From the Sabattus boy who journeyed down a well, to the tale of the Haynesville bride, Maine has no shortage of
ghost stories to keep you awake at night. But, if you’ve heard them all and then heard them all again, your fright level might be reaching dangerously low levels. Good thing we’ve got some cemeteries that are rich with history…and possibly otherworldly activity. Here are just a few of the cemeteries in Maine that have us both thinking about our state’s past and wondering what woud happen during an after-dark visit.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor
Mount Hope Cemetery is truly beautiful, but it comes with its fair share of creep. Stephen King agreed and made it one of the filming locations for the movie adaptation of "Pet Sematary" - among the scariest movies ever made. Al Brady, one of the FBI's most wanted was killed in a bloody shoot-out on Central Street in Bangor. His body can be found here - possibly in a ghostly form at night.
2. Western Cemetery, Portland
Western Cemetery was founded in 1829 and was the primary cemetery in the city from 1829–1852. Named of its West End location, it was plagued with disorganized management and many grave desecrations. According to history books, many graves have been dug up for examination and were found to be empty. Included in this list of empty graves are the parents of Portland's famous poet Longfellow. Where did they go? Were they ever there?
3. Harpswell Meeting House Cemetery, Harpswell
This cemetery, located just behind the meeting house in town, has been in used since the 1700s. Elisha Eaton, the Reverend appointed in 1753 is buried here, along with many of the early settlers of the town. It was in use until about 1900 when the decision was made to stop any new burials. Why? Because every time a new grave was dug, an old grave was uncovered. Sounds a bit crowded to me.
4. The Old York Burying Ground, York
Rumored to be a witch, Mary Nasson was buried here in 1774. Her grave is reportedly haunted, which is why you'll see her long headstone covering most of where her body is. Apparently, her ghost has a habit of rising from the grave.
5. Buck Cemetery, Bucksport
Buck Cemetery most famous resident is Bucksport founder, Colonel Buck. Legend has it that Colonel Buck condemned a so-called "witch" to burn at the stake - an ordeal which only her leg survived. So a curse was called down upon Buck by the poor victim's deformed son, who proclaimed that Buck's tomb would bear the mark of the witch's foot for all eternity. And so it does. Buck's heirs twice tried replacing the tombstone to rid it of the accursed stain, but to no avail. It just keeps coming back
6. Seaview Cemetery, Blue Hill
Seaview Cemetery includes some very old graves. The oldest goes back to the early 1800s. But, the real mystery in Blue Hill is of the "missing" cemetery. According to records from the town's founding, the residents voted to clear a plot of land for burials in 1767. Records also indicated that there were, indeed, deaths that occurred during this time, including some of the early settlers. However, the earliest headstone in the entire town of Blue Hill dates to only 1800. Where are all the people who passed away before that?
7. Lane Family Cemetery, Lane's Island (Vinalhaven)
Named for an early European settler, Captain Timothy Lane, the small Lane Island is home to the burial plot of his family. Ranging from small children to those much older, this tiny plot feels lonely and almost forgotten.
8. Pet Cemetery, Mackworth Island
Strange Mackworth Island is home to a small pet cemetery. You'll find the former Governor, Percival Baxter's beloved Irish setters and Jerry Roan, his horse buried here, along with a few other loved animals. Rest in Peace Jerry. According to your tombstone's inscription, you were "a noble horse and a kind friend." Fun fact: Upon donating the island, Baxter's only stipulation was that his pet's graves remain undisturbed.
9. The North Manchester Meeting House & Cemetery, Manchester
As Manchester grew in size, the construction of Scribner Road began. The story goes that a worker involved in the project came across a large, unmoveable rock impeding the continued construction. After working with the rock for some time, he eventually proclaimed it impossible and swore that he would sell his soul to the devil if the rock could be moved.
The next day, the worker was nowhere to be found. He had, seemingly vanished into thin air. However, the rock was gone. It had been moved out of the way of construction and the road could now be completed as planned.
However, there was a strange difference in the rock. Two distinct markings had been placed on the face of the rock. One, in the clear shape of a cloven hoof and the other, in the strange formation of two feet.
The markings are said to have been placed by the devil himself, proof that the construction worker had, indeed, sold his soul in order to have the rock moved.
The stone can be seen clearly embedded within the wall of the nearby cemetery in North Manchester.
10. Cemetery at Douglas Hill, Sebago
There are times when the light hits the land just right. When the fog sits in just a certain way. A cemetery may not come with famous historical stories or tales of hauntings, but sometimes you just get an eerie feeling when looking at it.