October 28, 2010

Maine haunts to visit if you dare

Maine is known for its beautiful scenery and peaceful quality of life. But what evil lurks just beneath the seemingly placid surface?

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Wood Island Light.

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Current owner Cyndi Robbins said she's never experienced anything herself, but that employees and paranormal investigators have heard footsteps and voices, and found objects moved to unusual places.

Since some say Mr. Ricker still walks the halls tending to his guests, it's not surprising to hear Robbins confirm, "They're all friendly ghosts."

 

YORK

Witchtrot Road, listed on the maps of both York and South Berwick, begins off state Route 91 in the western part of York. The broad story is that witches walked the road to their deaths around the time of the witch trials in Salem, Mass., in the early 1690s. But there were no witch trials in York County and no witches killed there, says Scott Stevens, executive director of the Museums of Old York.

But here's one possible reason for the story: George Burroughs, a Puritan minister, had lived in York County, in Wells. Websites detailing the history of the Salem witch trials say Burroughs had left Salem for Wells before the witch hysteria began, but was arrested and brought back to Salem to face trial. He was hanged on Aug. 19, 1692.

So it's possible that Burroughs traveled this road as he was being brought back to Salem to face his execution for witchcraft. And the horses carrying him would have certainly, at some point, trotted.

 

ROCKPORT

Located on Pascal Avenue near picturesque Rockport Harbor, the Goose River Bridge is supposedly haunted by William Richardson, a town resident who lived there around the time of the Revolutionary War.

There are at least two stories about his death. The first is that Richardson was murdered by British sympathizers in 1783 who were enraged by his drunken celebration of the American victory. The second is that he got so drunk celebrating the American victory that he fell from the bridge to his death.

Either way, the myth is that Richardson's ghost can be seen haunting the area, offering pitchers of ale to passersby. An investigation of the bridge's ghostly history, filed on the Web site paranormalinvestigators.com in 2001, concludes that the area is indeed haunted, but there's no way to prove that Richardson is indeed the ghost.

But let's drink to his memory nonetheless.

 

Staff Writers Stephanie Bouchard, Shannon Bryan, Avery Yale Kamila, Bob Keyes and Ray Routhier contributed to this story.

 

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Some say Witchtrot Road in York got its name because witches walked it to their deaths around the time of the witch trials in Salem, Mass. One problem: There were no witch trials in York County and no witches were killed there, says Scott Stevens of the Museums of Old York. Another theory posits that it was the road George Burroughs took when he was sent to Salem to face trial and subsequently hanged.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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Some believe Biddeford's City Theater is haunted by the ghost of singer Eva Gray, who collapsed following her third encore of "Goodbye, Little Girl, Goodbye" and died backstage with her little girl present on Halloween Eve, 1904.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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The grave of Mary Nasson in the Old York Burying Yard in York. There is a myth that Mary Nasson was a witch.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

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