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10 Haunted Areas Near Bethany

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Did you know that Delaware was actually one of the first settled areas in what we now know as the United States of America? That means that there are some pretty old buildings to be found and even the land itself has a long and fascinating history. Whenever there is a long and colorful history, you can be pretty sure that hauntings and unexplained events will be sure to follow. It is no big surprise that Delaware has more than its fair share of ghost stories to tell!

(302) 539-3707 99 Ocean View Pkwy, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

1. Addy Sea Inn – Bethany Beach, Delaware

Just off of Ocean View Parkway in Bethany stands a Victorian style inn. In addition to its breathtaking views of the sea, it offers some otherworldly experiences from within the walls of three of its rooms; all reported to be haunted. Built in 1902 and named after John M. Addy it was often rented to church groups during the Depression Era. These days it serves as a charming bed and breakfast. But in rooms 1, 6 and 11, guests can often get more than they bargained for.

Room One houses a copper bathtub that has been known to shake violently and sporadically. This strange phenomenon has been reported by hundreds of guests, some were even in the tub at the time!

Room Six has been known to exude organ music of days gone by. However there is no organ in the room.

Room Eleven is allegedly haunted by Paul Delaney, a former handyman who is often seen roaming the halls as though on an errand or on his way to aid Mr. Addy.

Aside from the rooms, there are reports of a ghost who runs through the hallways during the evening. Sometimes footsteps can be heard on the roof; possibly those of Kurty Addy, who fell to his death years ago. Kurty is also known to display his obituary in random places for guests to find throughout the inn.

If you’re willing to stay in this picturesque B&B there are 13 rooms available. The Inn also is available for meetings of weddings, hosting up to 125 guests.

2. Long Cemetery & the Catman grave – Frankford, Delaware

Just off of Ocean View Parkway in Bethany stands a Victorian style inn. In addition to its breathtaking views of the sea, it offers some otherworldly experiences from within the walls of three of its rooms; all reported to be haunted. Built in 1902 and named after John M. Addy it was often rented to church groups during the Depression Era. These days it serves as a charming bed and breakfast. But in rooms 1, 6 and 11, guests can often get more than they bargained for.

Situated at the end of a dirt road outside of Frankford, Delaware, rests a graveyard sprinkled with large trees. It is said to be guarded by the Catman. His true identity, if he existed at all, is unknown. However, legend states he was a man with cat like features who was caretaker for this particular graveyard. During his time among the living, he would scare off teenagers who would make attempts to party at the cemetery. When the Catman passed away, he was placed in an above ground tomb in the middle of the graveyard. The tomb that was the supposed resting place of the Catman was torn down in 1994 at the request of family members also interred there. All four residents were given regular burial plots. But those who saw the inside of the tomb before it came down reported cat-like claw marks on the interior walls of the crypt. The cemetery is the resting place of many gravestones dating back to the 1800s though quite a few seem to be early 1900s. Of all the gravestones throughout, there are two stones that face the woods at the back of the location, opposite of all the rest.

Many believe the Catman still keeps an eye on the graveyard and cite a brick wall that is behind the cemetery as you exit. The legend is, if you knock on the wall three times the Catman will appear or possibly tinker with your vehicle engine, preventing it from starting.

If you choose to visit this location, please do so respectfully...and gain permission if you wish to actively investigate. This cemetery, while known in ghost hunting circles as Catman’s Grave, is actually the Colonel Armwell Long Cemetery. Armwell Long served with George Washington in the Revolutionary War. When he died in 1834, he joined his wife, a son, and several other relatives in their small, family plot. However, plans were soon made to turn the burial ground, as well as the surrounding lands owned by the Layton family, into a large, public cemetery in Armwell’s memory, with him being cited as the new cemetery’s first official burial.

Today, the cemetery sits off of a private road, which is just off Route 401, known locally as Catman’s Road. It is unclear whether or not the road was named before or after the legends of Catman.

3. The Henry Hotel – Ocean City, Marlyand

Built in 1895, this historic house welcomed African-American workers during a time of racial segregation. You likely would dismiss it as a simple single family home if you were to walk by. But inside were 20 rooms that had attracted many notable musicians over time, including Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong and even a young James Brown.

It was ran by Pearl Bonner, an African-American woman who purchased the property in 1964 and ran it for forty years with her three daughters. She died in 2003 and the hotel now sits empty.

