There are approximately 450 underground mines in New Jersey

There are approximately 450 underground mines in New Jersey, all of which are now abandoned. But only one of them – Peters Mine in the far north of the state – was the shooting location for Joseph P. Mawra’s 1964 roughie classic Olga’s House of Shame. And its ignoble history doesn’t end there.

Peters Mine was part of the Ringwood groupings of mines in Northern New Jersey. Located in the Ramapo Mountains just south of the New York border at the end of a road bearing its name, Peters Mine overlooks the town of Ringwood, in particular a portion of the town called Upper Ringwood which is almost exclusively the terrain of the Ramapough Mountain Indians who have called the area home for centuries.

In William Shirley Bayley’s 1910 book Iron Mines and Mining in New Jersey he identifies the Ringwood Mines as among the oldest in the state, in operation before the American Revolutionary War. The entry goes on to describe how the mine was abandoned and re-opened several times over the next decade. In 1883 a new opening was created called The New Peter Mine; the two mines were parallel shoots that connected a short distance beneath the surface. The mine operated intermittently until WWII when it was taken over by the government in 1942 for use as part of the war effort.

By the time the mine closed permanently in the 1950s, “the hills were a honeycomb of shafts, tunnels and caverns.”[1] As Peters Mine fell into disrepair, the property found new use as a municipal dump, with old cars and other debris frequently abandoned there. And it was in this context that the mine was reconfigured into what exploitation fans know as the House of Shame-which it would come to embody in more ways than one.

OLGA’S HOUSE OF SHAME

The third film in Joseph P. Mawra’s infamous Olga series opens at Peter’s Mine, with a shot down a disused track leading through the woods from up in the mountain. A car comes into view; Madame Olga’s brother and partner-in-crime Nick touting a new prisoner — one of Olga’s couriers, Elaine, whose been charged with pocketing some of the jewels she was supposed to be transporting. An establishing shot of the mine complex’ largest building – the key identifier in tracking down the location via New Jersey mining history websites—follows, with our criminal mastermind and boss lady standing atop a dilapidated lookout awaiting their arrival.

The film effectively utilizes the abandoned Peter’s mine complex in chase sequences, which also aided further in identifying the location from old photos – while early turn-of-the-century photos show many different buildings that don’t correspond with those in Olga’s House of Shame, photos that exist from 1947- after the government had reactivated the mine and constructed some newer buildings-easily mirror the depiction of Peter’s Mine in the Olga film, though the location had deteriorated significantly over the intervening decades, with the fresh paint job and any glass in the windows long gone.

While I had always assumed the mine had been used only for exterior locations, an interview with director Joseph Mawra on The Rialto Report surprised me in the implication that the location was in fact the studio of the film’s cameraman Werner Rose (aka William Rose, credited in the film as Warner Rose). “We did a lot of work out in Jersey,” Mawra says, “We worked with a company called Biograph that was run by a guy called Werner Rose. He was a good cameraman. He had a studio out there. A large barn with a sound stage. He constructed his own sets. He was on the edge of a hill and there was a funicular that took you up to the top, and that’s where he had his set-up. So we did a number of films there.”

Though Peters Mine is far from a “barn” in scale, the location Mawra is describing as Rose’s studio is clearly the mine complex (not many film studios – or barns for that matter – come equipped with a funicular railway). From 1956-1964 the Peter Mine property was owned by the Pittsburgh Pacific Co., an iron ore mining company based in Hibberd, Minnesota.[2] Founded in the mid-1950s and registered as active through 1989, there is no indication from mining historians familiar with the area that Pittsburgh Pacific activated Peters Mine at any point during their ownership of it. Instead it apparently sat vacant. How it allegedly came to be used by Werner Rose as his film studio is a mystery.

There are several sets used in the film and you can tell they are sets because walls don’t meet flush in the corners, doors don’t close properly, windows are conspicuously absent and a camera tilted upward momentarily reveals the lack of a ceiling, which would come in handy for the film’s overhead shots. Though these sets could exist anywhere, since the film was by all accounts shot in a matter of days, it’s entirely believable that these sets would have existed in one of the abandoned Peters Mine buildings so that the film could all be shot efficiently in one location. But it still doesn’t explain how or why Rose would have access to this building 36 miles from New York City. With the mine complex owned by an out-of-state company who apparently never exploited it, who’s to say whether there was even power, which they certainly would have needed in a film studio.

