Be Inspired; Be Afraid
By Alyssa Fowler
Butterfly Messengers: True Stories of Comfort and Hope is filled with raw, heartfelt stories from the people of Newfoundland and Labrador who have experienced the magic and healing of butterflies, which seem to appear in times of need, when mourners have asked for any sign that their loved one will always be with them. One contributor to the book shares such an extraordinary experience, describing a scene following the death of a loved one: Â“Â‘Look, thereÂ’s Grandma!Â’Â” We looked out and, sure enough, there was a butterfly flying around our patio.Â”
The author, Lloyd Hollett, is the passionate owner and founder of the Newfoundland Insectarium in Reidville. Used to collecting and interpreting insects, for this project he spent quite a bit of time collecting true stories of encounters that range from butterflies landing on the ground beside mournersÂ’ feet to butterfly brooches being worn by family members.
While the premise of the book promises to be uplifting, the stories themselves are an emotional roller coaster. Beginning each story, the reader is plunged into grief and desperation before feeling a breath of relief at the arrival of the butterfly messenger. The collection as a whole, though, has the ability to inspire and enlighten readers of any age.
Exploring everything eerie, from the haunted basements of Livingstone Street in St. JohnÂ’s to a brother whose ghost occupies a punt in Placentia Bay, from phantom horses to ghoulish girls, Haunted Waters offers a spooky tour of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Told through the voices of people with first-hand experiences, these very short ghost stories quickly ensnare the readerÂ’s imagination and propel them headfirst into the ghostly happenings of the East Coast. Quotes from witnesses to these otherworldly events add a level of realism that few ghost stories can rival. Â“Often at my grandmotherÂ’s house you would feel a hand on your shoulder, a cold spot,Â” one person testifies.
The stories are short, leaving little room for overt descriptions or character growth, but they are well written and will entertain anyone with an interest in the paranormal in general and Newfoundland and Labrador in particular.