DARKER MOUNT HOPE- Mount Hope Cemetery will be one of the locations of the Haunted History Tours held in Bangor, Maine throughout October Photo Courtesy Credit: Lillie James
By Carla Charter
BANGOR, ME.- For those looking to mix in some history with their Halloween happenings might want to head to Portland, Maine for their Haunted History Tours sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank.
Two historic tours are offered through October, Ghostly Bangor and Darker Mount Hope Cemetery. The Ghostly Bangor Tour has been running for 13 years and the Darker Mount Hope tour is in it’s third year. ” These tours are wildly popular and continues to grow in popularity each year,” according to Michael Melochick, Executive Director of the Bangor Historical Society.
The Ghostly Bangor Tour focuses on downtown Bangor, specifically buildings which are alleged to be haunted or where murders or untimely death have taken place, Melochick said. Among the stops on the tour is the Bangor House, once the grandest hotel north of Boston, he continued. In 1965 it was the scene of a gruesome unsolved murder of Effie MacDonald. Downtown Bangor was also the location of a shoot-out between the FBI and the Al Brady gang, in 1937. At that time Brady was the most wanted F.B.I. Fugitive, he stated.
During the Darker Mount Hope Tour, those attending can visit Brady’s grave, which remained unmarked until 2007. “Brady’s family wanted nothing to do with him.” Melochick said. Hannibal Hamlin, Lincoln’s first Vice President is also buried at the cemetery. Hamlin fell ill at the Taratine Club, a gentleman’s club in Bangor. At the time he was retired as vice president but was still active in politics. Although Hamlin died of natural causes, he had also been treated with a concoction of brandy and ammonia which at the time which was used for fever, he said.
The 90-minute historic tours also involve audience participation where tour guides ask audience members if they have had experience with ghostly encounters in Bangor. These stories are then incorporated into future tours.
The tours are appropriate for those ages 10 and up. Tickets are $10 a person with no charge for anyone under 12. “We keep it free for those under 12 to hopefully get them interested and engaged in history,” Melochick said.
Both tours cover a distance of about a mile or a mile and a half. and begin at 7 p.m. The society also recommends those attending dress appropriately, wearing layers and walking shoes. Those attending the Darker Mount Hope Tour are also asked to bring flashlights with them.
The Bangor Historical Society strongly recommends reservations as tour groups can be as large as 100 participants. 4 additional tour guides have been added this year. Reservations can be made at www.bangorhistoricalsociety.org/calendar