An in-depth look into the history of a Canadian island rumored to hold buried treasure and of centuries of failed attempts to claim the riches.
Updated with new material from the author
In 1795, a teenager discovered a mysterious circular depression in the ground on Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada, and ignited rumors of buried treasure. Early excavators uncovered a clay-lined shaft containing layers of soil interspersed with wooden platforms, but when they reached a depth of ninety feet, water poured into the shaft and made further digging impossible.
Since then, the mystery of Oak Island’s “Money Pit” has enthralled generations of treasure hunters, including a Boston insurance salesman whose obsession ruined him; a young Franklin Delano Roosevelt; and film star Errol Flynn. Perplexing discoveries have ignited explorers’ imaginations: a flat stone inscribed in code; a flood tunnel draining from a man-made beach; a torn scrap of parchment; stone markers forming a huge cross. Swaths of the island were bulldozed looking for answers; excavation attempts have claimed two lives. Theories abound as to what’s hidden on Oak Island–pirates’ treasure, Marie Antoinette’s lost jewels, the Holy Grail, proof that Sir Francis Bacon was the true author of Shakespeare’s plays–yet to this day, the Money Pit remains an enigma.
The Curse of Oak Island is a fascinating account of the strange, rich history of the island and the intrepid treasure hunters who have driven themselves to financial ruin, psychotic breakdowns, and even death in pursuit of answers. And as Michigan brothers Marty and Rick Lagina become the latest to attempt to solve the mystery, as documented on the History Channel’s television show The Curse of Oak Island, Sullivan takes readers along to follow their quest firsthand.
Praise for The Curse of Oak Island
“Sullivan writes with open-minded balance, rendering the Oak Island story into a weirdly fascinating mystery.” —Booklist
“A definitive read for fans of the History Channel television show. Sullivan delves deeper into the history, personalities, and theories presented only briefly on the show. . . . The book is incredibly well researched and the presentation . . . is very readable. If you’ve watched The Curse of Oak Island and were frustrated that snippets and possibilities were left tantalizingly unexplored, this is the book for you.” —Heather Cover, Homewood Library (Birmingham, Alabama)
“Sullivan isn’t writing about Oak Island the TV show; his subject is Oak Island the place, largely as seen and imagined by the show’s viewers. So, if you’ve ever been more entranced by the show’s long trips into history and theoretical island encounters across history, Sullivan’s book probably needs to be on your Christmas list.” —Starcasm