Stories of Haunted Lewiston, Just in Time for Halloween

Halloween is fast approaching. A time period usually marked by excitement, party planning, and long-anticipated costume reveals may look a little different this school year. This may cause some to lose faith in the spooky October spirit. However, ghost stories are a perfect way to inspire the frightening thrills of the holiday. While the Halloween spirit may be harder to find within, the haunted history of Lewiston makes it as real and undying of a force as ever. Look no further for your source of October chills — I’m here to tell you the eerie lore of Bates students’ town of residence. 

I’m stationed next to the book stacks in the basement of the library as I write this. It’s late at night, and COVID-19 has deterred the usual crowd of studious night owls that inhabit Ladd into the wee hours of the morning. In fewer words, I’m all alone. The droning buzz of the overhead lights provides a constant blanket of sound over the otherwise stark silence of the room. It’s comforting, like a kind of white noise that I hope will facilitate my creative and journalistic flow…if not make me a little bit sleepy.  I came here to try and find some literature about hauntings, specifically in Maine. I paced the aisles of books, giving up my search pretty abruptly. It has been a long first day of classes and after all, I have Google’s bounty of knowledge at my fingertips. 

“Hauntings in Lewiston…Paranormal activity in Lewiston, Maine…Bates College Haunted…” Hmm, let’s see. Oh, here’s something, get ready for this. Anyone who has been on the Androscoggin River path, a favorite route among Bates runners, knows that it has an old cemetery positioned right in the middle of it. According to a blog titled Strange Maine, visitors to the cemetery recounted strange happenings at one of the mausoleums. They felt a “strange energy” fill the air as they approached the structure, as if someone was following them or ready to come out and attack them. In an attempt to grasp what was going on, one of the cemetery-goers tried to start communicating with any spirits that might be causing this unnerving feeling. A branch suddenly fell off of a tree above them just inches away from where they were standing. The visitors, terrified by the coincidence, fled the scene and reported feeling this same uneasy gut feeling for days after the event, being afflicted with a deep chill that wouldn’t subside. Whether coincidence or not, this common Bates-adjacent landmark spooked these people on their casual stroll.

Another local spooky spot is at the Agora Inn in Lewiston. While this Inn may appear like any other from the outside, it has a chilling distinguishing feature. The spot made headlines for its addition of a room called The Hotel Crypt, which was formerly the chamber that housed the body of a Lewiston priest for around 100 years. Guests can now stay in the crypt, complete with a double bed in the shape of a coffin, low hanging ceilings, weathered brick walls on all sides, and candles for lighting. This room is a paranormal encounter waiting to happen.

Lastly, Lewiston/Auburn residents report of hauntings at both the Auburn and Lewiston Public Libraries. According to an online forum, staff members of the Auburn recounted seeing a ghostly male figure with an eerie grin stare at them from afar in the building. At the Lewiston Library, a customer purportedly saw a figure run through the shelf aisles and disappear. 

It is up to you to choose what you believe or doubt in these stories, but sometimes you can’t deny that creeping feeling that you may not be the only one inhabiting a space. And on the topic of libraries, the lights just went off in the bookstacks…