“Let’s Get Weird: Cape May Part 1”

Lets Get Weird: Cape May Part 1

Nick Looney , Staff Writer

Welcome back to another installment of my series, Let’s Get Weird, where I talk about everything paranormal, arcane, and mysteries from ghosts to disappearances, to everything else that goes bump in the night.  

Today we will be talking about a place very close to my heart. The place that is home to the ghostly stories that inspired my love of the paranormal. Cape May, New Jersey, is often heralded as the most haunted city on the East Coast. My family goes there every summer, and about 7 years ago, I boarded the Cape May Ghosts Trolley Tour for the first time. The hauntings in Cape May have been documented for around 4 centuries, but most modern investigations have been conducted by Craig McManus.

The first stories I’d like to share with you readers are the tales of the Emlen Physick Estate. Emlen was a doctor who worked in the Philadelphia area. He built an estate in Cape May in 1879. His mother and his Aunt Emilie moved in with him, along with several dogs. Physick’s mother was very strict and did not allow the dogs in the house. She soon died. And Aunt Emilie, who was now in a wheelchair, became the caretaker of Emlen’s house and allowed the dogs back in the house. This will be important in the future. Eventually, Emlen, Emilie, and their beloved dogs passed away. Yet they lingered for a long time.

The Physick Estate ultimately fell into disrepair. In the 20th century, the abandoned house became known as “Cape May’s Haunted House,” even though almost every house was acknowledged by the residents as haunted. Eventually, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts, or the MAC, a Cape May historical society that runs trolley tours and advertises Cape May’s historic aspect, fixed it up and made it their new headquarters. Strange things began happening immediately. They went through many housekeepers, with the poor women cleaning reporting seeing a wheelchair, and mysterious dog in the house at all hours of the night. Strange whispers, mostly feminine sounding, caused MAC members hairs to stand on end. When Craig began his investigations, he deduced that the wheelchair was a partial apparition of Aunt Emilie. The dogs, which heard pounding up the stairs multiple times, were thought to be Emlen’s beloved hounds. Once, while conducting an investigation near Halloween, when Cape May is a ghost town, Craig and his team saw the ghostly figure of Dr. Physick himself.

I’ve been in the house, and it was a very strange experience. Mysterious smells and energies, the feeling of being watched, etc. Chilling. Until next time readers, stay weird