Haunted Delmarva: Poplar Hill Mansion
SALISBURY, Md. – If you’re from the City of Salisbury, chances are you’ve probably heard of the Poplar Hill Mansion. It’s the City of Salisbury’s oldest house and it goes without saying that the city’s oldest house contains some of the cities oldest stories.
Mindie Burgoyne, the author of the Haunted Eastern Shore books explained, “It was the home of a doctor, a surgeon, and he had four daughters, and he also owned slaves so those are the characters that sort of play into the Poplar Hill story.”
Built in 1805, the Poplar Hill Mansion was originally the home of Dr. Huston, Salisbury’s first ever surgeon.
Historians say he performed his surgeries in his house, and not all of his patients made it out alive. The doctors failings aren’t the only part of this home’s tragic story.
Burgoyne said, “There was a slave that the Hustons, the people that were in the house at the time owned slaves, there was one that was in charge of taking care of the children, this would have been the nursery, and her dress caught fire.”
That slave’s name was Sarah, and we’re told her dress was swallowed in flames while tending to a fire likely burning her alive in front of the same children she took care of.
Even today, you can still see the scorch marks and patchwork from this tragic event on the nursery room floor.
Burgoyne said, “So when you have the energy of the room charged with such a tragic event sometimes people think, one school of thought is the charge of emotional energy sort of burns a hole in the veil that separates the worlds.”
Many believe Sarah’s spirit along with some children that grew up in this room now haunt it.
Mindie says the ghosts make their presence felt albeit in ways that could easily be missed by an untrained eye.
Burgoyne said, “People would come into this room and find things rearranged, especially the little chair, I think that was repeated three times the little rocking chair would be facing the wall, or toys would be rearranged, apparitions shadows being seen.”
We should mention that during our shoot, we picked up a noise that none of us can explain while Mindie was talking.
You could hear a high pitched voice almost singing or maybe laughing or perhaps, saying the word, “Mama”.
Whatever it was, none of us heard it at the time the interview was being recorded but the noise picked up on Mindie’s microphone.
Sarah Myers, the mansion’s curator who lives alone in the house, admits she is a skeptic when it comes to ghosts, but there are things that she has experienced that she simply can’t explain. One of which is a recording that was taken in the exact same room that is eerily similar to the noise we picked up.
Sarah Meyers said, “So we actually have recordings, I have one really great recording that a paranormal group did in this room when there were no children in this room everyone else was downstairs and there were no other children in this group at the time, but there’s a really great recording of a little girl saying, ‘Mama, mama, are you there, mama can you hear me?'”
The nursery is just one of the rooms that is supposedly haunted.
Sarah Meyers shared with us one interesting story that happened to her around Christmas time.
It was her first Christmas in the house and she just put up the last ornament on the tree while home alone.
She jokingly stepped back saying, “What do you think guys?”
The response was unsettling.
Meyers explained, “At that time, we had a tall case clock a grandfather clock next to the tree that doesn’t work, never worked, but chimed.”
No matter what you believe, there’s no denying the stories surrounding Poplar Hill mansion are compelling and the unexplained things that happen here are a mystery.
Burgoyne said, “It’s just that there is an attraction something pulling people to the house to investigate that you’re here now I’m here now so it’s kind of a mystery.”
If you’re interested in seeing the beautiful Poplar Hill Mansion for yourself, they’re open every Sunday from 1 to 4 PM for free tours.