Dale Jarvis runs an online blog called NL Unexplained, where he delves into the mysteries and tales of Newfoundland, trying his best to research and possibly explain any oddities he comes across.
Jarvis’ investigations have often led him to various places in the Conception Bay North area, including Bay Roberts, Fergus Island, and Clarke’s Beach, where his most recent entry had him digging deeper into the history of a peculiar motif near the top of a memorial to Pte. William C. Norman, a soldier who died during the First World War.
“I’ve always been a storyteller,” Jarvis told The Compass. “I’ve always liked stories, and telling stories. Particularly stories that have a bit of a mystery to them. You know, the unexplained, other other small oddities from history that maybe most people don’t know about. As a collector and as a writer, those are the kinds of stories I seek out. This blog is a way for me to explore some of those stories, while also finding other people who might have more information, or more stories altogether.”
NL Unexplained has posts from all the way back to 2007, where Jarvis wrote about old folklore involving ghosts and fairies – two common topics in Newfoundland folktales.
Jarvis works as a folklorist with Heritage Newfoundland, and says he travels back and forth between St. John’s and Clarke’s Beach on a regular basis. Thus, he often comes across new things to write about and research for his blog.
Jarvis said that this project of his began as a way for him to do some extra writing, which is something he’s always loved to do. As he came across more and more interesting topics, the blog evolved into what it is today – a place for him to share folktales and history with other people in the province, which is something he believes is an important aspect of Newfoundland culture.
“Newfoundland is so rich in folklore like this, and for someone like me who loves to write about those topics, it’s great. I’ll never run out of content to explore,” said Jarvis.
Other recent posts by Jarvis on the blog detail his research into stone Cairns and other structures known as American Men. Jarvis has been investigating the possibility of an American Man somewhere between Harbour Grace and Spaniard’s Bay.
According to a newsletter published by The Trident in 1974, the cairn should be somewhere in the Bishop’s Cove-Upper Island Cove area, and Jarvis has been investigating the mystery, all while posting about his findings on his blog.
“It’s all very interesting to me, and I know I’m not the only one who likes to look into this sort of lost folklore and information in our province,” said Jarvis. “So I see this as not only a great opportunity for myself to learn more and explore these mysteries, but also as a way for people to go online and read about what I’m finding through my research.”
Jarvis has also written books on the subject, including “Haunted Shores” and “Wonderful Strange,” where he goes into detail about folktales and ghost stories from around the province.
Jarvis’ blog can be found at www.nlunexplained.ca