The state of Maine has an eerie feel about it especially in the small towns that dot the Midcoast around Penobscot Bay. The Olson House in Cushing, Maine is such a place. Originally built in the late 18th century, the colonial farmhouse became the home of Christina and Alvaro Olson in 1929.
From 1939 to 1968 the house was also a central theme in the works of American artist Andrew Wyeth, and whose poignant and haunting masterpiece Christina’s World was an homage to his longtime friend Christina, who’d been paralyzed most of her life from a childhood illness.
The house is open to the public and a guide will take you from room to room bringing to life the stories of the Olsons and their friendship with Wyeth. They’ve even reported hearing footsteps in the rooms above and doors being opened or closed late in the day. Many folks believe their spirits are still around and stay clear of the house once the sun sets.
Alvaro, Christina, and Wyeth are all buried in the family plot just down the hill. Look back toward the house and you can almost see Christina lying in the grass, immortalized forever on the canvas by Andrew Wyeth.
Known as Middle Ground lighthouse or Middleground Light, this 60-foot granite structure is set on a shoal in Long Island Sound. There are at least two creepy tales attached to this place. The first involves multiple suicide attempts by an assistant lighthouse keeper. The isolation of such a job took its toll on Julius Koster in 1905. After his attempts, he was taken to a sanitarium in New York, where he finally succeeded in killing himself just a few days later. Reports of chaos such as loud grinding and crashing noises, mysteriously slamming doors, and even pots of hot water being tossed onto the floor from the stove make some think that Koster’s spirit is still hanging around Middleground Light.
The second haunted tale connected with the lighthouse is about the wreck of the ship Trustful, which struck the shoal and sank, killing all onboard. Interestingly, this ship’s cargo was a load of church bells. Today, it is said that you can sometimes hear the sound of muffled church bells in the area when a storm is nigh.
Visit Danvers State Hospital, which is also known as the Danvers State Insane Asylum. The hospital opened in 1878 with impressive Gothic architecture which is also chilling and eerie. From an aerial view the building is shaped like a bat with expanded wings. It was made up of more than one building which all were connected by underground tunnels.
The hospital housed more patients than they should have causing poor treatment and overcrowding. The patients were not treated kindly – unfortunately they were exposed to inhumane treatments such as shock therapies, lobotomies, drugs and straitjackets. In fact experts call Danvers State Hospital the birthplace of the prefrontal lobotomy.
The hospital closed in 1985 and was left completely abandoned. People interested in the paranormal would try to enter the building but with no success. According to one ghost expert, “you may not see a patient’s ghost, but the building could manifest your inner fears, doubts and agony.”
Now you can live on this property if you so desire. In 2005 they renovated and tore down some of the dilapidated buildings constructing beautiful apartments and condos. That being said there are still graveyards for patients that passed away with no family or forgotten. If you walk down a hill you will come across many markers, and sadly, most of them remain nameless.