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Feeling Spirits From Long Ago in Christ Church Cemetery, Cambridge, Maryland
Christ Church Cemetery is located at 601 Church Street in historic Cambridge, Maryland. Some allege the cemetery is haunted. Established in the late 1600’s, Christ Church cemetery is the final resting place for original settlers of Cambridge, veterans of the American Revolutionary War, and veterans of the U.S. Civil War.
When I visit historic cemeteries, I like to bring flowers to place on the graves of civil war veterans. In Christ Church cemetery these graves were hard to find. In contrast, the American Revolutionary veteran graves were easily identifiable with the American flags and DAR markers. I had with me a list of the names of civil war veterans who are buried in the cemetery. When I found several of these graves, I was surprised that there was no indication that the person was a civil war veteran. I got a strong feeling that this history was purposely being hidden. It was common for families in Maryland to have had family members fighting on both sides of the civil war so perhaps this was a painful period that was preferred to be left in the past by the families.
After laying flowers on several civil war veterans’ graves there was one grave I could not find. I decided to use a method that I’ve been using for years that always works. I call on the spirit of the deceased to guide me to their grave. I explain to them that I am there to visit them and to honor their service in the civil war. A few seconds following this ritual, it worked. I found the grave of the veteran.
Although the cemetery is rumored to be haunted, I personally believe that spirits of the deceased like being remembered and appreciate being visited.
Historic Christ Church Cemetery Cambridge Maryland LaRocca-51-EditHaunted and Historic Cambridge, Maryland Gate to Christ Church cemetery, Cambridge, Maryland
Christ Church CemeteryHaunted and Historic Cambridge, Maryland American Revolutionary War Graves, Christ Church Cemetery, Cambridge, Maryland
Christ Church Cemetery Cambridge MDHistoric Christ Church Cemetery, Cambridge, Maryland Historic Christ Church Cemetery, Cambridge, Maryland
Christ Church Historic Cambridge Maryland LaRocca-24-EditHistoric Christ Church, Cambridge, Maryland Historic Christ Church, Cambridge, Maryland
Seeking Spirits from Long Ago in Haunted and Historic Cambridge, Maryland
Haunted Cambridge Maryland LaRocca-23-EditDorchester County Courthouse, Cambridge, Maryland
Historic Cambridge, Maryland is located in Dorchester County on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Situated on the mighty Choptank River, Cambridge was originally inhabited by the Choptank Native American tribe. In 1684, wealthy European landowners moved in and built tobacco plantations. This created tension and violence with the Choptank Native American tribe who were ultimately displaced. The plantation owners imported slaves from Africa to work the plantations until 1864 when Maryland ended slavery.
In Cambridge you can still find reminders of the slave trade. Slave auctions took place outside the Dorchester County Courthouse. At the top of the hill, under a large tree I discovered a portion of the original slave block. Slaves would’ve stood on the top of the hill while being auctioned off to buyers below. This same area was also used for public executions. While visiting here I could feel the angst and tension as I explored the area. There are still a lot of souls at unrest here.
Haunted Dorchester County Courthouse Cambridge Maryland LaRocca-Haunted and Historic Dorchester County Courthouse, Cambride, Maryland
Haunted Dorchester County Courthouse Cambridge Maryland LaRocca-19-EditHaunted and historic Dorchester County Courthouse in Cambridge, Maryland. Site of slave auctions and public executions. Haunted Dorchester County Courthouse Cambridge Maryland LaRocca-19-EditHaunted and historic Dorchester County Courthouse in Cambridge, Maryland. Site of slave auctions and public executions at the top of the hill under the trees. Haunted Dorchester County Courthouse Cambridge Maryland LaRocca-19-EditSlave block on top of hill outside the Dorchester County Courthouse in Cambridge, Maryland. Site of slave auctions and public executions.
The following is a case from a paranormal investigation I did with the Society of Paranormal Investigation.
The verger contacted us through the Society for Paranormal Investigation website. His message was written in all caps:
“I AM AN EPISCOPAL VERGER (BODY GUARD OF PRIEST) TRAINED BY A PRIEST (EXORCIST). I DO MOST OF THE INVESTIGATIONS IN THIS CITY FOR THE CHURCH. WHILE DOING SOME WORK TO PREPARE FOR A RADIO SHOW ON AN ALL SPIRITUAL INVESTIGATION I FOUND YOUR WEBSITE. I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR GROUP. PLEASE CALL ME ANYTIME.”
We made contact with the verger by telephone. After asking us questions about our paranormal group he told us his church was haunted. He invited us to visit the church. When our paranormal investigation team arrived, we were met by the verger who was waiting outside the church for us. He was dressed in black, fitted jeans with a silver belt, a black turtleneck, and cowboy boots. His black jeep was parked in the driveway. He was accompanied by his black Labrador dog. He was not what I was expecting.
The church was a traditional Tudor style, stone church with a red front door. Historically, red doors on churches communicate “sanctuary” to those in need of a place of refuge from evil. The verger told us that the original church was built in 1893 in the downtown area of the city. Following a yellow fever epidemic, the church was relocated outside the city to its present location.
The verger explained to us that his role in the church was to be the protector of the main priest. He shared that he had become “wayward” and the main priest took him in and hired him as the verger. He confided that he had experienced some very dark, personal problems and the way for him to stay on the right path was to stay active in the church. He added that he was trained in the martial arts. Then he said something unnerving to me that sounded like a warning. He said “those who are closest to light can sometimes be the most evil.”
The verger invited us inside the church for a tour. Once inside we were greeted warmly by the priest. He was an older man and basically looked like a traditional priest.
As we toured the church, the priest told us accounts of paranormal activity witnessed by him and the parishioners. The scariest incident the priest relayed to us was when someone broke into the church, stole the holy sacraments from the altar and used them to perform a black mass under a tree in front of the church. Remnants of the black mass were discovered under the tree. Not long after this, the tree was struck by lightning three separate times. After the third time, the tree was removed.
The priest and verger shared with us several other paranormal events as we continued touring the church. One paranormal incident occurred during choir practice. While the ladies choir was practicing the kneelers slammed to the floor by themselves. Several choir members became so scared they quit the choir and refused to return to the church. The verger told us that one time he was in the church by himself praying. He said he heard strange noises. Suspecting the noises were being made by a paranormal entity he yelled out commanding the spirit to leave. Suddenly, kneelers went violently, slamming to the floor throughout the church.
The priest told us about an incident that occurred in the priest’s dressing room behind the altar. Prior to services, priests would prepare and get dressed in this room. The priest said that several times he would try to open the door to enter the room but the door would be locked. The room only locked from the inside and there was no one in the room. He would pull on the door but would not be able to open it. He said it was physically impossible to lock that door without someone being inside the room.
While we were at the church we did not experience any paranormal activity however, we did capture some anomalies in photographs taken in the area of the choir and the church pews. I continued to communicate with the verger for a while. He was very interested in the paranormal. He ultimately divulged to me that prior to coming to the church he had suffered a very dark, demonic attack. He would not elaborate. The verger explained that the priest had given him sanctuary in the church.
A few years after our initial visit, I found out that the church had been sold and was ultimately destroyed.
Photos courtesy of the Society for Paranormal Investigation
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(c) 2015 Jacqueline Quinn LaRocca