HAUNTED MAINE: The Most Haunted Town In Maine
A haunted gravestone, a gruesome unsolved murder, and a cemetery dating back to a lost native tribe of Red Paint People are just some of the things that haunt this town.
That’s right. We’re talking about Bucksport. Here are 10 reasons it is the most haunted town in Maine.
1. The Johnathan Buck Tomb
You’ll see the stone on the Main road in Bucksport and without even stopping you can see the stain that has appeared on the front. The legend varies as all stories do, but the general story is that the stain is not just a natural occurrence. The stain appears in the shape of a boot. The legend is Colonel Johnathan Buck ordered a witch to be put to death (she may or may not have been his mistress). Right before she was hanged (or burned) she cursed Buck and his family and claimed she would dance on his grave. Soon after Buck’s passing the boot shape appeared on the tomb. The family removed and replaced the stone multiple times but the boot kept coming back. There it remains today!
This tribe of natives existed in Maine before pretty much anyone else and very little is known about them. One thing that is known is that their burial grounds were often along rivers and such is the case in Bucksport. Off what is now McDonald street there is a small modern cemetery near the historic seminary building, that has been found to also be a burial spot for the Red Paint People. There are a few other spots around town that have had traces of Red Paint People. They are called Red Paint People because they buried their dead with red ocre. One of the creepiest things about Bucksport is some of the early homes built in town still have wooden doorways or mantles painted red from the ocre they dug up when building the homes. So not only did early Bucksport settlers disturb the Red Paint People’s burial grounds, they also smeared their houses with them! With so little known about these mysterious people that existed 2000-6000 years ago the history and hints in this area are some of the only things we know about them.
3. Jed Prouty’s (The Robinson House)
What started as a 2-story home in the 1780’s has become a Bucksport landmark. With modern changes along the way as well as changes in functions the building now best known as Jed Prouty’s has a history older than Bucksport has been named Bucksport! Converted to a stage coach stop and Inn in the 1800’s the building was visited at different times by prominent people of the time like Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, Daniel Webster, and Martin Van Buren. As beautiful as the building is, it still has had it’s share of scandal and secrets in the past. Local rumors speak of some sketchy activity during Maine’s dry times. Even with a lot of higher class tavern customers there are rumors of smuggling, ladies of the night, and a customers who had a few drinks too many. Before being updated for the current day senior center, the building sat vacant for a few years. During this time a local group of ghost hunters conducted many investigations and concluded Jed Prouty’s is very haunted.
4. Sarah Ware
One of Bucksport’s most notorious eerie stories. Second to the Buck tomb, when Buckport is mentioned you often hear about the murder that still haunts the town. Again, the stories vary but here is the general plot. Sarah was a divorced woman who vanished from the busiest part of Bucksport one evening in 1898. As a generous mother and a seemingly outgoing woman for the time she was often the topic of gossip in town. So it was so surprise when she went missing rumors flew. About 2 weeks later Sarah’s body was found and a short distance away was her skull. Though a man was tried for her murder no one has ever been convicted. (See who they tried here.) Today you can find her grave in Oak Hill Cemetery within her family’s plot. However, there are disputes as to whether or not her body is there or just her skull, or nothing at all…
5. Wilson Hall (The Abandoned Seminary)
Sitting vacant since the 1970s on a big hill overlooking the Penobscot, this historic landmark looks very creepy! The history of the building isn’t that creepy honestly. It was opening in the 1800’s as a Methodist Seminary. It operated in this capacity until 1933. It was used as St. Joseph’s Catholic seminary for some time after that, but closed it’s doors and was sold in the 1970’s. The most haunting thing about this building has been the repair and restoration efforts from Bucksport locals. After sitting vacant for many years the town has decided to restore and not to tare it down. See what they are doing here and view the inside as it currently looks in the video above.
6. The Mill
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The modern day mill looks a lot different than the Maine Seaboard Paper Company that opened in 1930. But the mill was not the first to occupy this area of the Bucksport waterfront. This was also the site of the first archaeological dig in Maine if not the entire US. What were they digging for? Red Paint People of course! That’s right, the mill is built on a large spanning burial ground for one of the most mysterious groups of people in Maine history. As most locals will tell you, the mill has had its share of bad luck with a history of accidents, fires, bad business, and even some shady after hour activities in the early days. Today the mill is closed and is being torn down piece by piece. What will happen to this historic site in the future is still unclear, but you can read more on the current mill here.
7. Silver Lake
Silver Lake is a man made lake created for industrial purposes at the Bucksport mill. To create the lake land had to be cleared of trees which is why the lake is not very deep and in shallow areas you can still stumble over a stump. Something else that had to be cleared were a few graves. The stones and bodies were to be moved to a hill overlooking the lake. Today you can see the graveyard with many more graves today on the hill off Silver Lake Rd. Here is where things get spooky. Even though the stones were all moved, some speculate not all of the bodies were. Work was hasty and well you could get away with more when the lake was created so it is possible there are still people buried under the lake! The lake is also surrounded by a hiking trail that is very close to the area the body of Sarah Ware was found and there are multiple reports of people seeing her ghost along the lake.
Probably the most gruesome thing to happen in Bucksport in the 1800s was the murder of a family of three. In 1876 Robert Trim lived in Bucksport with his daughter Melissa Thayer and granddaughter Josie. One ordinary October day Melissa ran errands with her daughter, speaking to only a few people they were the last to ever see her alive. That night neighbors awoke to see the Trim barn on fire and after closer inspection found Mr. Trim’s body among the burning timbers. The body of Melissa was also found, and it was clear this fire and their deaths were no accident. One of the last people to speak with Melissa was a Captain Smith who was tried and charged with the murders. The body of Josie was never found but it is assumed she was also in the fire. Today there is no sign of the horror that happened there on the Bucksmills Rd.
9. Penobscot River
Today the river is mainly habitat for wildlife, a subject for artists and a venue for water recreations. In the past this river was a life line for the state and the highway of its time. Ships both friend and foe used this river, loggers and merchants, the list of reasons the Penobscot was important to the people of the past could go on for days. However the river does have a dark history. From the Bucksport waterfront you will see US Fort Knox (not the one with the gold) a civil war era defense structure to protect Bangor from attack. Before the fort there were two battles on the Penobscot inclusing one battle so bad it was the worst US navel loss until Pearl Harbor. The Penobscot expedition took place near Castine with a large loss of life and the Battle of Hampden took place above Bucksport on the river. There have also been numerous deaths on the river as a result of the dangerous lumbering days. There is a lot about the river that is just plain haunting.
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We are not the only ones to think that Bucksport is Maine’s most haunted town. Creators of Gothic Horror Soap Opera ‘Dark Shadows’ thought so too as they set their main setting as Collinsport, Maine. Collinsport is a fictional town but is very close to Bucksport’s real location and a lot of the plots sound very similar to the stories from Bucksport history. Collinsport has big abandoned buildings like a certain seminary mentioned earlier in this article. It also has an Inn very similar to Jed Prouty’s, a harbor, and a quaint hometown family varity store similar to Toziers store on Main. St. Collinsport is also home to witches, werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural beings, like Bucksport.
Do you agree with us? Are these enough reasons to call Bucksport Maine’s most haunted town? Is there a town in Maine you think is more haunted?!