Bill poorly mimics the drum blast of Metallica’s ‘One’ against the steering wheel of his 1991 Ford Ranger as his daughter, Lily, giggles at his exaggerated enthusiasm. It’s mid April and they’re on the 202 headed west towards Winthrop after a nostalgic morning of strawberry chocolate chip pancakes at the Augusta House of Pancakes. Not the catchiest title for a diner, but nonetheless, it’s the finest kind of breakfast food in Kennebec County; heck, maybe even all of Maine. Bill smiles back at his daughter, then continues to sing along to the breakdown before the song’s lengthy guitar solo. Lily turns toward the window admiring the seemingly endless rows of pines as they turn onto the camp road. Those from away are usually baffled by highways that lack advertisement billboards selling the latest fast food or even bible verses pointed at teens who are considering abortion. Mainers find comfort in driving, outside of winter of course. They’re able to embrace the full beauty in which the snow blankets the forests, then gently melts weeping into the streets as mud season begins. From there, they witness the green grass peek from the earth’s surface, and maybe just a bit more snow just because. As it reads, or read, crossing the state line, “Welcome to Maine: The Way Life Should Be”.

Bill pulls onto the entrance road underneath a giant log that reads ‘True Cove Camp for Boys’. He’s the groundskeeper and gardener during the offseason for this boys sports camp. Their headquarters are in New York, as are most of these hoity toity New England summer camps, however this camp holds values close to his own. Brotherhood. Faith. Tradition. Bill shifts the truck into neutral, turns the radio down, and looks to Lily.

“You ready?” he asks, playfully nudging her shoulder with a key ring.

“To pull weeds for the next six to eight hours? You betcha,” Lily sarcastically replies.

Lily snags the key ring from her father and exits the truck approaching the locked gate blocking the way avoiding puddles of mud. As she inserts the key into the well weathered padlock, a Monmouth police officer pulls into the drive. Bill exits his truck, right hand gripping the pistol tucked in the driver side dash. Lily eyes the car, pulling her hands away from the lock. Everyone’s still. A loon calls from the lake adjacent to the road as Bill tightens his grasp eagerly waiting for the officer to make a move. Suddenly, the car door opens and the officer steps out.

“Gary?” Bill says to himself as the police officer steps out.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Bill questions, walking towards him.

Lily sighs in relief, then continues to fumble with the rusted lock. Pulling the wrapped chain, the gate creaks as she swings it open.

“Just checking in. Wicked muddy out here, your truck gonna make it up the hill?” Gary asks.

“Yeah, Gar. We should be just fine,” Bill says, moving Gary along.

Gary eyes the bed of Bill’s truck. There’s a large blue tarp covering most of the contents with a few shovels and other miscellaneous gardening equipment sticking out.

“Alright,” Gary starts, readjusting his waist.

“Have at it, give me a shout if you run into any trouble. One must be so careful these days afterall,” he advises.

“Will do, Gar. Thanks,” Bill waves him along.

Gary drives off while Lily jumps back into the truck as Bill continues on the entrance road. The truck wobbles a bit as it attempts to navigate the deep wells of mud. Bill eases off the gas pedal looking over his shoulder out the drivers side window. Suddenly, he slams on the gas just making it past the slippery entrance at the bottom of the hill.

“Every time,” he smirks.

As they pass the first set of sports fields, Bill reminisces about the day Lily was born. She’s sick of the same story year after year but knows her father loves to tell it, especially since her mom passed. He talks about how that spring was wetter than most and while they were churning the old soil with new fertilizer the only sign of life was a Tiger Lily beginning to bloom amongst the natural debri of the baron garden beds. The sun peeked through the overcast skies illuminating the morning dew as if the gods themselves were weeping tears of joy for the birth of an angel. As fate would have it, the first sun shower of spring coincided with her mothers water breaking.

“You’re disgusting. You know that, right?” Lily responds.

“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” Bill smiles, pulling the key from the ignition.

Parking adjacent to the dining hall, the garden is home to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs used right next door inside the camp kitchen providing organically grown meal options with fresh ingredients. Also, a few times throughout the summer, Bill comes out to teach a handful of campers about proper garden maintenance and the best times to harvest. He believes the next generation is falling behind on the importance and benefits of an agricultural education.

Lily throws her water bottle to the side of one of the baron beds along with a shovel and a rake. Bill releases the tie downs over the truck’s bed, then grabs some equipment from the back. They both proceed to put on some work gloves.

“Alright, let’s get to it,” Bill begins, gripping one end of the blue tarp. 

“Hooray for us,” Lily adds.

