Is the Spirit of Thomas Dance Still Hanging Around?
The Maryland State House in Annapolis has so many superlatives – the oldest this, the biggest that. But the 96-foot tall, all-wooden dome that caps the building in the center of State Circle also has a legendary ghost – the spirit of Thomas Dance, a plasterer who tragically fell to his death while plastering in 1793 before he got paid for his work and evidently … still holds a grudge.
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→
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→
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→
The old Henry Hotel still sits vacant at the corner of Baltimore and South Division Street in Ocean City, Maryland. Most people would never notice this three story, 20-roomed hotel, covered with brown shingles across from Trimper’s Rides. The entire hotel is about the size of most single family homes found in upscale Western Shore neighborhoods. The Henry has been out of commission since its most recent owner, Pearl Bonner died in 2003. Pearl was a legend in her own right, when as a single, African American woman raising three daughters she purchased the property in 1964. For forty summers she ran the hotel, putting her daughters to work when they needed money for their college educations. All of them are college graduates.
I am a ghost-story teller. I live in a haunted house, but I am not afraid of anything from the spirit world anymore – except the spirits in the Pocomoke Forest. Out of the 130+ stories I’ve integrated into our ten ghost walks, there are only a handful where I’ve had a personal experience …. The Snow Hil Inn, the Trimper’s Carousel, the Robert Morris Inn, The Atlantic Hotel (Berlin), the Marva Theater AND – The Pocomoke Forest… and that one scared me so bad, that I couldn’t get out of that forest fast enough — but I had to act like I wasn’t afraid so as not to startle the 24 people following behind me (who were already scared by what had happened). Continue reading Get Touched in the Haunted Pocomoke Forest→
In this video, Ghost Walk guide, Mindie Burgoyne tells about Maryland’s most haunted River – The Pocomoke.
The Pocomoke River is the deepest water for its width in the United States and the second deepest in the world – 2nd only to the Nile River. Its name means “black water” and just four to six feet below the surface there is no ambient light. The water is black.
There are many stories of hauntings along the river – phantom ships, spirits who walk on the water, baby cries coming from nowhere.. and more. In this video, Mindie Burgoyne tells the story of Job Emmons and spirits seen walking on the water just east of the Pocomoke River drawbridge.
Join the Pocomoke Ghost Walk to hear the full story.