Thursday, May 31, 2018




When talking about haunted places on Mount Desert Island, one can not overlook the Devil's Oven, an ancient sea cave today known as Anemone Cave.  It was renamed Anemone Cave because of the sea life that lives in Tide Pools left behind in the cave when the tide goes out.  So hiow did it earn itself the name of the Devil's Oven at one time?
Books and websites point to all the souls that have been lost in the cave of people having been trapped by a rising tide and drwoned.  Just reaching the cave entrance in and of itself can be a dangerous task fought with periels.  The way down from the top of the cliff is steep and can also be slippery.  You only need but to trip or slip to find yourself plunging head first for the rocks below.  And when you do make it safely down to the entrance, the real fun begins as the caves walls are wet and the floor of the cave carpeted in extremely slippery seaweed and algee.  Grown men have ended up looking like young school boys as they struggle to keep their balance.
One website boosts that there might be treasure to be found in the cave, and no, there is no treasure unless one considers an occassional conch shell that gets left behind as the tide exits for a spell.  Locals know what the best time is to find one in the cave are and they are prized because so few are found there.
For most of us, we are fortunate to not know the timing of our death or how death will come.  For Douglas Rose, a local College student  and only 20 years old, he  felt  the hand of death close around him in a way the rest of us pray we will never have to experience.  On that October of 1993 Douglas Rose and a fellow student from the local college did not go to the cave looking for death, but before the day would end what spirits call the Devil's Oven home would raise their heads and let their presence be known in no unmistakable terms.

Before the two students even reached the cave they had already put in a full day of rock climbing.  In fact, they were about to call it quits when they decided to do just one more climb.  they made their way toward the cliff below Schooner Head Overlook, and attached their climbing gear.
One would of thought, considering the nature of  the weather here which can change in an instant, they would of been mindful of what might be lurking  out there far off to sea.  But why would they of, considering the entire day up until than had been a perfect day for rock climbing.  and had they just stuck to rock climbing that  evening might well of ended on a peaceful note.
Once the two students had roped down to the cave they entered it and examined the walls.  At some point it was decided they would use gear they had carried down with them and attach ropes from the caves ceiling so they could hang suspented in air and examine the caves ceiling areas.  That took time to set up, time neither of them had to spare, for as they worked in the cave, outside the weather was drasticly changing.  A far off storm was now bearing down upon them, a storm so ferice it would leave one student alive and the other dead.
The two students were suspended from the ceiling by gear when the first signs of trouble came, with a wave or two crashing into the cave.  This was not a good sign under any curcumstance and the two decided it was time to get back down to floor level, which they did.  As they began to gather up their gear more waves crashed into the cave, each larger and more powerful than the last.  by the time the gear was rounded up and packed safely away they were already being knocked about and most likely tying to figure out why the waves were so large and strong.  As they turned and headed for the ecit, they were now facing some of the largest and most powerful waves yet.  Repeated effors to exit the cave were met with failure, the students being lifted up by each new wave and tossed like toys back deeper into the cave.  It literally became a battle for survival as they fought against what seemed impossible odds, but finally, drenched, bruised and exhausted they exited the cave.  By now it had turned dark and the sea was very rough.  it was a struggle just to locate the rope, their one and only escape to the safety of the cliff high above.
Rose's classmate reached the rope and immediatly began searching the dark sea around him for his friend.  When he finally spotted him, his friend was so exhausted he barely could keep his head above water, and he knew their only chance of getting out of there alive was if he climbed to the top of the cliff and went for help.  It was not an easy task, however, because like his friend, he also was exhausted and weak.  but somehow he musted up the strength to pull himself up the rope and once at the top collapsed on the cliff.  But within minutes he was back up and staggering toward the Schooner Head overlook parking area above.  Once there he saw there was no cars anywhere in sight and bwegan the long journey back toward town.  At town an ambulance was summoned, the police and Rangers notified and a search and rescue party quickly assembled.  But once they reached the cliff they realized the odds were not in their favor.  Safety lines were rigged and some one lowered down toward the mouth of the cave.  A flashlight scanned the rough surface of the sea and soon the body of Douglas  Rose was spotted floating face down and it was determined he was no longer alive.  Because of the danger the storm presented, with its heavy winds and driving rain, it was decided the students body would be retrieved the following day.
When they returned the next day the sea had once again returned the body of Douglas Rose back to the cave.  A rescue worker attached to ropes spotted the body, at first above water, than sinking below, only to rise again and sink again.  The body had to finally be pulled up out of the water in order to remove it from the cave.
THE DEVIL'S OVEN - Open For Business - Acadia National Park

