Here is a link to a story that a guest on one of my tours wrote. It is about an experience she had the night after her tour with me in Boothbay Harbor. Maybe some of you who’ve also stayed at Captain Sawyer’s have some stories you’d like to share as well?
Mary Moody Emerson was Ralph Waldo Emerson’s aunt. She spent her whole life taking care of friends and relatives, never marrying. She traveled throughout Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire helping whoever needed help. Mary was just 4 feet 2 inches tall, a frail looking woman with short blonde hair, the short bob being unusual for the times, but quite strong and determined. She didn’t care at all what people thought of her and she quickly became known as quite eccentric.
She was fascinated with death and traveled with her own shroud and coffin shaped bed! At one of her relatives homes she delighted in the coffin shaped shadow that was made by the nearby church steeple. She was so obsessed with death that her friends used a quote from Shakespeare to greet her, “I wish you the joy of the worm.”
One hot summer day she decided to put on the burial shroud she made for herself rather than the heavy skirt, corset, stockings, etc. that were the custom of the day. Mary found her shroud to be so cool and comfortable that she continued to wear it often, to the surprise and shock of many townspeople and her relatives! According to her nephew, she even wore it horseback riding and ended up making several in her later life because they would wear out.
In spite of her wish to die, she lived to be 89 and was laid to rest in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, with this quote of her nephew, “Mary’s body—her “tedious tabernacle”—was finally placed into a cool, sweet grave, freeing her soul to ascend to Heaven. Worms, those most valuable companions, finally would gnaw away the meshes that had trapped her soul on earth, a place where she felt she never truly belonged.”
One of the places where Mary spent a considerable amount of time was Wiscasset, Maine, with her sister, Hannah. Even though Mary was not there when she died, she apparently has chosen Hannah’s home as one of her favorite places in the afterlife.
We were asked by some members of the office that is now in the house to do a light investigation, as they thought there was the spirit of a man there. Also, the office dog spent a lot of time at the bottom of the stairs looking up at nothing they could see.
When we went in, we immediately had lots of EMF activity in several areas of the downstairs at once. We quickly determined that there indeed was a man there, but Mary Moody Emerson was also in the house! They both “spoke” to us by making the EMF detectors go on or off in response to questions. They did not seem to want us to leave as the detectors were still registering as we walked out and we had to remind them to stay there.
Recently, I was by the house, outside, telling Mary’s story, showing some students an EMF detector and explaining what had happened to us inside. When I started talking about Mary the EMF detector started beeping, even though it was in the same place it had been for several minutes without registering anything! We asked if it was Mary and it beeped 3 times in response. I asked if I could tell about her shroud and it again beeped as if in the affirmative. When I mentioned that Mary had been quite an eccentric character, it again beeped. Several different times, the EMF detector beeped in appropriate places or in appropriate response to questions. We had to move along, so the students thanked Mary for “talking” to us and I asked her if she was glad that we had come by, and once again, the EMF detector beeped 3 times.
Some folks think we’re a seasonal business, just during Halloween/Fall season, but we are definitely a year round business!
Our current project is an example of how we work throughout the year. Over 130 years ago a woman was taken from her family under cover of night and buried in an out of town cemetery in an unmarked grave. We’ve been researching this story for years, but have stepped it up recently.
Our goal is to find the Maine cemetery, if not the actual gravesite, by Spring and do some fundraising to give this unfortunate woman a marker.
She did nothing wrong, she was reportedly in a trance, as was common for her, as a medium in her hometown. She was being cared for by her brothers, who assured everyone that she was fine and would come out of it soon.
You can read more about Mary’s story and our efforts here, http://wgme.com//news/features/top-stories/stories/dirigo-stories-missing-grave-mary-howe-24603.shtml#.VFCX-haCV8E.
Our book, “Haunted Damariscotta, Ghosts of the Twin Villages and Beyond” has the original story. Signed copies can be mailed to you upon request. Call 207-380-3806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
I ran across this Robert Frost poem and it reminded me of so many nights that I am out and about, especially the line about the “luminary clock against the sky” which I see so often on those white New England steeples on some of my Red Cloak Haunted History Tours. I hope you enjoy it, too.
Acquainted With The Night
by Robert Frost
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have out walked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
As many of you know, I tend not to have “experiences” with the paranormal entities that might be around us, but I think that is changing… Over the last couple of years, I think have had 2 or 3 encounters.
The most recent one was in August when my husband and I were staying at an ocean front inn here in Maine. It was an older home, with small rooms and a shared bath.
We checked in, enjoyed dinner and, as we had an early morning planned, turned in early. It was a beautiful summer evening, so we had the windows wide open to the fresh salt water breezes.
About 3:00 in the morning I was awakened by a very strong smell. It was almost cloying; a very sweet perfumy smell. It was most noticeable right in the middle of the bed! I smelled the comforter, pillows, blankets, but it was not any of those. I rolled over toward the outside edge and it was a bit less annoying.
I was awakened again around 5:00 in the morning by the same strong odor. I was so puzzled because all I should have been smelling was the fresh ocean air.
When I was telling my husband about it in the morning, he said he didn’t notice it all, but we wondered if it might have been a previous resident of the room. I was very vocal about how unpleasant it was and that I hoped it/she did not come again that night. I think she heard me, for we were not disturbed that night.
I have heard many different stories of smells associated with the paranormal; cigarette smoke, pipe smoke, perfume, lotion, even toast and bacon! I’d love to hear your experiences…
“But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” Stephen King, Salem’s Lot
My apologies to anyone who has been trying to make a reservation through the website. The “contact us” piece does not always go through and gets lost in the netherworld of cyberspace! I hope we have fixed that problem today, but if you send an e-mail or reservation request and don’t hear back, please call to double check! Thanks –