Friday, October 29, 2010

EVENT: Waterboro paranormal site tours

Some of you may remember a couple of years ago when one of the cases taken on by the Paranormal State television show was a Maine property, in Waterboro. Well, this Halloween in a rare event, they are opening up the house to the ghost-seeking public as a fund-raiser for the local Animal Welfare Society.

WHAT: "Pet Cemetery" house guided tours
WHEN: Friday 10/29 through Sunday 10/31, 5:00-9:00pm
WHERE: 1226 West Road, East Waterboro, ME
COST: $5 donation
FMI: (207)985-3244

Visitors are welcome to bring their own audio and video equipment to document their visit to the site.

If you are unable to visit but do want to make a donation to the Animal Welfare Society anyways, please consider visiting their website which provides information on how to do so at: http://www.animalwelfaresociety.org/spt_donate.php

Our original post about the house, from the time of the episode's first airing, is here: http://strangemaine.blogspot.com/2008/01/pet-cemetery-haunting-on.html

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

EVENT: Shoestring Theater Halloween parade!

How many times have you heard about this parade after the fact, and said, "Darn it, why didn't someone remind me to go?!!" Well, no excuses this year, 'cause I'm reminding you right now.

WHAT: Shoestring Theater's annual Halloween parade
WHEN: Sunday, October 31st @ 6:00 - Participant lineup starts @ 5:30
WHERE: meet at 155 Brackett Street, Portland ME

This annual parade is Portland's howling, dancing, and drumming reminder of what Halloween is. Everyone is invited, all ages are welcome. If you'd like to participate in the parade, either in your own costume, with your own instruments, or by using some of the Shoestring puppets and instruments that are available, please arrive at 5:30 so they can get everyone settled in time for departure at 6:00.

The parade leaves the Shoestring Theater's home at 155 Brackett Street, across from Reiche School, and winds its way through the shadows of the West End, bringing a little bit of Halloween brouhaha to everyone in its path. Come and have fun!

A video of part of 2007's parade:

Shilling Shockers in Maine

Another Halloween treat I look forward to every year is Penny Dreadful's Shilling Shockers Halloween special! This year she has a great list of public access channels in Maine that will be showing her annual show.

I've linked to the stations' schedule pages to make it easy for you. In addition, most (including Portland's CTN-5) have online streaming episodes of the show available for anyone to watch from their home computers if you can't watch when/where their airing officially. Have fun!!!

Belfast: BCTV Channel 2 http://belfastcommunitytv.blogspot.com/

Gorham: GOCAT Channel 2 http://psg.gocat.org:50000/external_schedule/simple_day_schedule?id=3D%3C=channel%20#

Hollis, Buxton, Limerick, Limington, Standish, Waterboro:
SRC-TV channel 2 http://www.src-tv.org/schedule.html

Norway, Paris, Waterford:
NPC-TV Channel 11 http://npctv2.org/testimonials.html

Portland: CTN Channel 5
Check schedule or watch streaming Shilling Shockers episodes online here! http://ctn5.org/schedule/ctn-5

South Portland: SPC-TV Channel 2

Washington County (Eastport, Machias, Lubec and numerous smaller towns):
Washington County TV Channel 2 (sorry, no online schedule link that I could find)

EVENT: Radio Horror on Halloween!

Longtime readers of the blog may remember in past years mention has been made of the excellent Halloween radio drama specials done by the local group at FinalRune Productions, featured at Radio Drama Revival's website. This year brings fresh fodder from their imaginations!!!

They've been running special spooky stuff all month, but on Halloween night the new masterpiece of modern sci-fi suspense known as The Cleansed is going to air for the first time. To see some great action photos of all the crazy location segments they recorded over the last little while in prep for the show, check out their website: http://www.finalrune.com/this-halloween-tune-into-the-cleansed/

It's going out at 7pm EST at WKIT in Bangor and then again 9pm on WMPG here in Portland. The story is one that has run through the minds of Americans a lot in the last few years...
Some time in the not so distant future, the world as we know it is starting to unravel. The United States is mired in unwinnable wars, gas is scarce and the transportation system grinds to a halt. Homegrown terrorists take out the electric grid. Food is strictly rationed and distributed by the military. As citizens grow increasingly angry with the government, martial law is called in to maintain peace.

And then things really start to get bad.

You can listen to the promo here: http://finalrune.com/mp3/cleansed-halloween-promo.mp3

And a 5 minute sample here: http://finalrune.com/mp3/cleansed-sample.mp3

This Halloween! Tune into THE CLEANSED

FinalRune's newest piece of work, the pilot episode of our new sci-fi serial The Cleansed, will be debuting on Sunday, October 31st - that's Halloween, my friends!

How to Hear:

* 7:00PM EST on WKIT 100.3 "The Rock" of Bangor - Stephen King's radio station! Hit "Listen Now" on http://zoneradio.com/wkit/index.shtml
* 7:00PM EST on Transcontinental Terror, the international audio festival featuring 6 hours of original horror programming for Halloween. Streams online: http://transcontinentalterror.com/
* 9:00PM EST on WMPG, Greater Portland Maine's Community Radio: http://wmpg.org/ Links to "Listen to WMPG" on the right
* Miss these dates? Stay tuned for a live stream to be embedded on the Radio Drama Revival site.

There will NOT be a free podcast version of this show due to licensing restrictions of music used in it. So be sure to tune in when you can!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Portland's latest mural

Portland, which has a fair number of excellent murals past and present, is soon to be home to a new piece of art, executed on the side of Joe's Smoke Shop by Ryan Adams and Jeff Griecci. Griecci is friends with one of the employees of Joe's, and became aware of the trouble that has been caused by the constant need to remove graffiti from the sides of the building at 665 Congress Street. They prepped the wall at the end of the week, and this sunny Saturday morning they started to layout the draft for the mural's design.
Here the two painters consult a historic photo of the property, which sits next to the large Trelawny building, built in 1909. At the time of its construction, and as late as the photo shown (see detail below), the Trelawny Building housed the Portland Club's offices. We'll keep you updated on their progress!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween 2010 events - Round III!

