Monday, June 29, 2009

Zombie Kickball 2009 early reports

I've posted a batch of photos from this wacky romp in the mud here on Facebook -- please feel free to tag yourself if any of them happen to be of you! I have a few more to put up, but this should get y'all started.

The event was rain or shine, regardless of rumors to the contrary. In a wonderful surprise, a large crowd of players showed up, and an even larger crowd of spectators arrived shortly after, despite the weather. There was a lot of laughter and fun had by all, and a good pile of food and donations were collected for the Good Shepherd foodbank, so all in all it was a rousing success on all counts. Those interested in donating after the fact can contact the organizers through the MySpace Zombie Kickball page here: myspace.com/zombiekickball

Also, the Portland Press Herald did a full-color piece on the event in this morning's paper, which I can't seem to find on their website, but which has some cool photos. However, I did find the MaineToday.com blog of Caraslifka's ZK4 photos, which are great as well. Huzzah!

Plus, check out this great video on YouTube:

Video by Mark High, soundtrack by Covered in Bees

My favorite parts of the day? Zombie EMT, all the tiny zombies, seeing everyone under their umbrellas grinning through the rain, MUD everywhere!, the gorey Dr. Killjoy and assistant, awesome painted zombie jacket art by Rad Jackets Cheap Money, zombie brain cupcakes by Bobbie, and people hula-hooping in the spectator stands. Hooray for zombies!!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Zombie Kickball IV - a reminder

Rain or shine. Carter Field, Eastern Prom, Portland, Maine. 2:00pm!!!

Muddy zombie fun for all!!!

Dress appropriately. Maybe bring a towel? :)

See you all there!

--------------------------------
COST: Free! Bring a non-perishable food donation for the Good Shepherd Food Bank to the game if you would like to keep humans alive.
FMI: www.myspace.com/zombiekickball
AFTERPARTY: Masses of the walking dead will be contained at the Space Gallery at 4:30pm! Covered in Bees, Lost Cause Desperados, and Ghosthunter will play to throngs of zombies. This is an all-ages after-party. Club opens up around 4, show gets going about 4:30pm. Cover is $5.
RAINDATE: We've been asked several times if there is a scheduled rain date for our event. There is no alternate day for our game. But there is rain predicted for this weekend - with scattered thunderstorms likely on Sunday. Please plan ahead and dress accordingly on game day. Clearly, we will all have to modify our costumes a little bit. And we may even have to modify our game. So let's keep our fingers crossed for a break in the weather!

The Good Shepherd Food Bank will be collecting cash and non-perisables, regardless of the weather, at both the game on the Eastern Prom and the show at Space.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

2009 Paranormal & Psychic Faire!

Well folks, this upcoming annual event is a great way to meet a whole bunch of the strange side of Maine all at once, and have a great time doing it. And guess what? I'll be set up there alongside everyone else, in case any of you want to come chat or pick up back issues of the Strange Maine Gazette -- or a free copy of the new issue which will be debuting at the Faire. If all goes well, we may even have our t-shirts printed by then. See you there!

WHAT: 2009 Paranormal and Psychic Faire at Fort Knox
WHEN: Saturday July 4 & Sunday July 5, 2009
WHERE: 711 Fort Knox Road, Prospect, Maine (scroll down past schedule for directions)
COST: Regular Fort admission price (click here for a price list) plus a $2 event donation is requested
FMI: http://fortknox.maineguide.com/, or call (207)469-6553 or email fofk1@aol.com

2009 Fort Knox Paranormal and Psychic Faire
Tentative Schedule


Saturday, July 4th
10 AM – 4PM Psychics and vendors in the Fort Officer’s Quarters
10 AM – 4PM Lecturers will be available in the Visitor Center

Lecture Schedule
Lectures take place in the amphitheater at Visitor Center

10 AM- Paranormal Investigation Process, Equipment and Techniques
(Bangor Maine Ghost Hunters Association)

11 AM- How to Become a Dowser
(Gordon Barton, former President of American Dowsing Society)

12 Noon- UFOs? What Do You Think?
(Facilitated by local UFO enthusiast Cindy Proulx)

1 PM- Cryptozoology, the Study of Unknown and Undiscovered Animals
(Author and TV personality, Loren Coleman, Portland)

2 PM- Paranormal Investigation Process, Equipment and Techniques
(Bangor Maine Ghost Hunters Association)

3 PM- My Life as a Psychic and Empathic
(Darlene Flood professional psychic)



Sunday, July 5
10 AM – 4PM Psychics and vendors in the Fort Officer’s Quarters
10 AM – 4PM Lecturers will be available in the Visitor Center


