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Captain Buck’s Tombstone

Bucksport, Maine

Long ago, a man named Captain Buck fell in love with a woman who was known to be a witch. In order to protect his reputation, he left her for another woman. The witch cursed him, saying she would leave her foot upon his grave. Today, an outline of a foot is seen on his tombstone. The stone has been scrubbed and even replaced; the outline still remains.

58 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »

58 Comments

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ryan says:

December 8, 2005, 8:27 pm

This is real. I have a picture of the leg on the headstone.

thayet59 says:

December 14, 2005, 1:47 pm

It sounds pretty freaky. But oddly realistic.

Jalbert, Wanda says:

January 8, 2006, 5:50 am

Ive seen it in 1969 when vacationing. Awesome site, but the purple house next door to the cemetary was a eye opener. I was told that it was painted purple to keep the “evil” spirits away.

Dale Johnson says:

January 15, 2006, 5:11 pm

yes i know it is real my name is Dale Johnson i use to live in bucksport maine i use to go to school at bucksport jr high and high school and i know the foot print is real they changed the stone many times and the foot print kept comming back i know from experince i lived on the milvale rd

Eddy Forester says:

January 16, 2006, 4:07 pm

I’d rather believe in real ghosts, evp’s and hauntings, then a made up legend to fit a discoloration on a piece of granite. If you want a look and several articles explaining why it was made up then check out Maine Supernatural at http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeqnk8x/

january says:

January 17, 2006, 12:25 pm

my grandparents have seen it and so have i.they live in bucksport.

Kelly says:

February 24, 2006, 5:52 pm

I think it sounds realistic, but, a witch? I think its just a tid-bit farfetched.

babee_s0_fabulous says:

March 18, 2006, 9:21 am

isn’t this story kinda like the other one? but oh well

Lindsey says:

March 27, 2006, 4:15 pm

I’ve seen it, when my sisters boyfriend worked in bucksport..It’s pretty cool, but I’ve heard different stories about it, like the guy getting buried with a bucket on his (Which I don’t think was true because who’d get buried with a bucket on his head) and his foot getting cutting off.

Meagan says:

March 28, 2006, 2:03 pm

I’ve seen it a couple of times and it is pretty creepy looking. Theres also a heart on the top of the stone or something like that. I heard the story a little differently though I heard that he loves her then found out she was a witch and had to kill her. The way she was killed always chages with each story but the end result is she cursed him and said that she would always haunt him even after he died. Thatâ??s the way I heard it anywayz.

Meg says:

May 10, 2006, 4:43 pm

I used to live in Bucksport, and I was fascinated with this whole story. I’ve heard many versions of it – but, oh well. That’s bound to happen I guess. The just of the story has always remained the same. And really, the fact they could replace the stone and have the boot still be there, is totally creepy!

Nikole says:

June 11, 2006, 1:05 pm

Wow I’ve had an expiriece like that, there’s been a handprint on my friends wall, and they tore it down but that handprint is still there!

Nikole says:

June 11, 2006, 1:08 pm

continued…..

on the new wall.

Darren Roberge says:

October 9, 2006, 10:36 pm

There is a rumor that the headstone of John Buck had been replaced. That is not true. I visited the grave today 10/9/06. THere is a mark on the headstone in the shape of a foot, but there is also an informational plaque right next to the grave that states that rumors of the headstone being replaced are untrue.

morgan M. Woodson says:

October 11, 2006, 10:05 am

Well, really to be sure of it your story lacks a surtain taste. It does REALLY mater about what body part , really it matters why and how her “foot” got there and WHY THE FOOT?

Johnny Joe says:

October 11, 2006, 7:02 pm

this is oddly freaky

and kinda dumb

Ron Swan says:

October 21, 2006, 11:14 am

from what i have read about and researched the foot is because of this short story:

the captain was with the witch and when they found out she was a witch the town wanted her killed and he did nothing to stop them. as a curse she said just before she died that she would come back and dance on his grave when he died.

lee han says:

October 27, 2006, 3:28 pm

this s a lie… i no tat it is

may says:

November 13, 2006, 4:21 pm

thats not the whole story.

