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12 Creepy Stories and Urban Legends from Delaware

Updated September 23, 2021 12.6k views12 items

Delaware may be a small state, but it's got more that its fair share of unsettling tales and urban legends. The first official state, Delaware's long and rich history leave it a likely location for hauntings. Almost every element of Delaware is haunted: its bridges, its rivers, its old Victorian houses. It's a wonder that Delaware citizens can even get around!

Ghost stories from Delaware often involve the state's connection to United States history. You may experience Civil War-era ghosts or ghosts from the early days of the country. There are also those creepy Delaware tales that are your run-of-the-mill urban legends, such as haunted bridges and phantom lighthouses. If you're planning to give the state a visit, or just want a good scare, you've come to the right place. Check out these Delaware urban legends below! 

  • The Dead Presidents Pup in Wilmington, Delaware first opened its doors in the 1990s, but had a long and rich history before that. The two story building had been a private residency and also housed various businesses and bars. The name chosen in the '90s was apparently asking for trouble, however, because guests have reported paranormal activity ever since the Dead Presidents Pub made its debut. 

    The pub sells presidential memorabilia and souvenirs and sports craft beers named after famous presidents. Guests brave enough to enter report glasses clinking on their own, random drops in temperature, the sound of spooky laughter, and the vague feeling of a dark presence. In addition to all this, the pub allegedly houses a specific ghost known as Lemonade Mullery. According to legend, Mullery was a local character who used to frequent the pub and died after slipping on urine on the bathroom floor and breaking his neck. 

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  • As if cemeteries aren't already spooky enough on their own, Long Cemetery in Frankfort, Delaware claims to be home to a ghost. However, this specter is even more terrifying than average as it's been described as a bizarre feline-human hybrid known colloquially as Catman. 

    Catman is said to be the former caretaker of the cemetery who had remarkably cat-like features. He still does his job by chasing out vandals, teens, and other troublemakers. Rumor has it that, if you knock three times on the cemetery's brick wall late at night, Catman will appear and attack. 

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  • Photo: Cortlandt Van Dyke Hubbard / WikiMedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Governor's Mansion, also called Woodburn, was built In the 1790s by Charles Hillyard III and was the official home of Delaware's governors for decades. It still stands in Dover, Delaware and is opened to tours. Ghost stories regarding the mansion go back hundreds of years and guests still report seeing paranormal phenomenon today. 

    The first ghost story occurred 25 years after the house was constructed, after Charles Hillyard III had passed away. According to the story, the house's then owners invited a Methodist preacher to stay with them. While conducting prayer before breakfast one morning, the preacher said they should wait for the other guest staying in the guest house to join them. The couple said no one else was visiting, and the preacher then described his temporary roommate in great detail. His description matched what Hillyard looked like in life perfectly. 

    Apparently, Hillyard and other spirits still linger in the mansion. If you leave Mr. Hillyard, the original owner, a glass of wine on the stairs, legend has it that you'll find it drained in the morning. Mr. Hillyard is not the only ghost at the mansion. Years ago, a slave running away from slave hunters was caught and killed near the mansion's porch. Guests sometimes still hear his screams. There have also been reports of a young girl dressed in a gingham dress and a bonnet roaming the grounds carrying a candle. 

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  • According to local legend, a pregnant woman named Maggie got in an automobile accident along a short bridge in Seaford, Delaware and was decapitated and died. Her spirit still wanders the bridge, searching for the child that died with her. Some say you can conjure her spirit by stepping out of your car on the bridge and yelling, "Maggie, I have your baby." People also report seeing figures dancing around in the woods surrounding the bridge. 

    Was the Maggie of the story real? No one knows for sure, but a local cemetery does have a grave marker for a Maggie Bloxom who died very young. 

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