Lecture Schedule
Lectures take place in the amphitheater at Visitor Center

10 AM- Paranormal Investigation Process, Equipment and Techniques
(Bangor Maine Ghost Hunters Association)

11 AM- How to Become a Dowser
(Gordon Barton, former President of American Dowsing Society)

12 Noon- UFOs? What Do You Think?
(Facilitated by local UFO enthusiast Cindy Proulx)

1 PM- Paranormal Investigation Process, Equipment and Techniques
(Bangor Maine Ghost Hunters Association)

2 PM- UFOs? What Do You Think?
(Facilitated by local UFO enthusiast Cindy Proulx)

3 PM- My Life as a Psychic and Empathic
(Darlene Flood professional psychic)

[Source]

Fort Knox is a State Historic Site owned and operated by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

To Find Fort Knox: Enter "711 Fort Knox Road, Prospect, Maine 04981" into GPS unit, Mapquest or Google Maps

From Belfast: Proceed north on US Rte 1, through Searsport and Stockton Springs, immediately before crossing the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, take a left onto Rte. 174. Fort Knox will be approximately 1/4 mile up on your right.

From Bar Harbor: Follow US Rte. 1 south across the Penobscot Narrows bridge, immediately adjacent to the town of Bucksport. Once over the bridge take a right onto Rte. 174. Fort Knox will be approximately 1/4 mile up on your right.

From Bangor: On Rte. 1A South....follow Rte 1A South through the towns of Hampden, Winterport, Frankfort and Prospect. In Prospect Center, take a left onto Rte. 174. Follow Rte 174 approximately 4 miles. Fort Knox will be on your left. On Rte 15 South....follow Rte 15 South through the city of Brewer and the towns of Orrington and Bucksport. In Bucksport, take a right onto US Rte.1 South and proceed over the Penobscot Narrows bridge. Immediately upon exiting the bridge take a right onto Rte. 174. Fort Knox will be approximately 1/4 mile up on your right

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ghosthunting in swanky style

Ghosthunters often expect to be subject to the vagaries of the elements and the uncertain structure of the sometimes-abandoned buildings that they haunt. Not so those who attend the upcoming New England Ghosthunting Cruise! Sounds like fun, and the pricetag isn't marked too high, for those who have several hundred to throw at a mini-getaway this fall. (Check out the crazy photo of the 10-story Centrum lobby of the Jewel of the Sea, which the cruise is being held aboard!) Read on...
Great Deals on a Ghost Hunter Cruise ... as You Enjoy Spectacular New England Fall Foliage!
By Darlene Perrone

On Oct 17, 2009, through the combined efforts of Mark Nesbitt and The Ghosts of Gettysburg Tours, Travel Virginia Magazine, Cruise Holidays of Alexandria, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, history and paranormal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to embark on a Historic Ghost Hunter Cruise on the Jewel of the Seas, Oct.17-Oct. 22 while enjoying the spectacular New England Fall Foliage!

Mark Nesbitt, one of the nation’s leading paranormal investigators, internationally acclaimed author, historian, and ghost tour expert, will be serving as the Ghost-Host on this voyage. Saturday, Oct 17, guest will depart on a 5 day cruise up the historic, haunted, New England and Canadian coast. Ports of call include Portland, Maine; Halifax, Canada; and Bar Harbor, Maine. At each Port of Call, the group will have the option of taking pre-arranged onshore ghost tours of the local towns, lighthouses, graveyards, etc.

While onboard, they will be thrilled and chilled during presentations and demonstrations as Mark takes them through some of his many encounters and experiences. The group will also have the chance to learn how ghost hunting equipment is used... and try it themselves. For those interested in the Civil War, this cruise will also offer the opportunity to talk with Mark about his years of research, his books, philosophies... and why he thinks some of those who were there, still walk among us!