Here are a few last additions to the roster for this year! And, in case you missed them, here are Round I and II as well:
Round I: http://strangemaine.blogspot.com/2010/10/halloween-2010-events-round-1.html
Round II:
http://strangemaine.blogspot.com/2010/10/halloween-2010-events-round-ii.html
-----------------------

October Moon Red Cloak Haunted History Event with The Maine Ghost Hunters Society
Saturday, October 23, 9:00 p.m.

The Maine Ghost Hunters Society joins The Lady in the Red Cloak at the Winter Street Center in Bath for a 4 hour paranormal investigation. You can join in, too, and learn all about the equipment, possibly have a chance to use some, and be involved with the investigative team as they demonstrate "ghost hunting." We'll explore every possible nook and cranny of this haunted site!

This full moon special event is by reservation only, $35.00 Please call FMI, 207-380-3806, www.redcloakhauntedhistorytours.com.

----------------------

WHAT: Dark and Stormy Night, the premiere Maine showing!
WHEN: Monday, October 25, 2010, 9:00pm showtime
WHERE: Geno's, 625 Congress Street, Portland
COST: $6 admission
FMI: (207)329-5385

Larry Blamire's epic old dark house meets locked room mystery spoof, "Dark and Stormy Night" will be premiering at Geno's with a guest appearance and Q&A with star, Robert Deveau. Did you love "Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" and "The Lost Skeleton Returns Again"? This is by the same folks! Did you love the movie "Clue"? Alright, we're on the same page -- make sure to put this on your calendar!!! Besides, Robert Deveau is so charming how could you possibly miss a chance to meet him again?


----------------------

Mayo Street Arts Haunted House and Costume Ball
Saturday, October 31st, 2010
Haunted House 6:00-8:00pm...Live Music and Dancing 'til 10:00pm!

A haunted church on Mayo Street - two floors of hauntings and dancing, with tricks, treats, and performances! Live music features those spooky fellows, Hobgoblin, plus Blue Lobster Troupe and Violent Femmes Cover Band. (Super awesome poster too!!) $5 kids, $10 adults
FMI: http://mayostreetarts.org/

Ghostport 2010 - TOMORROW!

On Saturday, October 23rd, the Town of Bucksport embraces the Halloween season with a day-long festival full of variety and fun -- Ghostport 2010! Visit http://www.bucksportchamber.org/ghostport.html for more info, a schedule, and contest information.
Activities include:
-- Kids costume parade
-- Brunch with witches
-- Chili Cook Off contest
-- Trebuchet pumpkin chucking into the Penobscot River
-- Jonathan Buck’s coffin race to the grave
-- Pumpkin carving contest
-- Evening Monster Mash Acoustic Bash concert
-- Friends of Fort Knox Fright at the Fort fireworks
-- Screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Alamo Theater
(see schedule below)

Across the river starting at 5:30 PM, Ghostport’s sister event, Fright at the Fort, opens for its second of four nights of scary fun (http://fortknox.maineguide.com/fright/).

This year's Ghostport Festival promises to be bigger then last year. The Event is Saturday the 23rd, with a full moon. Rain date Oct. 30th.

Several contests are featured during Ghostport, and perhaps the most unusual of the contests is the Jonathan Buck’s Race to the Grave coffin race. The coffin race is comprised of teams of four people, plus a coffin rider called a Jonathan, who speed the wheeled coffins down a designated racecourse. The race format is similar to a drag race. For race rules please view the PDF at http://www.bucksportchamber.org/ghostport/Race%20to%20the%20Grave.pdf

Another activity that is sure to cause some excitement is the Seaboard Credit Union’s Trebuchet (similar to a catapult) that will be erected on the Bucksport waterfront.

GHOSTPORT SCHEDULE
October, 23 2010 Schedule
Rain date October, 30 2010

10:00am – 4:00pm Wahl’s Dairy Port offers fall flavors

10:00am – 4:00pm “BOO”k Sale and Raffle
Help raise funds for Buck’s Memorial Library - Celebrating 123 Spooktacular years!

10:00am Little Goblins Parade - We meet at Town Office and march down Main St.

10:15am - 11:30am PTO Brunch with the witches at the Gazebo on the waterfront

11:30am Bittersweet Gift’s Chili cook off, check in - Located at the Gazebo on the waterfront

12:00pm - 1:00pm Chili cook off judging and eating - Located at the Gazebo on the waterfront

11:30am - 4:00pm Seaboard Federal Credit Union Trebuchet launches pumpkins into the Penobscot! At Flag Point on the waterfront

12:00pm - 1:00pm Jonathan Bucks Race to the Grave, check in - In Bangor Savings parking lot on Main St

1:00pm - 1:45pm Tech Inspection and pre judging

2:00pm Jonathan Buck's Race to the Grave Coffin Races Begin! Located in parking lot behind Chamber offices

4:00pm – 5:00pm Bookstacks host Spooky Story hour

5:00pm – 5:30pm Carved Pumpkin Contest, sponsored by Wahl’s Dairy Port. Check in located behind Rosen’s on the waterfront

7:00pm – 9:00pm Monster Mash Acoustic Bash, brought to you by United Cerebral Palsy of North Eastern Maine. Performance held at the Gazebo on the waterfront

9:15pm – 9:45pm Friends of Fort Knox Fireworks Display, launched from Verona Island

10:00pm The Alamo presents The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Come in your best costume! You may be nabbed by a Ghostport Ghoul and win a cash prize!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Gauntlet haunt ride review

Hello all -- I'd been wondering about The Gauntlet, a new haunt attraction that set up in Mechanic Falls for this Halloween season. Mark LaFlamme did a great write-up on it for the Lewiston Sun Journal if you have been curious too:

http://www.sunjournal.com/bplus/story/921801

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Zombie Kickball 2010 Report

On World Zombie Day, October 10, hordes of the living dead staggered to the Eastern Prom for the 5th Annual Zombie Kickball game. While the zombie turn out was smaller than last year, there was still plenty of action for the large group of spectators that turned out to see the dead stumble, growl, and try to kick the ball.