DJ spin dat shit says:

December 22, 2006, 3:53 pm

yeah yeah yaeh! yo yo yo! what up hoe! so like its captain buck buck buck and he’s ready to **** **** **** and the chickens go cluck cluck cluck and the corn we shuck shuck shuck

Jenn says:

December 24, 2006, 12:17 am

I live near bucksport and the story about this grave is not the right story. The story about this on is more like the story you wrote for the other witchcraft grave. The witch cursed John Buck for suspecting her as a witch and having her killed. Other than that the rest is true, they have tried to change the stone many times and it keeps reappearing.

Belladonna says:

December 26, 2006, 2:22 pm

NO THATS WRONG!!!!!!! HE DID NOT FALL IN LOVE THE LADY WAS A WITCH THE MAN WAS A JUGE! GET THAT STRIAGHT!!!! JEEZE LUIZE!

Belladonna says:

December 26, 2006, 2:23 pm

i agree with jen

Belladonna says:

December 26, 2006, 2:27 pm

makes a great horror romance tho

destiny says:

January 2, 2007, 9:19 pm

i thinks its kinda unrealistic. I mean come on. A foot print even if it is wiped away?

Bob..x says:

January 24, 2007, 5:14 pm

I think this story might be real im nt sure how can yuu prove this please let me know thanx

imp says:

February 15, 2007, 4:45 pm

I would have done the same thing. The ******* !

Tay says:

February 26, 2007, 4:47 pm

Err… I have been to that site thousands of times….. She was a woman, there is no such thing as crazy witches like that who leave crazy curses. I’m Wiccan, our power comes from Chi… life force, not supernatural powers. You people are silly. She couldn’t have left a cuse, but maybe a signautre of her energy…

veronica says:

March 27, 2007, 10:17 pm

That’s what he get’s 4 living her.$ another woman couldn’t he have just stead wit her.

jd says:

September 16, 2007, 4:21 pm

this is close to the other version, oh well I’ve heard various versions of the story.

Mike says:

October 6, 2007, 1:02 pm

Ok, here are the fact surrounding this well known Maine tourist trap:

1. No record of any witch trials occuring in Maine exist. This includes pre-1820, when Maine (or the Eastward as it was known) was a provence of Massachusetts. One former judge of Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts was arrested in Casco (now Portland) and returned to Salem Village, where he was tried and convicted of witchcraft. He was subsequently put to death.

2. Colonel John Buck was a real person, and is buried in this cemetery. However, his actual grave is located more than 20 meters away from the marker bearing the documented defect. This large family marker was erected many years following Colonel Buck’s death. Col. Buck’s actual place of rest is clearly marked in stone, with his name and personal information.

3. The family marker has never been replaced, and the defects in the stone have never been “sanded down” or otherwise addressed. They are common defects and can be observed naturaly (shape withstanding) in natural outcroppings of granite.

4. If you are looking for a spooky adventure in the Bucksport area, head over to Fort Knox. Not that Fort Knox…but in Bucksport there exists a huge fort named for Henry Knox, American general duing the revolution. It is large, maze like, and highly spooky after the sun goes down.

vanessa says:

October 22, 2007, 9:35 pm

I have seen the leg on the head stone since I was little. It’s really there and they have tried to replace the stone more than once and everytime the leg keeps coming back! The person who commented before Jenn is right about the story that is posted being wrong.

GG says:

October 26, 2007, 10:48 am

THIS IS TRUE MY FATHER LIVED IN BUCKSPORT AND WE USED TO WALK PAST THE GRAVESITE EVER DAY, ITS VERY CREEPY LOOKING AND THE HISTORY OF THE TOWN PROVES THAT THE STONE WAS WASHED, SCRUBBED EVEN REPLACED MANY TIMES BUT THE FOOT WOULD ALWAYS COME BACK.

Vanessa F says:

November 1, 2007, 3:40 am

she told him when he left her that she would dance upon his grave. no matter what u do to that stone the boot print always comes back!

Kevin says:

November 24, 2007, 1:11 pm

Legends of Jonathan Buck
——————————————————————————–

Written by Valerie Van Winkle for the Bicentennial Edition

Generations have puzzled over the legend of Col. Jonathan Buck: which came first, the monument of the witchâ??s curse?

Ironically, Bucksportâ??s founder, a regional Revolutionary War hero, has achieved national prominence not for his service to his town and country, but because of the image of a womanâ??s foot and leg which appears on his memorial.

