This week, in my never-ending search for all things odd and ghostly, I’ve been exploring the oldest region in the country – New England! Today the state of Maine has captured my attention. Home of the largest toothpick factory in the United States, Maine encompasses nearly as many square miles as the other five New England states combined, and like most of our states still carries a few odd old laws on their books. For instance, it is customary to bring your shotgun to church on Sunday - in the event of a Native American attack, and stepping out of a plane in flight is prohibited. I hear they make the best Clam “Chowda”, but for now, it’s the charm of the coastline that lures me with summoning harbors so deep as to port the lot of worldwide Navy fleets!
Accessible only by boat or helicopter, the Seguin Island Lighthouse stately stands as Maine’s tallest and second oldest maritime watchtower; overlooking breathtaking views of the mainland and mid-Atlantic coast. The winters are long and understandably desolate for a young Keeper’s wife, and to alleviate her boredom her husband ordered a piano. The young wife immediately took to the clavichord and proceeded to play the only song for which sheet music had been provided; over and over. And over again. Driven quite insane by the inveterate repertoire, her husband took an ax to the piano one night, before using it on his wife, and then himself. According to legend, the piano was never truly silenced; for a lone melodic stanza tinkles soft on wintry seaboard breeze, and soothes the plight of the Keeper’s soul; ever searching for she who plays.
Note to Self: Not all Superhighways are fast and free. Sometimes you have to wait…and pay! Toll roads? Meanwhile, back on the mainland…
It can be challenging enough to find a headstone by day, but imagine traipsing around the Old Anderson Cemetery in Windham, Maine – at night! Dating back to the 1700’s and accommodating many more than just the Anderson family, this place has raised hackles in broad daylight when visitors returning to their cars find the doors wide open. But its popularity is derived from activities detected after-hours; when you need permission to be there. One of the more obvious, yet benign attractions is a three-foot mound; designating the resting spot of a decorated soldier, in a veritable sea of markers placed on flat ground. Then there is the ‘den’, a cave-like area inhabited by an unfriendly entity with hot, fetid breath; which shows up in pictures as a red orb. If you’re still feeling brave, you can visit the mausoleum and listen to someone (something?) knocking to be let out. If you’re like me, by now you’re high-tailing it out of there as shadows furtively dart between trees, only to find your dome light on in a car that won’t unlock! (Note: Cell Phones do sometimes work out there - thankfully)
If you were to use one of these settings in a story, which one would it be? Have you been or would you visit either place?
Thanks for coming along!