THE DEVIL'S OVEN
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.
|ANEMONE CAVE - THE DEVILS OVEN - Acadia National Park|
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.
THERE IS SOMETHING IN THE WATER - Acadia National Park
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.
THE HAUNTING OF OTTER CLIFF
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.