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The Minute Man


The encounter I am about to relay happened when I was 5 years old. At the time I did not think much about it as I was so young, but as I have gotten older I have realized that I have no real explanation for what I saw as a child.

My mother, grandmother, my sisters and I all drove up to Arcadia National Park in Maine to visit an Aunt of mine that was staying in a cabin near the ocean. This cabin was in a pretty remote area of the park and was perched on a rocky cliff. I somewhat remember being warned to stay away from the edge. The cabin was secluded in the tall pines native to the area and was built for summer use only.

That evening my Mom and I shared a room. As many children do when outside of their regular environment, I woke up very early in the morning. I could hear crows making a lot of racket outside. The walls were so thin that I could literally see outside through a knot hole in the flimsy walls. The house was quiet as everyone else was still asleep. I continued to watch the noisy crows through the hole in the wall on this very foggy morning. My mother was still sound asleep next to me. As I continued to gaze out of the hole, I heard the floor creak near the door. I turned around and there was a man standing there. I was not afraid of him. I sat up in bed and watched him. He was just looking at me. He wore a tri-cornered hat and short pants with some kind of long jacket. He was dressed in clothes that I had never seen before on anyone I knew at the time.

After we both stared at each other a bit, he finally spoke. He seemed to be confused. I remember he was asking me what time it was. Then he asked if I knew the whereabouts of someone. I told him I didn't know. Then funny enough I asked him for a glass of water. He again just stared at me with this confused look on his face. His English wasn't the English you hear today in America. It was a different accent. I remember thinking that this man really spoke funny. Knowing myself as a child I may have even told him so.

We both stared at each for a few minutes more and then he turned around and left through the bedroom door. I got out of bed and went to the hallway to see where he went. I think I was really hoping he'd be back with that glass of water. He was gone and all was quiet. My mother woke up and asked me what I was doing out of bed. I told her that I was talking to the man. She said, "Who? You're Uncle?"

"No," I answered. "The man..." She assumed I had been dreaming and told me to go back to bed before I woke the rest of the household.

This memory has stayed with me for years. It wasn't until I was in my 20s that my Mother and I talked about this event. I never even thought it could have been a ghost. Now I realize how odd it was to have seen someone dressed the way he was in a really remote part of Maine in the wee hours of the morning.

I entitled this story 'The Minute Man' because I have such a memory of that tri-cornered hat. That was the style of hat that was worn by the Minute Men soldiers that fought against the British during the Revolution. I don't really know if there was any history in that area or who this man could have been. If anyone knows anything about the history of this area, I would be interested in hearing.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Jennifer40, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-07)
Hi Jennifer. Thanks for sharring another great story with us. As A child youj wouldn't have enen thought that this was a spirit. Being five you believe in santa clause and the easter bunny. So seeing a ghost then was something big. You probably never knew they exist. But as you got older you knew that this wasn't just a visit by a man. But by a spirit. It is a ggod thing you saw him and remembered him. It let's you look at the world in a different way. But there is a sad part in your story. You never did get that glass of water 😆...For sure this spirit was no gentleman! I hope to hear from you soon and take care
TheUnknown (1 stories) (192 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-05)
History repeats itself, my favorite phase. I don't know your American history, but it seems that the Minute Man ghost is lost like most stories here in this website. Its funny when I read the part 'I asked him for a glass of water',its really funny, and great...
Jennifer40 (20 stories) (202 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-04)
Kecoughtan, thanks so much for providing that site! That is definitely the hat that I remember. A few pieces of the clothing look familiar as well but I want to say that they were heavier looking. Wool, maybe?

Yeah, I did ask him for water which in looking back now I find pretty funny, too. I think I probably thought he was a guest of my Aunt's that had arrived after I went to bed or something.

Jennifer ❤
Kecoughtan (1 stories) (211 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-04)
Jennifer40, I've attached a link to a brief glossary of mens' colonial clothing prepared by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. You may want to check it out and see if the descriptions and images match what you saw. You can also view the on-line version of the Colonial Williamsburg Journal which includes many photos of recreated scences to see better examples of the clothing and how it was worn. The figure you described certainly sounds like an eighteenth-century colonist, although unless he was armed and carrying pouches of powder and lead, I don't think there is enough evidence to call him a Minuteman. Please keep us informed if you learn any more about the history of the property. This was a great story; I loved it that you asked him for water! Thanks.

Jennifer40 (20 stories) (202 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-04)
Thanks for the history, Rhodes. I don't exactly remember what color this man wore but I think the pants were about knee length. It's just such a strange memory and I think this possibly was the only time in my life that I have seen a full blown human apparition. I struggled for a long time to even think that this was possibly a ghost. But I'm doubting that a drunk (civil or revolutionary? --or whomever) war reenactor was stumbling around in the Maine woods early in the morning.

I hope whoever he was that he has found who he was looking for and has found peace.

And thank libertybelle & carrycat for your input, too.😉

Jennifer ❤
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-04)
Hi Jennifer-it's good to have you back with another one of your fascinating encounters!

The three cornered hat or Tricorne was worn in late 17th-18th century and fell out of style before the French Revolution. It later became very popular as part of military and naval uniforms.

The tricorne in the US is associated with the American Revolution and with the American Patriots of that period, especially the Minutemen (militia members of the American colonies).

The uniforms, in general, of that period differed depending on the state and rank.

I noticed you said the man wore shorts. Unless by shorts you actually mean breeches which were in fact part of the uniform and worn with white stockings, then you must keep in mind this: although some of the soldiers were veterans of the French and Indian War which meant that they wore red or blue faced with red long coats of the colonial troops in British service, the majority of them wore citizen clothing which could account for the short pants. The Minutemen were to be ready for battle at the minute they were called and had to provide themselves with rifles, clothes etc before going to battle. That can also explain why the man would appear wearing a military long coat and citizen pants.

I hope I'm making some sense to you 😊
carrycat (3 stories) (45 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-04)
i don't know much about british history, but this was a good account of what happened. Was that the only experience you have had to date? Lots of people say children see more than adults because they have less barriers-the adult mind complicates things.
libertybelle (14 stories) (207 posts)
16 years ago (2008-07-03)
Interesting, to put it VERY mildly.

During the Revolution, Maine was the wilds of Massachusetts (it didn't become a state until 1820).

I wonder if you encountered a militia man from either the Revolutionary War or, possibly, the French and Indian War.

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