Bill pulls the tarp revealing a morbid collection of limbs. The amount, along with the aroma, is unsettling to say the least, as if they were the rejected pieces of Frankenstein’s monster. Lily grabs the arm of what seems to have been a child.

“Well, shit. Poor little guy,” she starts, pulling their flesh closer to her nostrils.

After an inflated, and uncomfortably enjoyable, inhalation of the rotting appendage Lily sinks her teeth into the meatiest part of the forearm.

“Hey, we just ate breakfast,” Bill shouts.

“My bad, it’s been a year for me too, remember?” Lily replies, tossing the remains aside.

“That’s why we kept our chosen offerings at home. We wait for the Dark Prince—”

“To reveal himself underneath the crescent moon. I’m aware,” Lily recites.

Bill reaches out to Lily, they clasp hands and bow their heads collectively towards the garden.

“Dark Prince,” Bill starts.

“We offer to you that which has been taken from your enemy,” he continues. Lily joins in.

“The false gods sheep; stripped, tortured, and slaughtered. May your darkness spread from our words to their blood within this soil. Turn their ignorant minds to rubble, and their hearts to darkness through the earth’s growth, their sustenance, and your nourishment,” they chant.

“Praise be to you, Dark Prince,” they finish.

END.

Written and submitted for Cemetery Gates Media April 2021 theme ‘The Burial of the Dead’

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

Top 3 Haunted Places in Maine

Grab a lobster roll with your friends and cruise through the dense Maine wilderness. If you’re looking for more of an adventure away from the traditional tourist traps of Maine, be sure to add the following locations to your road trip itinerary.

DISCLAIMER: Remember to receive proper permission before entering buildings or facilities that are clearly marked as private property.

The Bowdoin Cemetery in the Pit

A young woman in the 1800s allegedly practiced witchcraft and was sentenced to death by hanging from the townspeople in the Bowdoin area. This cemetery is unmarked and easily passed alongside the back Maine road it resides upon. Buried around a circle of trees it seems even nature itself is afraid of what may lay below the soil. Many of the cemetery plots are destroyed, however, what frightens most explorers, is not the mass amount of vandalism, but the alleged witch’s grave itself. The soil is soft, almost freshly turned, as if someone recently was digging to find her corpse. If local legends are true, her grave has a curse attached to those who step in, and especially dig into, the burial site. The Bowdoin cemetery is definitely an eerie, and interesting stop for your next journey through Maine.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The North Manchester Meeting House

Constructed in 1793, this church still serves the small town of Manchester, ME. However, the building itself brings less attention than the cemetery surrounded by old stone walls. Within one of these stones, imprints what’s known as The Devil’s Footprint. Locals claim during the construction of the church a worker stood atop this stubborn boulder swearing he’d sell his soul to the devil if that rock could be moved. The next day, the rock was moved and the construction worker had disappeared. It’s easy to miss the inexplicable imprint while combing the quiet and vacant cemetery grounds. The legend of ‘The Devil’s Footprint’ is one to worth viewing on your next Maine road trip.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Central Maine Sanatorium

Originally titled ‘The Chase Memorial Sanatorium’, it opened in 1910 as a hospital to treat tuberculosis patients. As the rate of tuberculosis cases rose, so did the need for treatment. Extending the intimate hospital setting, construction of wooden buildings took place in 1912 but was unfortunately lost in a fire one year later. The hospital quickly bounced back rebuilding with the addition of a surgical wing and children’s unit.

At the time, there were three Maine (pun not intended) treatment centers for patients with tuberculosis. Western Maine Sanatorium, Central Maine Sanatorium, and Northern Maine Sanatorium. In more southern regions of the state, patients who seemed to be responding to treatment and were more likely to be cured were admitted or transferred to Western Maine Sanatorium in Hebron, ME. Otherwise, they remained or were transferred to Central Maine Sanatorium in Fairfield, ME. In northern regions of the state patients with tuberculosis were admitted to the Northern Maine Sanatorium in Presque Isle, ME. The Central Maine Sanatorium closed in 1970 with a portion of its rooms remaining open as the Pleasant Hill Nursing Home eventually closing in 2001.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you’re looking for more be sure to follow me on Instagram @iMarrowsJ or check out my page on Haunted History. Did I miss something? Contact Me or comment below.

Profile Description

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

The Central Maine Sanatorium, originally The Chase Memorial Sanatorium, opened in 1910 as a hospital to treat tuberculosis patients. As the rate of tuberculosis cases rose, so did the need for treatment. Extending the intimate hospital setting, construction of wooden buildings took place in 1912 but were unfortunately lost in a fire one year later. The hospital quickly bounced back rebuilding with the addition of a surgical wing and children’s unit.

