Post by Joanna on Oct 20, 2016 18:07:39 GMT -5
11th Annual Ghostport Festival
Join us this Saturday, October 19th, for the 11th annual spook-tacular Ghostport festival in downtown Bucksport, Maine, which will include the Lil’ Goblins Parade, down Main Street to Jonathan Buck’s Race to the Grave.
Whether it’s the spooky or the sweet that you seek, Ghostport is the place for fall fun. Show off your creative skills in the carved pumpkin contest or skip the carving altogether and launch your pumpkin into the Penobscot using our trebuchet. After the sun sets, scare yourself silly at Fort Knox and then take our shuttle back to the waterfront to enjoy music, food and fireworks. Cap it all off with a late night horror film on the big screen! A Wickedly Fun Filled day!
Build your scariest coffin, dress up and race to win. Come out to watch or participate in this fun event and see who will reach the grave first. Races will begin at the starting line on Main Street at 2 o’clock. Each participating team will need to provide four runners (pushers) to propel the coffin. Each team will also need one “Jonathan” to ride in their coffin. All Jonathans must wear a helmet during the race. (All participants [including Jonathan] must be age 16 or older.) Participants under 18 must have a parent or a legal guardian sign for them. Challenge your friends, coworkers, sports teammates, rival teams from other schools, competitors – anyone!!
The Cursed Tomb of Jonathan Buck. The monument in Bucksport’s Hillside Cemetery (above) dedicated to the memory of Col. Jonathan Buck (February 20, 1719 - March 18, 1795) is marred by a mysterious image in the shape of a woman’s stocking-clad leg. There are several versions of the story, but one of the most oft-repeated is that Buck ordered a woman jailed on a charge of witchcraft. Apparently, she was somehow injured when captured, developed gangrene and the leg had to be amputated. At her trial, Buck sentenced her to death by hanging and as the doomed woman stood on the gallows, she placed a curse on Buck, vowing she would haunt him to his dying day and beyond, or words to that effect.
Another version claims it was the convicted woman’s deformed son who protested his mother’s ill treatment in jail and execution by crying out something like “Your Tomb shall bear the mark of a witch’s foot for all eternity!”
In yet another version, a man accused of murdering a woman and dismembering her body – one of her legs was never found – was sentenced to death by Buck. As he stood on the gallows, the man cursed Buck, telling him “the leg” would follow him to his grave, or something similar.
As the story of the cursed grave marker spread, visitors began stopping at the cemetery to see the curious stain. For many years, the Town of Bucksport attempted to keep people out of the graveyard and discourage thrill-seekers. But when it became apparent nothing was going to dissuade those with a taste for the macabre – and tourists did spend money at local business establishments – the town leaders gave in and today, there’s a sign, parking area and even a wheelchair ramp at the cemetery to accommodate those who want to see Buck’s tomb.
Frights at the Fort. Forts are often scenes of death and destruction and Fort Knox in Bucksport is considered one of Maine’s most haunted locations. The fort was built during the early 1880s after the Revolutionary War, in hopes of deterring further British attacks in what was one of the bloodiest battlegrounds in Maine. The area is said to be infused with the life-force of those who died in the American Revolution. Luckily Fort Knox was never fired upon, but it did serve as a U.S. Troop training during the Civil and Spanish-American Wars.
Open from May 1 through October 31, visitors have reported being touched by something unseen and others claimed to have seen phantom human shapes walking about. The Ghost Hunters TV show even did a segment at Fort Knox.
Every Halloween the fort adds to the haunted fun with the “Fright at the Fort” display. People dressed in period costumes and other ghoulish attire jump out at you as you make your way through the fort. Flashlights are forbidden, so you literally are clambering about in the dark, making it even harder to tell if the ghosts you see are actors or the real thing.
This year’s Frights at the Fort ghost tours started Saturday, October 12, and are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 18-19 and October 25-26. Tours will be conducted from 5 - 8:45 p.m. each night. Costs at the gate are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under.
Additional information here.
Sources: Bucksport Bay Area Chamber of Commerce; The Town of Bucksport, Maine; Valerie Van Winkle, “Legends of Jonathan Buck”; and Shelby Hartin, The Bangor Daily News, October 17, 2017.