All posts by Mindie Burgoyne

About Mindie Burgoyne

Mindie Burgoyne is a travel writer, tour guide and tour operator living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She is the author of Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake and operates Chesapeake Ghost Walks and Thin Places Mystical Tours.

Maggie’s Bridge – Woodland DE

Maggie's Bridge - Woodland DE

Headless Woman Haunts Woodland Bridge – Maggie Bloxom

Sometime in the late 1800s Maggie Bloxom was traveling by horse and carriage down the Woodland Church Road about a mile south of the Woodland Ferry landing. When the carriage was crossing a bridge that went over a small branch of the Nanticoke River, the horse got spooked. It reared up and the carriage went over the side of the bridge and into the water.

It was a horrific accident, and young Maggie was decapitated.

The local legend has many different versions of what happens when you call out to Maggie from this bridge, but most say that the call must be made at midnight or during the witching hour (between midnight and 1 am). You call, “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie” and you might just hear the hooves of the horse on the roadway coming toward you. Call again, “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie” and you might see a shadow coming out of the woods near the bridge. Call a third time, “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie” and she’ll emerge from the woods with her head in her hand, wanting you to reconnect it…wanting you to bring her back to life.

One local resident said, “Maggie can be best seen on the night of a blue moon. When her name is called, a strong breeze comes whistling through the trees and little flashes of lights, which appear to be lighting bugs come from the woods, which have been known as the Ghost Pits. They come closer and closer with each flash. You really have to see it to believe it.” There are other accounts of people’s cars acting strangely. They won’t start or will shift out of gear, or they start to move after the engine has been turned off.

When is the next Blue Moon?  Will Maggie appear?

Smallpox Cemetery on the Nanticoke River

Town of Woodland DE Suffers Smallpox Outbreak 1903

Woodland Ferry Nanticoke Delaware
The Woodland Ferry crosses the Nanticoke River in Woodland Delaware

There was a smallpox outbreak in the little village of Woodland, Delaware in 1903. The outbreak was carried in newspapers all over the country because a large percentage of while most outbreaks in the early 1900s involved one to three people in a village, Woodland had over twenty-five, and that was a fourth of the town’s total population. the population contracted it and the village was quarantined.

On December 9, 1903, the Evening News in San Jose, California ran the story that it had picked up on a newswire, “Dover, Del., Dec 9. – An epidemic of smallpox prevails at Woodland, a town near Seaford, Del. Out of a population of about 100 persons there are twenty-five cases of the disease. The town is quarantined.”

Hal Roth, in his book You Still Can’t Get to Puckum writes that a lifelong resident told him, “My grandfather was living on the other side of the river at the time and traveled by shad barge between his farm and Seaford, paddling upriver on the flood tide and returning on the ebb. He stayed close to the other side of the river hoping he wouldn’t catch it.” The same resident also told Hal that his grandfather wouldn’t help turn the dirt for the graves for all the money in the world because they believed that smallpox never dies. And this belief was one of the reasons so many died in Woodland. Continue reading Smallpox Cemetery on the Nanticoke River

The Town Dog Killer in Denton

The Taylor House now known as Turnbridge Point. Former resident was the town dog killer.
The Taylor House now known as Turnbridge Point. Former residence of the town dog killer.

Denton, Maryland’s Town Dog Killer

The most beautiful house on the Caroline County’s Courthouse Square in Denton sits on the corner of Gay and Second Streets. It’s a Second Empire Victorian style with its hipped roof, center cupola, iron fence and ornate trim sets it apart from every other house on the square. The ample corner lot runs straight down to the Choptank River, which is wide and placid at this northern end, some thirty plus miles from where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay.

When a long time owner of the property moved out in 2000, a real estate agent showed the property to a potential buyer who lived out of state. The owner wasn’t present during the viewing, and the potential buyers took several photographs of the house. About a month after they had looked at the house, they returned to Denton hoping to find the owner. When they knocked on the door, there was no answer, so they visited the Town Hall hoping to get help with locating the owner.

These potential buyers had decided not to buy the house. But when they reviewed the photographs they had taken, they noticed a strange anomaly in one of them. It was disturbing. It was a view of the house from the outside that showed the front with all of its beautiful features and ornate trim. But it also showed the image of a child looking out of the third-floor window. The owner wasn’t present when the couple viewed the house, and they’d been told that no children lived there.

Child’s Face in the Window

The couple had also gone through that third floor, and they saw no sign of a child – no toys, Continue reading The Town Dog Killer in Denton

Mary’s Ghost at Old Salty’s – Hoopers Island

Hoopers Island Ghost in an old School Building

by Mindie Burgoyne

Old Salty's on Hoopers Island - home of Mary's Ghost
Old Salty’s on Hoopers Island – home of Mary’s Ghost

Old Salty on Hoopers Island ‘s is a popular destination restaurant housed in a renovated old school building. It is also haunted and home to “Mary’s Ghost.”