Sadly it is said this tragedy has replayed itself many times over the years thus earning the sea cave the title of the Devil's Oven.  Some say it took the death of this young college student to finally get the Park Service to close the site and abandon the cave from its list of attractions.  Some believe the spirits of those who have died there warn others of the inherent dangers, sometimes its the distant clang of a buoy bell mourning in the fog, or the sudden rise in the wind as the sea turns rough and a chill suddenly replaces  a normally warm day - one thing is certain, once you make the choice to enter the Devil's Oven you are playing by its rules and it will decide if you exit alive or not.  At the Devil's Oven, the welcome sign is always out.


Some places, dispite how beautiful they are, hold a deep dark secret, Eagle lake in acadia National Park is one such place.  On most days the lake is calm and inviting, offering up scenes of beauty at every turn.  But what the eye can't see is what is in the water.  For too long some have thought the errie feeling they get standing along the shore on days when the water is rough or a shrould of fog is moving in was the presence of the ghost of a sunken steam boat.  The steam boat was used to get passengers brought out to the lake from town from one end of the lake to the other, where a cog train waited to carry passengers up to the summit of Green Mountain, now named Cadillac Mountain.  And it may very well be the sunken remains of the steam boat they feel, but it just as easily may be the restless spirit of a young child who fell through the ice one day and became trapped under water.
This tragic story begins in 1909 on Christmas morning.  9 year old Adren L. Peach is at home with his mother in Northeast Harbor and the air is filled with excitment.  Today was special, not only because it was Christmas, but because Adren would soon be heading over to Bar Harbor to unwrap gifts with his cousin, Clarence  Suminsby.  What the boys did not know was that each boy would be unwrapping a brand new set of ice skates.
As Adren  Peach and his mon arrived at the home of Mrs. Lewis Suminsby on forest street, one can only imagine the boys wanted to get right to the business of unwrapping gifts, and at some point they did at least begin to unwrap gifts.  But once the boys unwrapped their new ice skates they wanted to head right out to the lake and try them out.  The two boys were allowed to head up the Eagle Lake road to skate on the lake, and together they made the journey by foot.
Once at the lake the two boys put on their new skates and began testing them out as they skated on one end of the lake.  But after a while they noticed people ice skating on the far end of the lake and decided to skate the length of the lake to join the others.  For some unknown reason the two boys decided to take seperate paths, with one boy skating along the right side of the lake and the other skating along the left side of the lake.

As they got closer to the group to the other end of the lake where others were skating, the 11 year old  Suminsby boy began to cross over to where his cousin was, but before he could reach him, to everyone's horror three other boys not far from them suddenly went down through the ice.  A man tried to come to their rescue but he also went down through the ice.  It was at that moment that the 9 year old Peach boy went through the ice.  The man and three boys closer to the shore managed to somehow pull themselves back out of the ice and others nearby were trying to locate the 9 year old, but his body had slipped well under the ice and not a trace of him could be found.  Finally as this true account states, they managed to locate his body under 69 feet of water, drown.
11 year old Clarence Suminsby returned home to his house on forest street and raced inside with the tragic news, his cousin 9 year old adren was dead.
So to this day there are those who believe there is indeed something in the water at Eagle lake, and that the spirit of a 9 year old boy is trapped in the lakes depths to this very day.  I have myself seen the lake go from calm to rough and watched as a eerie fog creped in, and listened for a voice on the wind.


