Now a Word from Our Sponsor…

Only Thing Missing is a Good Book from Salem House Press.

Visit Salem House Press and see what great titles we have for you! Check out our Flip and Scan eBook Cards coming to your local stores this year!


Black Squirrels and the Miskatonic University

Not exactly Cthulu…

Black Squirrels and Universities

The first black squirrel I had seen was at Princeton University. Later that year we travelled to another university in NJ and there was another. So I have always associated black squirrels with university life.

Now the first Black Squirrel I had seen in Salem appeared the same year that Salem State became a university. But it was not introduced at the university but another institute of learning, the Essex Institute or as Lovecraft once called it the Miskatonic University.

In 1923 and 1929 H.P. Lovecraft came to Salem which inspired him to base the fictional town Arkham on it. One of the institutes he borrowed from was the Essex Institute which he renamed Miskatonic University first in Herbert West-Reanimator. It would be in 5 other stories and be described as a university on par with Harvard University. The Essex Institute was behind the lecture series at the Salem Lyceum where Alexander Graham Bell first introduced the phone at.

Here is a history of melanistic squirrels being released in universities. In the United States, the city of Kent, Ohio developed a significant black squirrel population after ten were legally imported from Canada in February 1961 by Larry Woodell, the head groundskeeper at Kent State University.

Another story relates to the founder of Kellogg Cereal company. Black squirrels are abundant in Battle Creek, Michigan, and, according to legend, were first introduced there by Will Keith Kellogg, founder of the Kellogg Company, in an effort to destroy the local population of red squirrels. The story continues that this same population of squirrels was further introduced to the campus of Michigan State University by John Harvey Kellogg for the same purpose.[16] This story was corrected by Wilbur C. “Joe” Johnson, the late chief wildlife biologist at M.S.U.’s Kellogg Biological Station near Battle Creek which includes W.K. Kellogg’s former 32-acre estate at Gull Lake. Johnson, who worked at K.B.S. for 48 years, credited Dr. John Harvey Kellogg for introducing the black squirrel to the Kellogg estate during the 1930s. Johnson said he himself trapped 20 black squirrels at Gull Lake during the early 1960s at the specific request of former MSU president John A. Hannah and released them on the East Lansing campus.

Then, Eastern black squirrels were introduced at Stanford University and can be found on adjoining property in Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Now beyond universities, there seem to be some colleges as well that have them as mascots:

  • Haverford College where the black squirrel is the official mascot of varsity athletics[37]
  • Kent State University[10] which each year holds a Black Squirrel Festival (located in the Risman Plaza during the second week of September) to honor the university’s growing black squirrel population.[35] It features live music, vendors and an overall tribute to the black squirrels seen throughout the campus. Beyond the festival, other businesses and organizations in Kent are named for the black squirrel, including Black Squirrel Brewing Company, Black Squirrel Radio[38] and Black Squirrel Books, an imprint of the Kent State University Press.[39]
  • Albion College where the black squirrel has become a significant symbol on campus[40]
    Sarah Lawrence College where the campus coffee shop is named for the black squirrel.[41] The black squirrel is also used as an unofficial mascot, with the bookstore selling plush squirrels.
  • The College of Wooster where a student on the official website describes an “obsession over black squirrels” [42] and there is a bed and breakfast nearby campus which is named after the animal.[43]
  • Augustana College (Illinois) in the Quad Cities, where ten bronze squirrels are hidden atop buildings around campus[44] and a student film production group, Black Squirrel Productions, is named after the animal.[45]

The black squirrel seemed to be the dominant squirrel when forests were thicker and darker in North America, but as the woods grew thinner and more light came in grey became a better choice for survival. Many people have imported the black squirrel to areas, and at other times there is stories about them escaping zoos. So what is the story for Salem State University or the Miskatonic University; who brought them here?

Read about Ratatoskr who lives in front of the Essex Institute in A Walk Through Salem the fairy tale set in the whimsical magical side of Salem in which you are the main character. Available at Remember Salem, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Or you can buy it directly from and give more of the profit to the author. Look for new AR version coming out this Summer.

Remember, support local artists!

~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.


