COOKS CORNERS - A purported “haunted house” that gained internet fame in 2013 burned to the ground late Thursday night.
Firefighters were called to the scene at 10:42 p.m. after a neighbor reported the house was on fire, Bangor Fire Chief Larry LaValley said. Flames were showing from the wooden building when fire crews arrived, and LaValley said he confined firefighting efforts to the exterior of the house because of concerns about sending anyone into the badly deteriorated building.
The building had been vacant for many years, LaValley noted, and the cause of the blaze — which appeared to have started in the basement — remains under investigation by the Franklin County Cause and Origin Team, he said.
The house had reportedly been the frequent subject of dares to enter it, according to the website VisitMalone.com. Layers of graffiti on the outside indicated the house had been visited many times, the website said.
The house had been scene of fires six times in the past, LaValley noted. “There won’t be an eighth,” he said.
Despite the house’s reputation, LaValley said the firefighting effort was largely routine. Crews did have to draw water from a nearby stream, as there are no hydrants in the area, but there was nothing out-of-the-ordinary about the effort, he said.
No injuries were reported.
Crews from Bangor, Brushton, Moira and Fort Covington battled the blaze, while Malone firefighters provided standby backup.
The origin of the house’s haunted reputation is unknown, and there are various stories about what the source of the legend might be, according to multiple websites. Among the stories are reports that the house was once occupied by a satanic priest who sacrificed young women there. Another said the spirit might have been that of a man who raped and murdered his daughter, then hanged himself in a barn on the property. Still another claims the spirits were those of the victims of am earlier fire at the site.
The house drew international attention in 2013 when a cell phone video was posted to the internet that supposedly showed a ghostly figure in the doorway that vanished into thin air.