At the time, there were three Maine (pun not intended) treatment centers for patients with tuberculosis. Western Maine Sanatorium, Central Maine Sanatorium, and Northern Maine Sanatorium. In more southern regions of the state, patients who seemed to be responding to treatment and were more likely to be cured were admitted or transferred to Western Maine Sanatorium in Hebron, ME. Otherwise, they remained or were transferred to Central Maine Sanatorium in Fairfield, ME. In northern regions of the state patients with tuberculosis were admitted to the Northern Maine Sanatorium in Presque Isle, ME. The Central Maine Sanatorium closed in 1970 with a portion of its rooms remaining open as the Pleasant Hill Nursing Home eventually closing in 2001.

Consider helping me deliver more content: https://www.patreon.com/imarrowsj

(All photos below were taken by my good friend and talented photographer Tamara Gaal who has kindly allowed me to share them here with you all! Go give her a follow on Instagram: @tamaragaal. Thank you again, Tami, for joining my team and I on this paranormal hunt through this relic of Maine history.)

Front View

Hallway

Room 1

Chair

Device Thingy

Furnace Room

Grandma's House

I Died In Here

Observation Window Shattered

Porch

Ouji Board

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

Old Narrow Gauge Trail in the Randolph Forest. Witnesses claim to have heard voices calling out to them, even screaming at them. With small sightings of orbs, flashes, and dark shadows, this walking trail was a must stop on my travels through Maine. Locals state “Bicycle Larry” was killed and buried by the brook alongside this trail after police recovered a voicemail confession sent from the murderer to his sister. The killer later committed suicide and the remains of Bicycle Larry were never found. My team and I found nothing but odd remains of old toys amongst the lush green forestry and tires alongside the beautiful brook.

Consider helping me deliver more content: https://www.patreon.com/imarrowsj

IMG_20180813_145633.jpg

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

The Bowdoin Cemetery in the Pit. A young woman in the 1800s allegedly practiced witchcraft and was sentenced to death by hanging from the townspeople in the Bowdoin area. This cemetery is unmarked and easily passed alongside the back Maine road it resides upon. Buried around a circle of trees it seemed even nature itself was afraid of what may lay below the soil. Many of the cemetery plots were destroyed, however, what frightened my team the most was not the mass amount of vandalism, but the alleged witch’s grave itself. The soil was soft and seemed turned as if someone recently was digging to find her corpse. If local legends are true, her grave has a curse attached to those who step in, and especially dig into, the burial site. The Bowdoin cemetery was definitely an eerie, and interesting stop on my journey through Maine.

Consider helping me deliver more content: https://www.patreon.com/imarrowsj

Witch Plot

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

The North Manchester Meeting House. Built in 1793 this church still serves the small town of Manchester, ME. However, the building itself brings less attention than the cemetery surrounded by old stone walls. Within one of these stones, imprints what’s known as The Devil’s Footprint. Further investigating its origin, locals claim during the construction of the church a worker stood atop this stubborn boulder swearing he’d sell his soul to the devil if that rock could be moved. The next day, the rock was moved and the construction worker had disappeared. Upon arrival, it took a few minutes to find the aforementioned imprint. After combing the quiet and vacant cemetery grounds we finally found the stone. It’s impressive how much it resembled a human foot, just much larger in stature.

Consider helping me deliver more content: https://www.patreon.com/imarrowsj

The Devils Footprint

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

11:10PM 10/08/2003

Reminiscing in a familiar fear, he crouches tightly against the corner of the dark room. Moonlight shines down from a small window on the ceiling above the towering, uncomfortably silent, cemented walls. Covering his ears, the voices of disappointed role models only grow louder. He screams beginning to wail his fists against the thick concrete wall until his knuckles bleed. Not out of insanity, but just in the hopes he can be heard. Within this tight space; a bed frame and urine stained mattress stand center stage lined with restraints awaiting his momentarily lapse of judgment. Grinding his teeth, flashbacks of drunken screaming from the other side of a dark broom closet veil this already cruel reality. The mental health workers arrive in drones dragging him off the floor slamming his already defeated torso upon the bed face down. One by one, each limb is restrained as he cries for anyone to help. Laughing, they advise him to calm down before the head RN makes her way onto the unit. His shrieks begin to fade into a defeated sobbing as he tires himself out wrestling against the restraints. The mental health workers make way as the head RN approaches wielding a syringe filled with a powerful sedative. Puncturing his skin, directly injecting his bloodstream, what feels like wet cement quickly starts flooding his body growing heavier like an unwelcome embrace. Within a few moments, his body lays tired and conquered while a few final tears roll down his face onto the mattress as his eyes begin to close. “Feel free to try again tomorrow.” A mental health worker mockingly utters as he begins to exit laughing under his breath. As the door shuts behind them a deafening silence covers the room like a thick fog on a humid Maine morning.