Once back in Boston, they can extend the trip with an overnight stay at the beautiful historic Park Plaza Hotel. While in Boston, where they will experience a guided Trolley Tour of the historic haunts of Boston, with its legends of Lizzy Borden and the Boston Strangler.

About the Ship
Jewel of the Seas is one of the newer ships on Royal Caribbean. It boasts the 'ultimate' cruise experience, offering incredible ocean views from the 10 story, glass constructed Centrum, and glass elevators facing the sea. It is more spacious. It also boasts highest percentage of outside cabins in the Royal Caribbean fleet. In addition, the ship offers:
Rock-climbing wall
Portofino Italian Restaurant
Chops Grille
Latté-tudes,SM a specialty coffee house featuring Seattle's Best Coffee®
Seaview Café
Themed bars and lounges
Casino RoyaleSM
The Colony Club, a unique British colonial-style lounge with self-leveling pool tables
Beautiful indoor Solarium
Indoor/outdoor country club with golf simulator
Adventure Ocean® youth facilities
Day Spa and Fitness Center
Sports court with basketball/volleyball court

About Mark Nesbitt
Mark Nesbitt is a former National Park Service Ranger/Historian. He started his own research and writing company in 1977. Nesbitt started the Ghosts of Gettysburg Candlelight Walking Tours® in 1994. In addition to his “Ghosts of Gettysburg” book series, his stories have been seen/heard on The History Channel, A&E, The Travel Channel, Unsolved Mysteries, Coast to Coast AM and numerous local television programs and specials. Mark and the Ghosts of Gettysburg Investigative Team were featured in The Travel Channel’s Mysterious Journeys: The Ghosts of Gettysburg. Mark also owns and operates the Ghosts of Fredericksburg Tours in Fredericksburg, VA.

About the Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Boston Park Plaza Hotel is located 3 Miles from Logan International Airport with all public transportation at its front door.

This beautiful hotel, built in 1927, is a Member of Historic Hotels of America. At one time, it was called a "city within a city". Now, it boasts some of Boston's most famous restaurants and lounges, including Todd English's Bonfire Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant and Smith & Wollensky's Steakhouse located in The Castle at Park Plaza. Guests who enter this grand hotel step into its palatial lobby and can easily appreciate its historic charm and grandeur.

Prices for this particular cruise are incredibly affordable, starting at a mere $514.39pp for an inside stateroom, $664.39 for an ocean view stateroom and only $794.39 for a stateroom with a balcony!

For more information on how to book this cruise, follow this link - http://www.yourcruisesource.com/d/6907313_36448.htm

[Source]
Photos from Destination Travel Magazine

The Phantoms of Lewiston

Over at the Lewiston Sun Journal, intrepid reporter Mark LaFlamme spent some time this past December musing on the whereabouts of the well-known people of the Lewiston streets. Portland has many of its own, definitely room for another article there!
Wither the phantoms?
By Mark LaFlamme
Wednesday, December 17, 2008 05:00 am

Nameless friends, where art thou? For so many years, you were ubiquitous and you fascinated me, but now you have vanished like migratory birds flown off to some unknown land.
[...]
I haven't seen the Flag Man in months, maybe a year. I wonder where he has gone and whether he is properly equipped with the American flag that so comforts him.

I don't see the Twirling Lady so much, either. Since 1994, I watched her floating along the sidewalks, moving with a concept of time that is wholly apart from what the rest of us know. Every 20 feet or so, she would pause and consider the ground beneath her. She would spin in a lazy circle there on the sidewalk, her quiet charm to ward away whatever evil she had spotted.

I know her name is Nancy and I know she likes grilled cheese sandwiches. But I don't know where she goes for long stretches anymore than I know where butterflies go when it rains. She is there one day and gone the next, another phantom with a back story I might never hear.
[...]
Read the full article here: [Source]

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frye Island community

Down East Magazine has a great article on Frye Island this month. Check it out!
Temporary Town
By Virginia Wright

There is no school in the town of Frye Island. There is no church, either. No commerce, no industry. No historical society. Not even a cemetery memorializing founding fathers and prominent families. In many ways, Frye Island is a town that defies the meaning of the word, but legally, even a bit notoriously, it passes the test.