Photos by Chris Wallace, video by Monkey

A zombie is thrown into a state of confusion when he sees Monkey.
Zombies attempt to climb the fence so they can gorge on the living.
The sight of Monkey makes a child zombie go crazy.
This young zombie spotted Monkey and decided to eat Monkey's brain. Good thing Monkey had his biohazard helmet on.
Zombie Michael Jackson treated the crowd to moon walking and a brief version of the Thriller dance.
Mother and daughter zombie make it safely to third base due to confusion on the playing field.
The littlest zombie works it for the crowd.
This is the zombie idea of a picnic - a comfy blanket to sit on and a bag full of human limbs.
Scout Master zombie has a marshmallow on a stick in his brain.
Zombie competition causes chaos on the field and zombies chase each other.
It's never good when a zombie has green gunk spewing from her mouth.
Zombie Jesus gets in on the action.
Monkey receives a banana from a thoughtful zombie.
See how Monkey survived the Zombie Kickball game.


Once again, another fun day of Zombie Kickball in Portland. Can't wait for next years game!

EVENT: Cryptozoology Museum spooktacle!

WHAT: Free Halloween open house at the International Cryptozoology Museum!
WHEN: 12:00 noon to 5:00 PM, Sunday, October 31, 2010
WHERE: 661 Congress Street, Portland, Maine (enter through the Green Hand Bookshop)
FMI: (207)518-9496 or http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-news/icm-oct31/

On the occasion of his 1st Year Anniversary, Loren Coleman has announced that the International Cryptozoology Museum will be opening free to the public for one day only.

Since it is Halloween, there will be treats for trick or treaters of all ages!  Come in costume if you can!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Damnationland! Maine horror fest

Damnationland: The Way Life Should Bleed!

As Allen Baldwin says, "We made a bunch of really good short horror films, one of which i co-wrote and directed. You should come out and see them, because this ain't no amateur hour. This stuff is good, nasty, campy, disturbing horror films."

WHAT: DAMNATIONLAND: Seven Original Maine-made Horror Films
WHEN/WHERE: See below for schedule. Screening Halloween week in theaters throughout Maine!
FMI: http://www.damnationland.com/
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=111246632268199


Screening Schedule

Thursday, October 28th
Nickelodeon Cinemas, 1 Temple Street, Portland, Maine
Showtimes: 7:00pm & 9:00pm
Cost: $8/ticket
http://www.patriotcinemas.com/nickelodeon.html

Friday, October 29th
Movies at the Museum, 7 Congress Square, Portland, Maine
Showtime: 7:00pm
Cost: $7/ticket
http://www.portlandmuseum.org/events/movies.php

Saturday, October 30th
Colonial Theatre, 163 High Street, Belfast, Maine
Showtime: 9:00pm
Cost: TBA
http://www.templemovies.com/

Saturday, October 30th
Railroad Square Cinema, 17 Railroad Square, Waterville, Maine
Showtime: 9:15pm
Cost: TBA
http://www.railroadsquarecinema.com/

Check their website for additional screening dates:
http://www.damnationland.com/

Damnationland filmmakers included:

StrongPaw Productions
Mint Films
Gitgo Productions
Camlin & Sons
Dog and Pony
Page Street Studios
Laughing Man Films

Friday, October 15, 2010

Portland Halloween event treats!


WHAT: House on Haunted Hill screening
WHEN: 9:00pm showtime, Monday, October 18, 2010
WHERE: Geno's, 625 Congress Street, Portland
COST: $3 suggested donation
FMI: (207)329-5385

MONDAY NIGHT! Come see the famous William Castle film, "House on Haunted Hill" (the original starring Vincent Price, NOT the crummy remake), presented by Fun Box at the Movies! With Skeletorama action!!!

...and if that wasn't enough...the following Monday there's another exciting Fun Box at the Movies event!

WHAT: Dark and Stormy Night, the premiere Maine showing!
WHEN: 9:00pm showtime, Monday, October 25, 2010
WHERE: Geno's, 625 Congress Street, Portland
COST: $6 admission
FMI: (207)329-5385

Larry Blamire's epic old dark house meets locked room mystery spoof, "Dark and Stormy Night" will be premiering at Geno's with a guest appearance and Q&A with star, Robert Deveau. Did you love "Lost Skeleton of Cadavra" and "The Lost Skeleton Returns Again"? This is by the same folks! Did you love the movie "Clue"? Alright, we're on the same page -- make sure to put this on your calendar!!! Besides, Robert Deveau is so charming how could you possibly miss a chance to meet him again?


------------------

WHAT: Wicked Walking Tours
WHEN: through October, Wednesday to Saturday @ 8:00pm, Sundays @ 7:00pm
WHERE: Tours meet in the small park next to Flatbread Pizza and Ri Ra at 72 Commercial Street, Portland.
COST: $15 ($13 for seniors & children under 12)
FMI: http://www.wickedwalkingtours.com/ or call (207)730-0490

Another thing we missed in our Round I and Round II event listings was the wicked fun Wicked Walking Tours here in Portland, run by the one and only Gordon Tweedie. Reservations are required, but Gordon puts on a great tour. If you're a fan of ghosts and local history, then this is the event for you.

You can read our review of the tour below, as published in the Bollard back in 2007, when they first started:
A Wicked Treat for October Wanderers
By Michelle Souliere

The fog came curling in off Portland Harbor as I waited by the ferry terminal to meet the guide for Portland’s new Wicked Walking Tours. It was the perfect night for a tour of old Portland’s haunted waterfront streets. Ships moved in and out of the pier slips with their lights glowing softly as I sat on a wooden bench. Across the water came the mournful sound of fog horns.

