Archive for the 'story' Category

26
Apr
18

Poem

It’s National Poem in Your Pocket Day, did you know? I’m not sure what that means or why it came about, but I thought I’d take a stab at a poem –

Roses are red, cloaks are too
We open in 5 days, just for you!
There’s goosebump fun,
Enjoyable for everyone!
But don’t forget that history
To go along with the mystery
Sometimes it’s the best of the best,
Please join us, you’ll see the rest!
I know it’s a little silly, but it is all true. Many times folks come on our tours because of the haunts and ghost stories, but walk away with a real interest and surprise at the history. I love that we can inspire people to become a little more interested in the history that surrounds them.
My personal bucket list only includes historical or genealogical visits/activities. I’m not sure why it’s so important to me, it just is. I have no desire to jump out of a plane or go mountain climbing, but visiting a cemetery or historical site… well, that’s what does it for me.
My imagination plays a big part in it – I love thinking about my great – greats doing this or that and standing on those spots. Feeling that connection is so important; even the cemeteries, the graves, are meaningful. These often are the only physical pieces of their lives that are left to us.
Another part of it is the hunt! Looking for some tidbit, some tie that connects, some missing piece of information – treasure found – it’s an adrenaline rush! I will happily read through countless pages of information just to find one sentence that excites me.
I hope, in this cyber world, that we can all take a little interest in the actual places, physical sites of our history and our being.
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14
Feb
18

For Valentine’s Day – “The Frozen Lovers”

There was a terrible storm in December of 1850, with several ships going aground in Penobscot Bay, Maine. About midnight the storm picked up and the winds were howling. One small schooner had anchored earlier, intending to wait the storm out and continue to Boston the next day.
 
The captain had gone ashore and left his first mate, a seaman and one passenger on board. When the winds intensified, the schooner broke free, was blown across the bay to Owl’s Head, and crashed into the rocky ledges.
 
The 3 on board were not injured, but were exposed to the storm and waves and were soon soaked. They wrapped themselves in blankets to try to stay warm. As the schooner began to break apart, the seaman, Roger Elliott, scrambled ashore over ice coated rocks and eventually made his way to a road.
 
It was the road to the Owl’s Head Lighthouse and fortunately the lighthouse keeper was going by in a sleigh and saw the exhausted, freezing man. He quickly took him home and put him to bed (after a hot rum). Roger told the keeper about the 2 left on the schooner.
 
About a dozen men were called out for the rescue and made it to the schooner before it had totally broken apart. They found the 2 wrapped in each others arms under a blanket which was covered in ice! They seemed to be dead, but the rescuers would not take a chance and took them to the keeper’s house where they chopped the ice off of the pair and then placed them in cold water. The water temperature was slowly raised and the limbs of the pair were gently exercised and massaged.
 
After about 2 hours the passenger, Lydia Dyer, began to come to and within the next hour Richard Ingraham did as well!
 
During the sharing of the events, it became known that the pair were engaged to be married and thought, as they were freezing on the wrecked schooner, they’d never have a chance to share their vows. It was many months before they were totally recovered, but they did marry and had 4 children, living very near Owl’s Head, Maine and extremely thankful for Roger Elliot’s bravery.
Check my Facebook page for a Valentine poem written for a medium in 1875.
08
Dec
17

Mistletoe Bride

“The Mistletoe Bough” written by Thomas Bayley (Bayly) in the early 1800’s and set to music in 1830, might have been inspired by an incident in Germany, reported in 1809.

Also known as “Mistletoe Bough, ” “The Missing Bride,” “The Lost Bride,” and sadly “Bride-and-Seek.”

The tale goes… a group of young friends on the night of the wedding were playing hide-n-seek and all were found but the bride. Everyone, including servants were employed to search the home and grounds. Thinking maybe she had been taken or had second thoughts, searchers were sent out through the countryside, looking in vain through the night. She was finally found 30 years later when the estate was being repaired and an old trunk in the attic popped open upon removal, finding the aged skeleton, and remnants of her wedding dress… I’m sure she haunts that castle!

The mistletoe hung in the castle hall,

The holly branch shone on the old oak wall’

And the baron’s retainers were blithe and gay,

And keeping their Christmas holiday.

The baron beheld with a father’s pride

His beautiful child, young Lovell’s bride;

While she with her bright eyes seemed to be

The star of the goodly company.

“I’m weary of dancing now,” she cried;

“Here, tarry a moment-I’ll hide, I’ll hide!”

And, Lovell, be sure thou’rt first to trace

The clew to my secret lurking place.”

Away she ran-and her friends began

Each tower to search, and each nook to scan;

And young Lovell cried, “O, wher dost thou hide?

I’m lonesome without thee, my own dear bride.”

 

They sought her that night, and they sought her next day;

And they sought her in vain while a week passed away;

In the highest, the lowest, the lonliest spot,

Young Lovell sought wildly-but found her not.

And years flew by, and their grief at last

Was told as a sorrowful tale long past;

And when Lovell appeared the children cried,

“See! the old man weeps for his fairy bride.”

 

At length an oak chest, that had long lain hid,

Was found in the castle-they raised the lid,

And a skeleton form lay moldering there

In the bridal wreath of that lady fair!

O, sad was her fate! – in sportive jest

She hid from her lord in the old oak chest.

It closed with a spring! – and, dreadful doom,

The bride lay clasped in her living tomb!

21
May
17

Part Two – Ancestor Appreciation Day

Two posts ago, I wrote about one of my ancestors who completed a great feat, at the time. He was the first to take a wheeled vehicle from the Kennebec River to the Penobscot River (Skowhegan to Bangor).

I do not know if this was a 2 wheeled or 4 wheeled vehicle, but it did cause a stir among settlers as he passed by small settlements in the 1800’s, according to reports. It certainly must have been horse or oxen drawn.

I wish there was more documentation – was he alone? what was he transporting? how long did it take (about 50 miles)? what time of year did this take place?

So, today, I had the opportunity to drive this route myself (in my 4 wheeled car! and in the opposite direction). I just wanted to drive the drive and imagine what it must have been like in the early 1800’s.

20170521_104325-e1495410840150.jpg

Most of the area is now farm country so it is nice open fields, but at the time it would have been all wooded (as above), and as I mentioned in my original post, must have certainly needed some trailblazing!

I passed by a few lakes, bridged several rivers and went up and down countless hills! All I could think of was the poor horse(s) or ox(en) that had to work so hard. The modern road is a nice, wide 2 lane highway in very good shape and was a pleasure to drive.

Caleb Shaw must have had good reason to go to all that trouble, or maybe he was just up to a challenge! Some of my Shaw ancestors certainly have been the type to make their own way.

History is wonderful, haunted or not, but always leaves us wishing for more…

07
Nov
14

Boothbay Harbor Experience

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?

http://www.theconcordwriter.com/More_Ghost_Stories.php

31
Oct
14

Eccentric

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.

29
Oct
14

Mysterious Burial and Unmarked Grave

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 redcloaktours@gmail.com.