One very public and later sensationalized tragedy occurred on December 17th, 1987, at the Tremont Village Public Housing Development, when five Weirskin City construction workers perished in an unexpected collapse of the blacktop on the basketball court in Tremont Park, sending the unfortunate victims plunging into an even deeper and stranger mystery. Efforts to recover their bodies from the huge pit of earth and rubble led to the shocking discovery of a vast complex system of subterranean tunnels hidden beneath the small town of Weirskin, PA. These secret catacombs, which were later found to contain priceless treasures, brought renewed public interest in the secretive life of Alexander Tremont, one of the town’s most prominent historical figures who experts now say may have constructed the intricate web of underground tunnels nearly 100 years ago.
Tremont was a moderately wealthy wheat farmer who perished along with his entire family, a wife and two young daughters, in an unexplained fire that gutted their entire one-acre homestead back in 1931. Legend goes that Alexander had angered an old half-breed German-Lenape “powwow” woman by evicting her from his property, a place where she had been living for as long as anyone could remember. Long before that tragedy, however, it was well known that Mr. Tremont made numerous trips abroad, particularly to Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and that he was an avid collector of ancient artifacts.
Investigators finally concluded that it was Tremont himself who built the tunnels to store and protect his valued treasures in a vast hidden museum of timeless artwork, one of which was a solid black marble statue of Bastet, the Great Cat God of ancient Egypt. This particular Egyptian sculpture, from the Second Dynasty (2890 – 2686 BC), was found buried three feet down in the hard earth of a large hollow dug out in one of the tunnels, and yards from the rest of Tremont’s precious cache. The estranged location of this artifact from the rest of Tremont’s collection was explained as simply an eccentric expression of Tremont’s especial fondness for the statue that must have impelled him to scurry it away and bury it in some even darker hiding place. No financial record or certificate of authenticity has ever been found related to its purchase or ownership, yet experts still insist the statue is absolutely genuine. Moreover, no public or private records concerning authorization for the construction of such a large and intricate tunnel system beneath the town of Weirskin have ever been found.
The discovery of this statue of Bastet became the subject of wild speculation regarding the infamous reputation of a legendary stray cat that is purported to have been terrorizing the town of Weirskin for at least one hundred years, and possibly much earlier than that. Ancient Lenape myth and historical records chronicled in numerous newspaper articles and countless reports of eyewitness accounts are cited by some as proof of the cat’s actual existence, and such stories of this somewhat supernatural feline character have surfaced as late as Friday, December of 1981, in an article published in The Weirskin Weekly (“Stray Cat Kills Two Adults”).
The most interesting mention of this cat was made by Dr. Monroe A. Dunlop, parapsychologist and Dean of Paranormal Studies at the now defunct Deusian Academy, during the last lecture of his Paranormal Studies Lecture Series: Mind and Reality which was presented in Kings Hall on campus back in the fall of 1966. In that final lecture he says:
“… I must tell you that my life has now been blessed by a cat, a beautiful female Grey Tabby who simply appeared in my living room nearly three weeks ago. Now, this is not an ordinary cat. No. This cat speaks to me with a voice that vibrates from within. This cat is intelligent, and by intelligent I do not mean intelligence characteristic of cats in general. This cat is much more intelligent than that, and much more intelligent than any human being on this planet. This cat is a goddess, the entity of a great queen who ruled Egypt almost two thousand years ago. Her name is Cleo, the shortened name of Queen Cleopatra who is now the personification of the Great Cat God, Bastet, also known as Bast. She is my teacher and the source of all my knowledge of the Unknown. It was She who explained to me Her transformation from an ordinary housecat into the Great Entity she is now, the Great Cat, which is the essence and power of all cats since the beginning and until the end of time…”
[Monroe A. Dunlop, PhD, Parapsychology; Dean of Paranormal Studies, Deusian Academy; Paranormal Studies Lecture Series—Mind and Reality: 6. Higher Perceptions of Space; September 23, 1966]
Following the aftermath of Dr. Dunlop’s mysterious disappearance, a reporter for the Weirskin Herald, Frank Soames, wrote an extensively researched story about this mysterious cat which was published in that local newspaper in January of the following year:
“…the cat was pictured in a portrait painted in 1849 sitting on a windowsill and looking into the living room of the infamous founder of the city—Jeshua Ames Weir—only days before a bloody feud between two factions of his unusually large inbred family. That feud is known now as The Weir’s Kin Massacre. The cat was also spotted in a faded 1899 photograph sitting next to a tree in an area of Hackers Woods once called Somalyte, a tiny makeshift town that somehow went insane the day before the picture was taken. Each and every citizen of that small town was either murdered by a neighbor, friend or family member, or simply committed suicide in some bloodthirsty psychotic rage no one has ever been able to explain. That event is known in Weirskin history as The Legend of Somalyte: The Town That Went Insane. The cat was likewise noticed in a photograph standing on the Wochtaquoan Bridge the day before the Makittan River flood of 1946 washed away the top and outer layers of stone constituting the external “skin” of the bridge, thus revealing the bridge’s hidden foundation was actually constructed of thousands of human skulls. It proved conclusively that The Legend of the Bad Blood, describing the massacre of over 3,000 natives by the Machtitmehuk to appease the river god Nutiketmehuk, was actually a true story. The Machtitmehuk was a savage group of people who lived in the area hundreds of years ago. Legend says this population was shunned by every native tribe in the region. Machtitmehuk means “the bad blood.”
Who Is That Pesky Cat? The question remains unanswered.
NOTE: In his personal unpublished journals, Dr. Monroe A. Dunlop imparts a most fantastic description, as was related to him by that extraordinary female Grey Tabby named Cleo, of Her unforgettable “transmigration” into the Spirit of Bastet, the universal Cat God, as well as Her eventual “ascendancy” to the Eternal Throne of an unrecognized yet undeniably Supernatural Kingdom known to all ordinary sensibilities as the simple town of Weirskin, PA.