It’s time for some Ocean City ghost stories!
Ocean City Ghost Stories
“Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there!
He wasn’t there again today,
Oh how I wish he’d go away!”
When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn’t see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don’t you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don’t slam the door…
Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn’t there,
He wasn’t there again today
Oh, how I wish he’d go away….
The poem “Antigonish” by William Hughes Mearns epitomizes the grotesque and macabre we find ourselves intrigued by each Halloween. Allegedly, the ghost of a man who traversed the stairs in a house in Nova Scotia served as the inspiration for the poem.
Such a tale and poem are well and good for Nova Scotia, but what about Ocean City ghost stories? Are there any specters or ghosts who haunt this beach resort town? The answer, is yes. Let’s take a look at some examples in anticipation of the upcoming Halloween festivities.
The Ocean City Lifesaving Museum, 813 S. Atlantic Avenue
According to their website, the museum was run by the Ocean City Life-saving Service, and later the US Coast Guard, to assist ships in distress while facing the ocean’s intimidating wrath. However, many sailors and others were not so fortunate and did not survive to make it to the shore or the station. It’s rumored to be haunted, and there is even a story of one person’s experience with it.
WMDT featured a story about the museum and featuring quotes from local author Mindie Burgoyne, the author of Haunted Ocean City and Berlin. Ms. Burgoyne one woman told Burgoyne the tale of feeling very cold; when she happened to look in the life boat at the museum. There, before her eyes, she claims she saw a man wearing a rain jacket who looked like he was dead and only appeared for a second, and vanished.
Many people’s stories mention a little blonde child whose apparition has been witnessed around the museum. The WMDT story goes so far as to say that the boy looked so realistic that museum workers thought he was a lost child and went to look for his parents before the museum shut for the day.
They searched high and low but only found a lone shoe print in the paint on newly painted stairs a few days later. It remains one of the museum’s paranormal mysteries.
The Tarry-a-While, 8 Dorchester Street
In an article from Ocean City Today, it says that Calvin Cropper, a 21-year old, was rejected after professing his love to a young woman. He subsequently barricaded himself in his room, shot, and killed himself after lighting a cigarette. Visitors have allegedly smelled cigarette smoke with no apparent origin and have witnessed rocking chairs on the porch moving vigorously with no wind in the air or otherwise logical explanation.
Ms. Burgoyne, in one of her YouTube videos, explains. Ever heard of the woman named Catherine who allegedly haunts Dolle’s Candyland? Rumor has it she was a former employee, and sometimes, things have a way of going missing. The descendants of the original Dolle family who currently run the candy store often refer to her by name and will blame her when they cannot find something that is missing, such as keys. As is tradition, when a piece of candy, wrapped or unwrapped, falls onto the floor, it must be tossed away. One of the more concerning incidents at Dolle’s involved employees who came in to work one day to find an entire bag of candy mysteriously overturned and scattered all over the floor.
Upon security footage review, there was no one in the store, yet the video clearly shows the bag of candy being knocked over and spilled onto the floor-chilling, to say the least.
The Haunted Henry’s Hotel
According to Maryland Haunted Houses, This building can be traced back to 1895, where it was a boardinghouse for young men. Reported sightings at the hotel have included reports of a male youth (wearing overalls and on the porch). Other visitors have reported hearing some clunky footsteps and a woman’s voice yelling. Still more people have reported hearing jazz music inside the hotel.
The Shoreham Hotel (Shenanigan’s)
Have you ever eaten at Shenanigan’s or stayed at the Shoreham Hotel? If not, there is an interesting tale at this location.
According to Chesapeakeghosts.com, it is said to be allegedly one of the most paranormally active buildings in Ocean City with a triad of ghastly specters. The site indicates that the first ghost is supposedly of a writer who killed himself. The second is possibly from a man who died in the basement, and the third is alleged to be the phantasm of Betsey, who jumped out a third floor window, killing herself.
Ask employees about the basement! The site says that some are too scared to go down and that there are many unexplained happenings that occur. Beware of jumping boxes!
The site gives further information on one of the rooms (Seasonal Room 6, which was Betsey’s); it is alleged to have issues with the electrical current and appliances, as evidenced by anecdotal evidence of numerous guest complaints.
If you’re interested in learning more, you could take a ghost tour in Ocean City, Berlin, or numerous other nearby locations. Mindie Burgoyne, local author and the source for much of the lore in this article, is the owner and founder of Chesapeake Ghosts. She is a wellspring of knowledge and her spooky tours are great edutainment in the run-up to Halloween.