Haunted Delmarva: Pocomoke Forest
POCOMOKE, Md. – During the day, the Pocomoke Forest is a beautiful place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life but at night, it becomes something else entirely.
Mindie Burgoyne, the author of the Haunted Eastern Shore books said, “They say up in that area, you can hear the sound of a woman screaming, or the sound of a baby crying, you know.”
Women, screaming, crying for help.
Murderers wandering through the woods, communicating with visitors.
These are just some of the entities haunting the Pocomoke Forest.
Burgoyne said, “On the ghost tours we’ve had apparitions, people have caught things on film, people that were touched, people that saw shadows saw somebody come up behind, faceless humans looks like a human being but doesn’t have a face.”
When people come to the Pocomoke Forest at night, we’re told they’ll often leave with a mysterious mark on their car, a hand print, with six fingers. Many believe this is the hand of a sea-captain who brutally murdered his wife in cold blood.
Burgoyne told us it’s believed the screams heard in this forest are that of the murdered wife and her baby reliving their horrific death over and over and over again.
“There is sounds of screaming and a baby crying in that area because she was coming back to beg her husband to have mercy on her, the baby fell off the raft into the water and she went in after it and she pulled herself up and threw herself at her husbands mercy and he stabbed her to death,” she said.
But the wife and her baby aren’t the only ones whose lives were cut tragically short in this forest.
Sadly, it’s common for people to die in the Pocomoke River.
Burgoyne said, “This is Maryland’s most haunted river. Pocomoke means black river. When you fall into the Pocomoke River, about six feet below, there’s no ambient light. It’s total darkness because of the color of the water that’s affected by the bald cypress trees.”
We’re told the dark water has contributed to a lot of drownings.
There are many stories of people falling into the river and never being found, people like Joby Emmons and his son.
Burgoyne said, “As he helped his son come on the boat, his son slipped and fell between the boat and the bulk heading there and so he jumped in after him but they got caught under the boat and they drowned.”
Mindie says oftentimes, you can see the spirits of Joby and his son walking along the river.
Burgoyne said, “Walking along the water on this side of the forest from the river but there is no hard shoreline there, there is no way to walk along the water there its impossible, so that’s kind of strange.”
Mindie tell us she has experienced things first hand in this forest that she can’t explain.
Burgoyne takes those who are brave enough on ghost tours through the Pocomoke Forest, and she tells us one night, she had an encounter so unexplainable, so terrifying, it sent her and her tour running out of the woods.
Mindie said, “We were in the hard woods, so we were off this boardwalk and when we turned the corner I felt this rustling in the brush right in front of me and I screamed.”
Thinking it was an animal, she shined her light through the brush but there was nothing there.
Mindie shrugged it off thinking it was nothing, but she was wrong.
Burgoyne said, “As we came back along the boardwalk we were pelted with little stones from above in the trees all the way down, by the time we got three quarters of the way down, I started running, I just said everybody out.”
With this collection of stories, its easy to see why the Pocomoke Forest is considered by many as one of, if not the most haunted place on the Eastern Shore.
Mindie Burgoyne said, “There’s more haunted lore about this forest than any I’ve ever read about in this region, in the state”
The Pocomoke Forest is closed at night and it is monitored by the Pocomoke City Police, so if you come into the forest without permission, police will come get you.
The good news is you can come into this forest at night with the Chesapeake Ghost Tours. For more information you can visit ChesapeakeGhosts.com.