When I think of Damariscotta, Maine, I think of a charming little coastal town, with a vibrant Main street and friendly folks that are proud to show off their rich nautical history. But, Damariscotta is also home to an unsolved and unexplained death of one Mary Howe. The questions still remain if her spirit has ever found peace or does she choose to continue to haunt the very town that may have buried her alive.

We have to go back to 1882. Mary Howe and her brother Edwin who were know to dabble in the occult were in their home on Hodgdon street in Damariscotta. The lore suggests that on a warm winters evening, Mary and Edwin performed yet another seance where Mary would speak to the dead after going into a trance. They both believed in spiritualism, the means of conversing with those that have passed.

However, this trance, was different, this was Mary’s final trance, as she never came out of it. Her brother Edwin was hysterical. He insisted she was alive. However, after two weeks in the trance like state it was obvious that Mary was not returning. Not in this lifetime anyway. While in her trance like state, her breathing would be almost unnoticeable and her pulse would drop to an undetectable rate. The Sheriff, Coroner and Minister all agreed she was gone. But it was very strange, you see there was no rigor mortis, no death odor, no irrefutable sign of death. Not knowing what to do, it is possible that Mary was buried alive in a secret grave. Decades later, people still hesitate as they pass one cemetery in particular, Glidden Cemetery on River road. Some people believe that is where Mary found her final resting place in an unmarked grave. Apparently strange, eerie sounds randomly are heard. Some say that Mary Howe has finally awoken from her trance and that is her moaning for justice as people pass by.

So many questions still remain. Have residents finally discovered the secret burial site? Did the three local authorities bury poor Mary Howe alive, while she was in a trance?  Had Edwin been correct all along, that Mary was just in a deep trance? Has Mary been buried this long and now is sending signals through the moans that sound like wind on a calm night?

Perhaps we'll never know. But the next time you are in Damariscotta, feel free to take a stroll through Glidden Cemetary and maybe you'll experience if Mary Howe is trying to connect with you.  At the very least it's a picturesque place right on the river.

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