Ghostly tours tell spooky stories of old Delmarva

By Laura Walter
Posted 6/24/24

The tour guide stood with nine other people in the growing shadows of a massive, century-old stone building. It was long ago abandoned, but tales of ghostly encounters lived on: shadows in the …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already a member? Log in to continue.   Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Ghostly tours tell spooky stories of old Delmarva


The tour guide stood with nine other people in the growing shadows of a massive, century-old stone building. It was long ago abandoned, but tales of ghostly encounters lived on: shadows in the security cameras, rattling noises and more.

“Who wants to see inside?” asked tour guide Christopher Wright.

The visitors ducked under overgrown plants, walking past a tree growing from the brickwork. They took turns peeking through the front doors of the former National Guard armory, which later served as a police station and jail for Pocomoke City, Md. This stone institution was part of the Chesapeake Ghost Tour.

Chesapeake Ghost Tours has a series of guided walks in Berlin, Cambridge, Denton, Easton, Ocean City, Pocomoke City, Princess Anne, Salisbury, Snow Hill and St. Michaels. Walking (and boating!) tours are offered all summer and fall. On those nights, the nighttime feels just a bit heavier. Is something watching? Is something waiting?

Wright, who leads the southern Worcester tours, met tonight’s attendees at a public pavilion on Pocomoke’s main street. There were a few local couples, plus a family of five from South Carolina. Did anyone believe in ghosts? Most people raised their hands. Has anyone ever experienced a ghost? A few hands stayed up.

“It’s not my job here to make you believe. You take in whatever evidence you feel might prove things. We do not have people hiding to jump out at you,” promised Wright.

For the next 90 minutes on that August night, Wright led the group through the downtown, telling stories of death, illness, drownings and brokenhearted people. He pointed out both houses and gravestones from the 1800s, turning up his lantern as the sun went down.

Ghostly energies can live on for generations, leaving an impact through the centuries.

“When we think about haunted sites, most people only think [back] a couple hundred years. They don’t think back too far beyond European settlement,” said Wright. “We forget that Native Americans have lived here for thousands of years. We don’t know what they left behind—their spirits are here. … We do encounter some stuff like that on tours.”

Indeed, Wright brought a K-II (K2) EMF Meter, which lights up in the presence of an electromagnetic field (which is believed to include both active ghosts and active cell phones). He believes something was moving around the woods, causing the sensor to light up at times.

“When we go around here and I say I see something, I’m not making it up for the tour. I take that stuff very seriously,” said Wright.

Emotional trauma stirs up otherworldly energy. Maybe the walls are thinner between here and another realm. Maybe the building material acts as a magnet to that kind of energy.

Photography is very encouraged on Chesapeake Ghost Tours. “People get stuff in their photos—anything from shadows … orbs … and sometimes pictures of faces,” he said.

Every tour has special feature: the historic homes in Cambridge; the rowdy women of St. Michaels; and the gruesome horror of Princess Anne (which is closed to children, due to the content of this tour). Some tales are eerier than others, but that doesn’t mean every single spirit is malicious. Many seem to just observe, watching from windows, waiting on pathways.

At the dark entrance to the Pocomoke Forest, Wright described the ghostly adults—and children—he’s encountered in those storied woods.

There’s a simple reason Wright and so many others walk the streets each week, telling ghost stories: “Fun. I have fun every day,” he said. “People want the thrill, and they want to be scared.”

How’d he get into it? “Scooby-Doo,” he grinned. “Ever since I was a kid. Actually, Ghostbusters really did it. I just had fascination that field of research,” buffeted by the 1970s and ’80s fringe TV shows. Then, when Wright heard about a ghost tour company opening locally, he took a tour and eventually trained to be a guide. (Personally, he also does more intensive work with a separate outfit called Bump in the Night Paranormal Investigations.)

A Chesapeake Ghost Tour is more than a list of restless spirits—it’s a researched history. Many sites are listed on various historic registers. It’s a neat way to learn about a new town.

“Each walk has been carefully researched and digs deep into the town’s ghostly history, haunted properties and tales of the dead,” organizers said.

“When I craft a tour, I try to do so in a way that tells the story of the whole town, so that the characters I talk about are placed in a related setting,” states founder Mindie Burgoyne on her website.

“All haunted stories begin to sound alike after a while. What differentiates one story from the next are the ghostly characters, the setting, and how people are experiencing the presence of those ghosts in this world.”

Burgoyne is an author, historian and traveler with an avid interest in the “thin places” of our world, whether old Delmarva or the British Isles. Her research comes alive in her local haunted history books and a dozen ghost tours across Maryland’s historic Eastern Shore.

Tours are designed to respect the neighborhoods and stick to public paths. Groups do not enter abandoned structures, they do not peek in the windows of occupied homes, and they have special permission if entering anything normally off-limits (like the Pocomoke Forest trail after dark).

Guests should always dress for the elements, bringing water, bug spray or rain gear, as needed. Walks average 1.5 miles.

Learn more about Chesapeake Ghost Tours at (443) 735-0771 and

Bay to the Beach: Byways is a regular column in which we explore interesting places and projects on the Delmarva Peninsula. Videos and more photos at

Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.