Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween events 2012: Round #3!

Ready, all my little Halloween hooligans? Here are some more Halloween 2012 events for you!

If you missed Rounds #1 and #2, check them out here:

Southworth Planetarium Halloween Party & Ghost Hour

University of Southern Maine: Science Building, 70 Falmouth St, Portland
(207)780-4249 or (207)317-0827

NOTE: The Planetarium is underground. When you enter the building, look for a mural of the planet Saturn. Descend the stairwell located beneath this mural.

On October 26, 2012, USM's Southworth Planetarium offers its 11th annual Halloween Party at 6:00! During this year's program they've added a new live-action program called SKY MONSTERS, featuring a look at some of the the horrid monsters in the stars, including Draco the Dragon and Medusa. They'll also be running their MOON WITCH show, telescope viewing, and if this isn't enough, the early evening program will be followed by their 4th annual GHOST HOUR at 8:00pm! ($6 per person; $2 if you wear a costume!)

The Ghost Hour is the scariest hour of the year at the planetarium. This program consists of ghost stories (tales of suspense and the supernatural) recited in our star dome theatre with the aim to scare and thrill. It is similar to ghost story sessions like the one depicted in The Turn of the Screw, or the one that inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. The difference? Mary didn't have a dome of tricks she could use to terrify the audience.

And, if that is not enough of an an inducement, they'll have free treats and snacks!!

Lewiston Zombie Walk
Meet at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, October 31st!

It's the 5th year the undead have walked the town! Shuffling through the Twin Cities, enjoying all of its beauty, its culture, its...Zombies?!? Come along with them this Halloween at high noon. The walk starts at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston, otherwise known as Railroad Park. Since Halloween is on a school day, a youth walk has been added to the events, running (shambling?) from 3:00 pm 'til 4:30 pm. And since this is their 5th year, they'll be having a few surprises along the way too! So bring your friends and family to the hexstravaganza!

As of this date, here is the itinerary of events:
11:00am - Team LZW sets up. Meeting w/ press & LZW volunteers.
12:00pm - Meet w/fellow "walkers" for make-up (if needed) & zombie calisthenics.
12:30pm - Team LZW's explanation of "Zombie Poise & Posture"(aka- LZW's Rules)
12:45pm - Appearances by special guests... From the upcoming zomedy film "How to Kill a Zombie, assistant director Seth Roberts & producer/protagonist Mr. Bill Freight Train McLean!
(Check out for more info on their work!)
1:00pm - The Walk begins! Here's a link of the route
2:30pm - Returning from The Walk! Team LZW will be providing some water & snacks for our "walkers." Whilst zombies enjoy provisions... The rest of the LZW crew will be preparing for their 1st ever Costume Contest (people painted at the LZW make-up booth will NOT be able to participate in either Costume Contest)! This year's special guest will be helping out with the contest as well as signing autographs, talking about their film and other zombie related stuff, and selling HtKaZ t-shirts (all t-shirt sales proceeds go to the production funding for HtKaZ and in no way is sanctioned/transferred for/to Team LZW or its known creators).
3:00pm - Wrap-up time for the regular LZW, and the start of preparations for the 1st ever Zombie Youth Walk! Team LZW would like to encourage volunteers & "walkers" to stay and help w/ make-up and passing out candy to the next generation of zombies.
3:30pm - Zombie Games! Including: Zombie Trivia, Zombie Plank Race, Zombie Bean Ball, Zombie Gauntlet(games are subject to change due to weather/funding)
3:45pm - LZW Youth Costume Contest! This ain't no Toddlers 'n Tiaras - come dressed up and perhaps be the Costume Contest winner! (Again, people painted at the LZW make-up booth will NOT be able to participate in either Costume Contest.)
4:00pm - Team LZW wraps up the festivities with a ending speech, thanking those involved, as well as some announcements. Next comes clean-up and wishing all of you a safe time out Trick or Treating and of course... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Bangor Zombie Walk
Meet at 1 Railroad St, Bangor, on Saturday, October 27th at 4:00pm!