The thousand-acre island in Sebago Lake made national news eleven years ago when it seceded from the town of Standish, earning it bragging rights as Maine’s most unusual town. Frye is the state’s only freshwater island community and the only town that completely shuts down for half the year. Come the first Monday in November, the ferries stop running, the water system is drained, the public buildings are shuttered, and Frye becomes a ghost town. It remains that way until late April, when the first of the 1,400 residents (2,600 on high season weekends) begin trickling across the Gut, the deep, five hundred yard-wide channel that separates Frye from Raymond Neck.

Read the full article here: [Source]
I recommend reading the full article, especially for the comments that residents of the island have added to the story. Great stuff!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beer run on lawnmower backfires

Well, never let it be said that Mainers aren't creative problem solvers. Bangor Daily News reports:
Lawnmower beer run leads to OUI charge
By The Associated Press

VASSALBORO, Maine — A Maine man stands accused of getting behind the wheel after drinking. But he wasn’t operating a car or truck — he was on a lawn mower.

Police say 51-year-old Danforth Ross of Vassalboro was charged May 29 with operating under the influence after he and a friend made a beer run on a riding lawn mower. The arrest came after the two emerged from a variety store with two cases of beer.

Ross’ driver’s license had been revoked, so he and a passenger opted for the lawn mower.

Trooper Joe Chretien made the arrest after getting flagged down by several motorists warning of a wayward mower. Danforth couldn’t be reached for comment.

[Source]

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Maine tattoos on the map

Julia is one of our longtime readers, and was kind enough to share photos of her two Maine-related tattoos with us! "I do in fact have plans for more," she adds. We hope she keeps us updated. Here they are:

Julia's map of the Portland peninsula (for comparison, see the historic map to the right):
...and her state map, which is handy for drawing out roadtrip plans (demonstrated in the righthand photo). Nifty!!!
Thanks Julia! Anyone else out there with Maine tattoos is welcome to chime in.

EVENT: Rory Raven, mindreader!

WHAT: Rory Raven, mentalist extraordinaire, performs!
WHEN: Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 8:00pm
WHERE: St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress Street, Portland, Maine
COST: $12
FMI:call (207)775-5568 or email liz[at]stlawrencearts.org

Check out Mr. Raven's delightful website at http://www.roryraven.com/! Do not be deceived by imposters!

To quote the St. Lawrence website:
Greetings! Welcome to the Theater of the Mind. I am Rory Raven, Your Host. I am a mentalist with over a dozen years' experience reading minds and astonishing audiences. Neither a psychic nor a magician, I offer a new and compelling kind of entertainment unlike anything you've ever seen. With a few simple props (paper and pencil, a pack of playing cards, some paperback books, and the thoughts of some volunteers) I involve the audience in a highly unusual -- and unusually entertaining! -- experience. Thoughts are revealed, predictions come true, and perhaps even the spirits are summoned ....
St. Lawrence Theater Manager's note: When Rory Raven was here last, the audience was so stunned by his abilities that we were all speechless! We have spent the last few months trying to figure out exactly what happened that night. Not for the faint of heart!

Zombie Kickball is on!

WHAT: Zombie Kickball IV!!!
WHEN: June 28th, 2009, 2:00pm
WHERE: Carter Field, Eastern Promenade, Portland, Maine
COST: Free! Bring a non-perishable food donation for the Good Shepherd Food Bank to the game if you would like to keep humans alive.
FMI: www.myspace.com/zombiekickball
AFTERPARTY: Masses of the walking dead will be contained at the Space Gallery at 4:30pm! Covered in Bees, Lost Cause Desperados, and Ghosthunter will play to throngs of zombies. This is an all-ages after-party. Club opens up around 4, show gets going about 4:30pm. Cover is $5.
RAINDATE: We've been asked several times if there is a scheduled rain date for our event. There is no alternate day for our game. But there is rain predicted for this weekend - with scattered thunderstorms likely on Sunday. Please plan ahead and dress accordingly on game day. Clearly, we will all have to modify our costumes a little bit. And we may even have to modify our game. So let's keep our fingers crossed for a break in the weather!

The Good Shepherd Food Bank will be collecting cash and non-perisables, regardless of the weather, at both the game on the Eastern Prom and the show at Space.