Raising high a lantern, Gordon Tweedie introduced himself. His resume is impressive. Tweedie is an accomplished baritone, and has toured extensively in both Europe and the U.S. He currently teaches at the Portland Conservatory of Music. He created Wicked Walking Tours with a tiny start-up budget, spent entirely on printing full-color flyers and posters, which he has sown around Portland at hotels and other public spots. Like a spell cast wide, his colorful lures draw people in a few at a time. Like me, they are enticed by a unique chance to hear about a side of Portland’s history few among the living know about.

Tweedie's tale-telling is woven from a variety of sources. In addition to poking around at the Maine Historical Society, he has painstakingly collected scores of ghost stories from people who live and work downtown. The stories are many and varied, from office workers who have seen the Jolly Roger sailing past their third floor conference room windows, to spectral traces of escapees from one of Portland’s great fires, doomed to repeat their hurried exits over and over again.

Other tales are woven from documented historic events, or are retellings of lore about past Portland personalities. The flyer advertises such eerie delicacies as a disembodied diva, a ghostly pirate ship, a cursed society lady, and a minister who escaped Indian attacks only to be subsequently burned as a witch. (While no witches were actually burned down in Salem, it is true that in the late 1600s, during the witchcraft craze, onetime Portland resident and minister George Burroughs was hanged as one of the accused after being roughly hauled away from his Wells dinner table. These are the kind of facts you don’t find on plaques commemorating local history.)

The tour is well worth the hour-and-a-quarter spent in Tweedie’s company. He is an inventive entertainer who can pick up and drop an accent with ease, and he tells his tales with obvious enthusiasm. The walking tour provided good opportunities to check out the backsides of buildings one seldom sees in the course of everyday travels. It wends its way around the Old Port, focusing on the wharves, Commercial Street, Fore Street, Exchange Street, and their connecting lanes, stopping here and there for a little storytelling along the way.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween 2010 Events -- Round II!

Here are some more Halloween events that have emerged since we posted Round I last week. As in the first listing, earlier events are at the top, and events closer to Halloween are nearer the bottom of the list. Have fun!

----------------

Ghost Hunting Talk with Maine Paranormal Society
October 16 @ 3:00pm

Feel like you're not alone in the fiction stacks? Come and find out what the Maine Paranormal Society has to say about ghostly activity in the Dyer Library! Members of the TAPS family will show their equipment, some past evidence collected, and answer questions.

This free presentation is open to the public and will be held in the Deering Room at Dyer Library at 371 Main Street in Saco, Maine, on Saturday, October 16, at 3 p.m.
FMI: (207) 283-3861 http://www.sacomuseum.org/lib_events.shtml

----------------

Haunted Schoolhouse
weekends starting 10/15, running through Halloween
Fridays & Saturdays 6:00-9:00pm, Sundays 5:00-8:00pm

The Schoolhouse Arts Center on Route 114 in Sebago Lake Village has been spooked up for the season! Tours will run continuously each weekend evening between October 15th and Halloween. This is a scary haunted house, not recommended for very young children. A "safe" room for young children is available. $8 adults, $5 children 12 and under. 16 Richville Road (Route 114), Standish.

FMI: (207)642-3743 or http://schoolhousearts.org/

----------------

The Haunted Library haunted house at Dyer Library
October 16, tours start @ 6:30pm

It's a SPOOKTACULAR annual tradition! Join us after Saco's Pumpkin Harvest Festival for a HAUNTED TOUR of the Dyer Library, and find out what ghosts lurk about in the library after dark! This event might be too scary for our younger patrons; the recommended age is ten and up.

This free event is open to the public and will be held at Dyer Library at 371 Main Street in Saco, Maine, on Saturday, October 16, starting at 6:30 p.m.
FMI: (207) 283-3861 http://www.sacomuseum.org/lib_events.shtml

----------------

The Gauntlet haunted nightride

Open for the season, Maine's newest haunt ride is located in Mechanic Falls at Harvest Hill Farms, on Rte. 26 at 125 Pigeon Hill Rd. Please check website for schedule and ticket prices. Daytime hayrides for children are available, but the haunt is engineered for adult horror fans, and promises to be terrifying.

FMI: (207)998-3259 http://www.harvesthillfarms.com/Gauntlet.html


----------------


Destination Haunt
October 14-17, 21-24, 27-31
open from 6:00-11:00pm (all nights except Sundays 6:30-10:00)

Another Maine haunt attraction which is new to me is Destination Haunt, at 249 Lord Rd in Lebanon, off of Long Swamp Road (how perfect is that?). Offering a "toned down version for kids" on Sunday 2:00-5:00pm, this is another adult-oriented haunt that sounds like it aims to scare you silly. Features four attractions: Buried Alive Cemetery, Lebanon Laboratory, Twilight Trail, and Execution Center.

$20 General Admission (Recommended Ages 13 and up). VIP pass: $35 (get to front of line). $3 discount on any ticket with Military ID or College ID. Tickets can only be purchased at the door, Cash Only please. $5 off coupon available on their Pricing page valid Sun-Thurs.

FMI: (207)351.5443 or http://www.destinationhaunt.com/ or email destinationhaunt@gmail.com

----------------

New School haunted house
October 22nd
6:00-9:00

The New School is doing a haunted house! Get spooked for your $5 admission at this great school fundraiser. 38 York Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.
FMI: (207)985-3745 http://www.tnsk.org/

-------------

The Haunting: Nightmare at Par Sem
October 22, 23, 29 and 30th from 6:30-9:30pm

"Make our nightmares yours" as you tour through this ancient 42-room dormitory, built for students in 1832 but now housing a school of ghouls. Starting at the Buzzell Family Crypt, visitors will find themselves haunted by unimaginable horrors as they make their way through three floors of eerie antics and across the campus. "Not for the faint of heart."