BYOB-- Bring Your Own BLOOD! This page will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about zombie walk protocol: This is an all ages event! MAP VIEW OF THE ROUTE:

The Misshapen Jack-O-Lantern Tour
Bubba's Sulky Lounge, 92 Portland Street, Portland ME

On Sunday, October 28th at 8:00pm, Doctor Gasp touches down in Portland on one of his last stops on the Misshapen Jack-O-Lantern tour of 2012! Those of you who have made the acquaintance of Dan Blakeslee's annual alter ego will know the delights in store for you, but those who are innocent of the Doctor's show will want to add it to their spooky itinerary, as the Halloween spirit is nowhere as evident as in the marvelous antics of the man who sings his dark heart out to the treatful tunes of "The Vampire Fish," "Witchtrot Road," "Sugarpusher," and more. Get thee hence, wee ghosties!!!

Still curious? Seacoast Online has a good write-up of Dan's annual possession by Doctor Gasp here:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Walk Among the Shadows cemetery tours!

Every year, Spirits Alive sponsors eerie tours of the antique jewel that is Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine.

This year's theme, “On Land and at Sea — Portland in the War of 1812” means spirits on the tour have a connection to that war, whether good or bad. Spirits are portrayed by a local performing arts group of professional actors, Acorn Productions.

Victims — er, tourists — will be led down Funeral Lane by hooded specters who wear long, black robes and carry a lantern to lead the way. Tourists will meet spirits such as Sewell and Rhoda Drinkwater, Eliza Clapp, Dr. John Perkins Briggs, Hugh McClellan, Patience Clarke, and John Kilby Smith. Come hear the stories about who they are and how they ended up in the Eastern Cemetery (if they realize they reside there.) It's a family-friendly event, only slightly spooky.

Tours take place October 18-20 and 25-27, 2012, from 6:30pm - 7:30pm each evening. The cemetery is located at 224 Congress Street, at the corner of Mountfort Street.
Half of all proceeds go to the upkeep, maintenance, conservation, and promotion of the Eastern Cemetery. The other half of proceeds go to Acorn Productions, a community theatre group that supports performing artists in Southern Maine.


Halloween events 2012: Round #2!

Ready, all my little Halloween hooligans? Here are some more Halloween 2012 events for you! If you missed Round #1, check it out here:


Destination Haunt
249 Lord Rd, Lebanon, ME 04027 -- (207)351-5171 or
(NOTE: Be sure to come from Long Swamp Rd, not Little River Road!)

See their website for directions, schedule, pricing, and discount coupons for admission. 4 ATTRACTIONS IN ONE!!! Do you dare to visit the TWILIGHT TRAIL, BURIED ALIVE CEMETERY, EXECUTION CENTER, and the LEBANON LABORATORY?

The Gauntlet
Harvest Hill Way, Rte 26, Mechanic Falls, ME -- (207)998-5485

A haunting night ride "through the deep woods on the acreage of Harvest Hill Farms" on Route 26 in Mechanic Falls, Maine will give you the thrill of a lifetime. Perhaps you too will see the Ghost of Route 26! Harvest Hill Farm also has lots of daytime events for families with their Corn Maze, Fall Harvest Tours, Pumpkin Land, and a harvest market on site.

The Haunting at ParSem! -- (207)793-8825 or (603) 539-5233
Parsonsfield Seminary, 504 North Road (Rt. 160), North Parsonsfield, ME

Creeps and freaks at the Parsonsfield Seminary! Travel through the spooky maze of the 42-room seminary building and campus and relive your childhood fears. Frankie awaits you! Presented by the Friends of ParSem Benefit Restoration Fund. October 19, 20, 26, and 27 from 6:30pm-9:30pm. See website for prices, etc., or FMI call (207)793-8825 or (603) 539-5233.

Haunted Hill -- (207) 794-3372
4 Pleasant Street Lincoln, ME 04457

The Town of Lincoln's Haunted House, Haunted Hill, promises to live up to its name. So much so that it is not recommended for children under 5 years of age. The Town of Lincoln tells visitors to "prepare for a scare"! Open every Saturday night the month of October from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and the last weekend of October (the 26th & 27th). Children 12 & under must be accompanied by an adult. Not recommended for children under 5. Admission is 12 & under $3, 13 & older $5.

