Cape May, New Jersey is one of the most haunted places in America. With a recorded history dating back to 1620, it’s not hard to imagine why. The seaside resort is also the first in our nation, with hotel development beginning in 1766.
Cape May Ghost Stories is 1 of 3 books by Seibold & Adams chronicling the paranormal along the Jersey shore. They also co-wrote Shipwrecks and Legends ‘Round Cape May, which I highly recommend to anyone who loves maritime history.
I originally picked the series up for personal amusement- something to read on the beach. Being a lover of all things spooky, my husband and I are also fans of the many ghost tours offered through Cape May MAC.
Between the book and one of the walking tours, one story vividly stood out: that of a female servant who reportedly stood guard on the second floor of a small casino. Located at Columbia & Stockton, the establishment was known as Jackson’s Club House.
When gambling and carousing were taking place, she sat motionless in a chair outside the door, usually knitting or sewing. If the authorities were spotted, the woman began rocking- the creaky floorboards alerting proprietors of pending trouble.
Nowadays, the Victorian that formerly housed the gentlemen’s club is the lovely Mainstay Inn.
In Thicker Than Water, Jackson's serves as a frequent haunt of Hugh Callaway. But it wasn't the gambling club on the resort. Nor is it the only haunted house.
Built in 1816, Congress Hall has a storied history as well. It is also my family's favorite retreat at Christmastime.
During the 1840s, a gambling hall by the name of the Blue Pig attracted patrons from far and wide. It was located on Beach Avenue and Perry Street (the present day location of Uncle Bill's Pancake House) at the edge of Congress Hall's lawn. The original building was moved to avoid erosion, but still exists as a privately owned residence.
For a full line up of Cape May's autumnal offerings, check out this detailed post from Cape May Days.