A little while back, I became obsessed with the famed Puritan, Cotton Mather. In large part, his mention in the Washington Irving tale, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, put me on the trail. Me, being a paranormal radio show host at the time, found this tidbit most intriguing. Where I never gave it a second glance the five hundred other times I read the story going way back to third grade, now it struck as something I must see for myself. I started with Wonders of the Invisible World which Irving mentioned in his story. Then I began to read his sermons, other books, and most importantly his diary.
To understand Cotton Mather more, I began to research the Puritans, their history, culture, and daily lives. I dove deep into the subject. Researching and researching, for no real reason, outside of curiosity. The world of the Puritans fascinated me. They helped form this country more than most know.
A curious historical figure, he is reviled by most who know his name. Most know him because of his alleged involvement with the Salem Witch Trials. He, in fact, had little of anything to do with them. It seems that he tried to stay out of it as much as he could. The one tidbit I got from my research was that he tried to sway the Trial to dismiss “spectral evidence” and only give credence to provable charges. He, wisely, wanted nothing to do with what was happening in the backwater town. He also was at the forefront of the burgeoning sciences. He is credited for the invention and implication of inoculation. He also seemed to be the first North American paranormal investigator.
My mind perpetually ruminated on that last morsel. A bonafide 1690s Scooby Doo if I could be so bold. So, as creative type people do, I made something from all my research. A 30 Minute Old Time Radio Play with Cotton Mather and his father, Increase Mather, as my heroes, trying to solve a supernatural mystery. Its a weird but fun experiment, that I’m still quite proud of. For once, my abilities met my vision, in my humble opinion.
It is available for you to have here, The Diary of Cotton Mather. Let me know what you think.