Born in Woburn, Mass., Feb. 20, 1719, Buck grew up in Haverhill, Mass. On Oct. 19, 1742, Buck married Lydia Morse. They had nine children, six of whom survived childhood.

In July of 1762, Buck sailed the sloop Sally up the Penobscot River to survey six plantations which have since been designated Bucksport, Orland, Penobscot (Castine), Sedgwick, Blue Hill and Surry. Buck made another trip to the Plantations in 1763, and in 1764 began construction of the first settlement on Plantation No. 1, the present town of Bucksport.

Buck joined the disastrous expedition to Castine and siege of Fort George in July of 1779. The day after the Patriots defeat by the British, Buck took his wife and seriously ill daughter, Lydia, to safety in Brewer. At the age of 60, suffering from gout, he walked the nearly 200 miles from Bucksport to Haverhill. Five years later he returned to Plantation No. 1 and rebuilt everything that had been destroyed by the British in 1779. Buck and his sons were leaders of the community, and in 1792 Plantation No. 1 was renamed Buckstown in Col. Jonathanâ??s honor.

March 18, 1795, at 4:30 p.m., Buck died. He was buried in a cemetery east of Buckstown.

Buck might have remained a traditional local hero, but in August of 1852, his grandchildren erected a monument near his grave site. As the monument weathered, an image in the form of a womanâ??s leg and foot appeared under the Buck name.

Although there is little doubt that stories began to circulate as soon as the image was noticed, the first record of it appearing in print was in the Haverhill Gazette of Marsh 22, 1899. However, that article attributed a quote to an undated edition of the Philadelphia Enquirer. The Gazette articleâ??s recounting of the Buck legend has become the classic version, although there are certainly many variations on the theme.

Briefly restated, the tale runs: Jonathan Buck was a Puritan to whom witchcraft was anathema. When a woman was accused of witchcraft, he sentenced her to be executed. Then according to the Haverhill Gazette, “the hangmen was about to perform his gruesome duty when the woman turned to Col. Buck and raising one hand to heaven, as if to direct her last words on earth, pronounced this astounding prophecy: â??Jonathan Buck, listen to these words, the last my tongue will utter. It is the spirit of the only true and living God which bids me speak them to you. You will soon die. Over your grave they will erect a stone that all may know where your bones are crumbling into dust. But listen, upon that stone the imprint of my feet will appear, and for all time, long after you and you accursed race have perished from the earth, will the people from far and wide know that you murdered a woman. Remember well, Jonathan Buck, remember well.”

In 1902, a similar version of the story appeared in the New England magazine, written by Bucksport resident James D. Wittemore. According to a pamphlet in the Bucksport Historical Society titled Jonathan Buck of Bucksport, The Man and The Myth, a longtime Bucksport resident and authority on legends, Rev. Alfred G. Hempstead, said that Buckâ??s descendants were dismayed by the story and threatened to sue for slander.

The details of the rather different version of the story, retold by Oscar Morill Heath in Composts of Tradition: A Book of Short Stories Dealing with Traditional Sex and Domestic Situations, are so lurid that many of his embellishments are tastefully skipped over by those writing about the Buck legend. In one variation Heath created a son for the doomed woman, fathered by Buck. At the time of her execution, the woman is pregnant again by Buck. In his role of Justice of the Peace, Buck condemns her, has her tied to the door of her house and then sets her on fire. The son grabs his motherâ??s burning leg and permanently cripples Buck by hitting him with it. The leg becomes a relic, and when, after Buck dies, it touches the dead body, Buck emerges from his coffin to confess all. At the end of the story, Buck returns to his coffin and says to the womanâ??s deformed son, “Close the lid, boy.”

Heathâ??s story seems to have inspired a long poem written by Robert P. Tristram Coffin in 1939, The Foot of Tucksport. Coffin has added his own interesting elaborationâ??s to the story, including making the illegitimate son deformed.

In another version written in the 1930â??s by A. Hyatt Verrill, a “half-witted” man is brought before Buck accused of murdering a woman and removing one of her legs. Buck condemns the man, who says that the appearance of the leg on Buckâ??s tombstone will be his vengeance. Many subsequent articles about the legend seem to be attempts to prove or disprove the various versions of the story. Research suggest that there is no basis for the legend. It has been noted that there is no record of anyone having been executed by burning in Maine. As a Justice of the Peace, Buck did not have the right to sentence anyone to death. The witch trials in New England occurred more than 25 years before his birth. Although clearly a character of energy and determination, Buck was admired by the soldiers who served under his command, and letters to his wife in Buckâ??s spidery handwriting promising eternal affection are on display at the library in Bucksport.