I didn’t know about the ghost until I ran into an employee at an event in Cambridge. The employee said it was haunted and that he’d had a few experiences. So I asked the owner, Jay Newcomb, who said several of the employees there had experienced strange things … voices, crashing sounds, vanishing customers, objects being moved. Continue reading Mary’s Ghost at Old Salty’s – Hoopers Island

Big Lizz and the Swamps of Dorchester

Decoursey Bridge and the Ghost of Big Lizz

Greenbriar Swamp - haunts of Big Lizz
Greenbriar Swamp – haunts of Big Lizz

If you ever ask anyone to tell you a ghost story about the Eastern Shore, the tale of Big Lizz and the Greenbriar swamp will likely be the first story shared. The story has been around since the Civil War and has developed immense popularity with both locals and visitors. Every book written about ghosts in Maryland will feature a piece on Big Lizz.  Today, teenagers still travel to DeCoursey bridge at midnight to tempt Big Lizz to emerge from the woods with her eyes glowing from the bloody head she holds in her one hand.  The other hand she uses to motion you into the swamp… to find the buried treasure she help her master hide before he decapitated her.

Greenbriar swamp is about ten square miles and is located near the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge. It is set in the most beautiful landscape on the Eastern Shore.  Big Lizz is an unseen image in that landscape. Continue reading Big Lizz and the Swamps of Dorchester

Christmas Ghost Tour in Berlin MD

Christmas Ghost tour in Berlin
The Atlantic Hotel – Berlin MD

Christmas Ghost Tour in historic Berlin

Friday, December 22, 2017 at 7pm.  This is our final ghost tour for 2017. We invite all of our friends and followers – and new friends we haven’t met yet – to join this ghost walk through Maryland’s Victorian town – fully decked out for Christmas.

Berlin is just 15 minutes from Ocean City. You’ll hear about the child who haunts the historic Atlantic Hotel, a spirit who hides in an antique store basement, the Lady in White standing by the bank and apparitions of people long dead are seen walking the street.

Touch the healing tree and walk in the steps of “the Elemental” that haunts a spot near the old rail line. And take a nighttime stroll through a very old, dark graveyard, and hear about a “ley line” that runs through the town.

Plus … Berlin has a haunted Christmas story about an event that took place in the Atlantic Hotel during a Christmas party.

Come early – eat, drink, shop

The Town of Berlin has several blocks of boutique shops, antique stores, restaurants and art galleries. Shop in the afternoon, have a wonderful meal, then join us for the ghost tour. You might even consider staying overnight in Berlin’s haunted Atlantic Hotel. Make a weekend out of it.

Mindie Burgoyne guides the tourMindie Burgoyne Guides the Tour
The Christmas Ghost Tour is guided by Chesapeake Ghosts’ owner and author, Mindie Burgoyne.  Mindie will have some prizes, books, T-shirts to give away in drawings just before the tour. Come ready for fun.

 

 

Book online now!

 

10 Haunted Inns on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

10 Amazingly haunted places to stay

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Consider a Stay in a Haunted Inn when you visit the Eastern Shore

If you’re into spending time with spirits in an intimate way, consider staying in one of these haunted inns on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Don’t worry … all of the spirits are pretty friendly.

River Gem B&B - aka The Littleton Clark House - Pocomoke City

 

The River Gem Bed and Breakfast – Pocomoke City

This is a beautifully restored Victorian house with wide porches located just one block from the scenic Pocomoke River. It was built just before the Civil War by the young merchant, Littleton Clarke. He and his wife Jane moved in with three small children and then had two more. Within a year Littleton died as did four of his five children. Some say the spirits of the children still roam the house – very comfortably and happily, and according to one guest even “appear” in the late night hours.
Continue reading 10 Haunted Inns on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Rackliffe House Copy

The Haunted Trifecta

Rackliffe House in Berlin MD
Rackliffe House in Berlin MD

RACKLIFFE HOUSE in Northern Worcester County was built in 1740 by Charles Rackliffe as the main house on a large plantation on Sinepuxent Bay. Author Tom Patton referred to it as the “most haunted house in the country” – and Mr. Patton was a Rackliffe descendant and knew the house well.

Like the Shoreham Hotel in Ocean City, the Rackliffe house has had (according to folklore), a murder, a suicide and an accidental death all take place in the house. It is also built on the site of an Assateague Indian camp where artifacts as old as 10,000 years have been found through excavation.