Haunted Hayrides -- (207)885-5935
Located next to Scarborough Downs in Scarborough, Maine, off Route 1

Amongst acres of horrors, with ghouls and goblins in a haunted forest, the original Haunted Hayrides will frighten you out of your skin. If that doesn't get you, the free Spider Soda and Poisonous Popcorn will! These guys have been at it for 22 years now. Adults $13, children ages 6-12 $9

The Raitt Homestead Halloween Harvest -- (207)748-3303
2077 State Rd, Eliot, Maine 03903

The Raitt Farm Museum's Trail of Terror is open from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM on October 19th, 20th, 26th & 27th (admission $6). Come on in and board the tractor-drawn wagon ride down to the Haunt Trail...enter if you dare! There are plenty of ghoulish treats, warm beverages and bloody fries which await you if you make it out and back on to the wagon.

There will also be a Halloween party for the kids on October 20th from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (admission $3). With a Trick or Treat Walk, Costume Contests, a Carved Pumpkin Contest (bring your carved pumpkin with you and enter it in the contest), a Scarecrow Contest (there are a limited number of kits available for $10 -- get yours now and bring your finished scarecrow masterpiece with you to enter it in the contest). The party will also have a Pumpkin Toss, a Pumpkin Bowl, Mummy Wrap, Jack-O-Lantern & Potato race, Pumpkin Decorating Contest, and of course yummy treats and good food. One free ride on the barrel tractor or tractor drawn hayride with paid admission ticket! The Raitt Farm thanks you for helping to support events such as this. The revenue raised goes to educating kids about farming history and restoring the 33-acre farm property.

Junkins Haunted Estate
87 Wilson Road, Kittery, ME 03904
FMI email

This year visit the Estate from Friday, October 19, 2012 through Sunday, October 21, 2012 and Tuesday, October 23, 2012 through Wednesday, October 31, 2012. The largest non commercial, nonprofit FREE Halloween even in the northeast. Come and celebrate their 25th year! Over two acres of Halloween decorations await guests. Don't let the warm fuzzy decorations from the safety of your car fool you, if you want the candy, it's a quarter mile through the haunted swamp! As you follow the luminaries towards the woods and cross the bridge into the swamp, darkness will surround you and the cold swamp air will chill you to your bones, and YES, they will be waiting for you!!! All 18 or younger must be accompanied by a parent. Special time for the little ones, October 30th at 5:00PM. We are on Twitter too: @hauntedestate


Red Cloak Haunted History Tours -- (207)380-3806
Where: Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Camden, Damariscotta, Wiscasset

The Lady in the Red Cloak guides you on evening walking tours of one of Maine's Midcoast villages (Camden, Damariscotta, Bath, Wiscasset, or Boothbay Harbor). Tours last approximately 90 minutes, and wind through back streets by lantern light, searching for ghosts and history, spirits and mystery. Appropriate for all ages, by reservation only, $12 adults, $7 for children under 12, free for children under 5. Please check the website, or call for complete schedule. Also available for special tours or events.

Wicked Walking Tours -- (888)718-4253
Tours meet at Bell Buoy Park on Commercial St between Casco Bay Lines & Rira

The legends and history of haunted Portland, Maine come to life, with the comedy and tragedy filled tales that abound in this twisted tour. As a doomed guide leads you through Portland's old waterfront, you will be regaled with strange facts and interesting history. Learn the secret past of the shadowed Old Port streets! Reservations required (call M-F 9am-9pm, or visit website to make reservations). For private or group tours, call (207)730-0490 or email

Ghostly Bangor -- (207)942-1900
Tours meet at Thomas A. Hill House, 159 Union Street, Bangor, ME

Hosted by Bangor Museum and Center for History, tours take place on Thursdays and Saturday evenings in October. $10 per person non-member, $8 members, $5 children under 12. One tour per night leaves at 7:00pm. Please call (207)942-1900 for reservations. Prepare for the paranormal! Follow a winding path through haunted Bangor and stop at several sites to hear tales of reported ghostly activity. Don't be surprised if you hear tales of tragedy from the spirits themselves! Whether or not you believe in ghosts, one thing is for certain - some former residents of Bangor are still around attending to unfinished business. Trapped here either by their own will or circumstance, these spirits have something to say to the living. Bring a friend...if you dare!


