Saint John — Noted New Brunswick journalist Julia Wright is quitting her brand-new job at CBC Saint John — for which she already left her part-time positions with Vice Canada, Telegraph-Journal and Civilized — in order to move to Partridge Island and pursue a solitary existence as the abandoned island’s only resident.
“I went to Partridge Island for a Vice article I was writing last year,” said Wright, while placing the few belongings scattered across her uptown apartment into a tiny hobo’s bindle. “Since spending an hour there with friends, taking some cool photos to accompany my story, I haven’t been able to think of anything else. I look at those pictures every day and wish I were back there. But you know, alone, and for good this time.”
Wright plans to set up a dwelling in one of the creepy underground tunnels in the dank, cobwebbed belly of the island. “I won’t have a Wi-Fi signal — at least I don’t think I will — so if anyone wishes to contact me, they’ll need to climb across the breakwater during low tide, at their own risk. From there they’ll have to wander through the winding, pitch-black tunnels looking for me. If they rattle some rusty chains and call my name three times, I’ll appear to them.
“But from what I know of hermits, they generally don’t talk to anyone, so probably just stay away for the time being.”
Wright’s friends, family, and new employer have pleaded with her to reconsider what they see as a brash and ill-planned decision.
“I don’t get why she’s going there at all,” said Wright’s boyfriend, who asked to remain anonymous. “She said she wasn’t breaking up with me per se, but that she needed to explore other options. I thought she meant she’d met someone else but apparently she was just talking about that damned island again.”
Wright’s friends have reported that she has, over the past few months, become increasingly obsessed with Partridge Island, a place they say is definitely haunted.
“I went there with her for that Vice story,” said one friend, “and I was like ‘OK, that was fun, now can we please get out of here?’ But Julia was intrigued by the fact that there are like a million bodies buried there, that it was a quarantine site, that there’s mysterious graffiti all over the weird little concrete structures.
“She brings it up in every conversation, and if you try to talk about anything else she just looks off into the distance and mouths the words ‘the island’ over and over. It’s creepy as hell.”
CBC Saint John is currently researching ways to allow Wright to take part in Information Morning from the island. Wright said that if the technology is there, she will gladly report any and all information regarding Partridge Island, so long as she never has to leave.