ghosts in the burbs

A blog about the people who live in Wellesley, MA and the ghosts (and monsters) who haunt them.

kate_dave_sss_0037I chase the scare. After a childhood of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Stephen King, Ghost Busters, Scooby Doo, Fear Street, and Christopher Pike,  I stumbled upon paranormal reality television. It was a dream come true. It feels so real, it probably isn’t, I mean, it totally isn’t, but who cares?

Alas, there are only so many times you can get a thrill from listening to the definition of EVP after watching someone ask “what is your name” to an empty dark basement. Eventually, I felt the need to take things up a notch. But I am a wimp. No way could I stand in the middle of a  dark room with a digital voice recorder. What if something answered when I asked the inevitable, “Are there any spirits here with us?” No. I wanted to jump from  soda to NoDoz, not Chardonnay to crystal meth.

Inspiration came on a grey October morning. I walked past the community message board on my way into the Wellesley Free Library where I work as a children’s librarian. An image of a flier popped into my mind: Ghost Stories Wanted.

That’s it! I thought. Instead of watching some guy in night vision say “I swear to God, dude, that door just opened by itself,” I would find people – neighbors! – to tell me, in person, “I swear to God, I saw this [insert terrifying oogly boogly thing] in my house.”

I created a little sign and pinned it to the library’s community message board. I promised free coffee and muffins in exchange for a scary tale. My husband thought I’d get calls from, what he termed “hippy dippy dreamcatcher people” who wanted free Quebrada pastries.

He was wrong.

I met some really nice, normal, regular, quirky, kind, funny, intense, charming, smart, genuine people. Wellesley people. I admit that I went into this thinking a bit skeptically. I figured, yeah, sure, maybe someone left a door open and didn’t remember, or heard their old house settling in the night and freaked out. But here’s the thing – I didn’t care because I love story. I love television, and books, and podcasts, and movies.

I loved sitting quietly and listening to my mom and her friends gossip and hoping against hope that they wouldn’t notice me and tell me to “go play.” I miss sitting criss-cross applesauce (what my teachers called “Indian-style”) on the story time rug as a passive yet enthusiastic consumer. This project is about me chasing that cozy feeling of listening to a story well told. My favorite kind of story: the scary story.

Well, I found it. And I have the nightlight to prove it.

I changed the names of the people interviewed for this blog because none of them want their houses added to some New England ghost tour. These Welleslians were eager to tell me their stories and they allowed me to tape our conversations so most of what follows is their own words. I wanted you to “hear” these stories the way I did – from the source. I have added my own side commentary throughout  because I have a terrible habit of interrupting. I hope you don’t mind.

So, come on, pick your spot on the rug, criss-cross applesauce and chase the scare with me. Things look shiny and bright here in Massachusetts, but remember, there are ghosts in the burbs.

16 thoughts on “About

  1. Arliss Applegate Summers says:

    Liz!! I just binged listened to every episode. Your superb delivery is simply addictive. Keep them coming! I am seriously in awe and very charmed.


    1. lizsower13 says:

      Thank you for your kind message! I love these creepy stories and o hear that other people enjoy them too is the absolute best! There are plenty more scary stories here in the Swells… stay tunes!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christine says:

    Thanks for helping me get through my boring job! I’ve been binge listening and now have anxiety about running out of stories!


  3. Lily says:

    Hi Liz! I have just started listening and I have gotten chills from almost every story! I just have to ask: you are presenting these experiences as truth, not fictionalized at all? My husband is convinced they are embellished… so I just thought I’d ask outright. Did you really get all these stories from interviews with the people of Wellesley? Thanks, and keep ’em coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Feeling Mighty - Fibro says:

    From one spooky story addict to another: this podcast is THE BEST. I met with a friend this past weekend who recommended I take a listen, 4 days later and I’ve binged listened to every episode. My boyfriend HATES scary stories, movies, etc., so I related to your and Chris’ relationship so much. I LOVE GHOSTS IN THE BURBS!


    1. lizsower13 says:

      Ahhh! Thank you! It is the best to find other people who love spooky stuff – that’s been the most incredible part of creating this podcast! I feel like I’ve found my tribe. Thank you for listening and thank you for your kind words!


  5. Andrew says:

    Hi Liz, I found your podcast through Knock Once for Yes. Your writing and story telling is outstanding! It reminds me of the more scary Twilight Zone episodes; smart, funny, spooky and make you think. You have real talent. Thanks for what you do!


    1. lizsower13 says:

      Andrew! Thank you so much! This is the best compliment ever!


  6. Mairead Sandlund says:

    Hi! I just stafter listening yesterday and have already gone through 6 episodes. Definitely had a hard time falling asleep last night, so thanks for that. I wonder if these stories are real or if you embellish for effect? Either way, they are suspenseful, spooky and entertaining. What the hell happened with Tom Murphy?!


  7. Ashley Black says:

    I just found the podcast this morning. I’m on episode 13 already. Finally jumping on the site here to say how happy I am that I found this. And how thrilled I am that I’m not alone in my spooky experiences!


  8. Megan says:

    Hello!! My daughter and I love LOVE your podcast!! We’re up to number 24 after a week and a half, and we’re hooked. We found you after a few days of trying out many many different podcasts that lost our interest right away. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing these stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, Liz, thank you for all the hard work you put into this! What a treat to find your podcast, you’re an awesome story teller and I easily listen to three at a time! Trying not to burn through all of them too quickly. Thank you!


  10. Lisa Moore says:

    Just found your podcast about a week ago and binge listened – while jogging, doing laundry, cleaning house. It is so much fun and I can not WAIT for the next episode. I live in a spooky-cool town in CT, too, and just LOVE to hear your stories.


    1. lizsower13 says:

      Thank you so very much!! CT definitely has some spooky little nooks, my parents grew up there!


  11. Jason says:

    I have Just discovered this podcast and I am hooked ! I am in the middle of Episode 14 black eyed kids and at 11 min 14 seconds I heard the whisper and I had to go back 3 times to make sure I was not going crazy!! keep them coming


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