The Haven for Unsolved Mysteries

Haven has been one of my favorite shows since it first aired in 2010 on the Syfy network. The premise is that every 27 years, for a few years, the people of a small harbor village called Haven, Maine are plagued with the “troubles”, which are supernatural occurrences caused by a “troubled” person. Troubles run in families and can be triggered by a traumatic or emotional event. The people of Haven, of course, keep this hushed amongst those who need to know only and any news reading disguises a trouble as a gas leak, or something else explainable so that any outsider is none the wiser.

At the start of the show, the troubles are just starting again and no one knows why or where they came from, or at least the viewers don’t, but over the seasons the mystery has slowly unraveled. Except for the Colorado kid.

HavenshowposterThe show has been running for 5 seasons and it is always interesting to see where something came from. The whole television series is based on Stephen King’s short story, The Colorado Kid which is less than 100 pages long.

King wrote this story to pose more questions than answers. He set out to present a mystery rather than solve it–that is to say that if you are looking for answers in this story, you will not find them. Still, I would recommend the read anyway, because sometimes it is not about the answers. Stephen King noted in the afterword that it is not that he couldn’t come up with a solution, but that it was the mystery that would keep him coming back to the story, day after day. And it is true, at times, that something might be ruined if it were solved, like who Jack the Ripper or the Zodiac Killer was, or who killed the Black Dahlia. There is plenty of speculation, but I’m unconvinced, or maybe I just know that once they are definitively solved, they will be forgotten.

The other fantastic element to this show being based off a story like this is that rather than giving us everything, and then having fans of the story say “No, it wasn’t like that” or “That’s not how I pictured it”, we get a small platform to make an incredible dive from. I have read many posts saying that the story and the show have near to nothing to do with each other, and I just don’t see it that way.

King set the story on an island off the coast of Maine, harking back to Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians–there is no locked room so grand as an island, and his story was also based on a true crime story with similar outcomes. He said, “There are few places in America where the line between the little world Inside and all the great world Outside is so firmly and deeply drawn. Islanders are full of warmth for those who belong, but they keep their secrets well from those who don’t.”

Although Haven is not an island off the coast of Maine, it’s small, secluded town atmosphere gives the same effect. In the short span of the story, it set most of our setting and cast of characters, even though we only actually meet two of each. Names like Chief George/Garland Wournos, Dave (Bowie), and Vince Teague(s) appear, and the settings of The Grey Gull, the newspaper and of course the harbor/beach. The characters we meet, Vince and Dave, who are an integral part of the Haven storyline, were changed, but only so far as to make them similar in age and turn them into brothers.

Coloradokid_pbWhen it comes down to the actual mystery of The Colorado Kid, the show, so far has only given us the answers that the book had already presented, changing just a few of the details. Like any good unsolved mysteries, there were enough clues left to give the victim a story and entice people to want to know more, or give their own speculations, but not enough for anyone to say for sure, even leaving questionable gaps. If he was last seen in the early afternoon in Colorado leaving work for lunch, how did he wind up dead on a beach in Maine? Was there even enough time to go from Colorado to Maine in that time? Was it planned in advanced? If so, why?

These are the great questions left by the story. The answers we know for sure, in both settings, is that the victim was James Cogan, he lived in Colorado with his wife Arla, he died on the beach in Maine, and no one knows the circumstances. They do come to a conclusion of how he died in the story, but with so many other questions, no one is completely certain.

It may not seem, at first glance, that the premise of the TV series has anything to do with the mystery of The Colorado Kid, but it is in fact the main reason that the main characters of Audrey Parker (played by Emily Rose), Nathan Wuornos (spelled slightly differently in the series–played by Lucas Bryant), and Duke Crocker (played by Eric Balfour) go in search of the answers to the troubles.

I was curious during this past season, why no one had brought up The Colorado Kid in a while. At the end of the third season, we had learned something really fantastic about him. However, in the midst of my questioning it and watching season 5, we learned more about Dave Teagues, and he wondered if he had something to do with The Colorado Kid’s death.

We may never know, but that’s what keeps us coming back for more! That and the fact that I want to know what will happen next! I highly recommend both story and series!

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