An interview with Rose in Charles Kilgore’s Ecco magazine #21 sheds some light on this, if not entirely clearing up the confusion: Rose explains that at the time he lived in Oakland, New Jersey, which is a 20-minute drive from Ringwood. It’s very possible he had a barn he used as a film studio on his own property and that Mawra is conflating the two locations. Confusing matters further is Rose’s comment that he is a railway hobbyist, and at the time of the interview in 1996, claims he had his own train, “a homemade affair that seats four passengers,” which Kilgore assumes is the very same train we see at the beginning of Olga’s House of Shame nearly 30 years earlier. But Rose’s train, he claims, is gasoline-powered-whereas Olga’s clunky cable car is visibly being pulled by a rope. Relying on the memories of aging filmmakers is a tricky proposition at the best of times, but especially when neither of them particularly wants to remember the film.

But the story of Peters Mine only gets stranger from here.

FORD’S HOUSE OF SHAME

From the 1950s until 1980, Ford operated an assembly plant in Mahwah, New Jersey, immortalized in the opening line of Bruce Springsteen’s song “Johnny 99.” The Mahwah plant opened in 1955, and with a fast paced production schedule, waste – including 6000 gallons of paint sludge per day – had to be hauled off site quickly to keep things moving. In the 1960s, industry was booming in New Jersey and use of landfills was expensive, and so crowded that trucks would be lined up to unload. Until 1970 there was no real inquiry or policy regarding where this waste could be dumped, so haulers looked for places other than designated landfills, including private farmland for which they made shady deals to bury sludge on the property of farmers who didn’t know how dangerous these materials really were. Farmers would be paid $20-$50 per drum of toxic waste that was buried beneath their fields, which, in those days, was not a fee to scoff at.[3] Even better than the farm deals was free dumping, which could be done deep in the woods or mountains.

In 1965-a year after Olga’s House of Shame was made-Ford bought the 900-acre tract of land that included Peters Mine from the Pittsburgh Pacific Co. for $500,000 (the equivalent of about $4 million today). Officially purchased by a Ford subsidiary company called Ringwood Realty, Ford had plans to turn this property into a multi-million dollar suburban development complete with residential homes, as well as shopping and recreational facilities.

But with their plans for development thwarted by the municipal government, they started using the mine area as a site for dumping the toxic sludge generated by the plant-which was 12 miles from Ringwoodstarting in 1967.

Not all trash haulers were mob-owned, but many were, and Ford inevitably got into bed with them. The Ford contract was the biggest in the state and rival mob families would fight over it—in 1965 Joseph “Joey Surprise” Feola of the Genovese Family was executed by the Gambino Family for stealing the Mahwah plant contract from a Gambino-controlled company.

In 1967, Ford gave their contract to a small-time hauler named Charles M. O’Connor, which coincided with their decision to use their recently-acquired property in Ringwood as a place to dump their waste. Though O’Connor admitted to shareholders in his company that the mob had been leaning on him since he secured the Mahwah contract, it’s uncertain how this small business owner was able to have exclusivity on the biggest contract in the State for the next six years—a contract the mob had killed over—without getting roughed up himself. O’Connor died before he could be questioned about it once cleanups began decades later, but his family and colleagues insist he had no truck with the mob. I have my doubts.

As does Scott Dietche, the author of Garden State Gangland: The Rise of the Mob in New Jersey (2017): “Moving from a mob-controlled company to a small independent does raise my eyebrows as well,” he says, “especially if it's a lucrative contract.”[i]

The sludge wasn’t just being dumped in the mine shafts themselves, but anywhere in the woods, for at least a mile around— in a watershed that serves more than half the state’s population. Ironically Ford’s development plan for the Peters Mine area had been rejected because it was seen as a danger to the nearby Wanaque Reservoir; while permits were needed for building, before 1970 none were needed for dumping. That said, Bill Noll, the chief engineer of the Wanaque Reservoir, urged state authorities to oppose dumping on the mountain, which would inevitably taint the reservoir. He saw what was coming. “In the late 1960s,” says author and environmental scientist Thomas Belton, “he warned that a generation could pass before the full impact of pollution became obvious.”

