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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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→
The Ghost of the Snow Hill Inn is one of the best known and most told ghost stories on Delmarva. The building known as The Snow Hill Inn currently stands empty on East Market Street in Snow Hill, MD. It’s believed to be haunted by the ghost of William Aydelotte, a young pharmacology student who allegedly committed suicide so as not to disappoint his overbearing father. According to local lore, William has disturbed so many people over the years with his mischief that the site gained enough notoriety to become the only property on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to be featured as a haunted site on national television.
National Geographic Television Network featured the Snow Hill Inn on its Is it Real series back in 2005. Since shortly after that show aired, the building was vacated. Though it’s been sold several times since, the right owner hasn’t yet come along and the old Inn which also William’s childhood home has fallen into disrepair. Continue reading Who Haunts the Snow Hill Inn?→
Urban Legends and Folklore About the Pocomoke – Most Haunted Forest in Maryland
There’s nothing like some good old urban legends about severed heads, hitchhikers and ladies in white to get the conversation going around a campfire. There are scores of these stories set in Pocomoke Forest – all alleged to be true. In fact, there was even a research paper about the forest and its lore in the Folklore collection at the Edward H. Nabb Center at Salisbury University. Here are some of the most intriguing tales of the forest.
Old Ailsey’s Light is a legend about a light seen over the uninhabited Janes Island in Crisfield – Somerset County, Maryland near Flatcap Marsh.
From time to time, campers at Janes Island State Park in Crisfield will report seeing a strange light hovering above the salt marsh across Daugherty Creek Canal. Unlike swamp gas, it moves in a convulsive manner—hovering and then shooting one horizontal direction before burning out. And some reports state that the light is accompanied by the sound of a high-pitched moan—like a cat or woman wailing. The light isn’t reported to be white like a comet or a meteor. It’s orange like a fireball. Some people say that the light is nothing more than swamp gas being released from the marsh, but swamp gas doesn’t dart around. It bubbles up and then dissipates into the atmosphere. Continue reading Old Ailsey’s Light – Crisfield→
SHOREHAM HOTEL in Ocean City could be the most haunted building in the town. 3 ghosts! One is the ghost of a writer who committed suicide in the 1930s. 2nd is a man who was killed by a Navy Seal in the basement in the late 70s (there was a bar there at the time). And 3rd is Betsey who jumped to her death from a third floor window in the Summer of 1983.
The basement is so haunted that some employees are terrified to go down there. Boxes jump off shelves (it’s now used for storage), lights come on and off independent of electricity and many people feel rushes of cold even when the doors are all closed.
Seasonal Room 6 (Betsey’s room) always appears clean … even after guests leave. Staff never really has to deep clean it because the room is always kept in pristine condition. Guests who stay in seasonal room 6 complain about the power – whether it’s the air conditioner, lights, television … things tend to go on and off at will even though the management has continuously checked the rooms for electrical problems and found no issues.
A Paranormal group from Pennsylvania investigated the Shoreham and found a wealth of data that showed paranormal activity – including in the basement and in Seasonal Room 6. The Shoreham is a hub for paranormal activity.
An old lady and her beloved cat are remembered in this house on High Street in Cambridge.
The house, known as the Bayly Orem House, was built in 1888 and was occupied by a very a lady who grew old in the house and like many older people, she became set in her ways. She lived alone with her beloved cat who was her constant companion. When people visited – including her own family – she denied anyone access to the front parlor and resolutely refused to use it herself. She kept it meticulously cleaned and dusted it compulsively.
According to a neighbor, the old lady fell down some stairs and couldn’t reach out to anyone. It was her devoted cat who made its way outside to notify people of the lady’s fall. Sadly, help arrived too late and the lady died from her injuries at the foot of the steps in this house.
There’s an old legend about the LeCompte family curse of blindness befalling male descendents. The curse was cast by Indians in the Cambridge area that Antoine LeCompte drove off of his land back in the 17th century.LeCompte Bay is named after Antoine LeCompte and it was on those shores that the curse was allegedly cast. Oddly enough, the LeCompte do have a legacy of blindness in their male line.
We stop at theLeCompte House on High Street to tell this story. And while this house has no particular haunted legend, guests on our ghost walks get more oddities in photos at this stop than any other stop on the tour (there are 14 stories shared on the tour). Continue reading The LeCompte Curse – Cambridge→