Category Archives: Dorchester County

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

The Cat Lady at the Bayly Orem House



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.

And where do you think her family laid her body out for visiting friends and relatives?  Continue reading The Cat Lady at the Bayly Orem House

The LeCompte Curse – Cambridge

LaCompte House - Cambridge

The LeCompte Curse – Blindness in the Male Line

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

Haunted Minute – Cambridge and Bloody Henny

Bloody Henny was hanged next to the Cambridge Courthouse

Spring Valley was the name for the area that is now a nice park with a fountain adjacent to the Cambridge Courthouse.

Human emotion certainly impacts the energy field around a site, so when there’s a traumatic occurrence, the energy field picks up those emotions. When the trauma is repeated and repeated – as in a place of corporal punishment – the energy gets stronger and stronger, and the sense of place takes on those emotions.

Hangings, whippings, slave auctioning and public judgements all happened in this spot. Today, it is linked with legends of spirits that still prowl around this park at night.

Join one of the Cambridge Ghost Walks to experience this place up close and personal, and hear the full story of Bloody Henny, plus 13 other haunted properties on High Street.




What is Haunting Crapo?


Two People Vanish Without a Trace in tiny Eastern Shore Village

On August 7, 1953 a sixty-six year old woman named Florence Wingate who lived in the  village of Crapo (pronounce cray-po), made breakfast for her brother Miles who was a waterman. That was the last time anyone saw Florence alive … except maybe by her killer.

Understand that Crapo is tiny tiny tiny.  It’s barely a crossroads in the rural marshy Lake District of Lower Dorchester County – 24 miles from Cambridge. Probably no more than 50-100 people lived in and around Crapo back then. So everybody knew everybody.

Crapo and the story of the missing are stops on the Tubman Trail Ghost and Graveyard Bus Tour. Get tickets now Continue reading What is Haunting Crapo?

The Child in the Mirror

The Josiah Bayly House – Oldest House in Cambridge

Josiah Bayly House - Oldest House in Cambridge. Originally built in Annapolis, then dismantled and brought to Cambridge by barge adn rebuilt.

When new owners moved into the Josiah Bayly House in the 1990s they found shackles on the walls in the attic. They believe the shackles were to constrain enslaved people held by early residents. These same owners found the attic full of stuff left from owners over the past 100 years.

One of the items found was a cheval mirror (a full-length mirror on a stand that allows it to swing and lock into the desired angle for reflection). The woman who’d bought the house cleaned it up and put it in her bedroom.  She reported that on occasion she would see the reflection of a little girl in the mirror – a reflection that would quickly vanish, but the child’s facial features were discernible… and it was always the same child. Continue reading The Child in the Mirror

Sullivane House - Cambridge

Confederate Ghost at the Sullivane House

The Sullivane House in Cambridge is haunted by a Confederate soldier – or at least it was when the previous owner saw the soldier in the yard and later in her hallway.  Built in 1763 from brick brought over from England, the Sullivane House has been standing in this spot on High Street for over 250 years.  It has a strong history of owners who served in the American military and in Dorchester County politics.  Continue reading Confederate Ghost at the Sullivane House