My Mommy's Mummy! -- (207)942-1900
Sponsored by Bangor Museum and Center for History
Before Stephen King made being scared part of popular culture, Bangor had its own fright night every Halloween at the Kellogg home on Kenduskeag Avenue. Thousands of children participated in one of Bangor's favorite Halloween traditions - seeing a real Egyptian Mummy head. Now housed at the Hudson Museum in Orono, this honored guest will make one final return to Bangor. Join Connor Millard and Gretchen Faulkner, Director of the Hudson Museum at the Univeristy of Maine, to learn about its history including scientific data from C-14 dating, xrays, hair analysis and other testing. $10 per person. Workshops at 6pm and 8pm on October 30th. Seating is limited for this ONE NIGHT ONLY event! Please call for reservations at 942-1900.

Pumpkin Hayrides -- (207)865-4469
Wolfe's Neck Farm, 184 Burnett Rd, Freeport, ME

Come on out to the Farm for a family outing to remember during October on Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy the Maine fall foliage and take a hayride out to the pumpkin field. While you are here, visit the animals in the barnyard or go for a walk through the woods. Pumpkin hayrides cost $6/person or $20/family (including pumpkins) and benefit the Wolfe's Neck Farm Education Program. Set on the shores of Casco Bay, Wolfe's Neck Farm is a 626-acre nonprofit demonstration farm just a short, scenic drive from downtown Freeport and adjacent to Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park.

Halloweenfest Maine Wildlife Park -- (207)657-4977
56 Game Farm Road, Gray, ME 04039

On Friday, October 19, 2012 and Saturday, October 20, 2012, celebrate Halloween with the Park's native wildlife! Get into the spooky spirit with special Halloween displays, haunted hayrides, games and door prizes! Wear your costumes! Regular admission fees apply. For rainy day cancellation info, call the office at (207)657-4977. The Nature Store and Snack Shack will be open for spooky snacks & souvenirs!

9th Annual OgunquitFest
36 Main Street, Ogunquit, ME 03907

Taking place Friday, October 19, 2012 - Sunday, October 21, 2012. This annual Ogunquit, Maine fall event has activities for the whole family, including 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. For schedule of event times, see website above.

Bucksport Ghostport Festival
Saturday, October 20, 2012. Timed to coincide with Fright at the Fort (see listing above), which is held across the Bay, the Ghostport Festival in Bucksport is a family event with a definite Halloween theme. From a children's costume parade (The Little Goblin Parade) on Main Street, to Jonathon Buck's Race to the Grave coffin race, and The Night of the Living Dead, everyone is sure to be in a haunted spirit. Show off your creative skills in the carved pumpkin contest or skip the carving altogether and launch your pumpkin into the Penobscot using our trebuchet. After the sun sets, scare yourself silly at Fort Knox and then take our shuttle back to the waterfront to enjoy music, food and fireworks. See website for up-to-date schedule.

Midnight Explore Ghost Hunt -- (207)380-4677

Friday, October 26, 2012. Join the Mysterious Destinations team for a Midnight Explore at the haunted Winter Street Center in Bath. Three floors of documented paranormal activity will offer plenty of chances for new evidence to be found by YOU, after a brief training about paranormal detection equipment, how to use it, and the history of the building. Mysterious Destinations will provide a variety of paranormal detection equipment for guests, though participants are also encouraged to bring their own gear, with cameras and flashlights recommended. The price for the Midnight Explore is only $35 per person with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Winter Street Center. Hot coffee, bottled water and light refreshments will be provided. By reservation only, (207)380-4677.

