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'Kindred Spirits' films in Portsmouth

Episode on mysterious Rebecca Cornell death will be aired on Discovery Plus on Saturday

Posted 1/12/21

PORTSMOUTH — The television show “Kindred Spirits” is putting our little town in the spotlight for its new Season 5 episode that will air at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 16, on the …

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'Kindred Spirits' films in Portsmouth

Episode on mysterious Rebecca Cornell death will be aired on Discovery Plus on Saturday

Paranormal investigators Amy Bruni and Adam Berry of the television show “Kindred Spirits” (center) pose with Gloria Schmidt (left) and Anne Northup Burns of the Portsmouth Historical Society.
Paranormal investigators Amy Bruni and Adam Berry of the television show “Kindred Spirits” (center) pose with Gloria Schmidt (left) and Anne Northup Burns of the Portsmouth Historical Society.
PORTSMOUTH HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Posted

PORTSMOUTH — The television show “Kindred Spirits” is putting our little town in the spotlight for its new Season 5 episode that will air at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Jan 16, on the Discovery Plus channel. 

The new episode of the paranormal television and documentary reality series, “False Witness,” was filmed on location and highlights one of the most notorious cases in Portsmouth’s history: the mysterious death of Rebecca Cornell nearly 350 years ago.

“In 1673, Rebecca Cornell was found murdered in her Rhode Island home; days later, her ghost testified against her son. The team attempts to conjure the spirits who played a part in the centuries-old crime and reveal the truth,” state’s the episode’s description.

The show’s team of paranormal investigators, Amy Bruni and Adam Berry, filmed in Portsmouth at the Valley Inn Restaurant, the location of the incident, and at the Portsmouth Historical Society, where Anne Northup Burns and Gloria Schmidt provided historical context about the Cornell family and life and times in Portsmouth in the late 17th century. 

Ms. Schmidt is co-writer of the play, “The Ghostly Witness,” based on the actual trial transcripts, and which was produced by the Portsmouth Community Theatre and performed to a full house at the Portsmouth Historical Society in 2019. 

Her knowledge of the case may have provided key information for the investigation, but most of the show will feature activity at the The Valley Inn, the historic colonial home on West Main Rd that has been operated as a restaurant by the Occhi family since 1957. 

In addition to conjuring up delicious food, Joe Occhi frequently regales patrons with this story, and the suspected haunted happenings there. 

“I can’t wait to see what happened during Amy and Adam’s paranormal investigation. This true-life crime story that gave credence to the words of an apparition has fascinated people far beyond Rhode Island for centuries,” Ms. Burns said.

The Portsmouth Historical Society and The Valley Inn are hoping to hold a Covid-19-compliant watch party or followup event in the near future, which will be posted on their websites.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.