Friday, March 24, 2006

Biddeford Pool Legends

According to Charles Skinner's Myths and Legends of Our Own Land (1896), the waters of Biddeford Pool were a good place to be at the very least once a year:
Biddeford Pool, Maine, was a miracle pond once a year, for whoso bathed there on the 26th of June would be restored to health if he were ill, because that day was the joint festival of Saints Anthelm and Maxentius.
Of course, like many of Skinner's folkloric asides, there is little online to back up this tale, beyond accounts of the saints whose names are attached to the date mentioned. Anthelm and Maxentius are not alone -- there are at least 16 saints, all told, who are remembered on that date.

1 comment:

Chris Perridas said...

This is profoundly similar to the story of the pool of Bethsaida in the gospel of John. There an angel came, disturbed the water, and the challenged individuals crawled toward the water to be healed. Those who had aide succeeded - and of course the least and most discouraged found healing and salvation from a different source.

Lovecraft and Skinner often rifled through the same musty records.