Dead Club House

Dead Club House
Haunted House in Cambridge

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Dead Wife Returns

Here's another bit o' rocking good ghost folklore from Dredging the Choptank:

A magnificent bit of flood folklore from the southern end of Dorchester County in Hoopersville, a town on the southern chain of Dorchester islands, tells the wild tale of a very wet internment right before the storm surge of Hurricane Hazel.

An old fisherman had just buried his wife of many years in the family plot next to their house by a creek. As a fast and violent hurricane whipped the storm surge up over the family plot and to the steps of his groaning house, the grieving fisherman was convinced that his friends would come to rescue him, and, indeed, in middle of the howling wind, he heard a knocking at the door. He opened the door and there was his wife’s coffin, floating on the rising floodwaters, its lid loose and the water holding her up in a seated position. The water fanned out her hair and lifted one arm out to the fisherman. She had found her way back home. Feeling the house rock on its foundation, the old fisherman grabbed onto the coffin as his home sunk under the waves, and he rode the flood in the coffin with his dead wife until morning when he landed on high ground several miles away.

In [Thomas] Flowers’ version, the old man ditched his wife’s body and rode the coffin alone. In the Chesapeake Book of the Dead, the old fisherman is an old woman.

Dead deer at Blackwater Refuge, Dorchester County.  Hoopersville is just south of there.

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