You can watch video of past Zombie Kickball events on YouTube! Here is the historic first ZK Video, followed underneath by the 2008 game last year, as reported on by our own favorite Monkey, and then again by the Lewiston Sun Journal.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Haunted Maine basement

Back in April, one of our readers emailed me the story of a haunting that he was familiar with, and offered to share it with our readers. Here it is, in Mike's own words. After originally sending me the ghost story, he wrote back with an update from S----- which you will find at the end of the story, including her corrections to Mike's written account. It's an interesting account, whether you find yourself agreeing with Mike's speculations or not. Please read on!
GHOST STORY

The names and places in this story have been de-identified to prevent any unwanted attention or grief to the persons involved in the incident or their family members.

S-----’s mother runs a daycare center in her basement in L-----, Maine. On May 4, 2005, a car accident occurred approximately 100 yards from her house. A local boy, J----- L-----, 19 years old, was killed at the scene.

In September 2007, while S-----’s mother was sorting through some Halloween coloring activities in her basement, a door separating the play area she was in from a newly made over reading area slammed shut. There was no reason for the door to have shut with such force. It had just been installed recently and there was no draft of air in the room. Out of curiosity, she went over to the door, opened it and tried to see what it would take to close the door so violently. After some experimentation, she was convinced that the door could not have accidentally swing shut.

One evening when S-----’s mother went into the basement to retrieve an item, she heard a noise. It was the sound of a toy piano’s keys being struck. She looked in the next room but there were no signs of a cat or other small animal in the room.

One morning while the daycare was open, the children who had been playing outside ran up to her, telling her that there was “a man in the playhouse”. The daycare has an enclosed yard so she was concerned that maybe a transient had spent the night in the small playhouse there. When she went to check there was no one there. The children insisted that a man had been huddled in the playhouse. They had even dared each other to go up and touch him, “to see if he was real…” When one child did touch him, “he got really mad…” and that is when the children ran inside.

S-----’s mother is a devout Catholic but does not particularly believe in supernatural entities like ghosts. Still, she was starting to feel a bit anxious especially since this recent “strangeness” was beginning to affect the kids in her daycare. Still, she put it out of her mind.

On another evening she went down to the basement to take pictures of the newly refurbished learning center. She was carrying her camera at about waist level, loosely in her hand, when the flash went off twice. Some days later when she downloaded the pictures, she saw two photos that she had not taken, intentionally or otherwise.

The first shot showed the suspended ceiling in the basement with her own face lit from beneath by the flash. She is the only person seen in that shot. The following shot shows the ceiling, S-----’s mother and a second person facing her from approximately 3 feet away. This person had not been there before the flash went off and was not there after the flash went off.

This person had not been there at all.

Looking at the photo, there are several things worth noting. First, the second person does not seem to resemble J----- L-----, the young man who died nearby in 2005. Secondly, the second person’s eyes look peculiarly flat or “dead”. Third, the shadow cast by the young man’s head and hair are projected forward. This would not be the way the shadow would normally be projected unless the lighting source were directly under the person’s chin. It appears as if the light illuminating the person is either coming from his chest area or is not playing by the usual laws of physics.

I would normally think this was a Halloween prank but S----- is adamant that the above story is true. If so, this would be the clearest portrait of a ghost that I have ever seen and since I first heard the story and seen the picture, I have looked. The question is: Whose ghost is it?
Here is S-----'s update, with corrections to Mike's text:
My Mom was specifically looking at GHOST-related Halloween books, preparing for her pre-school activities. Her granddaughter was there with her and witnessed the door slamming. She spent a half hour checking different positions of the door to see if she could get it to move on its own.

The playhouse incident was actually in the house. Everything happens in the basement. A little girl said she actually pinched him to see if he was real, and then he got “really mad”. To my mother’s horror, the kids started running around the room screaming “it’s a ghost!!” She was hoping that they wouldn’t mention it to their parents.

The toy that is in the basement plays the Star Spangled Banner by itself. My mother heard it once and my sister heard it a few times. They can’t figure out why it does it.

My sister and her boyfriend were spending the night. She stayed upstairs in her old room and he stayed on a couch in the daycare (in the basement). He heard footsteps coming down the stairs in the middle of the night and then they stopped outside the door. He thought it was her sneaking down to see him, but she never came in the room, and he never heard her walk back up the stairs. The next day he asked her why she didn’t come in, as he was awake. She told him that she didn’t know what he was talking about because she never tried to go down to see him.

