BUSS: Misc. Places for UE
So, maybe you've grown tired of crawling through drains and decrepit buildings and are looking for something new to do on a Saterday night? Well, there might be a couple clubs, a strip joint, and a few bars scattered around Bangor... but we're not going to bother telling you about any of that crap... no no, we're going to tell you of just a few places for Urban Exploration that do not involve crawling through dank tunnels and rotten old buildings...
An associate of ours once said these words about Mt Hope Cemetery in Bangor...
"People always think cemeteries are creepy places at night... but a cemetery is really one of the most peacefull places to go to because everything that might want to hurt you is already dead."
...It's very true, at least most of the time... even if someone else is in a large cemetery like Mt Hope, the chance of encountering them is pretty low... If someone is encountered, they are as likely to be as spooked at you showing up as you are at them. Caution should be taken not to startle the other party as it is very likely that they might be armed with anything from wooden clubs, knives, swords, pointy sticks, or even a firearm. Our agents have been on several missions into Mt. Hope Cemetery at night and we have thus far, only encountered one man who was sleeping under a blanket. Agent Wally says he almost crapped his pants once when a deer jumped out from behind a nearby tree and ran off into the night. Agents Mac and Wally have both reported sightings of the mysterious Cemetery Gnomes, and supposedly they once even tried to chase one.
There are two large cemeteries in Bangor: Mt Hope Cemetery, and "That Cemetery on Ohio St".
Mt Hope Cemetery is located between Mt Hope Ave and State St, just before the town of Veasie. Started in 1836, it's a lovely park-cemetery (our nations second oldest park-cemetery) with "135 acres of gentle, stone-dotted hills and fields" and a non-living population of about 30,000. There are a few notables burried in Mt Hope... Al Brady (a gangster who was gunned down in downtown Bangor by the FBI in 1937) is burried in an unmarked grave. Hannibal Hamlin, vice president under Abraham Lincoln, is burried here. There is a large tomb where bodies are stored during the winter until the ground thaws out... during the second World War, the tomb once contained over 100 bodies waiting for the spring thaw. somewhere in the cemetery in an unmarked grave, A Gypsie Queen is buried with a reportedly large but unknown amount of money. Steven King filmed part of his movie "Pet Cemetery" in Mt Hope Cemetery. We once heard rumors of a child who was burried in a glass coffin. Despite extensive searching, we have found nothing like it, though some of the cemetery's caretakers who we talked to had also heard of it.
We do not know much about "That Cemetery on Ohio St"... only that when the highway was built through the middle of it, workers reportedly ran into many old unmarked graves... we even heard a rumor that some of the coffins had scratch marks on the inside of the lids... burried alive? The only other interesting thing is the large mausoleum on the top of the hill... it has an extension cord going into the door.
One thing we would like to mention about cemeteries... If we ever encounter anyone who is defacing grave markers or anything like that, we will hurt you.
Churches have nice basements and steeples. It is easiest to go on sundays or some other day when some sort of service is going on...
The only one we have explored so far is the Columbia Street Baptist Church. There's a cool sort of secret passage behind the alter area, it goes to a room out back and has stairs that go down to a room in the floor below. We have not been in the bell towers yet... we found the doors but they are locked. There are at least two doors going down into the basement areas... one has always been locked and the other has always been unlocked. The unlocked one is on the back wall of the main floor, in a room that is off to the right if you enter from the front door. It goes down to a fairly clean and dry basement with a locked door at the other end on the right wall and some stairs going up to a door on the left wall. The door at the top of the stairs leads out into an alley and the locked door goes into the rest of the basement. The rest of the basement is fairly extensive... there are several rooms and a few hallways. Many of the rooms are used for storage of stuff that looked like it had not been touched in fifty years.. one room was very smelly and had lots of metal pipes.. and then there are what we believe to be a gate to Hell... its a large metal door made from several thick sheets of rusted metal riveted together. It had no hinges on the outside and when we pushed on it, the entire thing moved in slightly. It could be the entrance to somesort of boiler room or other heating device, but in this case, we really do think that it is most likely a great iron door in front of an elevator shaft that leads strait down to Hell. Our info might be outdated... our last expedition into this building was in 1992.
There are a lot of other churches scattered around Bangor... some of the better looking ones are (we don't know the names so we'll just say where they are...) the one on French St, right behind St John's Memorial Highschool... the green-steepled church on State St hill, the church that's right behind city hall, the smallish stone church at the top of the hill behind the public library, the big brick church with the slate steeple that's on a street between Hancock and State st... that's just a few. And again, go when something else is going on in the building.. that way you at least have an excuse for being there, and it's easy to get in.
