Maine's Mystery Coast
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Maine’s Mystery Coast

There's Many a Mystery in 'Vacationland'

By Staff

Maine, America’s eastern-most state, seems made for mystery. With hundreds of miles of dark woods and rocky coastlines bordering an often stormy sea – there is plenty of room to hide secrets in this state. Add to that a recorded history that dates back to the earliest settlement of America, and an unrecorded history that extends thousands of years into the past, the potential for mysteries of all kinds are in the mix for paranormal explorers in Maine.

While mysteries may be the draw, there are plenty of other reasons to visit a state known as “vacationland” with the motto “the way life should be”. For the intrepid explorer Maine offers unique lodging and dining choices, as well as unique and mysterious destinations to visit.

That’s why (especially with the summer season just beginning) decided to devote the June 2013 edition to the great state of Maine. We decided on listings for places to visit, including this article about Maine’s Mystery Coast, as the best way to allow our readers a general overview and suggestions for locations to visit. We’ve also included in this issue a listing of Haunted Maine Lighthouses (click here to check that article out), and an in-depth article about two of the most haunted locations our staff has ever visited – the Tipsy Butler B&B and the Newcastle Publick House, both located in Newcastle and thought to haunted by the same entity.

So grab your map of Maine and start here with Maine’s Mystery Coast. We listed the locations beginning at the southernmost and moving north.

Clapp House & McLellan-Sweat House (Portland)

This museum is reportedly home to at least two ghosts, a man and a woman. Some have felt the presence of other spirits as well, though full apparitions have been seen of one man and one woman. There were four women who have lived in this house and had their own various attachments to it, therefore their own reasons to possibly remain. The male spirit is supposed to be Captain Asa Clapp, who was an owner, but never lived there - he lived next door and apparently haunts that building as well. Both houses are part of the Portland Museum of Art.

Not much has been made public about the paranormal activity that staff has seen or experienced in this stately Federalist home. Any paranormal investigations, either scientific or psychic that may have been done, are kept strictly private, as the museum wants to be seen as a historical house museum that provides educational opportunities and a safe place to have events. They don't want to be a draw for people interested in the paranormal -- a common theme found with many historical places used for educational purposes. Of course that doesn’t stop anyone who pays admission from exploring the buildings to see what they can see (and/or photograph what they can photograph). Anyone with interesting images should feel free to contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">.

For more information on the McLellan-Sweat House, click here.

For more information on the Clapp House, click here.

Victoria Mansion (Portland)

Built in 1859 and a museum since 1941, this mansion certainly has history on its side. There are rumors that the music room on the second floor is haunted. Music on the piano in the room is changed frequently, though no music is ever heard.

For more information on the Victoria Mansion, click here.

Jameson Tavern (Freeport)

Psychics have a seen the ghost of a man wearing a top hat in the hallway here. He seems to stay in one place, watching over the guests, while the ghost of a little girl travels throughout the 1779 building. She is believed to be Emily, a young girl who died in a fire in the building and may not know that she has passed on. She has been known to play with children who are eating with their families and her presence is often felt in the attic and the area of the restrooms.

For more information on the Jameson Tavern, click here (Be advised that this location has recently undergone a change in ownership, and no information on future plans for location was available by our publication deadline. We’re also not sure if their website is current or accurate due to the change in ownership.)

Joshua Chamberlain Museum (Brunswick)

Joshua Chamberain's home was turned into a museum in the 1980's. Apparitions of he and his wife, Fanny, have been seen several times in various places in the building. Chamberlain, a Colonel of the 20th Maine during the Civil War (and retiring as a Major General), was wounded by a shot through both hips in 1864. He lived until 1914, but never fully recovered from that wound. Many people who tour the museum claim to have sudden hip pain overcome them.

For more information on the Joshua Chamberlain Museum, click here.

Winter Street Center (Bath)

This building was once a church that dates to 1843. It was saved by Sagadahoc Preservation, Inc. and is now partially renovated and available for rent for weddings, shows, movies, meetings, etc. Stories of it being haunted stem back to at least the 1960's. All sections of the building are reported to have had paranormal activity. This activity includes shadows where they shouldn’t be, toilets flushing, EVP recordings, photos of orbs, general "creepy feelings" and "conversations" with spirits using various means. It appears that there are many spirits in this building, many of whom are children.

The site was an infirmary during the 1918 flu epidemic.

The Winter Street Center is managed by Sagadahoc Preservation, Inc. and is not regularly open to the public, however it is available to rent for weddings and other special events… Why not consider a haunted location for your event? If you have no immediate need for an event facility, go ahead and drop on by just to see the exterior of this magnificent building (located at 880 Washington St. in Bath).

For more information on the Winter Street Center, click here.