Halloween Haunted House -- (207)474-6901
225 Water Street Skowhegan, ME 04976

Friday, October 26, 2012 - Saturday, October 27, 2012 from 6:30-8:30pm (admission $3). Skowhegan Parks and Recreation Department hosts an annual Halloween Haunted House at the Skowhegan Municipal Building. Beware, the house is full of fright and not recommended for small children! But Casper's House, also in the Skowhegan Municipal Building, is suited for kids. FMI call (207)474-6901 or email

Overnight with Myrtle -- (207)380-4677

Saturday, October 27, 2012. How often do you get to spend the night at a haunted house with a history of paranormal activity? Or spend the night in the same bedroom where the source of that activity passed from her mortal life? How often would you be able to do this at Halloween? And, how often would you be able to join the adventure and use specialized equipment to document any paranormal activity? Join Mysterious Destinations at the Tipsy Butler B&B and the Newcastle Publick House, both haunted by Myrtle! This adventure includes dinner at the Newcastle Publick House. By reservation only, 207-380-4677.


So in other news, there's a lot of fun stuff going on. The bad news? You missed the Giant Pumpkinboat Regatta, a.k.a. the Damariscotta 2012 Pumpkinfest!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

An old Scarborough story

Big thanks to Scott Leonard, who runs the excellent Old Blue Genes blog over at He dropped me a line this weekend because he thought some of you Strange Maine readers would be interested in a story he recently did a piece on, and I think he's right:

The Clukey Fire of 1949

As with many stories of bygone days, the newspapers tell a disjointed and partial version of the tale, revising the events that led up to a disaster as the witnesses step forward with different stories each time. This one is particularly convoluted, and in the end I don't know that the final version of events made anyone particularly happy. But it did make for a lot of newspaper coverage.

Scott Leonard delves into the murky ashes of the fire that killed WWII veteran George Clukey, and the history of Vinegar Road in Scarborough, Maine, where he lived.

Check it out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween events 2012 -- Round 1!

Okay everyone, it's my favorite season, and you know what that means -- lots of fun spooky activities across the state! Here is my first batch of listings. Have fun!

Fright at the Fort -- Lucky 13!!!
For the last 13 years, Fort Knox has opened its historic doors to a troupe of volunteers who spookify the already atmospheric location for a benefit haunt attraction which helps fund restorations at the fort.

This year the evenings they will be running the event on Friday and Saturday evenings, 5:30-9:00pm, starting on Oct 19 & 20, and continuing on Oct 26 & 27.

Here's this year's preview trailer!

The Medicine Show
Ziggurat Theatre Ensemble is offering families a unique theatrical experience for the Halloween season with the presentation of The Medicine Show, an original play using masks, drumming, song and dance that will be performed outdoors in a wooded field in Bowdoinham. Drawing upon local Native American lore, The Medicine Show will transport audiences back in time and far from civilization to tell a harrowing story of heroism, sacrifice and redemption. Tormented by demons from his dreams, a young boy alone in the wilderness stumbles upon a traveling medicine show whose performers are all stricken by a mysterious malady. Believing their illness is caused by the same sinister figures of his nightmares, the boy battles these demons. By turns spooky and spiritual, The Medicine Show is “as memorable for its winking wit and raw beauty as for its mesmerizing power” according to the LA Weekly.

The play opens on October 13 and runs through October 28. Showtimes are Saturdays at 7:00pm (October 13, 20, 27) and Sundays at 7:00pm (October 14, 21, 28). It is being staged at the Bowdoinham Public Works building, 8 River Road (adjacent to Mailly Waterfront Park) in Bowdoinham.

Tales of Terror at the Victoria Mansion
Victoria Mansion is excited to announce its 6th annual Tales of Terror, a celebration of the Halloween season featuring spine-tingling stories from 19th-century writers performed by local storytellers. The Mansion’s original 1860 interiors will be dimmed to gaslight levels for the evening, making the event a haunting night of history and horror.

This year, Tales of Terror will consist of 4 shows over two evenings. On Friday, October 19 at 6:00 and 8:00 pm, storyteller/playwright Lynne Cullen performs two stories by great writers of Victorian horror fiction: "The Family of the Vourdalak" by Aleksey K. Tolstoy and "Louella Miller" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman.

