ORONO, Maine — Four area adults were summoned on trespassing charges shortly after midnight Tuesday after they reportedly scaled a barbed-wire-topped gate leading to Ayers Island with a baby in tow.
“They said they were looking for ghosts,” Orono police Officer Wilfred King said Wednesday evening. King said one of the ghost hunters brought along a camera in hopes of documenting paranormal activity on the island, which is privately owned and off-limits to the public. Several large signs there make that point.
King also said that the ghost hunters picked late Tuesday night because they said there was a full moon.
Sgt. Scott LaJoie said the group didn’t quite make it onto the island, however. King, who was patrolling the area that night, spotted their vehicle shortly after they arrived.
Charged with trespassing, but not arrested, were: Eric Roy, 23, of Bangor; Kimberly Patten, 19, of Orono; and Chauncey Hulbert, 27, of Bradley, and Hulbert’s 25-year-old wife, Suzanne Hulbert, King said.
King said that the Hulberts had brought along their 15-month-old child and that Chauncey Hulbert was taken to a Bangor hospital for treatment of leg injuries he suffered while climbing over the gate, which King said is about 8 feet tall and topped with barbed wire.
According to published reports, Ayers Island is home to the former Striar Textile Mill, which was built in 1890 and last operated in October 1996, as well as the former Orono Pulp & Paper Co. Most of the buildings that remain there were built around 1907, according to local histories.
It also has a reputation for being haunted. In the summer of 2006, the cable network VH1 filmed two episodes of “Celebrity Paranormal Project” on the 62-acre island titled “Tanner’s Ghost” and “Wooden Lucy.”
According to local legend, the island in the Penobscot River, located two miles from the University of Maine campus, is haunted by the ghost of a foreman killed in a mysterious accident who is said to haunt the mill seeking revenge, and the ghost of a young girl whose father accidentally killed her after being tricked by a 300-year-old American Indian curse.
Roy and Chauncey Hulbert were among three men arrested in 2008 in connection with the theft of $6,000 in electrical wiring from a Bradley contractor.
Roy later was indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury and sentenced the next year to 30 days in jail and $500 restitution. He also has a theft conviction from March of this year and convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia and driving without a license.
Hulbert has been convicted of criminal mischief in 2010 and 2009, and assault in 2009.