05:30AM 10/09/2003

The phlebotomist makes her way onto the children’s unit bright-eyed and cheery. Opening the door, she immediately turns the light on without warning waking the boy. Still groggy from the sedative, he can barely open his eyes to see who’s there. Releasing his restraints, she helps him sit up. Trying his best to regain consciousness she preps his testing materials. “Pick an arm for me buddy and hold it out.” He does so. “Now make a fist.” As she searches for a vein to puncture she recognizes the boy from a previous visit. “What brings you back to us so soon?” Attempting to hide his black eye and bloodied lip he turns away with a silent mouth and shamed face. With only a slight grin and grinding of his teeth, she digs the needle into his vein. The absolute presence of silence joins their awkward conversation, becoming quiet enough to hear the plasma exit his body into the vial. Pulling the needle out, she places a cotton ball over the pinhole wrapping tape over top. Helping him lay back down, she turns the light out as she exits with a gloomy demeanor.

06:46AM 10/09/2003

The sun begins to rise, shining through that tiny window above. Feeling the warmth of the rays, the boy begins to writhe like a worm under a magnifying glass. Still bleary, he lays in bed a while as the mental health workers begin making rounds of vitals to the other rooms. After he gathers the energy to sit up he holds one arm close to his chest. Examining the loosely secured bandage he gags at the sight of the blood-soaked cotton ball. Opening the door slowly, the assigned psychologist to his case enters with a blood pressure monitor and thermometer. Although a familiar face, the boy makes little to no effort to acknowledge the doctor’s company. Making his way over to his bed, the psychologist sits next to him in attempts to strike up a conversation while cleaning up his bandage. “You know, we’re here to help you. Trying to fight us just makes it more difficult.” The boy is silent, he turns away. “Those people…the ones that keep hurting you, they’re gone. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.” The boy smirks just a bit, laughing under his breath. Proceeding to take his vitals the psychologist explains the boy’s treatment plan. “With last nights outburst and your frequent flyer miles here, we’ll be keeping you on SP1 for the first few days until we think you’re safe to leave the unit.” (SP1, Special Precaution 1, the highest level of surveillance a patient can receive. You can’t even shit without someone watching you.) Expecting a reaction, the doctor pauses only to receive a villainous glare from the boy. “Ninety over fifty. Your body’s tired, be sure to eat your meals. They’ll be brought onto the unit. We’ll revisit your status at the end of the weekend, I hope to hear good things.” The psychologist says finishing up a few notes into the boy’s chart. Make your bed and head out to the day room, breakfast will be here soon.” The boy sighs irritably as he begins to tuck the paper-thin sheets neatly around the mattress.

07:20AM 10/09/2003

The boy shuffles aimlessly into the day room taking a seat next to a few other kids waiting eagerly for breakfast. Glancing around the room he soaks in the faces of others who’ve been hurt, it’s bittersweet for him to witness. Almost comforting to know he’s not alone but horrified at the same time. Beyond the usual cuts and bruises, burns and welts cover their bodies. Before the group lines up for breakfast, the morning group therapy session consists of a tedious questionnaire. Each child is handed a paper and a half eaten or broken crayon. Accustomed to the content, the boy quickly circles his usual answers.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how’s your mood this morning?

1             2             3             4             5             6             7             8             9             10

Do you have any pain? If so, where: _____________ On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does it hurt?

1             2             3             4             5             6             7             8             9             10

Within the last 24 hours have you had any homicidal or suicidal thoughts?

Yes         No

If yes, explain:

If you were to have thoughts of harming yourself or others, would you let someone know?

Yes         No

Are you hearing things or seeing things?

Yes         No

If yes, explain:

What’s your goal for today?