According to Ford interoffice memos at the time, they knew the dumping represented a public health liability, but decided to blame their hauler Charles O’Connor and fired him in 1971. In his place, Ford hired an out-of-state company that just ended up subcontracting to local haulers anyway; their waste management partners on the ground were the Mongelli Family, who had connections to the Genovese crime family. The Mongellis had a history with Ford; they’d had a separate deal with the automotive giant in the late 1960s that allowed them to dump their own waste at the mines. Eventually the out-of-state company were also out of the picture, and the Mongellis gained full control of the contract.

In the early 1970s when it could foresee tougher dumping laws, Ford started to parcel off the land. They sold portions of it to the state and municipal governments, and to a non-profit called “How-to,” which provided homes to low income communities. Ford memos discovered in 2006 reveal that they deliberately donated contaminated land, thinking their liability would cease once they no longer owned it. But the Mongellis—who held the Ford contract up to 1980—continued to dump Ford sludge all over Upper Ringwood, not even bothering to make it all the way up to the end of the road where Peters Mine sat.

Meanwhile, for the Ramapoughs, who often had several generations living under one roof in tight quarters, the idea of land donated to a program designed to help them build their own houses and own property for the first time, was a dream come true. Until it wasn’t.

Photos of the Ramapough Mountain People by Diana Arbus, 1963.

THE MIDNIGHT LANDFILL

When Ford bought the property around Peters Mine they became, in essence, landlords to the Ramapough people who had lived in the impoverished area for centuries, who would become the most directly affected victims of Ford’s hazardous indiscretions. In this remote area of Upper Ringwood, dotted with old miner’s shacks where the Ramapoughs took up residence, multiple generations of Van Dunks, De Groats and Manns—the most common surnames among the roughly 400 people crammed into less than 50 homes in the immediate area—lived off the land through gardening and hunting, and combing through the dump site for scraps they could sell to make a meager living.

O’Connor’s trucks—and later those of the Mongellis—thundered past the residential shanties on Peters Mine Road at all hours, becoming a fixture of life for those living on the mountain. “They remember the 18-wheelers leaving brilliant puddles and splashes all the way up Peters Mine Road,” wrote the staff of Bergen County newspaper The Record in an extensive series called “Toxic Legacy,” later collated in book form. “They saw workers push the paint sludge, drums and other waste into the old iron mines that riddle the landscape. So many trucks arrived in the dark that residents started calling it the ‘midnight landfill.’”[i]

In 1976 New Jersey made it mandatory to provide “cradle to grave” manifests for every shipment of hazardous waste, but the mob haulers would just falsify the documents, set up shell companies and otherwise operate outside the rules, and the state didn’t have the manpower to track it. In fact, because the new environmental laws were so stringent, the mob was able to leverage that into further prosperity, charging even more per barrel disposed. Ford claims no knowledge of any illegal dumping, but as Dirk Ottens, a retired state police detective who headed up several waste-related investigations in the 1970s, stated: “Somebody at Ford had to be greased.”

The ‘Diamond Blue’ and ‘Candyapple Red’ paint sludge that coated the mountain—not just in the mine, but all over the woods for a mile around—was not widely understood to be dangerous. Even the haulers who indiscriminately dumped the waste claimed to be under the impression that once it hardened anything toxic in it would be neutralized. In addition to the locals regularly coming into contact with toxic substances by scouring the dumping grounds for recyclable debris—copper wire being the most prized find—with their bare hands, kids would play on what they called ‘Sludge Hill’ – gleefully sliding down the sludge on garbage can lids. They were attracted by the bright colors and would pack the sludge into mud pies which they would then eat.

There is a long history of racism in the area, with the Ramapough frequently referred to as “Jackson Whites,” a racial slur that has persisted for at least a century to describe what many suburban whites in the region tend to think of as “racially indeterminate clansfolk.”[i] When the people living in the area closest to the mine started experiencing a shocking array of illnesses in unusually high numbers, from rashes, boils and chronic nosebleeds to cancer, diabetes, leukemia and rare autoimmune disorders, people in town blamed it on inbreeding. Years later in the early 2000s, when the Bergen County paper The Record commissioned independent tests in the area and found lead, benzene and antimony levels right in people’s backyards that were still over 100 times the safety limit, racist comments on local message boards included things like “Don’t worry, the paint sludge will kill off the low-lifes in Ringwood.”[ii]

OLGA’S MONEY PIT

In Olga’s House of Shame, Madame Olga is depicted as the head of an international crime syndicate whose activities include white slavery, prostitution, jewel smuggling, money laundering and more. Surveying the decrepit setting of the film, it’s hard to suspend disbelief and accept that millions of dollars were migrating through this place on a regular basis due to Olga’s nefarious projects, which look pretty nickle-and-dime on the surface. But Peters Mine would become a multi-million dollar money pit in the 1980s, when Ford was finally called to task for its sneaky subterranean sludge.

