Cape Cod is a unique and beautiful place, and I consider myself very fortunate to live here year round. As you can imagine, the population here explodes in the summertime as visitors flock to enjoy the beaches, lakes, trails, and villages the Cape has to offer. We usually host several groups of houseguests, and of course we have certain favorite spots we like to show them, and I often blog about our activities. But many of these stunning and often historic places have also inspired scenes in two of my novels, so my post in the Summer Treats Blog Hop is dedicated to a few Cape Cod locations that are both fun to visit and also appear in either Haunted Souls or Gull Harbor.
|While the Popponesset Spit is a popular place for locals, |
it's not usually this crowded--this was the 4th of July.
The Popponesset Spit is a long peninsula of pristine beach primarily accessible by boat (a long walk can get you there too if you know where to park, but it’s very hard to find a spot). This “spit” of land separates the bay from Nantucket Sound, and all types of boats tie up along the bay side and set up camp on the beach. A large network of waterways offers kayakers plenty of areas to explore. This is one of our favorite places on the Cape, and the Spit actually makes an appearance at the end of Haunted Souls.
|Cahoon Hallow Beach in Wellfleet|
The town of Gull Harbor is fictional, but I used Wellfleet as inspiration, and the characters visit the beaches Cape Cod National Seashore on several occasions. I offer a little history in the book for readers, which I’ll add here as well. President Kennedy created this area of protected land and seascape in 1961, and it covers 43,607 acres of beachfront, ponds, and woods. One of our favorite beaches to visit within the CCNS is Cahoon Hollow in Wellfleet.
There’s also a kettle pond near Claire’s house in Gull Harbor where some key scenes take place. These are fresh water ponds formed over 15,000 years ago when melting glacial ice blocks produced large holes that filled with water. The Wellfleet Kettle ponds are a bit of a secret compared to some of the other local attractions, and there are nearly twenty of them hidden in the sandy forests of Wellfleet and Truro.
Another body of water that made it into one of my novels is Snake Pond, which is also a kettle pond. This popular beach is near the military base where Staff Sergeant Brett Leeds is stationed in Haunted Souls.
|Snake Pond - a kettle pond in Sandwich|
There’s a lot of history here on the Cape as well, and one summer I went on a “Haunted Historical Tour” of Barnstable Village which began and ended at the Old Jail. I’d never even heard of the Old Jail, and it’s truly a historic gem. It’s the oldest wooden jail house in the entire country, actually, and is thought to have been built in 1690, on orders from the Plymouth and MA Bay Colony Courts. It was in use until the 1800s, and was moved around a bit, eventually attached to a barn. It was rediscovered in 1968, detached from the barn, and moved next to the Coast Guard museum on 6A.
The structure itself is quite small, containing three cells which held large numbers of people sometimes. According to our guide, conditions were rough and people had to take turns lying down to sleep when cells were crowded. As you can imagine, many people died, and the site is considered actively haunted.
|The Old Jail at night|
On our tour, we were shown photographs with shadowy figures taken by volunteers who work in the jail house. A few of the volunteers shared their stories as well, and one claimed that a ghost had followed them home and engaged in some poltergeist-like activities. Well, that got my attention right way, and my imagination started churning. My sister had her little daughter with her, and I started to wonder what would happen if a young child with sensitive abilities took pity on a lost soul, and actually invited a ghost to come home with them. The initial idea for Haunted Souls was born, and the Old Jail is in one of the very first scenes, along with some other historical sites.
Hope you enjoyed a summertime tour of a few of the Cape’s best spots! And if you need a new beach read, grab a steamy—and spooky—second chance romance + ghost mystery, put up your feet, and come virtually visit the Cape! Blurbs with links to all retailers can be found here:
Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a Kindle Fire donated by my fabulous publisher, and visit the other blogs participating in the hop for more Summer Treats and Reads—and prizes! Blog hop links below the Rafflecopter. Happy Summer!
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