October 27, 2010

Soup to Nuts: Maine restaurants serve up spooks du jour

Do you believe in ghosts? They do at the Maine Street Grill in Standish, where things go bump night and day ... and that's not the half of it.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

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Slamming doors, running footsteps, children giggling and that inexplicably moving spoon are just a few of the signs of the ghosts believed to inhabit the Maine Street Grill.

Photo illustration by Michael Fisher/Staff Artist – Photo of Maine Street Grill by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Visitors to the Maine Street Grill are urged to be cautious on the stairs, where there have been instances of people feeling pushed by unseen forces.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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On the wall plaster in the corner of the room where the woman was supposedly murdered, there are drawings of little girls skating in period clothing and writings dating back to 1808, when William Thompson signed and dated the wall.

Roberts jumped up and down on the floor, bouncing and making a racket. "This is a floating dance floor built in the 1800s," he said, "and where you are? That's the cold spot."

I stood in the corner where the murder is supposed to have occurred, but felt nothing.

As we were looking at the drawings, it slowly came into my consciousness that there was a beeper going off somewhere. It sounded kind of like a kitchen timer or one of those timers on watches. "Do you hear that too?" Berry asked.

BEEP, BEEP, BEEP

Roberts started down the stairs, searching for the source. Berry and I walked toward the front rooms on the third floor, and Berry stopped at the attic door. The split second – I mean really, the split second – that he opened the door, the beeping stopped. We could find no watch or cell phone in the adjoining rooms to blame for the incident.

Berry sat down in the floating dance floor room and told me about the pasta spoon with a mind of its own and the wacky fryolaters. The first time the fryolaters shot up to 400, Berry thought it was his own fault, that he had just set it on the wrong temperature. "But the second time around, I just told them, 'You need to stop, or someone's going to get hurt.' "

Berry said he didn't believe in ghosts until he started working at the Maine Street Grill. The experience that put him "over the top" was the morning meeting in the first-floor dining room, when everyone saw the same apparition. To Berry, it looked like "a black mass."

"We all saw it," Berry said. "It was right there. We all just said, like, 'Did we just see that?' I've never experienced anything like this before in my life."

One day, Berry was down in the basement, "and behind me, I heard a growl."

"It was uuuuhhhhh, only it lasted a little bit longer," he said. "And I kind of froze. You do the looking over your shoulder type of thing, and there's a furnace down there, pipes down there, and so I told myself it's just that.

"It was not the furnace. I know it wasn't."

The next day, Berry had what he considers his scariest experience in the house. He was in the same area where the meeting had been held. He walked around the table, hit a light switch knob and turned, looking back toward a little alcove.

"There's a guy, about 6-3, thin, just standing there glaring at me," Berry said. "It scared the life out of me. I ran into the kitchen. My prep cook was here still at that time in the morning. I ran into the kitchen, and he said, 'Dude, what's wrong?'

"He says, 'You look like you're outside' (because there were so many goose bumps). They're coming back right now, just thinking about it. It literally scared me. I did not sleep that night. I felt like a 5-year-old kid under the covers, looking around. All I can see are the eyes – coal-black eyes."

"It's one of those things where you're looking at it, and you just don't believe what you're seeing," Berry said. "You know what I'm saying? It's like, really?"

Berry has also seen a female ghost peering at him from the porthole-sized window in the kitchen door.

(Continued on page 4)

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Additional Photos

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Dan Roberts, owner of the Maine Street Grill in Standish, says a litany of incidents at the restaurant have convinced him that the building is haunted by ghosts. The drawing at right, which Roberts found on the wall when he renovated the building, is of girls skating on a pond; Roberts believes that at least one of the ghosts in the restaurant is a young girl.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

  


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