Outside the Thomas A. Hill House on Union Street, a small crowd gathered on Oct. 3 to stroll through the streets of the Queen City of the East, and learn a little about Bangor’s haunted lore. Matt Bishop, curator and operations manager of the Bangor Historical Society, who led the tour, began many of the haunted tales told during the Ghostly Bangor Walking Tour with the foreboding phrase “the story goes …”
The tour, which offers the public a chance to listen to tales of unsolved mysteries, murder and hauntings, was the first of nine that will take place through the month of October.
The first stop on the tour was the Isaac Farrar Mansion, a three-story brick building that dominates a portion of Second Street. The story goes that a small child from the prominent Merrill family died accidentally from swallowing a marble. His nanny, full of remorse, hung herself in her third-floor quarters. They both haunt the mansion, a building whose residents have reported being plagued by the sounds of footsteps and voices, and doors opening on their own.
The tour winds through the streets of downtown Bangor, along Union, Main, Central and High streets, as well as through West Market Square and Hannibal Hamlin Park..
One story in particular about the Bangor House on Main Street piqued the group’s interest on Oct. 3 because of its connection to the infamous Boston Strangler. Rumors are the Bangor House is haunted by a chambermaid named Effie MacDonald, who was strangled with one of her own stockings in an unused room in the 1960s. Panic ensued because the first suspect was the Boston Strangler himself. Though it turned out in the end to have no connection to the Strangler, the murder remains unsolved to this day.
From the city’s first reported murder in 1791 of a Frenchman named Joseph Junin, to tales of a small ghostly child who weaves through crowds at performances at the Bangor Opera House and the infamous killing of Al Brady, public enemy number one, on Central Street, the tour is filled with not only speculation, but historical facts.
Bishop usually sees about 20 to 25 people per tour, who excitedly follow as he leads them around Bangor for a walk that lasts about an hour and a half.
There’s still plenty of time to walk the dark streets of downtown at night. Upcoming tour dates include Saturdays, Oct. 10, 17 and 24, Tuesdays, Oct. 20 and 27, Thursdays, Oct. 15 and 22 and Friday, Oct. 30.
Tickets are $10 for an adult and $5 for a child and are available for purchase online at bangorhistoricalsociety.org/purchase-guided-walking-tour-tickets/.