From camping trips to sleepovers, urban legends have played a part in virtually every childhood. We’ve heard tales of ghost children leaving tiny hand prints on cars, wild-haired women hiding out in mountain caves, and even shrieks coming from high school auditoriums long after the last student has gone home for the night. Every state has them and loves to tell them, but Maine has some of the most chilling. Here are just a few of the urban legends in Maine that are sure to keep you awake tonight!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. The Sabattus Well Descent
According to this story, a group of teens dared a friend to be lowered into a well in Sabattus. The well, located at the back of a cemetery, was reported to be haunted but the young boy agreed to the challenge in order to impress the group. Sitting atop a rubber tire, the boy was lowered down into the well for many minutes before his friends could no longer see him.
When they realized that there was no movement at the end of the rope, the boys pulled up their friend and found him very changed.
The boy's hair had turned stark white, his entire body shook and he was unable to form coherent sentences.
His laughter indicated that he had gone insane and his appearance was that of a very old man.
The boy never came back from this state and is said to randomly scream from the windows of the county mental institution where he now lives.
2. The Monster Of Pocomoonshine Lake
This lake in Washington County has held stories of lake monsters for as long as any Mainer in the area can remember. Some have even reported seeing the snake-like beings along with the trails they leave behind when the come to and leave the lake. While there are no photos of the creatures, locals estimate them to be anywhere from 30 - 60 feet long and could date back as far as 1873.
3. The Wood Island Lighthouse Haunting
The lighthouse on Wood Island has a few scary theories related to its haunting.
In one, the lighthouse is haunted by the ghost of fisherman, Howard Hobbs, who shot and killed his landlord Fred Milliken in 1896.
The story goes that Hobbs and his roommate, William Moses, had been drinking heavily when Millikin asked to speak to them about their overdue rent. Hobbs went on to shoot Millikin in the chest before he turned the gun on himself inside the Wood Island lighthouse.
Following the suicide, reports of moaning and unexplained shadows began to be told by keepers living in lighthouse. In 1972, the light was removed negating the need for any keepers to live within the haunted light. If you take a visit now you'll see that an automated light now exists and perhaps you'll hear Hobbs moaning on his own, without even a keeper to keep him company.
4. The Seguin Island Lighthouse Hauntings
In the mid 1800s, the lighthouse was inhabited by a caretaker and his wife. To combat the lonely isolation of the island, the caretaker had a piano shipped to keep his wife occupied.
He probably should have found out her level of expertise before providing this gift, though. Unfortunately, she only knew one song and played it incessantly.
Eventually the caretaker could take no more, went a bit insane and destroyed the piano with an axe. Next he killed his wife and, finally, himself. Today, local folks have claimed to have heard the lone song coming from the lighthouse.
5. The Ghost Bride Of Haynesville Woods
On a wooded road in the outskirts of Haynesville, a newlywed couple traveled on a dark winter night. The story tells us that the groom was drunk and lost control of the car, hitting a telephone pole which killed him.
After the young bride crawled from the wreckage and made her way back to the snowy road, she waited for hours for someone to drive by to help her. However, the conditions of the night meant that nobody was traveling and the woman never received help. It is reported that she has remained in the same place in her wedding gown where she eventually froze to death.
Travelers on the road have reported seeing the woman in the white gown outside of the Haynesville Woods. She can still be seen wandering along the side of the road searching for help that never came.
Some even claim to have actually spoken to the woman. In these situations, she tells the driver of her situation but as the vehicle approaches closer the woman suddenly disappears.
6. The Fort William Henry Haunting
This fort at Pemaquid Beach in Bristol is said to be haunted by the spirit of Native American Chief Taukolexis. He was killed by hanging near the fort in 1696 and is said to "live" in the same tree where he was hanged. You may be able to see him in the form of a white orb near the entrance at the front of the fort.
7. The Robie-Andrews Dormitory Hauntings
It is said that Robie-Andrews dormitory on the Gorham campus of the University of Southern Maine is haunted.
Built in the 1800s, the Robie-Andrews dorm is the oldest building on the Gorham campus. Within that time, there have been numerous stories of suicide and murder, many of which include spirits that have stuck around for future generations of students.
In one story, a girl hung herself in the tower after learning she was pregnant. In another, a young woman falls to her death in front of a throng of people. Was she pushed? Did she jump herself? It is unclear. One thing is for sure, she hasn't quite found peace as she can still be seen and heard in and around the dorm building.
Dorm residents have reported hearing noises and feeling cold areas. Some people have reportedly seen a woman in the tower. Sounds fairly normal until you learn that the tower has been closed off and inaccessible for many, many years. NOTE: This photo is from USM, but does not depict Robie-Andrews.
8. Maiden's Cliff Haunting in Camden
In this tale, a young woman falls to her death on the rocks off Maiden Cliff. During a blustery day, her hat blew off her head and sailed through the air. In an attempt to retrieve it, the young girl was killed. She either died at the site or was carried home where she later passed away. Her spirit still haunts the area, which is marked by a white cross.
9. The Legend of Colonel Buck's Tomb
The founder of Bucksport, Colonel Jonathan Buck, fell in love with a woman and she became pregnant with his son. Upon learning this, he forced her to leave and she spent the next few years raising her son alone. Eventually, the woman came back to Colonel Buck requesting assistance in caring for his son, which he refused. To ensure she would not bother him again, he pronounced her a witch and had her burned. During the fire, her leg was fetched by her son who ran away to bury it on his own as a memorial to his mother. After Colonel Buck's death, his own tomb showed signs of a stain in the form of a leg. Despite attempts to remove it (including changing the stone for a new one) the leg image remained. It is still there today.
Have you been to any of the spots where these stories take place? Tell us your own scary stories in the comments – urban legends, hauntings, whatever keeps you up at night!