During the summer months, you can walk by it not think twice about the three storied brown shingled house. But it’s during the winter months that people begin to notice strange occurrences. It has been reported that at very late hours and into the morning, you can hear jazz music and the sounds of people partying within the house, although it is quite obviously unoccupied. However as you advance towards the property the music will became faint and eventually stops. Walking away leads to the music’s return.

Beyond the secretive partying spirits, some folks have noted a figure standing on the porch that appears to be staring at them. When they adjust their eyes to the dark and try to focus on the form, there is no one there. Pearl Bonner had a standing rule while she ran the bordering home. She only accepted males and they were required to be home by 2 am. She was known to have often waited up for them to make sure they obeyed her rules. Some believe this could be her spirit, waiting for her borders to return home.

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4. The Witch’s Tree – Whaleyville, Maryland

This gnarled, bizarre-looking chestnut oak tree is located off the beaten path in Whaleyville, MD but is technically within the Great Cypress Swamp, a conservation area managed by Delaware Wild Lands. The swamp is also known as the Burnt Swamp because of a fire started when a moonshiner’s still exploded. The fire burnt for 8 months despite great efforts to extinguish it and was reportedly seen as far as 70 miles away.

If you find this tree, you will instantly notice one thing that is strikingly peculiar. Surrounding this tree are younger trees and the varieties are different than this one, meaning all the trees from the original forestation have since died and new growth has taken its place. All, save this one. The tree is believed to be a witness tree. Witness trees were once used to mark property when the site was not suitable for a traditional marker and a large tree was within 10 chains (660 feet) of the point to be marked. In the landscape context, witness trees also were witness to significant historical events, e.g., the Civil War.

The folklore is that brightly colored lights and orbs surround the tree. A man sitting in a truck reading a newspaper is seen behind the tree (and there is no way for a truck to be driven back there, given the 8 foot ditch along the road and in front of the tree). Some have heard a woman screaming or crying, dogs barking, or a car engine starting in the night there. Of course, some of these sounds can be easily explained -- there are farms and homes nearby.

But locals will warn you not to go out there alone, as it's a known spot for vehicles to break down and many claim there is no cellphone signal to be found.

Almost everyone who has ever walked up to the tree has experienced something strange. No one knows exactly what causes it, but some say it could be from a shingle maker who died in the 1930 fire. But there is a more sinister tale that others believe to be true. It’s believed that the spirit of Allison Gregor resides in the tree.

During colonial times, a hermit named Allison Gregor received word that her sister who lived in a neighboring town was accused and killed for witchcraft. Allison became visibly distraught and retreated to her home where she mourned publicly for 4 months. At the end of the four months, she entered her home and remained there unseen by anyone.

It was during this time that the neighboring town became victim to strange and disturbing events, such as loved ones that went missing and crops that would mysteriously fail. The bodies of people would be found and, upon examination, contained a purplish liquid inside them. This same liquid was found in areas near the dead crops. It wasn’t long before they tied these events to Allison, believing she was exacting some sort of revenge.

She was found in her basement among jars and bottles of the purple liquid and the body of the mayor’s son. They drug her into the woods where she was bound to a dead tree and executed by a priest. It is believed that her soul left her body and entered the dead tree where it remains to this day.

NOTE: Information was provided, stating this site no longer exists.

5. Bay Oaks Community - Lewes, Delaware

The Bay Oaks neighborhood, built in 1989, is a golf community that rests on top of a supposed massacre that took place between Native Americans and Dutch settlers. Pottery and arrowheads have been unearthed over the years but in addition to the historical finds, there are reports of streaking lights and colored orbs darting about. Some residents claim property and belongings have inexplicably moved and then returned to their origins. There is even a report where a teen awoke from sleep, feeling a hand was at their throat. While these sightings are not seen by everyone in the community, the one common factor seems to be a hereditary tie to Dutch Ancestry.

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6. Campground Bicycle Trail – Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware

Cape Henlopen is a popular state park that is situated on over 5,193 acres and founded in 1964. Managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the park sees millions of visitors each year. But there is supposedly one person caught on video that isn’t your normal visitor. That would be the phantom head of a soldier seen peering from a dune covered bunker below the #12 Spotting Tower. This apparition has been said to frequent this section of the bike trail along with unexplained growls and noises that emanate from the bunker.

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7. Cannonball House

Lewes, Delaware

This home dates back to 1765 and is one of the most well-known buildings in Lewes, Delaware. It survived the 1813 shelling of Lewes by the British during the War of 1812, and still has a cannonball lodged in its side to this day (hence the name of the home). Considered one of the most haunted locations in all of Delaware, screams and footsteps have been heard and recorded within the property, possibly of Susan Rolands, an 88 year old female who was burned alive there.