On Saturday, October 20, actress/storyteller Brittany Cook performs works by Edgar Allen Poe in Poe’s Menagerie, a radio play featuring some of the writer’s best-known beasts. The 6:00 Saturday performance is for children 10 and under, and includes family-friendly stories "The Conqueror Worm" and "Hop-Frog." The 8:00 performance is for general audiences, and will include Poe’s "The Raven" and "The Black Cat."

Little Festival of Horrors at Portland Public Library

The Portland Public Library announces its “Little Festival of Horrors” to celebrate the genre of horror during the 3 days leading up to Halloween. The library has created this festival to introduce literature, film and art based in the genre of Horror. The festival offers author talks by local horror writers Elizabeth Hand and Rick Hautala paired with films, including a screening of The Night of the Living Dead followed by a “Zombie Crawl” into Monument Square, and horror related art shows. PPL branch libraries will also be offering events in conjunction with the festival. All events are free and open to the public.

The Little Festival of Horrors will be punctuated by two art shows at the Main Library featuring an art exhibit, Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey in the Lewis Gallery and an art installation by Brunswick artist Christian Matzke based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, which will be in a study room in the Teen Lounge.

On Monday, October 29th, at the Main Branch at 5 Monument Square, author Elizabeth Hand will be giving an author talk at 4:00pm about antiquarian ghost stories. This will be followed at 5:00pm by a showing of a related horror film (title TBA). [NOTE: Those of you who have yet to read Elizabeth's work will be pleasantly surprised when you dip into one of her many books. I suggest Saffron and Brimstone and Generation Loss.]

On Tuesday, October 30th, at the Main Branch, Maine horror writer Rick Hautala will give an author talk on the horror genre. This will be followed at 5:00pm by a showing of a related horror film (title TBA). Rick has been writing Maine-based horror stories for many years now. His book Little Brothers is a great favorite of mine.

On Wednesday, October 31st, at the Main Branch, there will be a youth zombie make-up workshop in the Teen Library, followed by a free screening of horror classic "Night of the Living Dead" at 5:00pm, and the Halloween finale will be a Zombie Crawl onto Monument Square at 6:30pm.

Also on Halloween, Riverton Branch Library will have a 3:00pm film showing of "Scooby Doo and the Legend of the Vampire" and at 4:30pm they will show "Monster House." Snacks and treats will be provided! Kids are encouraged to wear their costumes.

If you are on Peaks Island for Halloween, the Peaks branch is hosting stories and a craft program at 6:30pm for ages 5-8.

More on the Edward Gorey show in a separate post all its own, later! :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Captive in the Maine woods

This story appeared on page 1 of the Boston Daily Globe of Monday morning, October 11, 1897. I found it when I was looking for information about the rumored monster of Lake Sysladobsis. Once I read this headline, I knew I had to revive the work of this uncredited Boston reporter, and the story of Rosie Pelletier’s abduction by an all-too-human monster.
It is summer, August in Maine of 1895, a long time ago. In the wooded country near the New Brunswick border at St Croix, in the small town of Lake Lambert, a wedding is taking place in the morning hours. Eli Sirois and Rose Pelletier, surrounded by a small crowd of friends, are united in love. The festivities continue into the evening hours with a dance in the little two-room house. It is a small but lively party, easily drowning out the chorus of crickets in the woods outside with bursts of laughter and the tromp of dancing feet and all the noise that can be made with handheld musical instruments.

A loud concussion stops all the friendly warmth like the arrival of the bad fairy in the old story of Sleeping Beauty. Peter Bubeer, tall and lean, angry and drunk, has arrived with his wedding gift – two loaded guns. The first crash is both barrels of his shotgun, fired into the ceiling. The second, sharper shot is his revolver, aimed without care at the stunned groom.

There is a lot of smoke, and noise, and screaming. Before the guests can sort it all out, the door of the cabin has shut on them. The shrieks of the bride being carried off into the night are all that is left for them to follow, and they disappear too. Eli, bleeding from the gunshot wound to his arm, rallies the guests and they erupt into the night, calling and searching for Rosie and the villain, but they have disappeared, leaving no trace.

