Monday, June 29, 2015

Haunted Maine

Haunted Maine

Adult paranormal
It's not surprising that on those summer nights when we are able
to sit around a campfire, watching the sparks fly upwards, trying to
stay out of the way of the smoke, toasting marshmellows and devouring
s'mores, scary stories feature prominently among our methods of
entertainment. Much of the year our state can be downright eerie.
How about those winter months when darkness falls not long after the
children ride home on bright yellow school buses? How about those
nor'easters when wind whips ominously abound our abodes and all it
takes to lose power is a breaking tree limb? How about the early
mornings when mists rise up from the river, cloaking trees and fields
in ghostly swirling whiteness?
How about this story? It's about a dreaded appirition revealed
from time to time to Casco Bay fishermen: an old time wooden ship so
rotten its skeleton could be seen somehow not taking on water and
going down as the laws of science would predict, somehow avoiding all
obstacles despite lack of visible crew. "What is the dead ship's
purpose, it's mission?," Charles Stansfield Jr. asks in his Haunted
Maine: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena in the Pine Tree State. "Why
does this phantom ship appear out on the water only just before a
death onshore? Is the dreaded dead ship bringing the Angel of Death
across the waters? Or is she arriving just in time to ferry the
departing spirits of the dead on their journey to another world?..."
The Dead Ship of Harpswell is one of about eighty supernatural
spooky stories Stansfield narrates so eerily well. Among other
haunting tales you will learn about:
*the cursed tombstone of judge Jonathan Buck. He sentenced an alleged
witch to death. Some versions of the story have them carrying on an
adulterous relationship. The imprint of a foot and leg (which I have
seen) can not be removed from the obelisk which rises over the judge's
mortal remains;
*a UFO encounter that was not revealed for half a century. In the
50's two teens were where they weren't supposed to be (the local
lovers' lane). They were doing what they weren't supposed to be doing
(use your imagination) when they experienced a very intimate alien
encounter. By the time they let the rest of the world on their secret
anyone who could have punished them had already passed;
*a house in North Edgecomb that is said to be the eternal stomping
grounds of Marie Antoinette. How a French queen, killed hundreds of
years ago by Revolutionaries, would end up in a place she'd never set
foot in in life is quite the you'll have to read the book
to learn;
*a British sea captain, buried on his native turf who traveled 3,000
miles to haunt a house in Falmouth. He wanted a leg that had been
amputated to save his life. He wasn't going home without it. Only a
house had been built right over it;
*a desert in Maine surrounded by the forest and pasture land more
usual in the state. Rumor has it that a farmer on his deathbed
instructed his second wife to give his property to his son by his
first marriage. When she gave it to someone else his ghost played the
vengeance will be mine card
I would highly recommend Haunted Maine to anyone who needs to
build up a campfire story repetoire or who simply enjoys good ghost
My only disappoint with this elagently eerie book is that its
author seems to share the nearly universal bias of equating Maine with
coast, dwelling far to much on that prime real estate and skimming
over the rest of the state. Stories from the interior constituting
just one of five chapters seems to me a bit lopsided.
On a personal note, some of my sweetest memories involve Amber's great
fondness for scary stories. When she was really young the children
and I attended our church's retreat center whenever possible. One day
we found children's books of ghost stories in the library of that
stately mansion. My children and their friends would cuddle like
kittens around a mother cat while I read those stories out loud. Back
to home Amber and I beguiled many lovely rainy afternoons and drowsy
evenings as I read her volumes from the Goosebumps and Fright Time
series (so often the covers nearly fell off) and the novels of Maine's
own Stephen King. When we read the choose-your-own-endings books
neither of us wanted to make the decisions on which page to turn to
next. :) Those were the days! Now Amber is writing her very own
scary novel. I couldn't be more proud of her.
A great big shout out goes out to all scary story writers who transfix
us with manageable and pleasant horror.
Julia Emily Hathaway

Sent from my iPod

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