Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By Avery Yale Kamila email@example.com
Anyone who’s ever read a Stephen King novel knows Maine can be a particularly creepy place. At this time of year, the fear factor increases exponentially as the state comes alive with events and attractions devoted to the undead.
A visitor uses a flashlight on a Fright at the Fort tour of Fort Knox in Prospect.
Staff file photos
You can experience Maine’s darker side everywhere from corn mazes to cemeteries. Or, if you’re particularly brave, consider visiting a Halloween attraction with a history of paranormal activity.
On the rural edge of the state along the New Hampshire border, the Parsonsfield Seminary lurks in the woods. Built in 1832, the campus includes a 42-room dormitory where the spirits remain restless. Voices echo down empty hallways, and the girls’ side of the dormitory is said to be particularly haunted.
“A couple of years ago, I was in the basement all by myself and something touched me on my head,” recalled Mary Tirrell, a member of the Friends of Parsonfield Seminary who attended the school in the 1950s when it was an elementary school. “I turned around and I thought I’d run into something, but there was nothing there.”
This Friday and Saturday offers your last chance this year to experience the dimly lit seminary filled with fog, cobwebs, insects, carnival freaks and Frankenstein. The Halloween actors won’t touch you, but the same can’t be said for the spirits.
On the other side of the state, along a lonely stretch of the Penobscot River, Fort Knox has maintained a watchful eye since 1844. Over the years, a number of fort keepers passed away while on duty, and historians suspect others may have perished during the construction of the massive granite fortification.
Groups that range from local paranormal investigators to the stars of the Syfy series “Ghost Hunters” have found evidence of haunted happenings at Fort Knox.
For the past 13 years, the Friends of Fort Knox have hosted the fundraising event Fright at the Fort.
Last year, more than 9,000 people toured through the bowels of the haunted fort over the course of four nights. (A particularly impressive number when you consider the town of Prospect, where the fort is located, is home to slightly more than 600 residents.)
The theme of this year’s tours, which wrap up Friday and Saturday, is Zombie Apocalypse.
“We try and do different concepts every year, and zombies seem to fit in with the end of the world coming in December this year,” joked Leon Seymour, executive director of the Friends of Fort Knox and the mastermind behind Fright at the Fort.
As a special treat, the fort is selling a limited number of $30 tickets to folks who want to spend Halloween night inside the building. Earlier this week, there were only 10 tickets left for the overnight experience.
The tour itself features blood-soaked zombies, an indoor corn maze and a prop that came straight from Hollywood.
But all Seymour would say about it was: “Wait for the pig.”
Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at:
THE ORIGINAL HAUNTED HAYRIDES: Board a haywagon and travel through acres of horrors and frights.
WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
WHERE: Scarborough Downs Road, Scarborough
HOW MUCH: $13; $9 for children (cash only)
INFO: 885-5935; hauntedhayridesmaine.com
DESTINATION HAUNT: In the dark woods, come face-to-face with the Buried Alive Cemetery, the Execution Center and the Lebanon Laboratory.
WHEN: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sunday, Wednesday and Nov. 1; 6:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
WHERE: 249 Lord Road, Lebanon
HOW MUCH: $15; $12 for children
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Participants gatherfor a Wicked Walking Tour in Portland’s Old Port.
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The corn maze at Pumpkin Valley Farm in Dayton.