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.
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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.
Town of Woodland DE Suffers Smallpox Outbreak 1903
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 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.
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→
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.
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 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→
The Francis Barnes House was built in 1853 on a parcel of land directly across the street from Teackle Mansion. Judge Henry Stanford bought the house in 1896. According to newspaper reports, he committed suicide in the upstairs bedroom by cutting his jugular vein.
Over the years there have been reports of Judge Stanford being seen in the house, happily reading his books and walking the halls. There are wonderful photos of Judge Stanford and his young family sitting on the porches and posing in the yard.Apparently, he loved this home. But is he still there? Ther are stories of weird events happening at the house. Even the present owners have reported paranormal activity.
There are five properties within two square blocks in downtown Easton that have paranormal occurrences associated with their elevators or an elevator ghost.
Haunted Elevator at the Avalon
A previous owner of the Avalon Theater explained how one evening in the 1980s he and his assistant were taking inventory. He was still trying to get the theater renovated and in shape to open in the next few months. The doors were locked an only he and the assistant were in the building. As he explains it, he was on the second floor and the assistant was on the first floor over in what is now Bannings Tavern. The owner started to descend the stairs. As he reached the bottom few steps, his assistant came into the theater lobby from the bar and they both heard the elevator “ding” and heard the doors open. A woman stepped out. They were dumbfounded. She looked at them, then she turned around and walked straight through the theater doors – without opening them. The owner and his assistant ran into the theater. They saw no trace of the woman, but they would never forget her face. The owner started to research everything he could about the theater. He asked all the old folks who knew the old stories Easton and he found out that there had been a murder at the Avalon Theater – many years ago. It seemed a young actress was murdered and her dead body was found in the Avalon elevator.
The owner started to descend the stairs. As he reached the bottom few steps, his assistant came into the theater lobby from the bar and they both heard the elevator “ding” and heard the doors open. A woman stepped out. They were dumbfounded. She looked at them, then she turned around and walked straight through the theater doors – without opening them. The owner and his assistant ran into the theater. They saw no trace of the woman, but they would never forget her face. The owner started to research everything he could about the theater. He asked all the old folks who knew the old stories Easton and he found out that there had been a murder at the Avalon Theater – many years ago. It seemed a young actress was murdered and her dead body was found in the Avalon elevator. Continue reading Elevator Ghost in Easton→
A guest on the Princess Anne Ghost Walk snapped a photo of the old jail with her smart phone. The image she snapped appears above. She then turned to me and asked if I saw a face in the window. As we expanded the picture, the face was not only present … it was amazing.
The face appears to be that of a small boy – and unlike the orbs, streaks of light, misty fog and scratchy laser-like images that typically appear in images with supposed “ghostly” anomalies, this image shows the outline of a hairline, eyebrows, a nose, cheeks a mouth – all appearing in the lower center pane of the building’s center window.
What makes this image even more strange is that the window, itself has no flooring in front of it. The first floor has a steel staircase directly behind it leaving the second floor window – shown above – open to the first floor. There’s no possible way anyone could have been standing in that window. There is no floor to support a body. Continue reading Phantom Face in the Window – Princess Anne Jail→