The Tale of Maine’s Beautiful And Haunted Fort William Henry
I grew up not too far from Fort William Henry located in New Harbor. I went there more times than I can count growing up. Not once did any of the adults in my life inform me that IT'S HAUNTED. (Although, after a phone call to Nana, she had no idea either.)
So I set off to find the truth and discovered the New England Legends Podcast that dives right into the tale that's largely about war crime and betrayal.
During the King Williams War of the 1690s, British forces arrived in the midcoast and built the fort to protect the northern border. When it was built, there were 60 soldiers manning the fort equipped with thick high walls and cannons. The fort was a force to be reckoned with.
Captain Pasco Chubb, who we will later learn was a complete coward, was in charge of the fort when, in 1696 the Abenaki people who were under French leadership showed up, unhappy with their treatment by the British settlers. The Abenaki surround the fort and a battle ensued.
Eventually, the son of one of the Abenaki chiefs raised a truce flag in an effort to discuss a prisoner exchange. Captain Chubb went to meet with two of the Abenaki chiefs (which are called sagamores), Edgeremet and Abinquid, and Edgeremet's sons, or so they thought. Captain Chubb then betrayed the truce flag and ordered his men to fire. This action resulted in the death of Sagamore Edgeremet and his sons.
This betrayal fueled the fire of the Abenaki men and they fought back. So much so that the mortar used to build the fort began to crack and crumble. Not only that, the water supply was outside the fort, and with the fort surrounded the British soldiers had no choice but to surrender.
Captain Chubb ended up flying his own truce flag, and then negotiated his own safe passage to Boston, and left his men at the fort. Once he returned to Boston, the governor, appalled at his actions, threw him in jail. Captain Chubb's story didn't end after jail. According to The Working Waterfront Archives, while living in Andover, Massachusetts after serving his sentence, a group of 30 Abenaki killed him and his family for revenge.
It's unclear what happened to the men left behind at the fort. Some say they were slaughtered and others say they were allowed to march south.
Over the years there have been reports of typical ghostlike occurrences such as glowing balls of light, cold spots, and even seeing Native American Spirits.
So, who's haunting the fort? Well, it's speculated that the Abenaki sagamore Edgeremet and his 2 sons are the ones still haunting the land after their betrayal.
The Fort Williams Henry site is a gorgeous day trip. While you're there stop at the nearby Pemaquid Beach State Park and grab an ice cream at Harbor Ice Cream. And while you're there, you may run into a spirit or two.