Q. I live across the street from the “haunted Price house” and even though the history of that place is spooky, what is considered the most haunted place in Wilmington?
A. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, said Joseph Sheppard, a staff member at the New Hanover County Public Library who works in the library’s local history room.
Sheppard has been asked variations of the reader’s question many times over the years.
“When it comes to paranormal activity you may pretty much go with anything,” he said. “Practical evidence cannot verify a most, or any, haunted site in Wilmington.”
For those inclined to believe in things that go bump in the night, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the presence of ghosts in a number of locations in historic Wilmington.
People claim to have experienced spirit sightings on locations on Club Drive and the Price house, built in 1860 by Dr. William Price on what was known as Gallows Hill, today the corner of Market and Fifth streets. The address is 514 Market St.
The building used to house the Wilmington Merchants Association, but before that in the 1800s, public hangings took place at the site. Many visitors over the years have reported sighting apparitions at the location, now the home of Bowman Murray Hemingway Architects.
Other reports of ghostly sightings have come from the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design Arts at 503 Market St., and the old county library building, which was housed in the old Light Infantry Building on Market Street. The library was moved in 1982.
Other reports of Cape Fear ghosts have been reported in the StarNews over the years.
They include sightings at Fort Fisher, where some people claim to have seen a uniformed Confederate soldier walking among the earthworks.
Drivers along Airlie Road have reported seeing a woman wearing a long white dress standing near a curve in the road. They say as their car approaches, it disappears.
There are strange places and sightings to be found throughout the state. Some call a patch of grass in Siler City the “Devil’s Stomping Ground.” They say items found inside the circle are found removed the next day, that nothing grows there and animals shy away from the spot.
The library’s Sheppard doesn’t aim to dispute the beliefs of others.
“We must rely on the genius of human imagination,” he said.
Date posted: July 17, 2012
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