In response to the national attention garnered by the Love Canal environmental disaster of the late 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)—informally known as the Superfund program—in 1980. Under this program, parties responsible for contaminating designated sites are forced to pay for the cleanup, and in the event that there is determined to be no such party, the government itself funds the cleanup (in theory; the program is, ironically, consistently underfunded).

New Jersey alone has over 100 Superfund sites, more than any other state. By the late 1970s local journalists were reporting on tests showing dangerous levels of toxic substances all over the mountain and in the groundwater, not to mention anecdotal local history was rife with toxic tales going back over a decade, all leading back to Peters Mine. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection formed a task force in 1979 to study the site. In 1983, the EPA deemed the Peters Mine area of significant concern that it was eligible for priority cleanup under the Superfund Program, and Ford was forced to spend the next five years removing sludge from the 500-acre site, which went beyond the mine itself to include the adjacent residential properties.

Still, as Thomas Belton points out in his book Protecting New Jersey’s Environment: from Cancer Alley to the New Garden State, in the 1970s and early 80s there wasn’t a solid understanding of what kinds or what amounts of toxic chemicals were being used or disposed of by various industries. It wasn’t until a report in 1986 that these things first became measurably apparent. And by all accounts the cleanup was not properly monitored; Ford itself was allowed to determine which areas warranted a cleanup, even though no documentation or maps existed concerning where exactly the haulers had dumped which waste.

In 1994 the site was dropped as a Superfund site, meaning it was found to be under control, but in 2006, follow up studies—most notably those by The Record as part of their award-winning “Toxic Legacy” series— indicated that there was still a serious problem. In addition to persistent skin disorders, nosebleeds and bronchitis, residents in the community showed an unusually high cancer rate, and premature child death. According to a 2007 article in The New York Times, “those conclusions unraveled and became fodder in what environmental experts say is now among the messiest industrial cleanup efforts in Superfund's 27-year history.”[i]

That year, a legal team from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s firm Kennedy & Madonna filed a mass suit—with over 600 complainants—against the Ford Motor Company and its contractors, as well as the borough of Ringwood, for their various roles in the dumping of toxic waste, and the subsequent insufficient cleanup. Though the site was relisted as a Superfund site in 2006 (and is still being monitored annually, with a 1700-page report on its groundwater status submitted as recently as August 2018[i]), the EPA shares culpability; despite Ford’s insistence that the area had been combed and cleaned, anecdotal evidence from the local community was completely ignored.

Images from the film Mann vs. Ford (2011)

The lawsuit is documented in the HBO film Mann vs. Ford (2011), in which local resident and Ramapough spokesperson Wayne Mann leads various reporters and environmental scientists through the woods where hardened paint sludge is plainly visible all over the ground and creek beds. At one point in the film a local resident takes their lead lawyer for a walk down her street and points out all the houses where someone has died from cancer or is currently undergoing treatment for cancer—and it’s almost every house. Residents interviewed talk about everything from sinkholes appearing in their yards to their children dying of tumors and lead poisoning.

The local Ramapoughs saw a settlement with Ford as their only hope; they couldn’t sell their homes which sit on tainted land, and many were too financially restricted to just abandon them and move elsewhere. Add to this the fact that their tribe has lived on those mountains for centuries, largely maintaining cultural isolation and proud, old traditions. The thought of moving is loaded; with its threat of dispersing their people and obliterating their culture, the Ramapoughs liken the Ford dumping to genocide.

As it turned out there was no real hope of moving anyway; in the end the community settled out of court with Ford after four years of litigation, with the average payout being less than $2000 per person.

SUBCUTANEOUS SLUDGE: WILLIAM HELLFIRE’S STORY

According to a New Jersey mining history website, the Peters Mine WWII-era mining complex was destroyed by fire in the 1960s.[i] Indeed, all that remains now is the shell of an old concrete building and a smattering of unmoored walls about to crumple over. Most of the buildings visible in Olga’s House of Shame are long gone, leaving just scarred terrain. But Olga’s legacy—and more importantly, that of her creators—lived on. If something was oozing out of Peters Mine into the local water, it surely infected a young filmmaker named William Hellfire.

