Thursday, February 23, 2006

Haunted Happenin's

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It bein' a cold, and blustery sort of day, Newt and I thought it would be a good time to check out the local folklore.

The first scary-tale takes place on Smuttynose, one of five islands off the coast of York, collectively known as the Isles of Shoals. No one lives on Smuttynose today, but at one time there was a thriving hotel and several houses on the island. In 1873, on a dark, moonless March night, a man attempted to rob a house owned by two Norwegian sisters, Anethe and Karen Anne.
The house was dark, its occupants lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves crashing on the rocky shore. It was no secret Karen Anne had been fired from her job at the hotel, and received a large sum of money as severance pay. Believing the owners were away listening to a local poetry reading (Celia Thaxton), the thief broke through the massive door with an axe. The man made so much noise that he woke the sleeping women. As the screaming women tried to escape, the robber hit one woman in the head with the axe, knocking her to the floor. The other woman was strangled as she tried to jump out of the window. Returning to the half-dead and bleeding woman, the man finished the job by strangling her with a piece of rope.

After the murder, the hotel workers chipped off pieces of the bloody house, and sold them as souvenirs to tourists. Nothing remains of the house today, except for small pieces of the foundation, now covered in poison ivy. The island still remains a curiousity and as such is frequented by boat tours. Several people have claimed to hear screaming coming from the island.

Another story takes place in Olde Yorke Village. In the Colonial days, the York Village Historical Museum used to be the town hall for the village of York. The story goes that the village elder had a young woman hung front of the building, accused of practising witchcraft. Doors open on their own, items move from room to room, and cold breezes can be felt. Locals, who have named her “The White Witch,” claim to see the woman walking around the outside of the building, or along the road late at night. Across the street from the museum, there is a day care center. Some of the children at the center have told people that a “very nice lady in white” sometimes comes over and plays with them during there recess. A nice place to visit, especially since the spirit does not harm anyone.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Welcome to Maine

Well, here we are in York Beach. It's such a quaint little beach town, complete with boardwalk, t-shirt and gift shops, and the best salt water taffy on the East Coast. Be sure to check out the local cuisine for daily specials! We had New England Clam Chowder the first day here, and boy, was that ever good! It was wonderfully creamy and the clams chewy, but not tough. Newt Verne and I found a top shelf restaurant called Fox's Restaurant. It's located on Cape Neddick, known as the Nubble, to locals. It has been in the 30's so I think a Down East clam bake is probably not going to happen today, but the Queen demands to be heard, so you never know....