Rooftops, although not really our specialty, they can be a fun place to go... high up, nice view of the city, no one else around but a few friends and people on the streets far below. There are two sorts of rooftops to get onto in Bangor: school rooftops, and downtown rooftops.
We have only roofed a couple of the schools on the east side of the city.. Fruit Street School and Abraham Lincoln School. Both are one story (except for the gymnasium part) buildings. Fruit street is the easiest and has several ways to get up.. just take a look around and you'll find a couple... tall people can jump and grab the edge of the roof in some places. The roof of the Fruit St school is fun at night in the summer because it topped with tar which becomes slippery when the dew forms. Test your ninja climbing skills by trying to climb onto the roof of the gym... the slanted metal sections of roof make nice slides of you don't mind falling ten feet at the end...
Abraham Lincoln School is a little more of a challenge for one's ninja-climbing skills... the only way we have found was by climbing a pipe that goes onto one of the higher sections of roof.. the brackets that hold the pipe to the wall are spaced just far enough apart so a person of average height cannot reach one bracket by standing on the one below it. Agent wally reportedly made it up by attaching one end of 15' retractable dog leash to a length of 2x4 and the handle part to his belt. His technique for climbing was to climb up to the first bracket, place one end of the 2x4 on it, step up onto the other end, lock the retractable dog leash to that length, then grab the now reachable next highest bracket... climb up onto it and repeat until he got to the top.. he said it got a little scary when he was twenty feet up on the side of the building, holding onto a metal pipe and balancing with one foot on a 2' long piece of 2x4 that was balancing on an inch and a half wide metal bracket... but he made it up and reported back to us that there is not very much up there.
We have found several rooftops around downtown Bangor that are fairly easy to get onto. The roof of the building formerly known as The Bagel Shop (on the corner of Main and Hammond St) has a small parking garage out back... in the lower level there is an iron ladder leading up to the fire escape and onto the roof. From that roof top, it is possible to get onto another rooftop, and maybe more if you are really good at climbing or have the right equipment.
It is an easy climb to get onto the lower rooftop sections of the Green-steepled church on State st hill. The view of downtown Bangor is pretty good from up there. The way up is easy to find, just go around to the hill that faces Diva's... at the top of the hill, next to the church, there's a chainlink fence to climb over and then your choice of either a gutter or a tree to climb up to get onto the roof.
Another rooftop we have been looking at but have yet to explore is on the corner of Harlow St and State st. On Harlow St, there is an alley that leads to an area that is sort of in the middle of the city block that has these buildings... there is a fire escape that looks like it might lead up to the rooftops.
Across State st from the last group of buildings, there is an alley that has a fire escape that comes withen a few feet to the left of another buildings (a 6 storie building)rooftop. It is a bit of a climb up a wall to get onto the fire escape and it is fairly visable from the road. One of our agents climbed up a few years ago and said the jump to the other building was to risky to attempt.
Sometimes, while wondering around in the alleys of downtown Bangor, one will find a door that is open or not entirely closed. Here are a couple instances when we have encountered such situations...
One day, about five years ago, three of our agents were walking through one of the alleys off Franklin street and found an open door in the side of the buildings...
"...beyond the open door were some stairs going down. A couple of us just happened to have flashlights so we decided not to pass up the chance and went to have a look. At the bottom of the stairs there was a hallway that continued strait, and a door to the left. We went intot he door to the left... A room... some sort of storage room with wire racks and mannikin parts, pluss boxes of other junk that we did not bother looking in. There were several religeous symbols spray painted on the walls, mostly stuff like pentagrams and "666" sort of stuff... we wondered for a bit about what sort of things went on down there and how old the grafiti might be, then went back out into the hall and followed that for a short distance before it came to a white door with a mail slot. Looking through the mail slot, we could see a hallway and room with walls painted white and a red carpet. We thought we heard someone coming into the room so we decided it was time to leave."
One night several years ago, we were walking through the alley that passes through one of the blocks between Columbia st and Main st. A door on one side of the alley was slightly ajar so a couple of our agents went in to have a look around. What he found was rather odd...
"The door led into a small room. There was a couple articals of clothing, a night stand, a shoe box, some newspapers, and the remains of some incense. There was one more object in the room that made the whole scene seem a bit strange... pointing at one wall and sitting on a tripod, there was a cheap white plastic telescope peering through a hole in the plaster board wall. Looking through the hole, all we could see was an empty area with a glass wall on the far side. The area beyond the glass wall looked like a stairway leading down to a floor below."