There is so much commentary on Rackliffe house being haunted that there’s almost no disagreement about the hauntings – even the docents who receive visitors at the now restored house will matter-of-factly say when asked, “Yes, people say it’s haunted.” Continue reading Rackliffe House Copy

Berlin - Calvin B Taylor House

30 Ghost Tours in October on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Chesapeake Ghost Walks offers haunted tours in 10 historic towns – 12 on Halloween Weekend

 Chesapeake Ghost Walks has scheduled over thirty ghost tours to run between now and Halloween in ten towns that span eighty linear miles across the Eastern Shore. They include guided haunted walks through historic districts of Easton, Cambridge, St. Michaels, Ocean City, Berlin, Princess Anne, Pocomoke, Denton, Snow Hill, and Crisfield. There is also a special tour offered only in October – an inside tour of the company owners’ haunted Victorian home.  

During Halloween week the company will offer fifteen walks covering all ten towns – eleven of those ghost tours fall on Halloween weekend. Each ghost walk lasts just under two hours and is personally guided by someone well versed in the local history as well as the paranormal history. Most tours have a nighttime stroll through a graveyard and some include sites like healing trees, elementals (non-human spirits), river walks or walks into a forest. 

Healilng Tree in Berlin MD
Healilng Tree in Berlin MD

Collectively, the ten ghost tours cover over 120 stories of the haunted Eastern Shore – stories that include Bloody Henny and the LeCompte Curse (Cambridge), The Town Dog Killer (Denton), The Ghost in the Governor’s Mansion (Snow Hill), The Haunted Carousel (Ocean City) and The Child Spirit at the Atlantic Hotel (Berlin).  All of the walks were written and crafted by company owner and author, Mindie Burgoyne.

On the third weekend in October, the Burgoynes open their own haunted home to guests who are lucky enough to get tickets before they’re sold out.  “Our home is what inspired me to write about haunted places,” states Mindie Burgoyne. “When we bought our home in 2002 strange things started to happen. Then the incidents got scary. When the incidents became terrifying we put the house up for sale, and that was only thirteen months after moving in.” Though most of the activity has quieted down, the Burgoynes still experience unexplained events from time to time, which they talk about as they guide guests through their home. Living in that house has inspired Mindie Burgoyne to write three books and scores of articles on haunted houses and properties. 

The Vance Miles House - Marion Station, MD
Vance Miles House – home of author, Mindie Burgoyne

Today Chesapeake Ghost Walks delivers over 200 ghost tours each year to more than 5000 guests, and the ten walks comprise the largest cluster of regional heritage walks in America. To date, the haunted tours have been featured in the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Enquirer, The Week Magazine, on National Public Radio and by scores of local media outlets.  The haunted tours are year-round and include ghost walks, bus tours and storytelling events in partnership with local businesses such as the Life-saving Station Museum and the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin and Robert Morris Inn in Oxford. 

When asked what the scariest tour is, Mindie Burgoyne responds, “The scariest is probably Pocomoke because that takes guests into a forest that has a haunted legacy spanning a hundred years. Cambridge has the most haunted street in Maryland with 14 haunted stories in two blocks. Snow Hill has the most haunted inns and mansions as well as the only haunted site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore featured by a national cable network – The Snow Hill Inn. Berlin has its walking dead and some super strange energy forces. Princess Anne is the most disturbing covering two brutal murders with content so harsh that we don’t allow children on that walk. All of the walks are scary in their own way.”

More information on the ghost tours is posted on the Chesapeake Ghost Walks website where there is a calendar of events, a full page describing each ghost tour and thirty-five ghost stories about haunted sites featured on the tours. The company also has a YouTube channel where Burgoyne tells some of the stories in a  “Haunted Minutes” series

Rackliffe House

The Haunted Trifecta

Rackliffe House in Berlin MD
Rackliffe House in Berlin MD

RACKLIFFE HOUSE in Northern Worcester County was built in 1740 by Charles Rackliffe as the main house on a large plantation on Sinepuxent Bay. Author Tom Patton referred to it as the “most haunted house in the country” – and Mr. Patton was a Rackliffe descendant and knew the house well.

Like the Shoreham Hotel in Ocean City, the Rackliffe house has had (according to folklore), a murder, a suicide and an accidental death all take place in the house. It is also built on the site of an Assateague Indian camp where artifacts as old as 10,000 years have been found through excavation.

There is so much commentary on Rackliffe house being haunted that there’s almost no disagreement about the hauntings – even the docents who receive visitors at the now restored house will matter-of-factly say when asked, “Yes, people say it’s haunted.” Continue reading Rackliffe House