The Smith House (Wiscasset)

This private residence on Water St. (the white house across from library) dates back to 1805. There are several spirits reported here, even the ghost of a dog, but most of the stories surround the wife of Governor Smith, who lived there for many years during the mid 1800's. Mrs. Smith actually told people she would come back to the house if she could, so many are not surprised. The most common sighting of Mrs. Smith is as an older woman with a nightcap on, rocking in the upstairs window. She has been known to wag her finger at visitors, as if they are not welcome to come in. A whiff of her favorite rose perfume is often smelled in her favorite room, where she used to have tea parties.

There is no website for the Smith House.

Ancient Burial Ground (Wiscasset)

If there were any place in Wiscasset that should be haunted, you'd believe the Ancient Burial Ground might be it. A very compelling orb photo (featured on our home page and in the images sidebar on the left side of this page) was taken just outside the fence one summer evening. The weather was windless, clear, dry and cold – eliminating the possibility of bugs or raindrops creating the image.

The cemetery dates back to 1735, with the oldest legible stone reading 1739. Other interesting photos have been taken of the cemetery in the evening, but always from outside the fence, as Maine State Law does not allow visiting graveyards after dusk.

There is no website for the Ancient Burial Ground.

Lincoln County Courthouse (Wiscasset)

For many years employees and visitors have reported strange occurrences inside the historic Lincoln County House, built in 1824. Unoccupied elevators moving between floors on their own, footsteps on a stairwell when no one was present, and a general feeling of discomfort or fear – these are some of the paranormal activities reported, especially after hours when the building was closed to the public.

It wasn’t until the court installed an interior security camera system in 2011 that a possible confirmation of these reports came in the form of a circular object taped moving through the courthouse… And we do mean “through”… The object was videotaped drifting purposely through hallways, and passing through solid walls and doors with seemingly the same purposeful intent.

The incident was investigated by Research Director Greg Latimer as part of his responsibilities at The Lincoln County News (located in Damariscotta, Maine), and that story was picked up by the local NBC affiliate. To view the television report (with video of the object), click here.

The Lincoln County Courthouse is open to the public during regular business hours, but anyone conducting an obvious paranormal exploration may find themselves receiving some unwanted attention from the court’s security officers. However, photographs of the court’s beautiful interior are generally no problem, depending the building’s security level (i.e. security levels will heightened during events such as a high profile criminal trial).

For more information on the Lincoln County Courthouse, click here.

Opera House at Boothbay Harbor (Boothbay Harbor)

The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor is designated by some sources as "The Most Haunted Building in Maine". Built in 1894, stories of ghosts date back years and several instances of paranormal activity have occurred in and outside the building. Photos of orbs, as well as apparitions have been taken by locals, visitors and paranormal teams that are infrequently allowed to explore the building.

A volunteer had her chair shaken when there was no one nearby, lights have been turned on when no one was near the switches, piano music has been heard when no one was playing, according to reports. Research Director Greg Latimer interviewed a witness who had a full apparitional sighting in the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor. Without identifying the witness at his request, he is described as a teacher at the college level and essentially a non-believer in paranormal phenomenon. Latimer, a former police evidence photographer and private investigator’s agent who has conducted hundreds of witness interviews, described the witness as “articulate and credible”.

According to the witness, he was working on a stage set on the Opera House main floor about midway between an internal doorway that led from the upstairs and the main entrance doorway. He took a break to contact his wife on his cell phone, and while he was speaking with her he observed an apparition that was real enough that it took some seconds for the witness to process what he was seeing.

He described the apparition as male, looking very much in human form but “not quite”, attired in clothing from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, clean shaven and with a “1000-yard stare” in his eyes. The apparition was walking toward the witness in the direction of the main entrance, when the witness tried to respond to the presence by asking if he needed help or information. The apparition did not respond, but continued to walk by the witness, passing within feet of him. When the apparition passed the witness, two things happened… The witness’s cell phone signal suddenly cut off, and the apparition disappeared.

A check with a cell phone technician confirmed that a strong enough electromagnetic field (EMF) could disrupt a cell phone connection.  Many paranormal researchers believe that paranormal entities either project and/or “feed” on EMF’s.

The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor does not encourage or invite paranormal exploration, however its stage is host to some of the best theatrical and music acts in the country, and both the exterior and interior of the building are beautiful. Visitors are encouraged to buy a ticket, enjoy the show, and perhaps see what appears in photos… Or in the distance between those two doors on the main floor.

For more information on the Opera House at Boothbay Harbor, click here.

Kaler’s Restaurant (Boothbay Harbor)

Now a popular summer season destination, Kaler’s Restaurant used to be a livery stable, with the horses on the lowest level and carriages and wagons storage on the top two floors.