For the next two years, Eli is consumed with his search, pressing every hunter and lumberman who passes through the small community to keep their eyes open for his bride while they are out in the woods. A hunting guide himself, Eli spends much of his time in the forest, either on his own or with hunting parties who hire him. They tolerate his strange choice of routes and locations – they know he is hunting something more valuable than trophy game. Besides, he such a good guide that he leads them to plenty of animals whichever way he goes, and it is certainly an interesting trip to tell friends about at the club back in Boston, when they get home.

Sometimes, when he is free from hire, he simply disappears for days at a time, led by daytime visions or dreams in the night – visions that remind him of this or that hidden nook or cranny, giving him new ideas for where to find Bubeer, to track down where the villain has sequestered Rosie, somewhere out there in the woods south of Lambert Lake.

Each time he returns alone to his cabin.

It is mid-September in the year 1897. Local trapper Joe Lacoot sets out from Forest Station, a tiny settlement along the New Brunswick border. His plan is to work his way through the forest of northern Washington County. A group of New Yorkers is looking for a small area in which to set up their own private game club. He travels through some areas he’s never been to before, and two weeks into his ramble, he finds himself arrived at Sysladobsis Lake, or ‘Dobsis, as it is more conveniently called. The next step is to take a shortcut from ‘Dobsis to Saponic (just southeast of the small town of Burlington).

By the time 3:00 in the afternoon rolls around, Lacoot has been pushing through the undergrowth for hours. With relief he emerges suddenly into a clearing in the woods. There is a small pond nearby. Across the clearing he sees some animals, though not the usual woods creatures he is used to. After approaching cautiously, he determines that they are a thin and rangy pigs -- like the feral pigs found down South, aptly called razorbacks or “racers.” But amongst their number moves a beast like no other he has seen. A closer look and he still cannot believe his eyes.

There, grubbing and rooting in the undergrowth with the pigs, is a man on all fours. It cannot be possible, but there he is, in front of Lacoot, in the broad daylight of the autumn afternoon. Periodically in his poking under the dirt, the desperate brute uncovers a string of wild potato or ground nuts, and sits down to devour them. The opportunistic pigs crowd around him each time he begins to dig again, and he elbows them aside as he continues his never ending search for more food.

Lacoot stands some time watching this, amazed. The man acts in all ways like an animal. He is naked except for a bundling of fabric over his back, and he wallows in the dirt. Lacoot's alarm grows as he assesses the situation. He dares not approach the motley herd any closer, knowing how ferocious wild pigs are. At the same time, he cannot consider shooting at the pigs beforehand, knowing that in the chaos he has as good a chance of hitting the strange human amongst the beasts.

A pragmatic man, he simply decides to back into the bushes, and work his way around. Using the edge of the small pond to guide him, he begins to strike another path. To his surprise, he comes across another clearing. There is a little thatch-roofed shack made of birch bark, saplings and spruce boughs. A person runs out as Lacoot emerges from the woods, shrieking in terror, and makes for the shelter of the forest.

As shocked as he was by the four-legged man, he is certainly more shocked now, but his mind catches up quickly to the events. The long hair and the person's ragged garb point Lacoot towards the realization that this is a female alone in the woods, and he halloos at her to stop. Speaking encouragingly to the mystery woman, he is relieved to see her hesitate and finally stop at the edge of the forest.

Halting explanation from him turns into a conversation as she begins to respond, finally asking him who he is and where he is from. As soon as he mentions that he lives at Lambert Lake, she fairly erupts across the clearing, running to him. At first he is unsure whether or not she is simply a maniac determined to kill him, but then as she stumbles in her haste he sees she is weeping, and his heart goes out to her.

