There are ghosts in Easton, the Eastern Shore’s second largest historic town. Easton’s name comes from once being the eastern capital of Maryland, and though there’s no need these days to have a capital city on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay, Easton is still an anchor on the Shore. It’s certainly the cultural hub of the Shore, and a destination for those who seek entertainment, art, fine dining, shopping and scenic walks through a beautiful, historic downtown.
But as with any old town, ghosts of days gone by still haunt some of the old buildings and public places. Easton has some delightful ghosts – both scary and amusing.
The Talbot County Court House
The Talbot County Courthouse has had a ghost for years. He is known as The Colonel. He is credited with walking the halls after hours, checking in on employees who work late, unlocking doors and spying on people (who feel like they are being watched). One particular employee shared her story of having been personally haunted by the Colonel until she had a word with him. Then he left her alone, forever.
The Old Easton Jail
The old Easton jail and Sheriff’s residence sits just behind the courthouse. The three story section of the building was the first to be built. It served as a residence for the County Sheriff and his family. On the top floor there were two rooms – one for male prisoners (third floor window seen here) and one for female prisoners. The Sheriff’s family would be responsible for feeding and caring for the prisoners until they had their day in court. After awhile the need for more prisoner space forced the building of a separate jail. Later the two buildings were attached and today they serve as the office of Talbot County’s States Attorney. Nearly everyone who works in the building now will share some kind of experience or feeling that there are presences lingering from the old days when prisoners were kept here. There’s been one apparition of a lady in blue who stood by the elevator and then vanished.
The Avalon Theater
The Avalon Theater is an old, art deco-style theater that fell into disrepair years ago and later was restored to become one of the finest theater spaces on the Eastern Shore. Two known ghosts haunt this building – one is the ghost of an actress they call Martguerite and the other likes to play with knives – particularly on the third floor which is now a bar. One of the women in the portrait of 5 Vaudeville actresses that hangs in the Avalon Theater lobby is thought to be Marguerite. She’s third from the left, if you ever stop in to take a look.
The Tidewater Inn
Mr. Arther Grymes built the Tidewater Inn on a spot that once held the Hotel Avon, a large Victorian structure that burned down in 1944. The lot at the corner of Harrison and Dover stayed vacant for two years with no one interested in redeveloping the property considering the difficult economic times that gripped the country during WWII. But Mr. Grymes took a chance, built a hotel with brick (fire resistant) and became synonymous with the Tidewater brand. He still is. In fact, the employees will tell you, “He’s here.” Just ask any of them. Almost every one will have a story about an encounter with Mr. Grymes.
The Old Easton Emergency Hospital and Odd Fellows Hall
The Old Emergency Hospital and Odd Fellows Hall. The picture above actually shows two buildings. On the left is the old Easton Emergency Hospital. At the turn of the 20th century a person with an emergency illness would have to weather an overnight boat ride to Baltimore or a train ride to Baltimore that had to hit Wilmington first. The need for an emergency hospital was crucial for Easton, so the building above which was formerly a hotel, was coverted into an emergency hospital. The third floor was for surgery. Today the building is an office / retail space and most famous for the Crackerjacks toy store on the street level. But workers on the second floor have reported hearing footsteps walking the third floor after hours when no one is in the third floor offices.
The larger building which is the former Odd Fellows Hall has a ghost that rides the elevator …. ALL NIGHT LONG. Workers at the Clay Bakers on the street level report having a ghost touch them or bump into them or mislay items.
All five of these buildings are on the Easton Ghost Walk one of the Chesapeake Ghost Walk series led by Mindie Burgoyne. Download a Registration Form