But then there is the leg. Attempts have been made to remove the image, but it has always returned. Over the years, people knowledgeable about monuments have explained that the image is the result of a natural flaw in the stone, perhaps a vein of iron which darkens through contact with oxygen.

The Bucksport Library has on file an undated piece about local legends by Ester E. Wood. It begins, “Kenneth Roberts wrote, â??Local tradition spins on truth and tramples the gown of common sense.â?? It could well be said, â??Local tradition feeds upon lies and flies far and fast on wings of nonsense.â??”

Writers who have researched the legend seem to conclude that it is a fiction concocted after the appearance of the image on the monument. No records have been discovered suggesting that any version of the legend predates the appearance of the leg. It all seems very reasonable, unless you have seen the image of the leg firsthand. It has a vitality, a naughtiness, which seems to laugh at rational data.

Marcy says:

March 23, 2008, 2:40 pm

This is interesting, however this tale is not factual.
In 1882, sixty years after Colonel Jonathan Bucks death, his grandchildren thinking he should have a prominent resting place in the cemetery, had a large impressive headstone erected by the fence where it is easily seen from the street. On it is the name Buck. There developed a flaw in the stone in the shape of a womans stocking. A local newspaper man, thinking to commercialize on it started a story. He said the Colonel had sentanced a woman to be hanged for witchcraft. When she was dying, she swore to avenge him and it was her stocking that appeared on the stone.
The story was so publicized by magazines and picture post cards that it is hard to believe that it is not true. However the story has no factual value. It is merely a flaw in the stone. The body of Colonel Buck does not even rest under the notorious stone, but several feet back from the cemetery.

Rebecca Cox says:

March 25, 2008, 11:37 am

This is really freaky he should not have cheated on her

Terry says:

March 27, 2008, 7:40 am

I don’t really beleave in witchcraft. But back in the Colonial Days. It was normal. Tobe accused of doing somethings out of the unusual way for the time. I beleave. There is one thing we can do to find out if the story is really true. Is to research the whole Myth and compare the findings. I for one am very interested in this sort of thing. Call me weird!But I beleave in Ghosts.

Terry says:

March 27, 2008, 7:56 am

Hey all check this out I don’t think it is drawn on http://www.scarynewengland.com/images/bucksgrave.jpg

Scott Powers says:

April 20, 2008, 12:15 am

yeah i know the foots there, i’ve deff seen it pretty much everyday i walk home from school. considering i have to pass the graveyard to get onto mainstreet and then to the bridge to where i live on verona. i’ve heard a few different stories as well but they have cleaned it, and it has come back i guess. idk it may seem wack but theres also a heart on it too.

Tiffany says:

May 23, 2008, 1:36 pm

I don’t call him a hero, because according to one variation of the story. Buck had an affair with this woman. And the town accused her of being a witch. She was sent to the gallows to die. And the woman pleaded for her life for him to tell the truth. He respected his reputation and denied any involvement with her. She cursed John Buck and she was hanged. When John Buck died, her foot appeared on his grave and her ghost is said to haunt his grave. To keep an eye on her unfaithful lover. That is one thing I’ve heard about him.

Nymyue says:

August 26, 2008, 2:27 pm

I was born and reared in Maine and the story I grew up with was quite different: John Buck (Founder of Bucksport, Maine) was married and had a mistress. When his mistress became pregnant, Captain Buck knew there was a chance of his wife finding out – and worse, his position and reputation would be compromised if it got around. He devised a solution; accusing his mistress of witchcraft and demanding that she be put to death. His mistress got word of his intentions and tried to escape before they came for her; heading for the woods where she thought she’d have a better chance of hiding. While running, she got her foot caught in an animal trap; the trap closed on her leg, nearly to the knee. Captain Buck and his men caught up to her and, as further punishment (for running away), he had one of his men cut her leg off, rather than remove the trap. As she screamed in pain and terror, she laid a curse on Captain Buck; swearing that her leg and the heart of their unborn child would haunt him forever. She was then put to death for being a witch. To this day, that portion of her leg and foot can be seen on his headstone – as well as a tiny heart, above the leg and foot. It is said that if one looks at the heart (harder to find; you have to look for it, as it is, indeed, tiny) long enough, they will see it beat. I have seen it, myself. ~lydy from Orono, Maine

