Cursed Memorial of Colonel Buck – Bucksport, Maine - Atlas Obscura

Cursed Memorial of Colonel Buck

Buck Cemetery

Stone monument honoring a town founder has a witch-boot shaped stain and a curse to go with it. 


During the early years of Bucksport, Maine, its founder, Colonel Jonathan Buck, had a witch executed, as they did in that time. Before she died at the bad end of a hangman’s noose, she cursed Buck to always bear the mark of that deed—and that prophesied mark is apparently a water stain in the shape of a pointed stocking that appeared on a monument honoring him 75 years after his death.

Variations on the story liven up the tale. In one version, instead of hanging her, he has her burned, and her leg falls off and rolls out of the fire at Buck’s feet. In another, she wasn’t a witch at all, just unfortunate enough to be pregnant with his child in a socially unacceptable situation, the witch execution an easy fix to his inconvenient problem. In yet another version her already born and deformed son grabs the leg when it falls off and runs away with the relic, never to be seen again.

Whatever the story, what Bucksport is left with these days is a pointy leg-shaped stain on an obelisk of granite in a hilltop graveyard on Main Street, dedicated to the founder of the town. It hangs right below his name like a stocking on a fireplace. A nearby sign explains the legend and the strange marking.

Adapted with permission from The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

Know Before You Go

The cemetery is across the street from Hannaford’s, by Bucksport’s only traffic light. There’s plenty of free parking right at the cemetery on Hinks Street. You cannot go inside the fence, but the grave has signs and is easy to spot and photograph.

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