Articles

AAA magazine writer goes on a Smuttynose ghost hunt

February 23rd, 2012

The Isles of Shoals’ spooky and macabre history slashed out by the brutal murders of two women in 1873 continues to fascinate and chill visitors today with reported ghost sightings and mystery surrounding just what exactly happened on that night nearly 140 years ago. The March/April issue of AAA’s Northern New England Journey magazine is all about mysteries of the region, and in an article titled “Scene of the Crime,” Mimi Bigelow Steadman tells of her own first-hand experience of heading to the Isles to seek out the Smuttynose specters.

Day-trippers can hike and picnic on this private 27-acre island, which offers unspoiled terrain crossed by a couple of trails. But I’d been drawn here by my fascination with a gruesome 19th- century murder mystery. Julie continued, pulling me further into her tale: “I told some other stewards we’d seen a ghost. They said, ‘So did we!’”

Read the rest of the article at AAA.com (the article appears after you enter your zip code, no registration or membership required).

If you want to dive deeper into the Isles of Shoals’ history, consider this year’s Historic Star and Literary Festival conferences! Anita Shreve, author of book The Weight of Water that spins a tale of the Smuttynose murders and which was later adapted to the silver screen starring Sean Penn, will speak during the Literary Festival. The theme for this year’s Historic Star Conference is Mystery and Mayhem on the Isles of Shoals, which is, you know, right up that alley.


Star Island is one of the rocky, wind-swept Isles of Shoals, located off the coast of Rye, New Hampshire. For over 100 years, summers here have provided individuals and families with a welcome respite from their busy mainland lives.

Star Island Corporation is a nonprofit organization which maintains the island and its facilities and provides hospitality services for visitors.

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