The owners and employees of Kaler’s, which is located in the lower floor of the building, say they often hear footsteps upstairs and very loud noises, described as similar to a bowling ball being rolled across the old wooden floor. All of this happens only after the shops upstairs have closed for the day, and the sun has set over Boothbay Harbor.

Are the carriages and wagons being rolled out of the upstairs livery for an ethereal midnight ride? Drop by some evening to see for yourself (it’s a great place for libations and a meal as well as hauntings)… The employees are usually happy to discuss the hauntings, or check with Sam, one of the owners.

For more information on Kaler’s Restaurant, click here.

The Tug Boat Inn Restaurant (Boothbay Harbor)

The Tugboat was an actual steam tug working up and down the New England coast, her name was the Maine, built in 1917 and brought ashore to Boothbay Harbor in 1973 when her life at sea was over.

Little did the new owners of the now landlocked Maine know that they apparently brought the spirit of her captain along as well! He’s been seen by employees in the dining area to the right, and standing by the ship’s wheel that is in the entrance area.

Some employees think that he is there to watch over them, as usually he’s seen later in the evening toward closing time; and they don’t mind him a bit. Others are afraid to work alone or go in certain parts of the building alone. Lights have gone out at times without an explanation… Some folks walking by on the street have reported seeing him up in the wheelhouse on the top floor, still standing his watch.

Most experienced employees at the Tug Boat are happy to discuss the captain, but remember there are many seasonal employees in a place like the Tug Boat who may not have worked there long enough to know about him yet. Try the bartender or a floor manager (if they’re not too busy).

For more information on Tug Boat Inn Restaurant, click here  

Tipsy Butler B&B & Newcastle Publick House (Newcastle)

The Tipsy Butler B&B and the Newcastle Publick House are both believed to haunted by the spirit of Myrtle Gascoigne, the former owner of both locations… Moreover, has been on several paranormal explores at the location and has some very compelling evidence in that regard. That’s why we’re featuring this location as our June 2013 Mysterious Destination, right on our home page. For a link to the article, click here. (Note: This article should be posted, and this link activated by Weds., June 5.)

Rufus Flye House (Damariscotta)

This building is located right on Main Street, in-town Damariscotta and is home to the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce, the Pemaquid Watershed Association and Salt Bay Cafe restaurant.

According to Salt Bay Café owner Peter Everett, late night and early morning incidents began occurring shortly after he purchased the business in the late 1990’s.

Often, a side door was heard to open and close, followed by heavy footsteps moving up the stairs and into the second floor of the restaurant. Employees who thought they were working alone in an empty building would go to investigate, and find no indication that anyone had entered. These occurrences were so common that over the years most employees have come to take them in stride.

But some reports are bit more disturbing. The first report of an employee called by name was over 5 years ago, but that manifestation has continued into the present with another employee who has heard her name called out twice – as though the person were right behind her – in a completely empty room.

On July 3, 2011 Everett reported that he was alone at the end of the night in the upstairs office when he observed a vertical mist pass through the room and disappear through a wall.

Some very compelling photos have been taken outside of the building, and these are featured in the images sidebar on the left side of this page.

For more information on Salt Bay Cafe, click here. For more information on the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce, click here. For more information on the Pemaquid Watershed Association, click here.

Fawcett’s Toy Museum (Waldoboro)

This huge old building used to be a stop on the Underground Railroad, but it is now a wonderful toy museum. Prior to the toy museum moving in, the building housed a restaurant, so it has seen many different lives. One must wonder which spirits have felt they need to stay in the building.

Years ago, in the restaurant days, workers reported many unusual occurrences in the kitchen and server area. In recent years, the museum's security alarm has gone off for no apparent reason and sometimes toys or other collectibles locked inside display cabinets have been moved. There have been two different instances of unknown “matter” being found in unlikely places, once on the stairs and once on the second floor, in an open area. This matter wasn't mud or dust bunnies, but something really indescribable.

There is no website for Fawcett’s Toy Museum.

Goose River Bridge (Rockport)
There were many supporters of the fight for Independence in Maine; one of whom was William Richardson.

When townspeople heard about the Treaty of Paris in 1783, they began a celebration that started with a burst of cannon and gunfire. This continued with feasting and music and plenty of ale! Will Richardson began going door to door with a pitcher of ale to make sure everyone was part of the celebration. When he was at the Goose River Bridge (at the head of Rockport Harbor, near the marine park), Will offered three passing horsemen some ale to celebrate the official end of the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, these three horsemen were Tories, still loyal to the crown and not so excited by the news. They took out their rage on Richardson, beating him to death. The three Tories were later caught and hanged.

