Cryptic Fiction

Welcome to Cryptic Fiction, a place where the unexpected becomes the expected. Here you will discover the limits of the imagination, with a dash of darkness to spice things up. Break boundaries, explore the extreme, and journey to the other side. Here you will find angels, demons, monsters, and paradoxes in time that will challenge your senses. Walk through the gates of the unknown. Step out of the day and smile at the night. Don't worry, the night will smile back. It's been waiting for you your entire life...​​
History is a passion of mine, and on those occasions when I get to travel to historic sites I often find myself contemplating what happened, and how those events led to the possibility of our current existence. It may sound strange and outlandish, but life is full of happenstance, minor twists in time that have the ability to alter the future. And it's more than that, because the living often tend to confuse or blurr true events. We want to put our own spin on the past, which can be dangerous, and is often what leads us to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.

So on this page I offer you historical tidbits and photographs, and my goal is to do so without bias. When I add my thoughts I will preface that information as an "author's note," and I invite you to contact me if you have a visited a place in history that is special to you.
Established in 1925, the Hawthorn Hotel is located in the heart of historic Salem, Massachusetts. In the 1970's the television show Bewitched filmed the iconic elevator scene there. Named for the classical writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, it is reported that room 325 and Suite 612 are haunted. It is also important to note that Nathaniel Hawthorne is related to Judge John Hathorne, who presided over the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

Below are a series of photographs of Salem which include: The Hawthorne Hotel, The House of Seven Gables, Nathaniel Hawthorne's birthplace, Hooper - Hathaway House, and The Burying Point, the oldest cemetery in Salem and the resting place of John Hathorne.

Author's Note - My wife and I stayed in room 324 for two nights, and didn't experience anything unusual. The hotel, and Salem, was an extraordinary experience. My best advice is if you go to Salem, get to your hotel and park, don't drive. Walking through the town was what made the trip memorable.

Salem Witch Trials

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Hawthorne Hotel

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Salem-Hawthorne-Hathaway-Customs-Maratime

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In Fall River, Massachusetts, Lizzie Borden was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and her stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden. Even though acquitted, Lizzie was ostracized by the community. Lizzie changed her name to Lizbeth, and moved to a house in Fall River that she named "Maplecroft." Lizzie was known to be a kleptomaniac, and her father arranged to pay local merchants whenever Lizzie "Forgot to pay for something." Lizzie died in Fall River in 1927 at the age of 66 from pneumonia. Her and her family are buried nearby at Oak Grove Cemetery.

In the next gallery are a number of photographs taken at the site.

Author's Note - Many believe that Lizzie committed the murders, and there are more details than I can possibly write in this narrative. I can say that if Lizzie was in the house at the time of the murders then it would have been impossible for her not to hear that level of violence going on. Our tour guide fell upstairs to demonstrate, and from the back of the house our group heard the fall very clearly. Overall it was a spooky and dark stop on our trip. It is important to note that Lizzie and her sister Emma are buried away from the main body of the family.

Borden House and Gravesite

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Plymouth, Massachusetts, is often regarded as the starting point of our country. What many don't realize is the harsh conditions faced by the Puritans, who were fleeing religious oppression. Also, contrary to popular belief, there were major conflicts between the Indians and the Pilgrims from the outset, with both sides carrying out atrocities against each other.

In the next two galleries are a number of photographs taken at Plymouth, and at Plymouth Plantation.

Author's Note - Imagine landing on a new continent. Imagine the state of medical technology, and the fact that you probably will die due to disease, starvation, the weather, or any number of other challenges. Then imagine that you have nowhere to go, because people who believe what you believe are being hanged and suppressed back home. Then imagine your life spent in a small house with a dirt floor as you struggle to survive, with little or no comfort. How can we possibly judge the actions of our forefathers, when it is their sacrifices that allow us the high standards of living we enjoy today.

Plymouth Rock & Mayflower II

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Plymouth Plantation

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Emily Dickinson

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On December 10th, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson was born. Emily belonged to a prominent family, yet remained introverted for most of her life. Her work was usually significantly altered by the publishers who viewed it during her lifetime. Emily never married, but it is believed that she was planning to marry Judge Otis Phillips Lord, her father's friend. However, he passed away before the marriage could take place.

In the next gallery are a number of photographs.

Author's Note - This was a very personal stop for me. I am moved by Emily's poetry. She was a truly exceptional woman, with a gift for connecting to the very heart of the human condition. It is a shame that we may never know the true extent of her thoughts, or the afflictions she suffered from. But her work will live forever, and in that immortality we are privileged to appreciate such beauty and genius.
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The Alamo, located in San Antonio, Texas, was founded in the 18th century as a Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound. It was secularized in 1793 and then abandoned for nearly ten years. It is most famous for the Battle of the Alamo (Feb 23 - Mar 6, 1836).​ As Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault on the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing all of the Texian defenders. Santa Anna's cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians—both Texas settlers and adventurers from the United States—to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the revolution.

The Alamo Cenotaph, known as the Spirit of Sacrifice, was sculpted by Pompeo Coppini, and dedicated on November 11, 1940.

Authors Note - A nice place to visit while in the area. However, little of the original compound remains. It is a tourist trap, with everything around the site designed to take as much of your money as possible. For me, that lack of reverence for what happened on the site was saddening.

The Alamo and Alamo Cenotaph

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