William Hellfire in his band King Ghidorah, 1998

William Apriceno, better known in genre film circles as William Hellfire, is a former Ringwood, New Jersey resident who has made nearly 50 films to date—largely shot on consumer video—first achieving underground infamy for Duck! The Carbine High Massacre in 1999, which was made a mere six months after the game-changing high school shooting its title satirizes. During the making of the film—in which Hellfire stars as one of the disaffected teens—he was undergoing cancer treatment. His family home is within the one-mile radius of Peters Mine that is considered Superfund turf.

Hellfire’s father built the house in 1966, when the town was still called Cupsaw Lake. “There were trees through the whole block on Catherine Ct. and a forest across the street,” recalls Hellfire. “My Dad was a casual hunter and loved to fish so this was definitely an idyllic location for him. Our house was numbered #15, only after my superstitious parents changed it from the original #13, but changing the street number wouldn't lift the curse! I was born in 1973 and lived there until 2013.”

In 1998—four years after Peters Mine was taken off the Superfund list—Hellfire was hit with the first signs of illness. It began as lower back pain, which at first he attributed to his work as a grip on corporate video shoots and lugging around equipment with his various rock bands. Eventually this transformed into extreme fatigue and alternating chills and night sweats. “I would get the chills and shiver uncontrollably, to the point where I would spill coffee at the diner and people would look at me like I was a junkie needing a fix!” he says.

“Finally I did a few blood tests and my GP sent me to a blood specialist who took one look at me and said, ‘You have cancer.’ My biopsy revealed Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I started my eight rounds of chemo as an outpatient in a clinic because I didn't have insurance. When I heard the news I was devastated. Treatment reduced me to a zombie for the first six weeks but then I started to regain my strength and started making movies again. Electric Cord Strangler 1 & 2, Slaughtered Lesbos 1 & 2 and, most notably, Duck! The Carbine High Massacre were filmed during and around my treatment schedule. If you look closely in Duck! you can see my shaved head looks patchy; I was still losing hair at the time so the shave was uneven.”

Joey Smack and William Hellfire at Chiller Convention, 1990| Promo shot for Duck!, 1998

Hellfire admits that the heavy painkillers he was on at the time of shooting Duck! —to treat side effects of muscle and bone pain—may have contributed to some “ballsy” decisions concerning the film’s writing and production; not only was the film itself a source of controversy upon release for its graphic recall of a recent tragedy, but Hellfire and his co-star Joey Smack were arrested for bringing real guns onto school property for filming. “I used an elementary school as a backdrop and just walked onto school grounds (in August before school was in session) with real guns, fake bombs, fake blood,” he offers. “Shot there for three days. Later I would get arrested and make national news for having guns on school property. At least it was free promotion.”

Cancer cluster theories were (and continue to be) disparaged within certain sectors of the scientific community despite the statistics showing unusually high cancer rates in areas exposed to heavy toxic substances. And though Upper Ringwood had been on the Superfund list, there was still a reluctance to acknowledge illnesses in the area as being indebted to Ford’s environmental neglect. As Bill Noll had predicted back in the 1960s when he lobbied against Ford’s proximity to the Wanaque Reservoir, it could take a generation before Ringwood would see the effects of the pollutants. Hellfire too says it didn’t immediately occur to him that his illness was connected.

“It wasn't until I was filming Duck! and traveling around town looking for props that I met a woman who lived closer to the lake who had a similar haircut to mine,” he says. “She had cancer as well. Then in a neighboring town, at the hobby shop where I got the giant rocket prop from, the store owner's wife was dying of bone cancer. But the worst news was to come. My mother had fallen ill and on the very day I was cleared in remission, at the same cancer doctor’s office, she was told she had to start chemo and radiation. She died 30 days later on Devil's Night, October 30, 1999—the day after I released Duck! on VHS.” Soon after, Hellfire’s neighbor was diagnosed; he survived his first round only to have the cancer make a fatal return a few years later. Hellfire himself was not quite out of the woods.

