Haunted Delmarva: The Caroline County Detention Center
CAROLINE Co. Md., – Walking around the Caroline County Detention Center, you can just feel something’s not right.
Mindie Burgoyne, Author of Haunted Eastern Shore said, “If somebody were to ask me what’s the most haunted site on the Eastern Shore, I’d have to probably say this.”
Burgoyne says the Detention Center is haunted by the spirit of Wish Sheppard.
“He was a 19-year-old boy from Federalsburg and he was tried and convicted of raping a young girl in the area,” Burgoyne said.
In 1915, Sheppard was sentenced to death for his crime.
Burgoyne said, “Wish Sheppard was actually executed right down by the water there.”
Rumor has it that when Sheppard was being led out to the gallows, he put up quite the fight.
Burgoyne said, “They say that when Wish Sheppard was taken out of his jail cell, to go out to the execution area, that he grabbed hold of the wall when he was going out the door and because he didn’t want to go.”
Burgoyne says Sheppard’s hand print was left on that wall long after his death.
“The sheriff had covered it up with paint and tried covering it up with concrete but it always came through it always bled through,” she said.
Not long after his execution, prisoners began to be tormented by something sinister.
Burgoyne said, “Something was bothering them, something was coming in and scratching them. Footsteps up and down the stairs sounding like chains rattling.”
In the 1980’s, renovations were done on the jail. It was greatly expanded in size, and that’s when Burgoyne says Sheppard started tormenting the staff.
“Things like cold spots, the elevator riding up and down, phantom figures appearing in security camera footage, sounds like filing cabinet doors opening and closing, books falling off shelves, odd stuff like that,” Burgoyne said.
On a daily basis, Burgoyne says people who worked here would go outside to smoke, but one worker said he could always hear something, but never saw anything. He thought, ‘Maybe it’s Sheppard’ so he called out to him.
Burgoyne said, “One of them said ‘Wish, if that’s you, then let me know’ and he heard this knock knock knock on what seemed like the pillar. So he knocked back, and it knocked back again, so this got to be a thing and every once in a while it would happen.”
After that incident, a lot of people have knocked on a pillar outside the Detention Center and waited on a response from Sheppard.
“From the most hardened guard to just secretaries and the warden herself, they all have something to say about the activity of Wish Sheppard,” Burgoyne said.
So the next time you find yourself in Denton, don’t be surprised if you get a chill down your spine whenever you’re around the Caroline County Detention Center.
If you would like to learn more about Caroline County’s haunted history, you can attend one of Mindie Burgoyne’s ghost tours. Just visit ChesapeakeGhosts.com to book your trip.