Explore Oak Island Display  Chester Train Station, 20 Smith Road,
© Chester Municipal Heritage Society 2013
Articles and stories about the island and its treasure
Energy Field of Oak Island.  by By : D.T. Hennigar  World famous Oak Island was open to the public. For the first time since the treasure hunt began back in 1795, an organized, well received walking tour was being offered by the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism in conjunction with the current treasure hunting syndicate, Triton Alliance Corporation. Many local guides were hired to meet the wide eyed public and direct them around the various shafts, holes, trenches and pits that bore witness to the sometimes frantic search that has taken as many as six lives. Some of us were merely high school students and others were pursuing secondary educations at the many universities around the province and further afield. Once we donned our mandatory pirate head scarf, sash, black pants, striped shirt and name tag, we became animated interpreters, a term so foreign to us and yet, for the time, so cutting edge too. Men women, boys and girls, we all learned the art of meeting the public and giving them the best oak Island experience we could muster. Daily, rain or shine, tourists from all over the world traversed the 600 foot long, one lane causeway in cars, motor homes, motorcycles and bicycles to take our island tour. Some were looking for activities to wear out high strung youngsters couped up in hot cars all day, others had read about the island’s fascinating history from class room studies or a juicy late night read in one of the hundreds of magazine or newspaper articles written about the little 132 acre island. Still others were students of the story and indeed future treasure hunters themselves, bent on solving the mystery of Oak Island. Tour guides were stationed at various points along the route to direct tourists and keep them from getting lost, answer questions and give presentations on special points of interest. The positions were rotated so you were able to learn all the aspects of the entire island’s features and by the end of the summer, you were an "expert", a completely dangerous description to wear. One of the least exciting spots to be stationed all day, was called the Ox Pen where a local man kept a beautiful pair of brown and white Oxen who grazed lazily all day long in a fenced off field. The animals were aloof, often staying at the back part of the pen, but on occasion, they would amble up to the front and give a lucky tourist an impressive glimpse of the Nova Scotia quintessential "work horse." We were expected to answer questions about the oxen, but one of our primary goals was to keep people off private property owned by rival treasure hunter Fred Nolan who had long been embroiled in a land dispute with Triton Alliance. As the road to the Money Pit forked at the Ox pen, it was essential that visitors were directed to follow the road to the right that deposited them onto what became known as the beach road thus avoiding Mr Nolan’s land. Tourists were then expected to again follow the beach road, and back to the parking lot, a half mile away. On one particularly lonely, slow day, I was stationed at the Ox pen along with a fellow guide. Relaxing on one of the many picnic table stationed strategically here and there, we passed the time by talking about our limited life experiences, girls, parties, school and of course, Oak Island gossip. It was easy to keep track of the few tourists who passed by us on their way to the Money Pit and all the other attractions. It was later in the afternoon, and most of the previous visitors had returned, heading back to their cars in the parking lot. It was a hot day even though the fog hung off the outer islands. We saw a lone man running and fast walking up the beach road, looking back over his shoulder like the devil himself was giving chase. His eyes were as big as saucers and he was breathless when he reached our position. We thought perhaps he had lost his party or had been spooked by one of the ever present grouse that inhabited the island. Between breaths he related his story to us. He had been walking along the beach leisurely taking in the beauty and cool breeze that flowed off the restless Atlantic. He entered the close confines of the beach road, bordered on the right by the larger of the island’s two swamps, and on the left by a close, thick growth of Spruce trees, Alder bushes and Pines. As he walked, he passed from an area of cool air immediately into a wall of hot air. He said he could easily stand with half of his body in hot air, and the other half in cold air. He said he stepped into it, then out of it, back and forth. He said the trees seemed to close in on him and he was suddenly seized with fear and trepidation to the point he said the hairs rose on his neck and he had a horrible feeling of foreboding and guttural fear. He seemed like a lucid person to me, but he was a bath of sweat by the time he reached us and he was in no mood to go back down to re experience the odd phenomenon with two guides as witnesses this time. Babbling about energy fields, spirits and his eerie encounter, in no time flat, he hustled down the center road, never looking back, and headed straight for his car. People at the reception centre told us later he jumped in his car and sped off the island in a cloud of dust. With our imaginations peeked, my fellow guide and I walked down road to the beach and experienced no such conditions, all seemed normal to us if not a little extra peaceful and quiet. Later, I passed the incident off as a possible temperature inversion or the cool air of the swamp and nearby ocean mixing with the warmth of the woods. I am a pragmatic person, not given to belief in the supernatural or ghosts, but I do have an open mind. That man was scared, you could read it in his eyes. I know adult men today who would not consider spending a night on Oak Island and so goes the reputation of this mysterious place. Many years later I was once again guiding visitors around Oak Island during the Oak Island Tourism Society’s annual festival Explore Oak Island Days. In amongst a small group, a young lady and I were walking up the beach road together after a pleasant tour on a warm afternoon in August. As we walked through the same patch of woods she complained to me of being cold even though I found it quite warm. We had never met before and I can tell you, my first thoughts were of thirty years ago and my encounter with the wide eyed man. Being the practical soul I am I decided to test her to see if she was pulling my leg and I asked if I could feel her forearm, she said yes, and it was cold as ice. I related my story to her and then her eyes widened into saucers.They say, the eyes are the windows to the soul. Many years later, as a police officer, I saw that fear in people’s eyes time and again after a near death experiences, car accidents or even a simple brush with the law. I always come back to recall that day on Oak Island and the man on the Beach road.