Located at the Parsonsfield Seminary, Route 160, in North Parsonsfield. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 12 and under. Funds raised will assist their Restoration Fund.

FMI: (603)539-7910, (603)539-5233, or (207)793-8825, or visit parsonsfieldseminary.org

-------------

Sacred and Profane festival 2010!
October 23rd, leave Portland on 2:15 Peaks Island Ferry!

Every year Peaks Island hosts this festival around the time of a full moon during harvest season. Artists are gathered months ahead to prepare for a transformation of the abandoned Battery Steele, which sits at the center of the island.

On arrival at the island, visitors approach the event in a procession, encountering costumed performers and other unknowns along the way. No electricity is available, so participants wander through the different rooms of the complex by provided candlelight. Site specific works are many and varied, and the experience is apt to product a mystified, euphoric mood in participants as they wander through, never knowing what they'll encounter next. It's its own kind of spooky. :)

At the tail end of the festival, delicious hot food is provided to visitors before they depart back to the mainland.

Visitors are responsible for buying their ferry tickets at the Casco Bay Lines terminal. Festival tickets are sold separately and are $10 each. The number of tickets is limited due to capacity, so advance purchase is encouraged. Tickets are available at Strange Maine (the shop, at 578 Congress Street, Portland, ME 207-771-9997, http://www.kraag.org/strange/) and at the Green Hand Bookshop (661 Congress Street, Portland 207-450-6695 http://greenhandbooks.blogspot.com/)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book interview for Sun Journal

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Kathryn Skelton for the Lewiston Sun Journal the other week, which was included in their recent article about spooky Maine reads. Check out the full article online for more book recommendations and info! http://www.sunjournal.com/bplus/story/916288
Weird, Wicked Weird: Hauntingly good Maine reads, in time for fall
By Kathryn Skelton, Staff Writer
Published Oct 03, 2010

Sure, it’s not as famous as the legend of the bloody hook swinging from a door handle, but just try beating the story about the Maine witch who forever cursed Manhattan clam chowder.

(Fair warning: It’s a killer of men and libidos.)

Try beating the story about Catherine, Down East's vindictive, hitchhiking ghost.

Or, the one about the southern Maine attorney who kept a murder victim's head ... and ... maybe ... lost it.

All true — or true-ish — according to the authors of recent books on the bizarre, curious and ridiculously haunted.

Bone up for Halloween on a half-dozen nonfiction works based, at least in part, in Maine, and read the authors' takes on the unusual, in their own words.

The Turner Beast and other tales

“Strange Maine” by Michelle Souliere
Published: May 2010, The History Press ($17.99)

Some places don’t need a ghost. Phantom lights. Chilling sounds.

Battery Steele, the old World War II-era bunker on Peaks Island, Souliere says, is one such place.

“The main hallways form sort of an ‘I’ shape: There are two short entrance hallways on either end and then a long hallway that stretches between those,” she said. “You don’t think you’re going to need a flashlight, but as you get to the center of the very long part of the ‘I’, it’s actually incredibly dark and kind of terrifying. The light at either end of the tunnel becomes very appealing and you start to move a little more quickly.”

It’s so good, so naturally creepy, it doesn’t have any ancillary legends and doesn’t need them, Souliere said. “Battery Steele itself is a presence.”

And, unusual enough to fit into “Strange Maine.” The material for her book, arranged in chapters by themes like things in the woods and spooky spots, comes partly from pieces researched for her “Strange Maine Gazette” and ideas in newspaper clips, books and word of mouth.

Some are straight stories of the weird (the Specter Moose, an allegedly giant moose roaming the woods, and Turner’s mystery beast — less mystery, more dog), some of unusual places (Houlton's Hubcap Heaven, Brian Read’s Recycle Zoo in Washington) and some are spots the reader can visit, like Fort Knox.

“There’s just something about all the tunnels and stairways that wind through the fort that really sparks my imagination,” Souliere said. “There are stories of hauntings there, but in and of itself, it has a spooky feel to it.”

(Spookiness egged along by the annual “Fright at the Fort” Halloween benefit.)

“I think those of us who live in the state don’t necessarily visit (places like Battery Steele, Fort Knox) as much as tourists from outside the state,” she said. “I think we miss out on some of the fun we could be having here at home.”

Souliere, who lives in Portland, is working on a Maine Bigfoot book with cryptozoologist Loren Coleman for the next year. After that, it's a “Strange Maine” followup, which will include the story of the Phantom House of Northport, something that didn’t fit in the first edition.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Jekyll and Hyde, anyone?

I was going to include this with my Round II posting of this year's Halloween events, but the number of dates and special events occurring in conjunction with the Bangor Opera House production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is hefty enough to warrant a post of its own, so no one gets confused in the process. Besides the performance run of the play, a book discussion will be held 10/26, the 1920 film will be shown with live accompaniment on 10/30(see below), and there will be a special screening of a new local ghost hunting group's latest work.

WHAT: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
WHERE: Bangor Opera House, 131 Main Street, Bangor, ME
FMI: For tickets or more information, phone the box office at (207)942-3333, or visit penobscottheatre.org
WHEN: Performances will be held on:
October 20, 2010 at 7:00 PM
October 21, 2010 at 7:00 PM
October 22, 2010 at 8:00 PM - OPENING!
October 23, 2010 at 5:00 PM
October 24, 2010 at 3:00 PM
October 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM
October 28, 2010 at 7:00 PM
October 29, 2010 at 8:00 PM
October 30, 2010 at 8:00 PM
October 31, 2010 at 3:00 PM
November 4, 2010 at 7:00 PM
November 5, 2010 at 8:00 PM
November 6, 2010 at 3:00 PM
November 6, 2010 at 8:00 PM
November 7, 2010 at 3:00 PM
COST: $20-35 (all Wednesday show tix are $20)

Penobscot Theatre, Bangor’s professional theatre company, continues its 2010-2011 season with a surprising, inventive, and provocative theatrical production of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Celebrated playwright Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation is in performances at the Bangor Opera House between October 20 and November 7.