Falling on her knees in front of him, she sobs, "Are you really and truly Joe Lacoot? Don't you know me?" Lacoot shakes his head -- her fair skin is dark with exposure, her bones show through her emaciated frame. Her sobs redouble as she cries, "Why I'm Rosie Pelletier!" Lacoot is speechless as his mind works furiously to put everything together. Rosie weeps more and more, lamenting that Eli Sirois will never again want his young bride in this condition. Lacoot comforts her and gradually she calms down. As they talk, she makes him realize that the human in the pig herd is the very villain sought after by all of Lambert Lake.

"That thing is Pete Bubeer," Rosie nods. "He's been like that more than a year and a half. I tried and tried to get away from here. I'm a wicked woman for making him that way, but I couldn't help it -- I struck him with an ax, and he's been like that. But I was trying to get away, Joe, and he followed me and choked me every day, and each time I got away into the woods he came after me and abused me and made me go back with him to this awful place."

Rosie tells Lacoot how the kidnapper Bubeer had muffled her cries so the search parties couldn't follow them in the woods that night. She heard her friends calling for her but her efforts to respond were in vain. Over the next few days Bubeer dragged her through the woods away from town, tying her to trees at night and beating her when she refused to follow him voluntarily, subjecting her to brutalities she had difficulty finding the words to describe to her rescuer.

He would pick a likely spot to settle, stay a few days, become uneasy, and then force her to resume the march into the wilderness in some random direction. Disoriented by constant beatings and fatigue, the young woman would have had a hard time finding her way back to civilization even if she had escaped her captor.

Her wedding night was the last time she had seen another human being until that afternoon when Joe Lacoot emerged from the woods, 50 miles from the town of Lambert Lake.

Rosie admits to Lacoot that her repeated flights into the woods from their final stopping point, from which Bubeer dragged her back each time, were delirious efforts to lose herself in the woods and wait for death, a preferable outcome to what Bubeer was subjecting her to each day at their camp. But Bubeer was an expert tracker and had no trouble finding her each time. The last time, after a particularly heinous experience at his hands, she had run over a mile into the woods, only to be dragged back yet again. But this time her captor was lax, and as he shoved her back into the shack, she darted to the ax in the corner and in her fury drove it into his skull.

Rosie expected him to be dead, but instead the ruffian survived, though after his recovery it became clear that he was now, as she termed it, "an idiot."

Rosie tells Lacoot how Bubeer now imagines himself a pig, and is no longer interested in her, having no grasp of language with which to talk to her anymore. The only time he reacts to her is when she seizes one of his fellow swine to kill for food. She feels guilty for what she did to him, but how can she be truly sorry? He treated her like an animal, and now he himself is the animal. Rosie has no trouble believing that God has something to do with this outcome.

She fears his idiocy will some day turn to outright madness, and that he will attack her then in vengeance, but so far Bubeer has descended each day further into habits docile, gross and stupid. She tells Lacoot how she patiently waited for a hunting party or lumber crew to come this way, knowing if she set out into the trackless forest not knowing her location, it would be a death sentence. Over the months, the pigs had added to their own number, and she has kept herself from starvation by killing and eating one of them periodically, though each time she risks the rage of her deranged kidnapper by invading the pig sty, which he considers his own territory.

Lacoot lets her finish her account, and then without further delay he outfits her with makeshift clothing and shoes for the return trip. They leave the idiot behind with the pigs.

After an arduous hike, Lacoot places the half-starved and exhausted girl in the safety and comfort of a friend's hunting camp while he strikes quickly through the forest to Lambert Lake. The news brings excitement, and the locals can hardly wait for Eli Sirois to hear it for himself. He is away on an expedition to Grand Lake with some Massachusetts sportsmen, but the locals haven't the heart to set out to bring Rosie home without him. Perhaps she will have a chance to recuperate and shed some of the marks of starvation by the time the rescue party arrives at the camp where she now mends.

The authorities at the nearest settlement will be directed to the sorry hideaway in the woods where Bubeer scratches his sustenance from the dirt with the pigs. The officials will no doubt remove him to some place of detention, maybe even the insane asylum at Augusta. The hogs will be shot, and the camp will be burned. It is a monument to the bitterest anguish any Maine bride ever felt, and no one will be sorry to see it destroyed forever.