If ever a place was haunted in Acadia National Park, it would have to be Otter Cliff.  Go there on any cleatr sunny day and out of nowhere a chill can run up your spine as a creepy fog suddenly appears out of nowhere.  Don't be surprised if you find yourself hearing sounds or voices from down below and peer over the cliff only to find no one there, strange unexplained sounds all linked to the number of deaths that have occurred at Otter cliff.
Rock climbers hyave plunged to their death after brand new climbing ropes have snapped for now reason at all.  In some cases it is almost as if some unseen force has steered people to their own death, such in the case of Emil Lin.  He was a rock climber from the Bangor Maine area.  He was in his 20's that day in 2004 as he was rock climbing up the cliff, when he lost a shoe.  He made his way back down to a ledge and unclipped from his climbing gear, and dispite a number of people warning and pleading with him not to go into the ocean, he did just that.  What followed was a young man in the fight for his life as he battled against waves to get back to the ledge.  After a horrific struggle he finally did make it back to the ledge and with whatever strength was left in him was able to pull himself up onto the rock where he collapsed completely exhausted following his battle with the sea.  And just than another wave came in and lifted his body up off the rock and carried him back out to sea.

The coast of Maine is a treasure trove of ghost stories up and down the coast and no one knows for sure what spirits call this stretch of granite coastline their home, but the face of Otter cliff has been scarred forever with sudden and violent deaths.  Thrown on top of all that a murder and you have the ingredients for a truly haunted location.
On  Oct. 11, 1987 the tormented spirit of Kathy Frost Larson would forever be linked to Otter Cliff.  Kathy was the third wife of Dennis Larson.  His first wife,  Leslee R. Larson, had died at Wolf Creek in Montana in 1975 from a drowning, and his second wife had devorced him.  So he traveled to Maine and placed ads in local newspapers looking for a new wife.  Young Kathy Frost answered one of those ads and her fate was sealed on that day.  After a brief courtship the two were married, but kathy soon realized she had made a horrible mistake and began telling family and friends she wanted out of the marriage.  Dennis Larson knew she wanted a divorce but managed to talk her into making a trip to Bar Harbor, Maine where they could talk things over in nearby Acadia National Park.  Her family and friends warned her not to go, but Dennis finally got her to agree to the trip.  No sooner had they arrived in Bar Harbor when her husband announced he was taking her to Otter Cliff in beautiful  Acadia National Park.  Once there he took her over to Otter cliff - which must of been a terrifying experience for Kathy because all her family and friends all would later testify that Kathy was scared to death of high places.  At some point Dennis gave kathy a shove off the towering cliff, and no doubt a blood curdling scream was let out as Kathy plunged down the face of the cliff to her savage death on the rocks below.  Days earlier it was later learned that Dennis had taken a $200,000 life insurance policy out on his new wife, and he told authorities that he had decided to go along the cliff in one direct and his new wife had gone in the other direction when he heard her fall to her tragic death.
But with the death of his third wife, authorities began to take a closer look at the death of his second wife, who had drown days after an insurance policy was taken out on her.  After that death was reopened, Dennis finally admitted to shoving his third wife from the cliff and of holding the head of his first wife under water until she had drown.  Had Maine authorities not been on the ball, its no telling how many more wives would of met a horricfic death at the hands of Dennis Larson, because for him killing wives and cashing in their insurance policy's was his business.
Dennis Larson was convicted of the death of kathy Frost larson, and sent off to prison, but in this case justice had a strange and errie end to it.  while serving time in prison, Dennis placed duct tape over his mouth, climbed up onto a chair and leaped from a third story window where he fell to his death.  But there are more than a few who contend that Dennis Larson had some help that day as he went out the window, some say other inmates played a role in giving him a helping hand, but still others believe the tormented spirit of Kathy Frost Larson played a role in avvenging her own death.
One thing is certain, one can not stand on Otter cliff without sensing her spirit nearby, and without feeling the restless spirits of others who have plunged to their deaths along otter cliff.  On trips to the cliff, one can not help but wonder what Kathy's last thoughts were?  Did she go to the edge of the cliff willingly or was she dragged?  Only the spirits that lurk at Otter cliff knows fully what tales of horror they have witnessed over the years.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


lake wood - aCADIA nATIONAL pARK

West Street Ext.

