Thursday, August 04, 2022

Rumors! Exciting rumors about the long-defunct Funtown Haunted Mansion!!

 Okay, things have been pretty quiet here on the blog while I've been working away at interviews and research, but this little tidbit is too exciting not to talk about.

Back when I was a little kid, my family used to drive down to Biddeford regularly to visit with all our cousins, aunts and uncles.  If we took US Route 1, we would drive past the corridor where Funtown and Aquaboggan lived, in Saco, and I would always stare out the window and wonder about the creepy-looking house that backed onto Route 1 in front of Funtown.  

Years later, I found out that it wasn't just an abandoned house in the middle of all that summer fun -- it was actually a local haunt attraction!  Back when I was little I wouldn't have dared go in, after getting the junk scared out of me at a local haunted house put on by one of the TV stations here in Portland (maybe WGME? I think it was out by the Northgate shopping center at Allen and Washington Aves).  But as a teenager, my little goth self was very intrigued, but was rarely out that way on my own.  The Haunted Mansion was shut down in 1996 as Funtown began tightening up on potential risk factors at the amusement park.

Now, according to a post on WCYY (source: https://wcyy.com/funtown-hints-at-the-return-of-the-haunted-mansion-in-2023/), there are hints that Funtown is going to resuscitate the long-dead attraction, and resurrect the Haunted Mansion -- or something scary, at least.  HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE??? 

Here's the breadcrumb everyone is following: a post on Funtown's own Facebook page!


 If you never knew the Haunted Mansion, or are curious about it, there used to be a great website run by Dave Gagne, one of the many folks who worked there over the years who loved the attraction, but unfortunately thehauntedmansion.org appears to be defunct.  So you'll have to make do with WCYY's post about it here: https://wcyy.com/long-lost-attraction-the-infamous-haunted-mansion-at-funtown-in-saco-maine/

Here's hoping we'll get a new local haunt attraction out of these rumblings from the grave!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Behind the scenes!

 What, you think just because I have two books under my belt that I'm done?  Nahhh.  I've got a few things simmering away here, including a second volume of Bigfoot in Maine, and a book of Maine ghost stories that I'm collecting together (still collecting accounts for both of those).  But that's not all.

I've been pinging away at a bunch of little bits of information that are proving to be extremely elusive.  So I thought I'd just throw this out there, and see what pops up.

I'm looking for information on:

-- an early 1950s proposal to build an aerial tramway in Portland, Maine to increase tourist interest and ease of travel

-- a woodcarver famous for his duck decoys who worked near the Royal River Falls

-- footage of "To Tell the Truth" episode #1015 from the 1971-1972 season 3 of the show (then in its 2nd incarnation)

-- someone with connections to the Alex Tanous Foundation, because I can't seem to get any response from them (have been trying for years now)

 -- early 1950s giant Bean boot prototype-on-wheels and similar giant potato, both produced to promote Maine tourism 

-- anyone who was active in the Maine dowsing community in the late 1960s/early 1970s that was involved in the American Society of Dowsers

-- mid-to-late-1950s UFO sightings near Falmouth, Maine

...and about another million things.  But that'll do for now.  

 If anyone has helpful info for me on any of the above, please email me at michelle.souliere@gmail.com -- I will greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

More Bigfoot in Maine interviews & a lake monster or two

Hi everyone!  

It's been a while since I've done a roundup of some of the things I've been participating in, so here's a little catch-up for you.

Most recently, Rick Palmer of the Some Other Sphere podcast interviewed me about Bigfoot in Maine, and we had a really interesting conversation, which he just posted here:

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/episode-78-michelle-souliere-bigfoot-in-maine/id1459984683?i=1000558123406


Prior to that, I did a couple of panel discussions on Cosmoetica, which you can view here:
Bigfoot discussion (ep #329) with host Dan Schneider and fellow guests Dr. Jeff Meldrum and Kelly Milner Halls, back in Nov 2021:
Kind of amazed I was part of this, it was a terrific experience.

Lake Monsters! (ep #343) with host Dan Schneider and fellow guests Kelly Milner Halls and Shetan Noir, in March 2022.  This time I branched out a little into aquatic cryptics, using the monster of Lake Pohenegamook, on the Quebec/Maine border, as my Maine case study.
 
