Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cape May’s Ghosts and Legends, Part l

Cape May is on a peninsula on the southernmost tip of New Jersey. It is the oldest seaside community in the United States. The original settlement was established along the Delaware Bay in 1620.

Cape May
Today, the tourists that visit this charming peaceful town littered with Victorian style homes and inns * do not see signs of the areas long violent history.

Hundreds of years ago the Native Americans used this spot to rest and take advantage of the natural resources before making the long journey up river. It is said when the white settlers first came the Indians then cursed the area.

Privateers and wreckers frequented the area’s beaches in search of fresh water. They often stole, plundered and murdered the residents. In later years, floods, fires and the Civil War brought more grief to the community.

This violent history is the reason why many feel that Cape May is haunted today.

* Many of the town's homes and inns are haunted.

Higbee Beach

This beach is located on the Delaware Bay side of Cape May. At one point it gained notoriety as New Jersey’s only nude beach. People from all over the country flocked to partake.

Today, Higbee is used as a Wildlife Management area and has regained its tranquility. All the bathers are gone.

Higbee Beach
This Beach is littered with thousands of pieces of quartz known as the Cape May Diamonds. These rocks are another reason people feel this beach has paranormal activity.

Craig McManus, a well-known psychic feels the reason Higbee is haunted is because it is one of the few places along the New Jersey coast that still has portions of the original forest habitat.

During a hike through this area McManus sensed the presence of several Native Americans. He and his fellow hikers felt the dense forested area grow unnaturally quiet--then the spirits firmly told McManus to “leave.”

One of McManus' ghost books.
Craig McManus has also seen the ghost of a man walking a big black dog along Higbee Beach. When he turned his head this apparition vanished. Many witnesses over the years have reported seeing this same sight.

McManus feels this ghost might be Thomas Higbee who helped build the old hotel on this beach. When Thomas died it was his wish to be buried by Delaware Bay--he was.

But later a relative of his had his body removed and buried in Cold Spring Cemetery. McManus believes Higbee’s spirit was not happy about this so his spirit lingers at Higbee Beach.

In Part ll, Cape May’s Ghostsand Legends I share two legendary ghost stories that are told.


Unknown said...

I'm from the South Jersey area and well acquainted with Higbee's Beach...and some spirits. I was walking on the beach when a movement caught my eye up on the dunes. I was startled to see what appeared to be a family standing there. Man, woman, 4 children. All dressed in clothes dating back to the 1800's.I didn't want to be caught staring, so glanced away, then looked back. All were gone. I ran up the dune but when I topped it, there was no one there. There's one path there back to a road. No sign of anyone. Spirits? Yes, definitely. I'm also directly related to many families that settled there in the 1600's.

Virginia Lamkin said...

Thanks for sharing your experience.