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

After everyone hands in their sheet, they begin to line up for breakfast. The boy stays seated in the day room knowing he’s unable to join them off the unit. As the others head off, nursing interns from the local university in Augusta step foot onto the unit. Ready to learn, their ignorant minds are complemented by wide smiles and hopeful cheer. After a quick briefing from the head RN, the interns start to make themselves comfortable around the unit. Seeing the boy sitting alone in the day room, one makes his way in to speak with him. “Hey bud, my name’s Adam, what’s yours?” The boy doesn’t respond. “Can I look at your morning questionnaire?” Without permission, the intern grabs the boy’s sheet evaluating the boy’s answers aloud. “Feeling like a three this morning, huh? I’d say I’m about a seven.” The boy turns to the intern with an ever so judgmental expression as he continues to read. “No pain, that’s good. No homicidal or suicidal thoughts, visual or audio hallucinations. You said you wouldn’t let anyone know if you felt like hurting yourself or others, why is that?” The boys’ hypercritical glare evolves into a defeated smile as he laughs a little to himself. “When you admit your pain, they try to help. Their help…it hurts.” Befuddled, the intern pauses attempting to calculate the boy’s response. Another intern enters the day room with a meal tray from the cafeteria placing it on the table. The boy hops up sliding his socks across the floor thankfully taking a seat in front of his breakfast. “Thank you.” He states his gratitude with a smile to the other intern as he unfolds the top of the milk carton. “You’re welcome.” She returns sitting across the table from him. Glancing awkwardly over at the other intern Adam, she’s somewhat impressed at how fast the boy devours the soggy waffles and bruised banana on the tray. “You like the food here?” She says in hopes of small talk. “Sometimes.” The boy replies after a final swig of his milk. “My name’s Evelyn, what’s yours?” Without responding the boy stands heading towards the day room door placing the trash from his tray in the bin walking out to the nurse’s station.

08:10AM 10/09/2003

A loud buzzing comes from the unit door as the rest of the kids arrive back on the unit. The head RN stands from her station and struts towards the medication window, the boy follows. Knowing that he’s trailing, the head RN speaks up. “Hope you’re doing well this morning.” She starts. Reaching the window, she unlocks the door and steps inside. As the shade rises, the kids line up for their punishment in form of prescription pills. The boy looks up gazing upon the head RN as she hands him a concoction of sedatives and anti-psychotics. With a small glass of water to wash it down the boy places the colorful mixture of capsules and tablets into his mouth. After a splash of water and a painful swallow, the boy looks once more to the head RN opening his mouth wide. “Lift your tongue.” She utters knowing he’s one to hide. He does so. “Good boy.” She says in a demeaning tone. Lowering his head in embarrassment, he shuffles back into the day room.

08:30AM 10/09/2003

With group therapy about to begin, everyone gathers in the day room as one of the therapists enters introducing the interns. “Before we get started on our goals, we have some special friends joining us this morning. Adam comes to us from the Auburn area and will be joining us for group therapy, Evelyn will be with the nurses this morning and she’s from the Winthrop area. Let’s be gracious hosts and offer our attention to them.” Urine begins to spill from the chair next to the boys as his neighbor begins to seize. Most of the other kids begin to scream in disgust or fear that it might happen to them. The boy sits patiently watching the room turn into complete chaos as mental health workers arrive like riot control officers grabbing the boy next to him and exiting swiftly like nothing had happened. “Alright, alright, everyone have a seat so we can start group now please.” The therapist declares attempting to bridge the gap between what just happened and the fact that Adam the intern looks petrified. The boy laughs to himself as the kids around him find their seats. Noticing his snickering, the therapist asks the boy to go grab a mop and bucket from one of the orderlies. “It’s not my fucking piss!” The boy shouts. Everyone stops, the room is silent. Mental health workers wait patiently right outside the day room door. “Can you please grab a mop and bucket to clean up our friend’s accident?” The therapist asks once more in a softer tone attempting to keep her patience. The boy stands, locking eyes with the therapist he begins to piss on the floor soaking his hospital gown. Adam the interns’ jaw is completely dropped as the mental workers approach the boy. He runs around the room grabbing anything he can to throw, screeching as he tosses crayons and bits of trash at them. As they finally get a hold of him, the boy bites down on one of their arms breaking the skin. As blood flows out from the man’s arm, he releases the grip he has on the boy. With a moment of freedom, the boy flees towards the door as a Code White is called over the intercom. Making his way to the massive unit double doors he wails on them aggressively in hopes that they’ll open. With a loud buzzing sound, the doors open, and he’s met by three larger mental health workers swooping him up instantly carrying him to the quiet room. One by one his limbs are restrained once again. A few final tears hit the mattress as the head RN punctures his skin with that syringe of prescription wet cement. His cries are silenced by the dense quiet room door closing. The head RN observes the boy tire himself out from a surveillance stream at the nurse’s station. An orderly enters the unit with a mop and bucket rolling into the day room where group therapy continued as scheduled.

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

Consider helping me deliver more content: https://www.patreon.com/imarrowsj