- Education and Science»
- Sociology & Anthropology»
- Folklore & Mythology
Maine Edition - Urban Legends, Monsters and Haunted Places, The Series
After writing the article " Creepy Urban Legends And Haunted Places Of Illinois" I received a large amount of Emails from readers telling me about some of the urban legends of their hometowns. So on the advice of another writer, I have decided to expand the previous column into a state by state series on the subject. Hopefully, with any luck, we will be able to discover a wide variety of cultural differences in the stories and legends of each particular area.
To start the series I would like to begin with the state of Maine, a particularly alluring and very interesting place, in the terms of history, not to mention the home of the great Stephen King.
Haunted Lighthouse - Wood Island, Maine
During the summer of 1896, a young fisherman by the name of Howard Hobbs shot and killed Fred Milliken, Hobbs landlord and the Sheriff of Biddeford Pool. Hobbs and another man by the name of William Moses rented a converted chicken shack from Milliken as their place of residence.
Apparently, on this day, Hobbs and Moses had been drinking quite heavily, when Millikin had requested to speak to them about their overdue rent. Hobbs and his roommate then proceeded to go on to their shack where Hobbs grabbed his rifle and informed Moses that he was going to shoot some birds.
Millikin had met the two men at the gate and asked Hobbs if the gun was loaded to which he was answered with a gunshot to the chest. After the shooting, Hobbs was said to have ran off to the light house located on Wood Island where he then took his own life.
Following the suicide, frequent reports of eerie moaning and strange shadows began to flood in from the caretakers of the lighthouse. One of the keepers is said to have become so unnerved by the strange sounds and happenings that he completely abandoned his post as light keeper, checked into a local boarding house and then jumped to his death from an upper story window.
In 1972 the lantern was removed from the lighthouse to calm the anxieties of the community over the haunted lighthouse making it unnecessary for anyone to take up residence in the building again. Strangely enough, the local residents were not happy with the new headless version of the lighthouse and complained until a new automated lantern was installed in it's place where it is still used to this day. Now the ghost of Howard Hobbs is forced to roam the lighthouse completely alone, with only the company of the rats and the occasional maintenance person coming through for inspection.
There are many variations of this story, some say that the haunting is Hobbs while others simply claim that the island is cursed and always has been, I suppose no one will ever no the real truth to the haunting of Wood Lake Lighthouse.
The Monster Of Pocomoonshine Lake - Washington County, Maine
Nearly all of the true locals of Maine know the legends of the lake monsters. An overwhelming number of them even claim to have seen the serpent-like creatures or at the very least the trails that they leave behind.
Unfortunately for us, there is no photographic evidence of the creatures existing in Maine, as is the case with nearly any urban legend, but the creature has been estimated to be anywhere from 30 - 60 feet long. Reports of the creature date back as far as 1873 and have caused a great deal of fear towards those waters in that time.
There are actually a number of lake systems in the Maine area, claiming to have giant snake type monsters living within their lakes. Most skeptics believe many of the stories were just tales originally told in the old world and brought over by ancestors settling in the new world. They say the stories were merely a way to keep the children from playing near the water, what do you believe?
Which Maine lighthouse would creep you out more to spend the night in?
Another Haunted Lighthouse - Seguin Island, Maine
One of things Maine is best known for are their beautiful, old light houses, so it should come to no surprise that a large amount of their urban legends and ghost stories derive from them as well. In 1795 George Washington commissioned the Seguin Lighthouse just 2 miles from the mouth of the Kennebec River, located off the southern port, Maine.
The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1819 replacing the wooden tower with stone and then rebuilt again in 1857, with the addition of the light keepers quarters. There have been many keepers of the light throughout the years but none with a history quite as tragic as the following..
It was the mid 1800's and the lighthouse was being manned by the caretaker and his loving wife. It is said that because of the isolation, the keeper had decided to have a piano shipped to his wife for her amusement.
Unfortunately for the wife, she only new how to play a single song, and played that song so often the husband eventually snapped and took an axe to the piano, the wife and finally himself. It is claimed that you can still here the piano playing it's solitary tune to this very day.
According to legend the piano is not the only sounds of the supernatural known to derive from the secluded lighthouse. A young girl is also said to have died on the island and is buried not far from the eerie lighthouse.
Many of the various caretakers have claimed to see and hear the spirit of the girl running up the stairs of the lighthouse laughing and waving to the terrified caretakers. In 1985 the US Coast Guard was decommissioning the light house and became the witnesses to the buildings most profound supernatural experiences to date.
The Coast Guards Warrant Officer was woke up in the dead of night by a mysterious visitor after spending the day packing. This unwelcome guest appeared to be an apparition of a man, dressed in oil skins, and he was violently shaking the bed of the weary officer.
At that point the officer claims the man then told him not to take his furniture and to leave his home alone. The very next day, the boat that was loaded with the light house furniture had some sort of accident while being lowered into the water and sank, none of the furniture was ever recovered.
Ghost Bride Of Haynesville Woods - Southern Outskirts Of Haynesville, Maine
Ghost stories have always been a favorite pass time of many of Maine's residents. When the harsh winter sets in it's only natural to get cozy around the fireplace, and tell an eerie tale of the supernatural. One of the most popular of those stories is the Ghost Bride Of Haynesville Woods.
These particular woods are located on a 90 mile stretch of road with the majority of the scenery being uninhabited woodland. From what I am to understand the story begins with a newlywed couple traveling the road on a dark winter night. According to the legend the groom had been drinking heavily, and lost control of the vehicle on the icy roadway, quickly sliding off of the road and hitting a telephone pole, killing him instantly.
After waking and discovering her husbands death, the young bride crawled from the wreckage, making her way through the snow and finally back to the road. The woman had waited for hours for someone to drive by to help, but with the terrible road conditions and winter weather, the road was deserted and there would be no one to save her. The woman remained in that very spot, still wearing her wedding gown, mourning the loss of her new husband till she eventually froze to her death.
Ever since that dreadful evening travelers and truckers alike have been telling the tales of the woman in the white gown outside of the Haynesville Woods. It is said she can still be seen wandering aimlessly along the side of the road or running out in front of the approaching vehicles, still searching for her rescuer long after her demise.
There have been a few witnesses to claim they have actually talked to the woman, she tells the driver of her dilemma but as the vehicle approaches nearer to the woods the woman suddenly disappears, leaving nothing but a freezing chill in the heart of the traveler.
The State of Maine has so many stories of witches and ghosts and unknown creatures that you could spend days telling them, and never run short. As with all of my article,s I encourage you to mention your own areas urban legends, share with us the stories that have been passed on through the years.
As a final note I would also like to offer you the chance to choose the next State in my series of Urban Legends and Haunted Places, feel free to leave your comments or legend ideas below.