Videographer Nate Buynicki, left, and Writer/Host Jeff Belanger shoot a segment for New England Legends on October Mountain in Lee. The episode The Spooky
Videographer Nate Buynicki, left, and Writer/Host Jeff Belanger shoot a segment for New England Legends on October Mountain in Lee. The episode The Spooky Berkshires also features North Adams Houghton Mansion. The episode airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on WGBY Springfield. (Courtesy photo)

SPRINGFIELD -- New England is full of ghosts, monsters, and other mysteries that are more than just campfire tales. Thursday evening at 10, PBS affiliate WGBY will premiere "New England Legends," a new television series that follows adventurer and author Jeff Belanger as he explores these many tales around New England.

Two half-hour episodes will air back-to-back on Thursday: "The Spooky Berkshires" and "Mysteries in Stone."

"The Spooky Berkshires" examines the tragic history of the Houghton Mansion in North Adams, and its century-old haunting, then heads to October Mountain in South Berkshire to chase down stories of Bigfoot sightings, UFOs, and the ghost of a young girl said to haunt an abandoned cemetery somewhere deep in the woods.

Jennifer Huberdeau of the North Adams Transcript appears on the show.

"Mysteries in Stone" takes viewers north of Boston to a 4,000-year-old calendar in Salem, N.H. dubbed "America's Stonehenge," before heading south to Lynn Woods on Boston's North Shore to explore tales of pirates, buried treasure, and spirits.

"This isn't a ghost-hunting show," said Belanger, the show's host and executive producer. "Legends are living, breathing things. They define our communities as much as the buildings or the people who came before us."

"These stories are always evolving as new people discover the hidden caves and mysterious locales that are hidden treasures in our region," said director and executive producer Tony Dunne. "We're taking a snapshot of these stories and showing believers and skeptics alike how these legends help define what it means to be from New England."

Belanger is a New England native, author, adventurer and paranormal researcher. He's the author of more than a dozen books on the paranormal including the best sellers "The World's Most Haunted Places," "Weird Massachusetts," "Our Haunted Lives," and, for children, "Who's Haunting the White House?"(for children). He's the founder of Ghostvillage.com, and host of the cable/Web talk show, "Odd Minutes."

Dunne grew up in Central Massachusetts, but has called Western Massachusetts home for well over a decade. Dunne has spent the past 15 years working as a producer in news, commercial, independent, and most recently at PBS. He has produced magazine programs, nightly newscasts, quiz shows, lifestyle and health programming, as well as the nationally-distributed documentary "Things That Go Bump in the Night: Tales of Haunted New England" for PBS.