This week, we continue featuring some of the fun things to do in coastal Delaware during the so-called “offseason.” These are experiences you can have before the weather turns warm and the beaches start springing to life for the traditional spring and summer seasons.
This week, we talk about ghosts and goblins and all things haunted in our area. Whether you’re a believer in the paranormal or not, consider visiting some of these sites with an open mind.
You never know who you might meet – some alive and some, well not so much.
With a history dating back to the 1630s, there’s certainly no shortage of ghosts and spirits that have decided to make their permanent – and I do mean permanent – home in coastal Delaware. From old ship captains, church dwellers and graveyard guardians, to urban legends like the Selbyville Swamp Monster, the area around the Delaware beaches is full of spooky stories and paranormal activity.
So why not take a little time this offseason to explore some of the area’s haunted attractions? Four of the five sites we will discuss in this blog entry are indoors and free from the often cold, blustery temperatures outside. And the one that isn’t – well you don’t want to miss that one either!
Now, a few of our favorite haunted sites in coastal Delaware:
Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal. Documented as one of the most haunted sites in Delaware, the Lewes Ferry Terminal serves as the final resting place for hundreds of unknown sailors who washed ashore years before the terminal was even built. This “unknown sailors’ graveyard” is located underneath the terminal building, leading to the strange stories and paranormal activity over the years. Visit the terminal at night, just before closing, and roam around for a bit – if you dare!
Addy Sea. The Victorian style Addy Sea Bed and Breakfast in Bethany Beach offers fantastic views of the beach and the boardwalk. But adding to its charm is the fact that three of the inn’s rooms are said to be haunted. Rooms 1, 6 and 11 are the spots, if you dare take on the shaking bathtubs, the phantom organ music and the tales of the ghosts who roam the halls during the evening hours.
Bewitched and Bedazzled Bed and Breakfast. Most visitors to Bewitched and Bedazzled Bed and Breakfast in Rehoboth Beach stay in rooms straight out of the TV show “Bewitched” or glamorous Hollywood movies featuring Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis. But the bed and breakfast also has some long-term guests - those would be the multiple ghosts that come out at night. They can be heard running up and down the stairs, or jumping on beds or even just whispering among themselves. But the owners of the popular inn insist that the entities that roam their halls are nothing but friendly.
Prince George’s Chapel. A cigar smoking entity is said to haunt the historic structure, which dates back to pre-Revolutionary War days. Sitting in his favorite box, he is known to leave ashes on the floor when he leaves, only to return again another day. Gen. John Dagworthy, for whom the town of Dagsboro is named, is said to be buried underneath part of the chapel and is rumored to also keep an eye on his beloved church home. If you want to visit this historic chapel and hear stories of it’s beloved ghost, you’ll need to schedule a tour with the Friends of the Prince George’s Chapel. Call Dagsboro Town Hall at 302-732-3777 for more information.
Great Cypress Swamp. There’s possibly no place in Sussex County that's been the subject of more legends, ghost stories and all-out tall tales than the Great Cypress Swamp, a vast 11,000-acre labyrinth that locals call the “Burnt Swamp” because of all the fires that have raged within its borders. Stories about the Burnt Swamp go back nearly five centuries to 1524 when European explorer Giovanni da Verazano first wrote about the swamp. Once described as “one of the most frightening labyrinths you can imagine” by English botanist Thomas Nuttall, there are even stories, very real to many, of a yeti-like creature who roams the dark corners of the swamp. If you want to visit the swamp, don’t just settle for a short drive on Route 54. Take some of the dirt roads and really do some exploring, at nighttime of course.
So there you have it. Are you brave enough to explore some of our favorite haunted sites in coastal Delaware? If you do, be sure to let us know what you thought of the experience.
If you live to tell the tale that is. Bwahahahahaha!!!