Nowadays they say Richardson’s ghost, dubbed “The Pitcher Man”, haunts the Goose River Bridge, offering his pitcher of ale to passersby, and to young folks who sometimes use the nearby park as a lover’s lane. Many a couple has been startled with a knock on their car window, looking out to see the apparitional Pitcher Man with his pitcher of ale!

First Recorded UFO Sighting in the US (Camden)

Cynthia Everett was 24-years-old and a well-educated teacher from Massachusetts, when she came to Camden in 1804 to teach school. Everett began keeping a diary when she moved here, and on July 22, 1808, she recorded that she had spotted a strange light in the sky, at about 10 p.m. The light was coming from the east, and at first Cynthia thought it was a meteor, but it darted and rose and went low, going around the horizon before disappearing. All information is documented in her diary, which is now in the hands of family members. UFO societies recognize this as the first documented UFO sighting in America.

Maiden’s Cliff (Camden)

In 1862, eleven-year-old Eleanora French was very excited to climb to the top of Mt. Megunticook with her sister and some of her sister's friends. Eleanora was all dressed in pink, her favorite color, including a pink-ribboned hat. She was picking spring wildflowers enjoying the beautiful spring day and several times her hat blew off, but she got it back just fine.   No one saw her fall, but they all heard a scream. Eleanora had been fairly close to edge and they think her favorite pink-ribboned hat blew over the edge and she tried to grab it… They ran to the edge and saw her about 300 feet down. The group got to her as soon as they could and found her still alive, without a broken bone, but many internal injuries. The sister and friends took her to the closest home, where she died later that night.

In present times, some people have reported observing a pink-ribboned hat that is sometimes seen floating in Lake Meguticook, at the foot of the mountain. Often her apparitional form is seen among the flowers atop the mountain in spring and summer.

To find out more about Maiden’s Cliff, click here.

Camden Opera House (Camden)

The Opera House, built in 1892, reportedly has a ghost named Sally. She’s a helpful ghost, but also a bit mischievous. They say, years ago, that she was jilted by her fiancé and threw herself off of the balcony, breaking her neck.

The seats in the balcony are the kind that have a spring, folding up if not in use. If no one is seated in Sally’s seat (located in the balcony area) during a performance, all of a sudden it will slam shut with a loud thump. Her apparition been seen by several folks in the balcony.

One of Sally’s favorite things is the elevator that was installed to make the building handicapped accessible – she apparently has fun pushing the buttons and making the elevator go up and down, doors opening and closing. Sometimes she’ll take you to the wrong floor. The Opera House called the elevator company to tell them they had installed a faulty mechanism, but when the company came and examined it, the elevator was fine. She still plays with the elevator, but not as often. A few people have seen her apparition in the elevator.

Anyone who is involved with the theatre has had one experience or another; props often disappear or are moved and there are light problems frequently.

The Camden Opera House doesn’t encourage paranormal exploration, but they do have some great performances… Perhaps you’ll enjoy a balcony seat!

For more information on the Camden Opera House, click here.

Fort Knox (Prospect)

This fort overlooking the Penobscot River was built in 1844 and is quite an intricate labyrinth of tunnels and rooms. It is built of all granite and next to a river, both of which some believe help to store and conduct spirit energy. This fort was manned, but never saw battle and no one has ever died there. One man, who had served there as caretaker for 13 years, did die nearby and some wonder if it is his apparition that is often seen wandering the property. Many unusual photographs have been taken at the fort, mostly inside the fortification and some claim to have been touched or grabbed.

For more information on Fort Knox, click here.

Col. Buck’s Grave Memorial (Bucksport)

In a cemetery right on Rt. 1 in Bucksport, there is quite a mystery surrounding one of the gravestones. If you drive by slowly, or park and get out for a look, you can see the shape of a lady's stocking; or leg perhaps. There is a plaque that explains the whole story...

Jonathon Buck was an original founder of Bucksport. He died in 1795, but the granite memorial dedicated to his life was not erected by his family until 60 years later.  Sometime afterwards, a discoloration appeared on the stone in the shape of a leg; and the legends began. The general story indicates that Col. Buck condemned a woman accused of witchcraft and sentenced her to death by burning. She cursed him by saying that her sign would be on his tombstone as long as the curse lasted. According to the story, as the flames consumed her, her leg rolled away from the fire and her son grabbed it. The son then also cursed Buck and ran into the woods, still carrying the charred leg. All of this is forgotten until decades later when the shape of a leg appeared on Buck's stone. Numerous attempts to have it removed have failed.

Visitors can see the monument as they pass by on Rt. 1, or they can exit their vehicle and take a more comfortable look through the cemetery fence from the sidewalk. The cemetery gate is locked and visitors are not allowed inside.

In Closing

Even with all of these listed locations, we were still unable to cover them all, especially the ones we would like to explore in-depth. Check back in future issues of as we publish more mysteries of Maine.