Since it's getting close to Halloween, I thought it would be fun to sign up for a "Haunted Bus Tour" sponsored by our local community college yesterday. The tour was from 12:00 to 4:00 PM and narrated by Mindie Burgoyne, who wrote the book "Haunted Eastern Shore." I don't think my husband was that excited when I enlisted him on this adventure with me, but he was a good sport anyway, even though it was an absolutely beautiful day, and he was probably missing out on some good fishing.
On this tour the author took us to various sites on Maryland's Eastern Shore that had been the subject of ghosts sitings, hauntings, and other paranormal activity, some that had been occurring for hundreds of years.
It was no surprise that our tour took us to a couple of very old cemeteries dating as far back as the early 1700's, including the cemetery behind St. Paul's Episcopal Church where the actress Tallulah Bankhead is buried, who lived a relatively short but troubled life, marked by alcoholism and drug abuse. Our group walked over to Ms. Bankhead's gravesite where we learned the legend that if you lay down on her grave at night with your ear pressed to the ground, you could hear her singing. Suffice it to say that I won't be doing that anytime soon. Or even thinking about going to graveyards at night for that matter.
Though we went to several haunted sites, my favorite was the Kitty Knight House which dates back to 1773. The home still remains today and in fact, operates as a thriving Bed & Breakfast, as well as fine dining establishment in Georgetown, MD that overlooks the Sassafras River. As we gathered in an empty dining hall of the restaurant, the manager gave us a little history of the Inn, including her personal accounts of strange events that have occurred since she's been employed there (over 10 years now). Apparently the ghost of Kitty Knight, quite a prominent woman of society in her day, still inhabits the place. For example, the front desk will occasionally get calls from room 4, which was Kitty's bedroom during her lifetime. However, this happens even when no one is booked in that room. When they answer the phone, no one is there. When the staff has investigated, they find the room locked. When entering the room, they find it empty. There have also been other reports from Inn guests, as well as members of the staff, of doors closing by themselves, shadowy figures of a woman on the wall, and hearing voices. The Inn even had to remove Kitty's rocking chair from her bedroom because guests complained about it rocking on its own.
I reminded my husband that our anniversary was coming up in November and asked him how he felt about coming to this B&B for dinner, then spending one night in room 4 (Kitty's room), just for the fun of it. He told me that if that's how I wanted to celebrate my anniversary, I'd be spending it alone since he was not at all interested in sharing a room with Kitty Knight.
Not sure if I buy into all of the things we learned about yesterday, but I think my Irish heritage appreciates a good yarn and the folklore surrounding some areas of the Eastern Shore. I had a great time and enjoyed the whole tour. I bought a copy of the author's book because she did an excellent job in researching this subject and collecting the stories she compiled into a book.
Besides, if I ever find myself in a situation where I need to tell some good old-fashioned ghost stories, I've got it covered - and can say I've been there, too.
Who knew the Eastern Shore could be such a creepy place?