The Samuel Tull House is a Civil War era house in Somerset County, Maryland – known to be haunted. It was featured on my Ghost Tour of Crisfield back in February of 2010. Located on the east side of East Creek in Marion Station, the house was an anchor point of the now vanished village of Tulls Corner, once a vibrant community center with stores, a mill and trading opportunities. The house was built in 1861 by Samuel Tull who is listed in the 1877 Somerset County Atlas as a merchant with a total property of 220 acres.
The Attic Stair
In its day, this house would have displayed wealth, and it has remained mostly unchanged in the last 150 years. The attic stair is enclosed. One the door is an inscription still visible written by a youngster over 100 years ago … “All gone to the festival but me … Olive Tull”
The house has been known to be haunted for years. When we moved to Somerset County in 2002, this house was for sale. We looked at it, and loved it, but couldn’t afford the price. Karen M. was the seller. I interviewed here later about the house having a reputation for being haunted. She affirmed the paranormal activity – some of it quite disturbing… but it all stopped after her mother (who lived with the family) passed away.
Karen said they moved in in 1989 and heard things from previous owners about unexplained events. The front upstairs room on the right was the master bedroom. From there both the previous owners and Karen M. would occasionally hear a little child call for “Mommy” or “Mamma.” Even the dogs heard this.
There was always noise in the kitchen like a party. Chairs scraping, loud laughing, lots of people. The first Thanksgiving Karen M and her family spent at the Samuel Tull House, relatives were visiting. A nephew went to lay down and reported someone was knocking on the the attic door. The previous owners reported hearing the same thing. The nephew was so frightened he never went back upstairs. Later, Karen M. found out that the Tulls had raised 13 children in that home and the kids slept in the attic.
Visiting friends from New Jersey were walking through the house and went into the front bedroom. One noted that the hair stood up on the back of her neck. She wouldn’t sleep in the room. She chose to sleep downstairs on the couch. The previous owners told Karen M. that their daughter was in bed one night and felt like someone was choking her.
Karen M. confessed that in the years they owned the Samuel Tull House, she never stayed a night in the house by herself. If she was due to be alone, she’d call a friend to spend the night.
CRY BABY BRIDGE – EAST CREEK
There are many bridges dubbed “cry baby bridge” because the cry of a baby has been known to be heard – usually late at night when the moon is full and the wind is just right. Tied to these tales of baby cries is usually a story about some distraught mother who threw her baby off the bridge or jumped to her death holding a baby. I was surprised to find out that the bridge just west of the Samuel Tull House (formerly known as Milldam Bridge) has the same reference, but there is historical proof that an accident occurred on the bridge and a child was killed.
Locals say a mother in a horse drawn carriage was with her four year old child crossing Milldam Bridge when the horse got spooked, panicked and bolted into the water. The mother could not save her child. The little girl drowned. After that the bridge was said to be haunted by the child. Locals reported hearing a child’s frantic screaming which would suddenly cease as if she’d succumbed to force of the water. Even today, folks that fish off that bridge, claim to hear the child’s cries.
Local author, Woodrow T. Wilson wrote of this tale in a news article back in the 1950s. He claims in his book Quindocua, Maryland, that a woman who reviewed his article – Mrs. Stella Conner Bradshaw – approached him and told him the legend was true. She said the child was her aunt (her father’s sister), Annie Conner who was born December 10th 1871. The accident happened on July 29, 1875. The horse was frightened by a thunderstorm. There were no railings on the bridge at the time. The wagon went over and little Annie’s body wasn’t found until later.
Another confirmation of the tale surfaced during a bus tour I led touring haunted sites in Crisfield and Marion Station back in February of 2010. There was a lady on my tour who said the story of Cry Baby Bridge in Marion was familiar. She recalled her grandmother talking about that bridge. She emailed me once she returned to her home in Virginia and asked what the name of the child was how drowned. Once I confirmed that the child was Annie Conner, she wrote back to me with this message ….”I remember my grandmother telling me about that child drowning. I checked with my mother who is now 91. She confirmed that Annie Conner, the child who drowned was the sibling of my great grandmother Mollie Conner.”
Strange how the place keeps drawing people back.
More haunted stories about the Eastern Shore can be found in the book Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales From East of the Chesapeake by Mindie Burgoyne
Thank you for your kind words regarding my mom. I have yet another bizarre thing to share with you about the Shelltown woman you told me was found in a retention pond near St. Paul’s Cemetery some years ago. I emailed my sister who lives in Crisfield about it today because her husband used to work at the Somerset Detention Center where William Brumley worked and I was curious as to whether my brother-in-law knew this guy. My sister told me that she and her son were just talking about this before she read my email. It seems her son, my nephew, was with the teenagers who found the body. They were all partying in that area because of just graduating from high school and they smelled something dead and called the police. My nephew left the scene however before they discovered the body. My sister further explained that she herself was familiar with this William James Brumley Jr. because while they were still living in the old farmhouse, Mr. Brumley had at that time worked in the 2 chicken houses that were adjacent to my mom’s property. I told you about the chicken houses earlier when you said you were going to ride by there to see if you could see where the old farmhouse once stood. According to my sister, Brumley spoke with my stepfather on many occasions during the time he worked in the chicken houses!