While almost every horror fan worth their salt has seen The Blair Witch Project, the myths and legends surrounding the real-life Pocomoke Forest make the movie seem tame. Crawling with everything from elemental spirits to wailing ghosts to crazed murderers, these Maryland forests are some of the most haunted woods in America.
There's spooky forests, and then there's the Pocomoke. This incredibly haunted forest includes thick trees, ghost towns, swamps - and an eerie, winding black river cuts through it all. Specters have been seen, heard, and felt all over the area. It is a unique place with its own unmistakable and unsettling presence.
Over the centuries, the Pocomoke forest has earned a very dark reputation. Bizarre occurrences include everything from a hybrid goat/man creature that stalks the riverside to a magical bible, and even UFO sightings.
Check out all of the wild and terrifying tales attached to one of the most haunted places in America - but maybe turn on the light first.
According to legend, a young couple were driving in the Pocomoke Forest and ran out of gas. The boy got out to try and find some help and told his companion to wait for him and keep the car locked. The young girl spent the whole night alone in the locked car waiting for him, and eventually fell asleep despite hearing strange noises on the roof of the car all night.
When she woke up in the morning, she left the car at last and found her boyfriend's head resting on the trunk. The scratching noises she'd heard had been his nails scraping the car as he desperately grasped for help, as someone or something had hung him feet-first from a tree above the car.
When a bus driver decided to take a busload of students on a shortcut through Pocomoke Forest, things did not go according to plan. After getting out of the bus to check on some engine trouble, the driver was never seen again.
The sounds of people walking on top of the bus, as well as ghoulish faces in the windows, terrified the students. The teacher had the students close their windows and went in search of the bus driver only to find a skeleton in front of the bus. The teacher quickly drove all of the students back to school.
The Cellar House on the Pocomoke River has a number of colorful legends and tragic ghost stories attached to it. One of these is the murderous six-fingered sea captain who, according to legend, made a fortune smuggling, and used the money to build the Cellar House as a gift to his bride.
While he was away on a long voyage, his wife fell in love with another man and became pregnant with his child. She fled and gave birth in another village, but then tried to return to ask the captain for assistance. While sailing back to the Cellar House, her baby was accidentally drowned, and when she returned to Cellar House at last, the captain stabbed her.
It's said that to this day both the cries of the bride and her baby can be heard near the house and along the river. Her blood still stains the floor where she was murdered, and even renovating the Cellar House and replacing the floor hasn't eradicated it. Also, it is said that cars parked near the Pocomoke woods by the river often have the captain's distinctive six-fingered hand print on them.
Witnesses have reported seeing the apparitions of abused slaves and their children around the Pocomoke Forest and surrounding swamplands for decades. Often slave owners would rape their slaves, and sometimes the children which resulted from these acts of cruelty would be drowned in the swamp, where their wandering ghosts are trapped to this day.