Ghosts and October are like peanut butter and jelly. It’s that time of the year, when Halloween is on the horizon and things seem to go “bump” in the night more often than usual.
If you can’t make it to my haunted weekends in Cape May, here’s the next best thing: a do-it-yourself version of one of my walking ghost tours. Pack up a few snacks, a bottle of water, and a lantern (or flashlight) and head out onto the dark and shadowy streets of Victorian Cape May in search of some of the unseen residents we call ghosts. Of course, you can do this in the broad daylight as well, but it’s not half as much fun.
Just remember to respect people’s private property. Please do not trespass or try to enter any private residences.
Our starting point will be Beach Avenue and Ocean Street
Cross Beach Avenue and stop across from the Inn of Cape May.
This is one of my favorite haunts in town. The fourth and fifth floors are particularly active. If you are lucky, and you stay here a few nights, you may encounter the “Lady in Blue.” She is a former housekeeper who still checks on the rooms. She has been seen as a ghost wearing a luminous blue dress. If you are extra lucky, you may encounter the two dead children who have haunted the hotel since they both drowned almost 100 years ago. They are heard running up and down the hallways late at night, calling each other’s names. Maybe they will call yours.
Head toward the Washington Street Mall
Stop on the corner of Ocean and Columbia.
The lovely old Columbia House on the southwest corner has a playful cat – a dead one. The ghostly feline tends to jump up on guests’ beds in the middle of the night to cuddle. How sweet. Maybe this furry phantom, named Alex, will even follow you home.
Look across the street
On the opposite corner, you will find Queen Victoria’s House of Royals. Two former “ladies of the evening” still haunt this property. They tend to mingle with (living) guests on the top floor of the old hotel. it’s always good to have company, late at night, when you are reading in bed — especially if you happen to be reading one of my Ghosts of Cape May books!
For the complete walking tour, pick up the Fall 2012 issue of Cape May Magazine, on stands now. Call 609-898-4500 to subscribe ($24 for 6 issues)