“This is a dark, sexy and shocking production of the story you think you know,” says Producing Artistic Director Scott RC Levy. “In one of the most theatrically inventive tellings I’ve come across in a long time, our production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is sure to get under your skin.”

On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll's experiments with exotic "powders and tinctures" have brought forth his other self — Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. When Hyde meets a woman who stirs his interest, Jekyll fears for her life and decides to end his experiments. But Hyde has other ideas, and so the two sides battle each other in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse to determine who shall be the master and who his slave. With multiple Hydes portrayed by members of the cast, this new and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of depravity, lust, love and horror is a perfect adult treat this Halloween season.

Penobscot Theatre’s production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is written by Jeffrey Hatcher whose work was last presented in Bangor in 2007 (Tuesdays With Morrie). The ensemble includes Allen Adams as Dr. Jekyll and Christie Robinson as Elizabeth Jelkes. Bernard Hope, Jeri Misler, Arthur Morison and Drake Andrew (in his Penobscot Theatre debut) portray all of the other characters, including Hyde. Directed by Producing Artistic Director Scott RC Levy, the production is designed by Erik Diaz, Jonathan Spencer and Jimmy Johansmeyer.

Penobscot Theatre is also thrilled to announce a number of additional events surrounding the production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde:

· FREE NIGHT OF THEATER – For the third year in a row, PTC is taking part in this national initiative and giving away 50 tickets to each of the first 5 performances of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Designed to re-introduce people to the wonder of live theatrical performance, information can be found at www.freenightoftheater.net

· HALLOWEEN WEEKEND – PTC will host a full day of activities on Saturday, October 30th, to coincide with other Halloween events in downtown Bangor.
.....At 2:00PM, PTC continues its Humanities Series with a screening of the silent film version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore. This screening will feature live piano accompaniment by Harry Weiss.
.....At 5:00PM, the East Coast Ghost Trackers will hold the premiere screening of their pilot television episode, featuring ghost tracking at Fort Knox in Bucksport. The East Coast Ghost Trackers will be on hand to talk about their experiences, including the ghosts of the Bangor Opera House.
Tickets are free, but require a reservation.
Additional activities, including downtown trick or treating and costume parades are still being developed.

· BOOK READING AND DISCUSSION GROUP – Facilitated by Esther Rauch, professor of English at the University of Maine, PTC will hold a free discussion of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Bangor Opera House on Tuesday, October 26th from 6-7:30 PM. Free copies of the novella are available on a first-come, first-served basis, by calling 942-3333 or emailing Marcie@penobscottheatre.org

Tickets for all performances and events to Penobscot Theatre’s production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde are available for purchase through the theatre’s website (www.penobscottheatre.org), by phone at (207)942-3333, or in person at the Bangor Opera House, 131 Main Street, downtown Bangor.

Performances begin October 20th and run November 7th. Tickets range between $20 and $35.

***NOTE: NEW THIS SEASON: $20 Wednesdays - Tickets to all performances on Wednesday evenings are $20

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

EVENT: Tales of Terror! Eeek!

WHAT: Tales of Terror read by storyteller Lynne Cullen
WHEN: Saturday, October 16, 2010... Two Performances: 6-7:30 PM and 8-9:30 PM
WHERE: Victoria Mansion, 109 Danforth Street, Portland, Maine
COST: Tickets: $20, $15 for members, $10 for children
FMI: Please visit www.victoriamansion.org, or call (207)772-4841 (ext. 10) or email information@victoriamansion.org

What could be a more perfect setting than a big, Victorian mansion for experiencing two wickedly creepy tales, by two masters of horror? Join Lynne for a chilling performance of 'The Beckoning Fair One' by Oliver Onions (1873-1961), which has inspired writers of horror from H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, and 'The Masque of the Red Death' by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). To set the tone, she will first recite 'The Haunted Chamber', a melancholy poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).

This evening will begin with tours of the house, dimly lit at gas light levels and complemented by eerie, nineteenth-century music. Ghoulish guides will grant you passage through the dark halls of the Mansion!

To participate in this terrifying evening, you must reserve your space in advance... if you dare! Please call 207-772-4841 (ext. 10) or email information@victoriamansion.org

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Halloween 2010 events - round 1!

Listings below are chronologically arranged (i.e., earlier events at the top, later in the month further towards the bottom). This is the roster so far, folks! We'll do another post if anything else... SPOOKY... pops up.


Red Cloak Haunted History Tours of Damariscotta, Wiscasset, Camden, and Boothbay Harbor
Now through October 30, 2010

Come with The Lady in the Red Cloak as she tells local tales of ghosts and history, spirits and mystery. Appropriate for all ages. Occasional special tours, such as walks including the Maine Ghost Hunters Society. Location: downtown areas; see website for details. Time: 7:00 p.m. Cost: adults, $10; children 5 - 12, $7; under 5, free. Information: 207-380-3806 or visit www.redcloakhauntedhistorytours.com.

-----------------

Ghost Lamp Tours
Tour Dates
Tuesday, October 5 @ 7:00pm
Thursday, October 14 @ 7:00pm
Thursday, October 28 @ 7:00pm

Are you a history buff? Or maybe someone looking for fun in the Bangor area? Look no further than Downtown Bangor. The Bangor Museum and Center for History is hosting Ghost Lamp Tours in October.

As you walk through Bangor, imagine yourself at the meeting of the Kenduskeag Stream and the Penobscot River in the 1800s—ships filling the river and the banks of the stream alive with activity. Taverns and brothels, shops, businesses, and warehouses vying for your business, and the nearby Bangor House hosting famous and infamous people of the time. Do you see presidents, gangsters, and ghosts as you tour historical Bangor?

