For as long as anyone can remember, the house on the hill has always been there. The legend goes that before the United States was settled by the Europeans, the spot was the site of a mystical Indian teepee. The teepee was then replaced by an enormous, mysterious log cabin and, eventually, the mansion—Paradox Manor—which now sits there. Paradox Manor is a mystery. Nobody ever sees the lawn being mowed or the hedges being trimmed, yet the yard is meticulously landscaped. Nobody ever sees anyone inside or outside of the house, yet there are always lights on inside.
When I first came to Ocean Grove twenty years ago as a “still-wet-behind-the-ears” reporter, my first assignment with The Ocean Grove Gazette was to interview Ol’ Jebediah Corbett. What I wasn’t told before I went was that Ol’ Jeb was considered the “town looney” and that the same assignment was given as an “initiation” to all “still-wet-behind-the-ears” reporters; I can still see everyone at the Gazette practically rolling around on the floor in stitches when I returned to the office after my “interview.”
What nobody knew then, and what you will be the first to know now, was that after that interview, and even now, I never once considered Jeb a “looney.” I found his story to be very strange, but I did believe him. What follows is the story that he told me. When I finish, it is up to you to decide whether or not to believe it.