This cemetery in central Maine has been a hot spot of urban legend and the setting for strange happenings. As you go up the hill to the graveyard, woods line both sides of the road, and as you ascend, you can sense that something is not right. The meeting house next to the cemetery was built in 1791 and was moved to its present location from the nearby town of Readfield. When the meeting house arrived at its new location, it was reassembled piece by piece. The cemetery is located right next to the building. This is the final resting place of the founding fathers of Manchester. One of these men built his home on top of a hill overlooking the cemetery and the lights of the capital city of Augusta. The area is surrounded by a low rock wall with an iron gate that creaks almost as if on cue. A boulder in the wall near the entrance bears two footprints—a human and a hoofed print. There have been reports of strange lights and sounds coming from the woods around the cemetery. Ghostly figures have been seen walking through, including a lady in white. But it’s not just inside the cemetery that strange things have occurred. Modern-day folklore tells of a brand-new van that pulled into the parking area next to the rock wall. It was late at night and all was quiet. While the occupants were sitting in the van, the windows started fogging up and a strange noise was heard by all. As they turned toward the window, they could see claw marks but no cause for them. Others have gone to the footprint to try and have their own brush with the supernatural only to get back in their vehicle and find that it will not start. We have investigated this cemetery for more than seven years, and we always come away with some unique findings. We have seen cloaked figures walking the back corner and have heard strange voices. We were sitting in our car and saw a shadow dart behind the car and vanish. As we were wrapping up our investigation one night, everyone was outside the wall when we all heard and felt a thud hit the ground, as if a very large boulder or monument had been knocked over and had struck the ground nearby. We looked around but nothing was disturbed. The ghost of a gatekeeper who stands guard near the gate wears dark clothing and a hat, and he can sometimes be seen holding a lantern. Wary of newcomers, he relaxes when he finds you are not there to cause harm. One woman from our group, who is quite empathic, started taking on labor pains near the back corner. We believe the spirit of a woman who is buried in an unmarked grave in the cemetery was trying to communicate through our sensitive that she died either during, or shortly after, giving birth. We have also sensed several portals where the air gets very cold and electrically charged. You can even see your breath in the middle of summer.
—Bill and Nancy Washell Co-Directors, Maine’s Paranormal Research Association
THE Devil’S FOOTPRINT NORTH MANCHESTER, MAINE
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