The tour starts at the Waterfront Parking Lot, next to the Sea Dog Restaurant, and takes you on a journey through Bangor's history. $5 for non-members; Free to BMHC members and children under 12.

For more information visit Bangor Museum and Center for History's website.
http://www.bangormuseum.com/html/toursandactivities.htm
Private Tours- We are happy to provide personal tours for your family, business or group. Minimum fee: $30. Please call (207)942-1900 to schedule a tour or for more information.

----------
The United Volunteers of Maine haunted house
Friday, Oct. 8, opening @ 6:30 p.m.

The spook‐tacular event of the year is located within the Marketplace at Augusta in the former Circuit City building. The cost is $10 per person, with special pricing of $8 per person on opening night and both Thursday shows. The dates for the other haunted house shows are Oct. 9, 15, 17, 21, 24, 28 and 31. There will also be a matinee on the 31 from 1‐4 p.m.

The United Volunteers of Maine Haunted House is a tradition in the area, helping to raise tens of thousands of dollars for area schools, non‐profits and community organizations. The kids who raise money by helping with the Haunted House are involved in the process from start to finish, including designing the skits, building props, helping assemble the structure, staffing the various rooms when we’re open, and even helping take everything down when we’re done.

--------------

Halloween Music with Dan Blakeslee, a.k.a. Doctor Gasp
October 13, 2010 @ 8:00pm

Doctor Gasp is paying a house visit at the Green Hand Bookshop! Doors open at 7:00, and Dan Blakeslee will tune up and be ready to shake his chains at you by 8:00! Who knows what disguise the doctor will be wearing this year?

This event is free, although donations will be appreciated. The Green Hand Bookshop is located at 661 Congress Street, near Longfellow Square in Portland, next to Joe's Smoke Shop.



Event page is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=152106608150278&index=1

--------------

Haunted Woods Walk
October 15, 2010 to October 16, 2010

Walk through the woods at Aroostook State Park before Halloween. Beware the spooks and spirits that are celebrating the season. Make sure you take your flashlight and lots of courage. Enjoy snacks and hot refreshments provided by various service organizations. Location: Aroostook State Park, State Park Road, Presque Isle. Time: 6 - 9 p.m. Cost: $5. Information: 207-764-6561 or visit www.pichamber.com.

For the kids:
PIACC and Momentum Aroostook are co-hosting the Haunted Kinder Walk Saturday, October 16 at Aroostook State Park. This event starts at 10:00 am and ends at 1:00 pm. There will be games and activities for children. Tickets for activities will be available, $5.00 for 12 tickets. Most games will require 1 ticket.

----------------

15th Annual Haunted Hayride at the Cathedral Pines Campground
October 16th

It is time again for the 15th Annual Stratton PTC Haunted Hayride at the Cathedral Pines Campground in Eustis, Maine on Saturday, October 16th. The evening begins with a Family Festival from 5:00-6:00 pm, including face painting, games and prizes for everyone who comes dressed in costume. The Haunted Hayride takes place from 6:00-9:00 pm and admission is $4 per person.

The Drop Dead CafĂ© will again brew up homemade soups, drinks and lots of “spooktacular” goodies starting at 5:00 pm. To donate food items, please contact Lynn Clark at 831-4662.

Spooksters are still needed, so please consider getting your family or friends together to join us and set up a site! There is no cost to set up a scary scene, though adult chaperones are required at all sites. Electricity and fireplaces are provided at each site. To volunteer or for more information, please contact Sarah Strunk at 246-2002.

The money raised from this event helps the PTC support the Stratton Elementary School’s steel drum band, college & athletic scholarships, support of school sports, yearly donations to teachers, and the Boston Museum of Science trip for the 4th, 5th & 6th graders taken once every three years!

http://rangeley-maine.com/rangeley/announcements/15th-annual-haunted-hayride-at-the-cathedral-pines-campground-on-october-16th/

-------------------

Walk Among the Shadows is Back!
October 21-23 & 28-30 from 6:30pm - 7:30pm
First-come, first-served

Please join us for Walk Among the Shadows III, 6 evenings of tours through the Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine. From October 21st to 23rd, we are pleased to welcome actors from Acorn Productions who will portray the interred. Hooded specters will lead groups from person to person, stopping to listen to the stories of the dead on the way.

From October 28th to 30th, we're excited that Portland Playback actors will bring the dead to life in the same spooky manner — with a mix of eeriness and fright for young and old.

Tours are first-come, first-served (so get there early as there are only 5 tour groups allowed through each night). Admission is $10 and $5 for children 12 and under.

This is the largest annual fundraiser Spirits Alive (http://www.spiritsalive.org/) has to help keep the cemetery active and open all year long, please bring your friends and family for a spooky night of history.

-------------------

The Junkins Haunted Estate
October 21, 2010 to October 31, 2010

October 21-24 and 28-31. Experience the largest non-commercial Halloween event in New England; take a stroll on the old family estate, get scared, have fun. Location: 87 Wilson Road, Kittery. Time: October 21 - 24, and 28 - 31, 6 - 9 p.m. Cost: free. Information: email hauntedestate@aol.com.

-------------------

Fright at The Fort -- Prospect, ME
October 22, 2010 to October 30, 2010

Visitors are led through the dark passageways of Fort Knox where indescribable things lurk in the shadows, creating screams of fright. Location: 711 Fort Knox Road, Prospect, ME just outside of Bucksport. Time: Fridays and Saturdays, 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Cost: $5. Information: 207-469-6553 or for directions, etc go to www.fortknox.maineguide.com. Check out Fright at the Fort's own website at http://fortknox.maineguide.com/fright/!

