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 3)

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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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At this point, Berry leaned over and ran his hand down my left arm. "You get a lot of this," he said. "They're touching."

One night, after Berry and another employee closed the restaurant, they walked together to their cars and "for some reason, I just looked over my left shoulder and looked up past the window, and in the third-story window over here, I see the torso of a girl. A little girl. It looked like long brown hair. Long, curly brown hair. Wearing white."

Berry said the other employee refused to look. "I don't want to see it," she said.

Berry never looks up at the windows anymore, either. "When I come in, I do a walk through the entire restaurant," he said. "I say good morning and just greet them and go on my day."


Corey Sturgeon, the dining room manager, has not seen any ghosts, but he has felt and heard them, especially a child ghost. About a month ago, shortly after the restaurant had closed for the evening, Sturgeon came up to the third floor to retrieve something from the small office there. He made his way back into the room with the floating dance floor.

"I got maybe 3 feet in, and I felt a little kid just run up and hug me," Sturgeon said. "It hit me. It almost paralyzed me. I really couldn't move, and I was covered in goose bumps, and a sadness kind of came over me. It was just a strange, strange feeling that I couldn't get a grip on."

Sturgeon said his experiences at the Thompson house have made him a believer. Before, he said, "I was one of those people that (thought), 'Eh, it's there, but they're just not real.' "

Sturgeon again pointed out the corner of the room where there's supposedly a cold spot. I told him I had already been over there two or three times and couldn't feel a thing. Just for the heck of it, I stepped back over.

This time, I went a bit farther into the corner. It was like stepping into a refrigerator. There was a clear delineation between this cold spot and the rest of the room.

"Oooh! Oooh! Oooh! Oooh!" I manage to yelp, totally creeped out. "It's very cold right here."

Dan Roberts makes sure there's always two people in the restaurant at closing time so his employees don't have to feel uncomfortable being alone with the ghosts. He's had two ghost-hunting groups visit, and one promised to help the apparitions pass on to the other side. Things quieted down for a while after that visit, he said, but then the hauntings started up again.

Roberts believes there are several ghosts in the house, all of them benevolent, except perhaps for the scary man downstairs. There may be two women (two people have told him that one of the women is named Christine) and at least one child.

Roberts, who was a history major, says he would like to know "who they are, when they were."

He has invited me back for an overnight visit with a ghost-hunting group in November.

Stay tuned. I'll report back on the experience – that is, if I don't chicken out.

Bawk, bawk.


Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: mgoad@pressherald.com


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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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