much? The first story is the best, but even if you hear a drum beat coming from underground, there is nothing that scary about being distanced from a ghost by the thickness of a brick road. Or a ghost-boy pa rum pum pum pumming.  

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