-------------------

Ogunquitfest
October 22, 2010 to October 24, 2010

Join the fun at the 7th annual OgunquitFest, a fun-filled weekend of fall-themed events. Activities include pumpkin and cookie decorating, costume parade, classic car show, craft bazaar, haunted house, high heel race, bed race, ghost tours, wagon rides, storytelling, and a scarecrow contest. Location: Main Street, Ogunquit. See website for schedule and various event fees at www.ogunquit.org.


-------------------

Tommyknockers and More Bus Tour
October 24, 2010 @ 2:00pm - meet beforehand at 40 Harlow Street, Bangor, ME

Join the tour guide as he takes you through the sites and sounds of Stephen King's Bangor. Visit the places that inspired King's books and movies. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Location: tour begins at 40 Harlow Street. Time: tour leaves at 2 p.m. Cost: $20. Information: 207-947-5205.

------------------

Embalming and Edgar Allen Poe for Halloween
October 29 and 30 @ 7:30pm

Come learn about Victorian funeral practices and enjoy a spooky reading at the Thomas A. Hill House, 159 Union Street, on October 29 and 30.

The evening program will begin with an exhibit of antique funeral objects loaned by Brookings Smith Funeral Home and a presentation about Victorian funeral practices and early embalming techniques. Next, Ben Layman, Penobscot Theatre Company, will present a dramatic reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s short horror story, “The Premature Burial.”

Many believe that Samuel H. Dale, former owner, haunts the Thomas A. Hill house. Dale died in his home in late 1871 under a cloud of suspicion about missing funds that were intended for the victims of Chicago’s Great fire. His death was thought to be a suicide.

The Bangor Museum and History Center is hosting this program in collaboration with Bangor Arts. Doors open at 6:30 with the program scheduled to begin around 7:30. Admission is $10.00. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Please call 942-1900 or email curator@bangormuseum.org with your name, number attending and phone/cell number.

------------------

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ballet
October 29, 2010 to October 30, 2010

Portland Ballet presents the premiere production of this famous Washington Irving tale, with choreography by Nell Shipman and newly commissioned music by Kirt Mosier. Location: John Ford Theater at Portland High School, 284 Cumberland Avenue. Time: Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. Cost: adults; $30 in advance, $35 at the door; students, $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Information: 800-838-3006 or visit www.portlandballet.org.

------------------

Gleefully Grim Ghost Stories at the Green Hand Bookshop
October 30, 2010 @ 7:00pm

Join storyteller Lynne Cullen amid the shelves of old books as she shares her darkest folktales in the shadow of the Crookston Bigfoot, at the Halloween Eve event "Stories from the Dark."

For details, contact proprietor Michelle Souliere at michelle.souliere@gmail.com or visit greenhandbooks.blogspot.com

This event is free, although donations will be appreciated. The Green Hand Bookshop is located at 661 Congress Street, near Longfellow Square in Portland, next to Joe's Smoke Shop.

------------------

All Souls' Walk and Dinner
October 30, 2010
All Souls' Walk - continuous tours offered beginning at 1:00PM, with the last tour departing at 4:00PM
All Souls' Dinner at 7:00pm

Begin at the Museum (117 Main Street, Kennebunk) for a narrated walk with costumed interpreters through Hope Cemetery to visit the graves and hear the fascinating and sometimes tragic tales of Kennebunk residents from the past three centuries. Featured stories include ones about ill-fated sea captains, a Kennebunk Civil War soldier, a spinster and her namesake ship, and a tragedy in the White Mountains. The tours conclude back at the Museum for light refreshments and for viewing the portraits in the galleries of many featured on the walk. Not too spooky, it's perfect for the whole family!

Cost is $5/person (cash/check/Visa, MC, Discover); no advance reservations are required unless for large groups. This event occurs rain or shine, as we do have the capability to run an "indoor version" as an illustrated talk.

Consider extending your All Souls' experience by attending our all-new All Souls' Dinner that evening (see below).

Keep the All Souls' experience alive just a little longer by attending the All Souls' Dinner at the Nonantum Resort (95 Ocean Avenue, Kennebunk), rumored to have a friendly ghost all its own! The Nonantum's ballroom will be decorated in its Halloween finest and will feature a hearty harvest buffet dinner. In the ancient All Souls' tradition, an empty seat will be left at each of the banquet tables in honor of the dearly departed, and the historical figures from the Museum's All Souls' Walk (see above) will make guest appearances to mingle with the diners.

This event is great both for those who want to spend more time with our costumed characters and those who may not have otherwise been able to attend the All Souls' Walk.

The cost is $25/person with proceeds to benefit the Museum; advance reservations are required by calling Tim Ames at the Nonantum Resort at 207.967.4050, ext. 651.
FMI: http://www.brickstoremuseum.org/

Friday, October 01, 2010

Sea serpent window shopping?

Courtesy of Herb Adams, who found the story while looking at microfilm for other information! This appeared in the January 12, 1895 issue of the Eastern Argus, a Portland newspaper, on page 2.
A Fossil Sea Serpent

In the show window of Ira F. Clark & Co.'s clothing store is what purports to be the fossil remains of a sea serpent unearthed along the coast of Labrador or somewhere in that locality. It represents a monster of genus reptile. It is 10 feet long, with web claws like those of a dragon. It is a rare species of saurian that perhaps not over two or three of our citizens have ever seen. It is a wonderful and odd-looking creature, looking more like a pre-historic animal than any existing today. It is surely one of the wonders of the deep and when alive no doubt weighed hundreds of pounds.

coffee break!

In all this iffy weather, why not duck in at your favorite coffeehouse? Maybe there's a fine bucket of java on hand and ready for your consumption!

In this photo, taken on February 25, 1956, Maine's state checker champions are taking their coffee breaks, as they limber up at the Portland YMCA.
Pouring the coffee is Paul Levesque, at left is Nate Cohen, and at right is Ray Gould- the state checker champion at the time the photo was taken.
Your move!


Photo from the Portland Press Herald Still-Film Negative Collection, Portland Public Library.