The dog was found hunched behind the water heater (in the basement of course), shaking and staring at a spot above and beside my mother, eyes fixated on something.

A different dog she has now often runs to the top of the stairs at night (there isn’t a door to the basement, it is a split foyer house so the stairs are open to the basement), and will start barking and growling down there the way the dog does when a car drives in the yard. The dog won’t go down the stairs though like he would during the day.

The camera went off by itself another time a few days earlier before the pic was taken. So it went off twice by itself, the second time a clear pic came out which is the one shown. I think it is interesting that my mother doesn’t have a shadow. I mean this guy is right in front of her in the picture! So weird! She would have remembered meeting a guy like this in her basement 4 days before getting the film developed! Creepy! He looks weird.

My Mom doesn’t think the spirit is evil, just a lost soul. However, she won’t go into the basement at night. She isn’t petrified, but she does sprinkle holy water occasionally just in case. She is curious however, about who this spirit is, and would be interested in a medium of some sorts going to the house if someone was interested enough to do so. (She isn’t interested enough to pay money for it though). Being religious, she thinks the person is in some kind of purgatory and needs to be released to heaven.

So nothing new to report lately. Just the dog going mental now and again at the entrance to the basement.

EVENT: Maine Historical open house

This free event may be of interest to any of our readers that have been curious about the ongoing improvements at the Maine Historical Society here in Portland! There's also a nice article about the renovations in the Portland Press Herald.

WHAT: Grand Opening Celebration at Maine Historical Society -- Library Dedication, Campus Tours and Open House
WHEN: Saturday, June 27, 2009
WHERE: 489 Congress Street, Portland, Maine
COST: Free and open to the public.
FMI: call (207)774-1822 or visit www.mainehistory.org

This celebration marks the dedication of the MHS library as the Alida Carroll and John Marshall Brown Library. The Browns were prominent figures in 19th-century Maine and this dedication honors their devotion to Maine and its history. All events are free.

12:00 noon – 1:30 pm: Dedication of the Alida Carroll and John Marshall Brown Library

Under the tent adjacent to the Brown Library, 489 Congress St., Portland

Key note speaker Barry Mills, President, Bowdoin College, with Alan S. Taylor, Historian, University of CA; Karen Baldacci, First Lady of Maine; and Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., State Historian. Music and refreshments.

10:00 am – 4:30 pm: Campus Tours and Open House throughout the day

Brown Library – Tour the library following its 2-year, $9.5 million renovation and expansion. While preserving the 1907 character of the building, the library has been transformed into a state-of-the-art research facility, housing the state’s largest and most comprehensive collections of materials related to Maine history.

Longfellow House – Visit the home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Decorated with original furnishings and family memorabilia, the house offers a glimpse into the life of the poet, his family, and the cultural and social history of 19th-century Portland.

Longfellow Garden – Stroll through the Longfellow Garden. Closed for two years to accommodate the library’s renovation, the character and historic significance of the garden has been preserved and it has reopened to the public.

MHS Museum – View the new museum exhibition. "Re/Collected: Great Works and New Discoveries from the Brown Library" illuminates the depth and richness of the library’s collections, heralding MHS’s commitment to the history and heritage of Maine and its people.

The Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation and the BHA Foundation have generously provided funding for the museum exhibition.

The Maine Historical Society preserves the heritage and history of Maine: the stories of Maine people, the traditions of Maine communities, and the record of Maine’s place in a changing world.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Maine ax murder histories

Maine's own prolific writer of historical accounts of mysteries, Emeric Spooner, has just made an appearance in the Lewiston Sun Journal. In the article, he talks about his latest book, Return to Smuttynose Island, and Other Maine Axe Murders.

Unfortunately, the article went to press with some inaccuracies. Spooner pointed out that in fact the Hallowell axe murders of the Purington family cost the lives of Mrs. Purington and 7 of her 8 children, not 6 as reported in the story. (NOTE: We have previously reported on this event. If you are interested in learning about these historic Maine murders, please click here to read more.)

In addition, the article mentions that Spooner put "six months of research" into the book, when in fact the research spanned at least two years, involving the equivalent of six months of full-time labor.

Read on!
Weird, Wicked Weird: Murders most foul
By Lindsay Tice , Staff Writer
Saturday, June 6, 2009 05:00 am

They're grisly murders, chilling in their details and gruesome for the weapon of choice: an ax.