“In 2007 my strength failed me again,” he explains. “I started getting fevers and ended up doing my second round of cancer treatment.” This time he opted for a stem cell transplant, and had insurance which made things easier than his first round. But the treatment included some invasive chemicals that he likens to battery acid, and he was told to chew ice so his mouth wouldn’t break out in sores. “I brought a Snoopy sno-cone maker and made sno-cone ice shavings while I was taking the treatment, making the nurses and doctors laugh,” he says. “I would wear my vampire cape (from my film Caress of the Vampire 2: Teenage Girl Ghoul A Go-Go) whenever I needed to get blood. Anything to lighten the mood.” Hellfire came through, but a few years later, his father died of cancer.

Hellfire missed his opportunity to participate in the lawsuit depicted in the film Mann vs Ford due to his own treatments for his second battle with the disease. “I was in hospital 2008 when the flyers were posted that the public can join the lawsuit,” he laments. “I was so dazed after the stem cell transplant I just didn't do anything. I should pay a visit to Ford Motor Company and ask for the budget of my next 10 pictures.”

OLGA’S WHIP ENSARES US ALL

Ironically, Hellfire was once hit up to direct a remake of Olga’s House of Shame, which brings the influence of the 1960s roughies on his own films around full circle (he ended up turning it down as he was moving away from sexploitation pictures to focus on his new religious horror film Upsidedown Cross). But it wasn’t until I contacted him for this article that he realized Olga’s House of Shame was in fact shot in Ringwood, and that its location had likely been the direct cause of his two bouts with cancer. “It's hard to believe in 1964 this insane film was being shot in what would become my backyard.” He says.

As for whether New Jersey’s reputation for toxic waste contributes at all to an overall culture or attitude in the state that births the kinds of exploitation films that are made there—from Olga’s House of Shame to his own low-budget headtrips—Hellfire admits that a connection is likely. “New Jersey's toxic reputation may breed a sort of nihilistic viewpoint for sure,” he says. “The Toxic Avenger is a great example. When I was growing up, horror and exploitation films were all over the TV, stacked high in the video store with a punk rock soundtrack blaring in the background. Horror and sexploitation were still taboo, controversial and challenging; therefore part of the revolution against the bleak and dismal life of the suburbs, church and mall culture.

“The ‘system’ had failed, Utopia was poisoned, nowhere was safe, so in that sense there was an apocalyptic 'end times' feel which made you not want to sit around and wait for things to happen. A DIY 'do it yourself' pop-up sub-and counter-culture (just add LSD!). The horror films and noise music that came out of that is testament to the environs that it oozed from.”


Special thanks to William Hellfire, Andrew Leavold, John Baeten, Scott Dietche, Ashley West of The Rialto Report, Michele Lammi of the Iron Range Historical Society, Ralph Colfax of the North Jersey Highlands Historical Society and Greg Sonier. Historical Map images courtesy of The New Jersey Geological Survey.


Kier-La Janisse is a film writer and programmer, Owner/Artistic Director of Spectacular Optical Publications and founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies. She is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (2012, currently in development as a series with Rook Films) and contributed chapters to Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (2011), Recovering 1940s Horror: Traces of a Lost Decade (2014) The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul (2015) and We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale (2017). She co-edited and published the anthology books KID POWER! (2014), Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (2015), Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin (2017) and Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television (2017), and is currently co-curating (with Clint Enns) an anthology book on the films of Robert Downey, Sr. and writing a monograph about Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter. She serves on the boards for both Fantastic Fest and the American Genre Film Archive.



[1] Belton, Thomas. Protecting New Jersey’s Environment: From Cancer Alley to the New Garden State. Rutgers University Press, 2011.

[2] Rothfeder, Jeffrey. “Toxics Dumped in Mines” in Talking Wood, Winter 1979.

[3] Fagin, Don. “How Toxic Dumping Led to Tragedy in a Small Seaside Town” in Popular Science, April 2013.

[4] Scott Dietche, personal correspondence with author.

[5] Various. Toxic Legacy: Making a Wasteland. North Jersey Media Group, 2011.

[6] McGrath, Ben. “Strangers on the Mountain” in The New Yorker, March 1, 2010.

[7] McGrath, Ben. “Strangers on the Mountain” in The New Yorker, March 1, 2010.

[8] Stodgehill, Ron.”Decades After Plant Closes, Waste Remains” in The New York Times. July 29, 2007. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/0...

[9] Cornerstone Environmental Group, LLC. 2018 Annual Groundwater Report https://semspub.epa.gov/work/0...

[10] http://www.ironminers.com/mine...