Welcome to tales of Nineteenth Century Salem. A time in which Salem was the richest city and the most influential in shaping our young country. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits she made by the smuggling that happened in her tunnels by the most wealthy and powerful in their day; sometimes for the good, but more often not. So join us every Monday for new tales!

Bulfinch Tunnels in Washington DC


Charles Bullfinch gave a tour of Boston’s and Salem’s underground through their tunnels to President James Monroe and was hired to dig Washington D.C.’s tunnels. In Salem Bulfinch built the Poor Farm on Collins Cove, Looby Asylum, Essex Bank, and Old Town Hall. They were all attached to the tunnels in Salem. In Boston he built India Wharf, Bunker Hill Monument, Mass General Hospital, Federal Street Theater, and the State House. In 1797 he engineered a public work project to take down the Tremont and fill in the mudflats of the Charles River. He did this to hide the tunnel dirt he was digging to attach the various mansions in Beacon Hill. Six years later Elias Hasket Derby Jr. would copy his plan as he filled in the ponds and river in the Salem Common to hide his tunnel dirt.

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and

Public Drinking Water or Underground Bunker?

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

What is it Really?


In Salem after Legg’s Hill Road is a road leading to a a fenced in house heated by propane. It is marked as Marblehead’s Public Drinking Supply location. For years I have heard about a location before Oakview Avenue and Legg’s Hill Road where there is a bunker that Marblehead and Salem police officers have used as a shooting range. I ventured there last week and this is what I had found.

Now according to Marblehead MWRA Annual Report they receive their water from the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs and not this pond. So is this site an old public water resource or is it something else. Is it the large bunker I have been told about? I am not sure. There is ventilation pipe throughout, the welded door into the concrete circle, and old pipes. It is about a 5 acre site with two elevations and a pond. Most of the area is cleared. Who knows? If it was, why was it first made? What was the bunker’s purpose? If you have any info let me know below. It is near Dr. Loring’s estate which had tunnels leaving his mansion…

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and

Movies With Cool Planes

Welcome back to my blog about balloons, rocket ships, airplanes, space travel, Star Wars, sci-fi, and everything about flying! This time we will look at some of my favorite space pilots. After you read the list, won’t you add some of your favorites!

Ever wish you could of married the girl next door? I always wished I could, but my next door neighbor’s name is Fred…. Welcome back to my blog about balloons, rocket ships, airplanes, space travel, Star Wars, sci-fi, and everything about flying!  Now imagine a movie in which someone did and they both grew up to be pilots! I woke up this morning and the movie was playing on my Hulu account. It was called Ultimate Gs: Zac’s Flying Dream. I guess it was an Imax 3D movie.

Here is a link to the movie description:

This is the link to the trailer:

Then after it was a movie called Skydance, rendezvous à Paris. It was about a reporter whose grandfather was an aerial buff who filled her head full of stories of great pilots and their tragic deaths. While interviewing a pilot he offers her a chance to fly co-pilot in his PC 7 (The plane had cool tiger shark teeth) during a race over the French countryside. If he was not so handsome, she would of been scared to death to fly after all of her grandfather’s stories. They flew over all these cool castles and gardens. I love King Arthur and English castles, but the French were far cooler! Granted they might of not withstood a siege as long… Also the film had my favorite plane in it, a F4U Corsair! The movie was also an Imax film. Check it out!

Here is a link to the movies description:

You can watch this movie for free on Hulu now:

Now about the planes:

Pilatus PC-7 

General characteristics



Hardpoints: 6 × hardpoints for bombs and rockets with a capacity of 1,040 kg (2,294 lb)[31]

F4U Corsair 

General characteristics



  • Guns:
  • Rockets: 8 × 5 in (12.7 cm) high velocity aircraft rockets and/or
  • Bombs: 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg)

 Here is a Navy movie teaching you how to fly the F4U:

Here is a movie about the real Black Sheep Squadron:

I hope you enjoy the planes and the movies!


To find out more about me visit Salem House Press and buy my book on! Now available in paperback at your favorite book sellers. Ask for it by name! If they do not have it in stock, ask them to order it for you.

Also come back every Friday at 8:30 pm, before I am sent to bed, to read my posts each week!