Other towns may be flashier about their hauntings. You can’t drive through Bucksport without seeing the watermark of a leg on Colonel Jonathan Buck’s tombstone, or pass through Searsport at twilight without wondering if you just saw a will of the wisp in one of the widow’s walks of the old ship captains’ homes.  And of course Stephen King has left his imprimatur on Bangor’s West Broadway. But in Belfast, one lives with the ghosts – quietly, and with a certain dignity.

Belfast is haunted all right, but to feel or to see it, you must know that which you seek. It pays to have a guide, and if you’re serious, retired mortician Ted Guerry is you man. Following up on a lead about the haunting of Belfast, I interviewed Mr. Guerry this week and found him to be a font of information. Little wonder about that: The man has done his homework, reading through every newspaper published in the city since 1775 (shout-out to Maine’s oldest weekly).

On a frigid Saturday when temperatures dipped down to zero, your columnist did a blitz tour of five of the sites on Mr. Guerry’s tour in the company of a local witch for purposes of verification. Here’s where we went:

The intersection of High and Main streets was the scene of Belfast’s grisliest crime, a mass shooting in 1933. After being told he could no longer tap a grove of maple trees, a local sugar man went berserk with a shotgun and killed four innocent bystanders before killing himself in the alley behind Darby’s (note to parents: even natural sugar has its downsides).

On Church Street, an excavated hole marks the spot of what once was a downtown hotel that burned in 1958, killing six – a half dozen souls who now haunt the downtown where their last earthly night was consumed by flames.

Where do Belfast’s ghosts gather? They get together at the Opera House, of course. Spirits in old-fashioned garb have been seen in the windows of the one-time theater, Guerry tells me.  There’s more to it than that: A scion of the Colburn Shoe Store, America’s oldest, retired in his later years and committed himself to philanthropy. He rented a room in the Opera House as his office, and it was there some teenage punks descended upon him, tying him to a chair and eventually stabbing him to death – all for a little over $2.

Your columnist interviewed a present day tenant of the building who told me he occasionally heard unexplained noises there at night. This same witness also encountered the supernatural just a couple of blocks away at a Franklin Street home where both a murder and a suicide had occurred. This speaks to the concentration of hauntings in Belfast’s downtown area.

When it comes to untethered spirits, there is the matter of the graveyard that preceded the Grove Cemetery laid out in the 1830s. From 1769 until the current day cemetery at the top of the hill, Belfastonians were buried near where the big Baptist Church now stands on High Street, catty-corner to the town library. While affluent families moved the remains of their kin from the original site to Grove, not all were wealthy enough to do so or lucky enough to have descendants who cared. Original headstones were even used as building materials in today’s homes in that area, Guerry reports.

Then there is the question of the old Native American burial ground where Durham Street and Northport Avenue meet, which, in the fashion of the day, received no such consideration at all. It may not even be possible to count all the unsettled souls. One thing is for sure – we’re talking about more than you could fit into Rollie’s even on a quiet night. In Belfast, the spirits are legion.

As Ted Guerry puts it, to see ghosts you have to be open to their presence. Now perhaps you will be.

Sam Patten is a recovering political consultant who was raised in Knox County and worked for Maine’s last three Republican senators.