Blog­ger in­ves­ti­gat­ing lo­cal mys­ter­ies, post­ing find­ings on­line

Blog­ger Dale Jarvis look­ing to un­cover lo­cal sto­ries, post find­ings on­line

The Compass - - Front Page - BY CHRIS LEWIS

Does the idea of a will-o’-the-wisp haunt­ing Fer­gus Is­land off the coast of Bay Roberts in­trigue you?

Or the his­tory behind an odd mo­tif on a World War 1 sol­dier’s me­mo­rial?

If so, you’re not alone. Dale Jarvis runs an on­line blog called NL Un­ex­plained, where he delves into mys­ter­ies and tales of New­found­land and tries to re­search and pos­si­bly ex­plain any od­di­ties he comes across.

Jarvis’ in­ves­ti­ga­tions have of­ten led him to var­i­ous places in the Con­cep­tion Bay North area, in­clud­ing Bay Roberts, Fer­gus Is­land, and Clarke’s Beach, where his most re­cent en­try had him dig­ging deeper into the his­tory of a pe­cu­liar mo­tif near the top of a me­mo­rial to Pte. Wil­liam C. Nor­man, a sol­dier who died dur­ing the First World War.

“I’ve al­ways been a sto­ry­teller,” Jarvis told The Compass. “I’ve al­ways liked sto­ries, and telling sto­ries – par­tic­u­larly sto­ries that have a bit of a mys­tery to them.”

As a col­lec­tor and writer, Jarvis seeks sto­ries about the un­ex­plained, “od­di­ties from his­tory most peo­ple don’t know about,” he said. “This blog is a way for me to ex­plore some of those sto­ries, while also find­ing other peo­ple who might have more in­for­ma­tion, or more sto­ries al­to­gether.”

NL Un­ex­plained has posts dat­ing back to 2007, where Jarvis wrote about old folk­lore in­volv­ing ghosts and fairies – two com­mon top­ics in New­found­land folk­tales.

Jarvis works as a folk­lorist with Her­itage New­found­land, trav­el­ling be­tween St. John’s and Clarke’s Beach reg­u­larly. Thus, he of­ten comes across new things to write about and re­search for his blog.

Jarvis said this project be­gan as a way for him to do some ex­tra writ­ing. As he came across more in­ter­est­ing top­ics, the blog evolved into what it is to­day – a place for him to share folk­tales and his­tory with other peo­ple in the prov­ince, some­thing he be­lieves is an im­por­tant as­pect of New­found­land cul­ture.

“New­found­land is so rich in folk­lore like this, and for some­one like me who loves to write about those top­ics, it’s great. I’ll never run out of con­tent to ex­plore,” said Jarvis.

“I’ve al­ways been a sto­ry­teller … I’ve al­ways liked sto­ries, and telling sto­ries – par­tic­u­larly sto­ries that have a bit of a mys­tery to them.”

Dale Jarvis, NL Un­ex­plained

Other re­cent blog posts de­tail Jarvis’ re­search into stone cairns and other struc­tures known as Amer­i­can Men. Jarvis has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of an Amer­i­can Man some­where be­tween Har­bour Grace and Spa­niard’s Bay.

Ac­cord­ing to a news­let­ter pub­lished by The Tri­dent in 1974, the cairn should be some­where in the Bishop’s Cove-Up­per Is­land Cove area. Jarvis has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mys­tery and post­ing his find­ings on his blog.

“It’s all very in­ter­est­ing to me, and I know I’m not the only one who likes to look into this sort of lost folk­lore in our prov­ince,” said Jarvis. “I see this as not only a great op­por­tu­nity for my­self to learn more and ex­plore these mys­ter­ies, but also as a way for peo­ple to go on­line and read about what I’m find­ing through my re­search.”

Jarvis has also writ­ten books on the sub­ject, in­clud­ing “Haunted Shores” and “Won­der­ful Strange,” where he goes into de­tail about folk­tales and ghost sto­ries from around the prov­ince.

Jarvis’ blog can be found at www.nlun­ex­plained.ca

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Dale Jarvis re­cently in­ves­ti­gated the me­mo­rial to Pte. Wil­liam C. Nor­man in Clarke’s Beach to try to un­cover an in­trigu­ing mo­tif above the me­mo­rial.

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