This time of year we have a heightened interest in the paranormal and all things spooktacular, which stands to reason considering Halloween is just a few weeks away. Of course, ghost walks and stories of the paranormal are fun any time of year, but Halloween-season really is the perfect time for a good old-fashioned ghost story. Enter the Chesapeake Ghost Walks! This year, Chesapeake Ghost Walks and owner Mindie Burgoyne will host 30 ghost tours in the month of October, with 12 slated for Halloween weekend. That’s ten towns, spanning eighty linear miles across the Eastern Shore, including a special inside tour of Burgoyne’s very own haunted Victorian home (which incidentally is what inspired the Ghost Walks in the first place). What to expect? Let’s take a look…
During Halloween week, there will be 15 walks available covering ten towns: Easton, Cambridge, St. Michaels, Ocean City, Berlin, Princess Anne, Pocomoke, Denton, Snow Hill, and Crisfield. Most of the tours will also include a nighttime stroll through a graveyard, as well as visit to healing trees, elementals (non-human spirits), river walks, and forest walks. Over 120 stories of the haunted Eastern Shore will be covered in the 15-tour span, including the Bloody Henry and LeCompte Curse (Cambridge), The Town Dog Killer (Denton), The Ghost in the Governor’s Mansion (Snow Hill), The Haunted Carousel (Ocean City), and The Child Spirit of the Atlantic Hotel (Berlin).
Chesapeake Ghost Walks is the largest cluster of regional heritage walks in America, impressive right? Burgoyne, local author of Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake, has created over twelve ghost tours through historic towns on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, which are held throughout the year. Over 200 ghost tours are held each year and delivered to more than 5000 guests. Each of the specific walks has been carefully researched and is tailored to the town’s haunted properties, spooky tales, and ghost sightings.
Don’t believe in ghosts? Burgoyne collects her tales from a wide variety of sources, including local libraries, books, newspapers and the Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University. “The way I craft these tours is to collect stories about unexplained events and then I also look at the history, and hopefully they come together,” Burgoyne explained to us in an interview last year. She starts by interviewing area locals for interesting stories of the supernatural or unexplained, but rather than stop there and simply re-tell those stories, Burgoyne goes a step further – researching the stories to find a historical connection. From there, a richer story is born. “The real focus is storytelling, and I want those to be truthful,” said Burgoyne. “The town itself is a character in the story.”
When asked what the scariest tour is, Burgoyne responds, “The scariest is probably Pocomoke because that takes guests into a forest that has a haunted legacy spanning a hundred years. Cambridge has the most haunted stories in Maryland, with 14 haunted stories in two blocks. Snow Hill has the most haunted inns and mansions as well as the only haunted site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore featured by a national cable network – The Snow Hill Inn. Berlin has its walking dead and some super strange energy forces. Princess Anne is the most disturbing, covering two brutal murders with content so harsh that we don’t allow children on the walk. All of the walks are scary in their own way.”
Sure sounds spooky enough for us! And made better by the addition of historical facts and tidbits. For more information on the tours and the Eastern Shore’s haunted history, visit their website.