And not the rarity in Maine you might think.

"It was unbelievable how many," said Emeric Spooner, a Bucksport librarian and amateur investigator with a penchant for historical crimes. "They didn't even bother solving them. They just, like, found a guy dead in the barn, his head split open, and that was it. Mostly around Augusta and Gardiner and that area. All in the 1800s."

There were hundreds, by Spooner's count.

"I guess because axes were handy, and they didn't want to waste a bullet, they just started swinging," he said. "It was shocking. It was everywhere."

Spooner began looking into Maine's 19th-century ax murders last year, when he finished investigating the 1898 unsolved murder of 52-year-old Bucksport divorcée Sarah Ware. He wrote about Ware's murder on his Web site, Maine Supernatural, and in a self-published book, "In Search of Sarah Ware."

Soon after finishing with Ware's murder - he came to believe a local businessman who had been acquitted of the crime was involved - Spooner began looking into other centuries-old unsolved crimes. He began with the 1806 ax murders of a Hallowell mother and six of her children by her husband, James Purington.

Spooner had stumbled upon the crime while he was researching Ware. He spent a month researching, digging through old newspaper articles and a coroner's inquest. He turned up some intriguing details - two murder weapons, a bloody handprint over the fireplace, a 17-year-old son who was slightly injured but not killed - but those details weren't enough to fill the new book he'd been envisioning.

So Spooner began looking at other Maine ax murders. Eventually, Purington and two others would be featured in Spooner's book.

On a cold winter night in 1873, on tiny Smuttynose Island on the Maine-New Hampshire border, two sisters were murdered by someone wielding an ax. A third sister barely escaped, fleeing into the nearby woods until help arrived. The motive: robbery.
[...]
Later in 1873, another Maine man, John Gordon, was accused of murdering his brother, his brother's wife and their infant daughter with an ax while they slept in their Thorndike home. He was also accused of taking an ax to his brother's young son, who survived, and attempting to burn down the house to cover his crime. The motive: inheritance of the family farm and retaliation for a series of disparaging letters that his brother's wife sent to his fiancée.
[...]
Although the three gruesome ax murders happened 67 years apart, one thing tied them all together: questions about the killer's identity.

Was the 17-year-old survivor of the 1806 Hallowell murders involved in the attacks on his family? Was it the third Smuttynose Island sister - and not Wagner - who wielded the ax that winter night in 1873? Did someone other than Gordon kill the young family while they slept in Thorndike?
[...]
But he also believes that it's possible the Hallowell father wasn't the only one attacking his family in 1806. Two weapons, an ax and a straight razor, were used that night, Spooner said. To him, that points to two killers.

And the 17-year-old who survived had only minor injuries.

"There are questions," Spooner said. "If I was there, I would have brought them up."

He brings them up now. Then lets readers decide.

Spooner's self-published book, "A Return to Smuttynose Island and Other Maine Axe Murders," is being sold on Amazon.com. He dedicates the book to the 13 victims and their families.

Done with the ax-murder research, Spooner, 39, considered looking into New England strangulation cases. It's an urge he's fighting.

"I don't want to be known as the murder guy," he said.

On the other hand, some cases are too fascinating to walk away from.

"I'm still compiling everything I can," he said.

Read the full article here: [Source]
Copies of the book can be purchased through Amazon.com. You can peruse the Maine Supernatural website, with additional material related to the book, at http://home.myfairpoint.net/espooner.

Below you will find one of the accompanying videos, with interview footage, and more!

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Word of Explanation = Ow!

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as regularly of late, though Abraham has been filling the gap quite nicely with his mystery photos. (Thanks Abraham!!!)

This is because in mid-May, I quite cleverly broke my wrist. This has further delayed the already-late spring issue of the Strange Maine Gazette (which languishes, half-finished, on my computer), and prevented me from typing anything of length.

So... I just thought I'd let you all know. I have four more weeks to go with my splint on. Bleah!!! But it feels a lot better now. Which is good! Because apparently pain makes me grumpy. *grin*

Have a great summer everyone! I'll be picking things back up again as quickly as I can.

See that little hairline fracture that runs across the top right bump of the ulna? Yep. That's the culprit!