Posts Tagged ‘Red Cloak Haunted History Tours


Ancestor Appreciation Day

Today is Ancestor Appreciation Day – I’d like to appreciate my 4th great grandfather, Caleb Shaw.

During our Haunted History tours people often ask if I’m from Maine – I have to answer no, but I often can elaborate. I do have roots here in Maine, though I was not born here. To many, that means I’m “from away.”

On my father’s side, both his paternal and maternal ancestors were from Maine. He did not know this until just a few years before he passed and unfortunately was never able to visit any ancestral properties or gravesites. I know he would have loved to be able to do this, but I have been able to at least show some of his family members a home, a home town and a gravesite.

 Caleb Shaw is the ancestor who I’ve chosen to write about today. He was from New Hampshire originally, but came to Maine in 1801. He died in 1849 at age 80!

 He, with his wife Betsy, is buried in Newport, Maine, though they lived in nearby Palmyra. His gravestone says “Who first traveled with a wheeled vehicle from the Kennebec River to the Penobscot River.”



I have not been able to find out a lot about this effort, though it is noted in several publications, one mentioning that “it was a great curiosity, upon which the people along the route looked with wonder.”

I do know that there were not many roads in those days. Most people traveled by river and/or Native American trails. These trails were certainly not wide enough for a wheeled vehicle, so some “trail blazing” certainly had to take place! I can only guess that it might be about where Route 2 is now, from Skowhegan to Bangor, over 50 miles.

I’m proud that one of my ancestors played an important part in the settlement of Maine. Caleb and Betsy had 13 children, many of whom have played their own parts in Maine’s history, as well as their descendants.

The other half of the family is one that I have not had luck with – the Locke’s from Maine who migrated to Kentucky in 1801. I will persevere, though, in my research!

Genealogy can be challenging, but it can also be very exciting and fulfilling!


Robert Frost “Night” Poem

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.



You might argue that UFO’s aren’t “haunted”, but they certainly are mysterious, so we occasionaly talk about them on our Red Cloak Haunted History Tours.

66 years ago today, a private pilot from Idaho, Kenneth Arnold, saw something that triggered the modern day UFO popularity. He also is credited for coining the term “flying saucer”.

Arnold was on a business trip, flying near Mr. Rainer in Washington, when he spotted some reflections that he thought might be from another plane. I won’t go into the long, detailed descriptions, but the short of it is that he saw 9 shiny, saucer shaped objects flying at an estimated speed of 1,700 mph.

These “unidentified flying objects” sometimes weaved, flipped, and darted as they manuvered in and out of the mountain range. At the time, Arnold thought he might be witnessing test flights of a new type of military aircraft.

As this became widely publicized over the next days and weeks, more UFO sightings were reported throughout the country. Was it because of a bit of hysteria, or were people actually seeing these and feeling justified in reporting what they’d seen since they weren’t the only ones?

There’s a lot of information on the web about this if you’re interested in delving a little deeper into this event.


National Doughnut Day!

I’m giving you a heads up, so you can be prepared for breakfast (or lunch or dinner or snacks or all of them). Tomorrow, June 7, is National Doughnut Day!

National Doughnut day was created in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to World War I soldiers.

Now, aside from a tasty treat, why would The Lady in The Red Cloak be writing about doughnuts? The history behind them of course! And all the better that that history begins in one of the Maine towns that offers Red Cloak Haunted History Tours, Camden.

There was a young man… well, in 1847 he was considered almost a man, I’m sure. He was 15 so nowdays we might call him a boy. He had a complaint to make to his mother about her favored ‘dough cakes’. They were nice fluffy blobs of dough that she fried, then sprinkled with sugar, maple syrup, nuts or whatever she had handy. They were not only favorites of the family, but also the neighbors.

Hanson Gregory, by this old age of 15, considered he could respectfully tell his mother something he’d been hiding for years – the centers of her ‘dough cakes’ were quite soggy!

His mother was not offended, she agreed with him, saying that she had tried cooking them longer or making them smaller or flattening them out more, but it was no use – the centers were still soggy!

Hanson, smart young man that he was, suggested that she just take the middles out before frying them and the doughnut was born!

So, there you have it – maybe it will make your doughnut all the tastier tomorrow! Enjoy!

This is a picture of Hanson Crockett Gregory at a much later age.



Since it’s Mother’s Day, I thought I’d do the obvious… My mother passed away several years ago. Her death was a blessing for her, so I rarely wish her back.
Of course I miss her, and often wish she could see my family now grown, my new grandaughter or even my life as it is now. Maybe she can… I know she would be proud.
Mom influenced me in many ways, but one of the important things both my parents did for me was to never discourage me. Though I do think that for them to imagine me having 2 of my own businesses, Red Cloak Haunted History Tours and Mysterious Destinations, might have been a tough stretch!
It is certainly due to both my Mom and Dad’s love of history and their family backgrounds that has always encouraged me to be so involved in anything historic, whether it be antiques, genealogy, local history, cemeteries, historical societies, etc.
Yes, my Mom did see “ghosts” and had at least one premonition that I know of, but I didn’t learn about these things until fairly recently.
In Nevada, where I grew up, they have historical markers all along the roads and highways, telling of some important event that took place there or the story of a person who happened that way and turned into an historical figure. We ALWAYS had to stop and read the markers. Suprisingly, I enjoyed it and didn’t groan, as you might imagine a preteen or teenager would.
When I was 13, they brought me to the East Coast and took me to all the “important” historical sites – every monument in Washington DC, the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations, the Empire State Building, Boston’s North Church and Plymouth, Mass. It was an amazing, whirlwind tour for me – one I look back on often. I wonder how much that trip influenced my later decision to live here in New England.
Mothers influence us all in many ways, often in ways that we don’t recognize at the time, or maybe ever. Sometimes other people’s mothers influence us as well! I am certainly very happy that I understand where my love of all things “history” comes from and I am very thankful to my Mom (and Dad) for instilling that love in me.
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, aunts, cousins, teachers and others who influence younger folks in some way!


Hi Everyone! The Groundhog did not see his shadow this morning, so maybe we’ll be having an early Spring! Here in Maine we have not had a terrible winter, but it’s always nice to look forward to Spring. That also means we can look forward to Red Cloak Haunted History Tours opening soon!

If you want a little taste of what we do, you don’t have to wait – The Lady in the Red Cloak will be giving a presentation on “Tales of Ghostly Lovers” on February 12th which is open to the public ($15). It is through MSAD 40 Adult Education in Waldoboro. Call 207-832-5205 to reserve your spot!

Hope to see you there!


Maine Public Safety Pipe and Drum Corp

Steve was determined to protect himself with a necklace made out of 3 whole bulbs of garlic on the Bath Haunted History Tour last night!

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