Shadar Logoth says:

October 9, 2008, 10:59 pm

Maine epic extreme metal band Shadar Logoth have a song released on their new album “Curse” entitled “Spitting His Curse With Venom” based on the legend of Buck’s Cursed Tomb. Contact us through our site if you are interested in a copy of the lyrics. The album will be available soon through Bull Moose Music and a sample of the song can be heard on the bands myspace. One of the band’s member’s currently lives in Bucksport.

katy "buck" temple says:

March 29, 2009, 7:55 pm

I am a Buck from Bath, Me. This story is told throughout my family- I remember hearing it when I was a child and then to see it and learn it was general haunted lore to all of Me., I had to see it myself. I love it! It’s a great conversation piece!

bella h. says:

September 27, 2009, 3:15 pm

That’s not how it happened. Captain Buck, who settled/founded Bucksport, was part of the witch trials. He had the lady who was said to be a witch burned at the stake. When she was on her way to be burned she went crazy and started screaming random words. It was said to be a curse. Her son was very upset and while she was being burned, her leg rolled out of the fire. The son grabbed it and ran off. since then, you can see the foot of the witch who was burned on his tombstone. I only know this because my grandparents live near there, and there’s a board thing that says the whole story right next to his headstone in the Bucksport Cemetary.

Emuncyn says:

March 11, 2010, 3:04 pm

Whenever we pass through town (several times in the last 19 years) my wife points out the foot to the kids – its great fun.

Jayme says:

September 30, 2010, 8:33 pm

This is true, but there isn’t just a leg on the tombstone. If you look to the top of the tombstone you will see a heart on it’s side. She loved him and he loved her. The story I heard growing up there was Captain Buck loved her and found out she was a witch. She was burned and before she died told him that she would not rest until she was able to forever haunt him and let the world know her love for him. The only thing that was left after she was burned was her foot in her boot, and that is what you see on the lower part of the tombstone.

Elizabeth Childers says:

October 27, 2010, 6:28 pm

I know this is real. I used to live in Belfast maine. And have seen the stone many times. Ya the story has changed many times over the years, But what story dose not….(RIGHT)…Any way lots of pepole don’t beleive but I do……..

cornutz beaureguard says:

October 29, 2010, 5:27 pm

when i was younger, i visited maine with my mom and we snapped a picture of the headstone and once it was developed,there was a womans face in front of the foot. still have the picture if anyone wants to see it

shannon says:

November 14, 2010, 6:27 pm

i live in bucksport and know the story well but the part about the foot re-appearing after the tomb was replaced is a lie. they have not replaced the tomb and theres alot more to the story

Jayme says:

November 15, 2010, 5:34 am

Back when the sighting first happened they did replace the tombstone and it reappeared. Yes there is more to the story, all one has to do is their research and go visit the tombstone. I grew up in Bucksport =)

Buck's Ancestor says:

March 18, 2011, 5:29 pm

I am from Bucksport. The stone is real but has never been replaced. That is a rumor. Jonathan Buck had the woman hanged in a tree in that same graveyard, which is why she promised to dance on his grave. His house is still standing to the immediate right of the graveyard.

Joseph says:

October 30, 2011, 5:27 pm

I hurd that it was colonal Buck who had her burned to the stake and ever since then she has cursed his grave,

destiny says:

October 31, 2011, 9:20 am

why does the foot keep cumin back if its a fake eddie forester?????

Sasha says:

December 6, 2011, 4:57 am

this is true u know

Doug says:

March 8, 2012, 12:59 am

BOOO! LOl I was just seeing how many of you fools would jump…Wow how old are all of you…i have been to tons of “”haunted Houses”” and nothing has happend. What a bunch of BS…..again FOOLS

Melissa says:

June 20, 2013, 8:05 pm

Her name was Sara Ware infact my great grandmother is a ware. Sara did have a child from her husband before. She also was pregnant with bucks child. I moved to bucksport and moved away but some though I looked like her. she is related to me down the line. but in my famly we see visions and were not witches

Melissa says:

June 20, 2013, 8:07 pm

And Doug you may not be intuned to hauntings/the dead as others some have a gift some dont

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