An ominous white door has been reported to open on its own. Upon entering the attic, employees and workers have felt an incredibly uneasy presence as well as heard footsteps traipsing about. From the street, people have claimed to see women waiting in windows, believably for the husbands to return from war.


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8. Adkins Hardware- Berlin Maryland

At first glance, the hardware store is underwhelming. It looks like any typical family owned store nestled in as non-foreboding a location as you can get. The idea of it being haunted seems almost dismissible. But the store is proof that the supernatural is not always your typical Hollywood style scenario. In fact, this site reports several phenomenon that make up the Adkins Triangle.

Workers at the store claim a previous owner; Mr. Hudson left to go home for lunch one day and died of a heart attack. It is believed that he still inhabits the store and is often heard rearranging shelves and walking the aisles after the close of business when no customers are in the store.

Yet another previous owner, Roland Powell, was given a handmade clock by a friend, Elton Richardson. Powell kept the clock in his office. Years later Elton Richardson died and at the approximate time of his death, the clock cover popped open and the clock stopped working.

While the clock story and the rumored haunting of Mr. Hudson seem fairly innocent, the empty parking lot across from the store tells a far more eerie tale. During the day, the parking lot is simply an empty area bordered by two building with an opening to wooded area behind it. But at night, it takes on an unsettling aura so intense; some folks can’t stand there more than minutes without feeling the presence of an “elemental” being. A dark shadowed shape of a human like form has been seen, and in some cases photographed, emerging from the wooded area and into the parking lot. One couple reported sitting in their car facing the woods in search of the shadow, when it came towards them and then grew significantly in size. To this day, the woman in the car cannot go near the parking lot.

The Adkins Hardware store is a stop along the Berlin Ghost Walk. You can register for it here.

9. Atlantic Hotel- Berlin, Maryland

Built in 1895, The Atlantic Hotel in downtown Berlin is a picturesque building with its porch rockers and well-kept veranda. But inside, the hotel has been known to take on an entirely different character.

The most commonly witnessed, is an unknown little girl said to ride her bicycle through the halls. Research has never led to any definitive discovery to who she is or why she remains there.

There is also an account from a general manager who was approached by a woman in Room 16 who announced she had no towels in the room. The GM was startled by the woman and didn’t recall her face; the size of the guest list was relatively small. He returned with towels and not wanting to startle the guest, announced himself upon entry to the room. There was no answer, so he peered his head in and announced himself a second time, No response came from inside. As he started to push the door open, it swung open itself and it was clearly evident that no one was inside the room. Furthermore, the bathroom was stocked with towels. Upon reviewing the guest register, it revealed that no one was checked into the room. Room 16 has been the subject of many reported encounters. Workers have had tools go missing and then suddenly reappear. A strange smell lingered in the area despite cleaning and repainting it.

Throughout out the hotel, guests have heard children laughing when no children were present. Night clerks claim lights go off and on suddenly and sporadically. One employee was tapped on the shoulder and turned to find no one there.

Despite the paranormal activity, the hotel remains a beautiful place to stay for a romantic weekend getaway and is roughly 15 minutes from the beach.

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10. Maggie’s Bridge- Woodland Church Rd, Seaford Delaware

On an eerily quiet section of Route 78 in Seaford, there is a bridge said to be haunted by Maggie Bloxom. The truth behind Maggie may never be known as the background story varies. Some say she was captured in connection with aiding the Underground Railroad while others claim she was killed when thrown from her horse on the bridge while pregnant. There are other variations as well, but they all center around Maggie, her infant child and the two being separated in one way or another.

Light orbs have been photographed on the bridge and high levels of EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) readings have been captured as well. Figures have been seen roaming the woods on either side of the bridge and noises coming from the woods in the form of shrieks have sent many thrill seekers running and not looking back.

As the legend goes, Maggie roams about the woods near the bridge searching for her lost infant. And if you call out to her in the night claiming to have the child, she will coming running towards you. An interesting side note is that if you enter the address on Google Maps, (4673 Woodland Church Rd, Seaford, DE) and view the area in Satellite mode, you’ll notice the surrounding fields bare what appear to be crop circles.

Maybe you believe in ghosts and spirits, maybe you don’t. Some stories are based on mere urban myth while other sites claim historically backed record. No matter your opinion or view, ghost stories and their lore serve to excite the imagination, heighten our curiosities and, at times, send a chill down your spine.


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