...and back at the end of last year, I had a fantastic chat with LeeAnn and Angela of the Spirited History podcast, but it was on the ParaX Radio Network, and I can't seem to find a link for an archive of the episode anywhere -- more's the pity because we discussed a bunch of Strange Maine topics, too.  :(  Ah well!
 
I hope you all enjoy these.  :)  Happy spring!!


Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Zoom EVENT: Thurs April 21: Bigfoot in Maine & New Hampshire!

 Hello folks! If anyone is interested in a free Zoom talk about Bigfoot in New England (focusing on the New Hampshire/Maine region), I'll be regaling viewers for the North Hampton Public Library next week, on Thurs April 21 at 7:00pm. Please pre-register here so you are able to attend: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrcu2vrT8vHtCMX7GEXEjlui_EfFEfEw2y


 

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Flying Saucers! Well, not that kind...

Hi everyone!  While things have been quiet here on the blog, I've been busy fitting in research around my foolish work schedule (too much overtime, bleah).  But in my delvings, I found a couple of things the other day that caught my eye.  I thought you all might like to see them too.  😄 

I'll transcribe the article in case the images don't load.  This one is from a winter 1958 article in the Bangor Daily News.

Warning Issued to Coasters By Old Town Chief

Old Town Police Chief Robert Lee reported today that one motorist who spotted a "flying saucer" while driving along Brunswick Street today was terrified but the chief reports it was no joke.

The "flying saucer" was a small child riding atop a saucer sled coasting from a steep bank across the busy street.  Luckily, he was not struck.

Lee issued a warning against such dangerous practices asking parents to tell their children not to use any grades for sliding that might end up in a street or intersection.

And in another winter issue of Bangor Daily News I found this photo, from two years later in 1960, which aptly illustrates the irresistible joy of sailing through the air on FLYING SAUCERS!!!

Caption reads:   

FOR REAL "FLYING" SAUCERS -- The man on the business end of a shovel might not display the enthusiasm for the season's snowfall that these two youngsters do.  But Mark Pooler and Susan Purinton of Bangor, both 11, beam with joy about the whole situation as they sail out into the air on their flying saucers over a bank of the wonderful white stuff.  (NEWS photo by Maher)

I hope everyone is having a great winter, and enjoying all the white stuff out there.  Before you know it, spring will be here! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Happy Halloween from Strange Maine!

Photo by Michelle Y. Souliere
Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying Halloween week in spite of the blustery weather. It really feels like October now! This past week I spoke with Courtney Lanning of WCSH, and the results appear in a fun article about all things spooky, alongside Loren Coleman and Jamie Kingman-Rice from the Maine Historical Society, so I'm in great company. 

 You can read the article here: https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/community/spooky-maine-stories-to-know-in-time-for-halloween-bigfoot-mythology-folklore-scary/97-42bd9339-3b17-405d-869e-19230b09b49e

I'm also excited to announce that there's a new Lewiston-based podcast, The Dirty Lew Podcast, which is available on YouTube.  Duke, the host, interviewed me a few months ago, and now the episode is live to kick off their Halloween season, so... have fun listening to it, and do check out their other episodes.  They're trying to make something awesome happen right where they are, and they're doing a great job!

You can check out the episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCg4JvSy9w8 

Happy Halloween everyone!!!  🎃

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Bigfoot in Maine: Q&A

 


Hi everyone! We had a great talk last night hosted by the Maine Historical Society on Zoom. I'll be posting a link to the recording as soon as it's available for those who missed it.

I will probably be receiving questions from attendees over the next few days, and I thought other folks might be interested in hearing the answers too, so I'll be posting them here as well as emailing responses directly.
 
Here's the first one:
 
Q: Have any remains have ever been found, or a skeleton, of one one of these 'creatures.' Any fossil evidence by chance?
 
A:  In answer to your question, to my knowledge no one in Maine has unearthed a known Bigfoot skeleton here. 
 
You may be interested to know that in the 1886 book An Historical Sketch of the Town of Deer Isle, Maine on page 10 mention is made of the discovery of a giant skeleton some years before. We talked about that early on in the discussion. You can see that account on Google Books using this link -- just scroll ahead to page 10 and start reading from the top of that page.
 
Discovery of remains is a compelling question for those of us inquiring into the existence of an unknown species in Maine. Does it mean that they bury or otherwise dispose of their dead in places where they won't be found? Or is it simply one more large animal that the efficient natural process of devouring and decomposition takes care of in the normal course of things?
 
Big questions!