Park Loop Road - Acadia National Park

Cottage Street - Bar Harbor

Jackson Labs - Route 3

Bar Harbor Shore Path

Monday, September 4, 2017

NORWOOD COVE DAM - Southwest Harbor


Nearly thirty years ago, while visiting friends in Southwest Harbor, one asked if we would like to take a little walk to a nearby dam.  It was a nice evening and so we took the walk as our friends told us how they would go to the damn with their parents when they were younger.   I'm thinking we are going to this dam and getting a good view of it from the banking somewhere along the water, as is the case with most dams.  But our friends assured us we were in for a treat.
I was a little surprised when our friends told us we had arrived atr the dam, because all I could see was a driveway and a house, with a couple young children outside playing.  I don't see a dam, I said, I do see a house.
True, and we are going to walk through this dooryard to that path by the tree's, one of our friends said.  So I followed our friends into the dooryard, thinking some one is going to call the police on us, again our friends assured us locals had been using the path at the far end of this dooryard for many long years. 

It turned out to be a very short path that led us to a set of steps leading up to the top of the dam.  Wow, I replied, are you certain we can go up here?
Locals have been coming here for many years, was the reply.  We walked across the entire top of the dam, it was a really memorable experience I will never forget.
There are no signs, but here is how we reached the dam that day. 
at Southwest Harbor, turn off main Street onto the Clark Point Road.  Follow this road to an intersection.  At the intersection turn  onto the High Road.  Follow this road until you come to the South Causeway Lane road on the left.  The road ends at a house with a driveway, near one corner of the driveway is a path to the dam.  If I recall right, our friends said you could also reach the dam on the other side of the water but I don't know the directions from that end.  Looking at a map, I see there is a road on the other side of the water named the North Causeway Lane Road, perhaps there is a path somewhere at the end of that road. 
North Causeway Lane is off of the Fernald Point Road.  The name of the dam is the Norwood Cove Dam.
Feature Name: Norwood Cove Dam
Category: Maine physical, cultural and historic features
Feature Type: Cultural
Class: Dam
County: Hancock County
Latitude: 44.28717
Longitude: -68.32087
GNIS ID: 1774593


You don't have to attend a church service nor do you have to visit this tiny church on a Sunday, as it is open to the public throughout the summer months.  I located this small church one day after taking a wrong turn in Northeast Harbor, seeing it, and deciding to check it out.  Since that time I have tried to visit it one or two times each summer.  And usually we are the only one's in the building, surprising since visitors are allowed almost complete access to the different sections of the church.
Saint Mary's By The Sea, Northeast Harbor, Maine
Its many stained glass windows are amazing works of art that you will want to photograph.
Just an amazing little church in Northeast Harbor, Maine.  To locate this almost hidden gem, drive down Main Street.  Turn left onto Kimball Road.  Stait Mary's By the Sea is at the far end of Kimball Street.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


According to the maine aviation Historical Society, a twin engine USAAF B-18 Bolo bomber made an emergency landing in Poland Springs on July 19, 1941 and later a RCAF Avro Anson made an emergency landing on the Kebo Golf Course's fairway in Bar harbor maine on Oct. 24, 1941.
On Feb. 5, 2018 the Ellsworth American Newspaper ran a piece on the anniversary of the plane crash at Kebo Golf Course.  The crash took place just weeks before the United States entered World War 2.  It was a stormy night when the plane went down and at least one person thought we might be under attack by the Nazis as phone calls began to flood in to the Bar Harbor Police Station.  Besides the sounds of the large aircraft circling low over the town, the  glow of flares dropped by the plane lended an errie feel to the scene unfolding that night.  Some of the flares drifted on toward the Shore Path and the waters of Frenchman's bay.
Earlier in the day the aircraft departed its base at Pennfield Ridge in New Brunswick  as it set off on a rountine training mission.  By late that evening the plane had found itself in bad weather, lost in fog and ice forming on its wings.  The use of flares was the only way the crew could desperately search out a safe place to put the plane down.  Out of gas and time, the plane banked hard and crash landed at the 535-yard, par 5, 14th hole at Kebo Valley Golf Club just west of town.   The belly landing left the plane intact with bend propeller blades as the plane skidded some 600 feet before coming to rest in a sand trap.
This crash could of been a lot worse had the plane broken up or caught fire. 

