5/18/18, Around six p.m.
Maps (a bar in the Old Port section of Portland, ME)
I don’t believe in ghosts, at least not in the sense that we leave our bodies when we die or that there’s another side where spirits dwell waiting to communicate with us (would this make me a bad Satanist?) But I do believe in ghosts in a more allegorical sense of the term, where the ambience of a setting facilitates the conditions necessary to make one feel as if one is a visitor in what should belong to the past.
Earlier today I stopped by Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. I parked at the first available lot upon entering the park. Next to the lot is a small hill on top of which, surrounded by trees, is a hollowed-out, roofless stone building. I intentionally didn’t look at the historical plaque on the path leading up to the building so I wouldn’t know its history. (After I wrote this blog post I discovered that the building is known as Goddard Mansion.) For once I wanted to form my own impression of the place based on my feelings at the moment. Despite the sunny spring day the mood was haunting. I felt like I could see military officers going about their business on what had to have been the two stories in the building. Wire fencing keeps out the visitors for safety reasons (but sadly, not the graffiti “artists”). I could still see right through, however, seeing all of the vegetarian overgrowing the interior. A dirt path led around to the back of the building and further down the hill, where I took a few pictures:
This would make a good Shadows of Immurement album cover, don’t you think?
Perhaps my mood was shaped by having just finished listening to “The Witching Hour” by Anne Rice this morning. Or maybe the year’s worth of hearing stories of ghosts and other ghastly tales from New England (it’s not uncommon for people here—myself included—to claim victims of the Salem witch trials as ancestors). Or it could just be that I need to look for inspiration externally rather than internally for my artistic projects, such as the aforementioned Shadows of Immurement. There’s a thought—maybe the next concept album I make revolves around such local history? There’s plenty of resource material out there. I just need to be less lazy when it comes to research.