I can't recall exactly how many men made up the crew but I believe another piece I read on this stated their was either a five or seven man crew on the aircraft that day, and not one of them was injured.


Saturday, May 28, 2016


Today we decided to retrace the Green Mountain Railroad Trail one last time and followed west Street Ext. up into Acadia National Park.  We got about to the area of the Great Hill trail along the Park Loop road when we came upon some roadwork being done.
park loop road - acadia national park
  We continued walking along the Park Loop Road, stopping to rest by the entrance to the Cadillac  Mountain Summit road - a lot of traffic seemed to be heading up the summit road.
second pullover

When we reached the second pull over we took another break before crossing the road and entering the woods.  Years ago it was hard to see where the trail began, but today enough people have used it so the ground was pretty worn down.  Up the banking from the road it turns left and quickly comes to a rock placed by the first railroad spike - very easy to locate.
From there the trail turns right and heads upward into the woods, with a number of railroad spikes in plain sight.  It was clear an attempt was made at one time by rangers or Ridgerunners, to bend some of the spikes so they didn't stick upward, as you will see in the photo - most likely a sledge hammer was used in an attempt to make it harder for people to find the old abandoned trail.

Yeah, I know, this was never a hiking trail, but once the Railroad company went out of business it did become a hiking trail for many years after.
The trail is pretty much a shallow ditch, much like a dried up brook, keeping that in mind makes it easy to stay on course as you make your way through the woods. In the photos you can see what I mean. 
There was a few spots where a bush or small tree grew up in the trail but mostly it was pretty open.
We did have to step over a few downed tree's along the way and as we went along we came upon a number of rock piles, half were still up and half had been taken down - clearly a war of sorts if going on along the trail between Ridgerunners and trail phantoms. 
Next to some of the iron spikes sticking up out of the ground we saw a number of spikes that had been removed and are piled there rusting away, as you can see in the photo.

This was the only time I have ever hiked this trail when the granite was dry and not slippery so footing was not a problem.  Before long we came to my favorite area of the trail, a long section that had been built up so workers could lay down tracks.  Beyond that area the trail follows a wall of boulders for a ways before taking a slight right hand turn and moving up through the woods.
As you begin to pass through open granite areas and re-enter the woods, you encounter more and more brush growing up in the trail, but some railroad spikes are never far away to help guide you along, that or rock piles.

About three forths of the way up the trail we came to my second favorite place along the trail, the section where the one and only remaining piece of steel rail still rests.  It is a beautiful sight to come upon after battling blackflies for much of the way - yeah, once again we forgot to carry the insect repellent.
From there you will move across open granite, back into the woods, back across open granite, and so on, with the open granite having many railroad spikes.

  The final stretch of trail moves through brush and becomes much harder to follow, but it does follow a brook at times moving right through the center of it.  Today the brook was bone dry so we were able to follow the spikes all the way to where it comes out on the Cadillac Summit Road.
Right there on one of the granite blocks found along the roadway was a stone, across the roadway was two more stones showing where the trail continued on the other side of the road.

 I have never attempted to follow the trail on that side of the roadway, since where the trail crosses the road is pretty clost to the summit of Cadillac. 
Back when the train was running it would of gone pretty close to the summit, stopping close to a motel, and I have heard that the old foundation is still visible.  It would of been nice to go all the way to the summit, but we were hungry and so were the swarms of blackflies around us, so we walked back down Cadillac Mountain following the Summit road and headed back home.
In summing up the trail today,
 I would say that years ago the first half of the trail was the hardest section to follow and the top half was the easiest to follow.
  Today it is the bottom half that is easiest to follow and the top half has become more and more overgrown in sections. 
When I first began hiking this trail many years ago I always had an approach to doing it which works well today.
Hike with one or two others and when you reach a section that becomes hard to follow, have someone go ahead and zig-zag in search of the next railroad spikes or rock piles.  Of course, the top section is not far from the Cadillac Summit road and you can hear cars on the roadway not far off, so the risk of becoming lost is pretty slim.

The one thing I would add is that when ever we have hiked this trail we hike up it and follow the Cadillac Summit road back down.  There are just too many spikes sticking up out of the granite and moving downward I think it would be a lot easier to trip over one of them spikes.