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The ghosts that haunt Wilmington


Just beyond the tangled, Spanish moss, inside a historic brick Wilmington home walks a ghost named George.

“A young man was hung at the gallows, and was buried before he had passed away, before he was dead,” described Chip Hemingway, an architect for BMH.

Ghost Walk Tour guide, Lewis Musser said, “Ever since then, it’s been as haunted as can be, and remains so to this day.”

The building was built in the mid-1800s; once a hanging ground where mischievous criminals were hung at the gallows, now it is a space where the spirits have come to stay.

“I’ve seen an old lantern burning in there, when there is no one around,” Musser said.

Across the street below the Bellamy Mansion, is a spot Lewis calls the dungeon. “Step up to the velvet rope ladies and gentlemen, have a little gander, talk about, ‘We’ll leave the light on for you’.”

Another famously haunted spot is the place to be for pool players and bar flies, Orton’s pool hall. “People have taken pictures down that dark gloomy hallway, and find shadowy figures that can’t be explained in there,” said John Scott, also part of the Ghost Walk Tour.

The pool hall used to be a fancy hotel, until it burned to the ground in 1949. Tales say all the guests and staff made it out alive, but after sifting through the rubble they found the remains of two people inside the space; one was 25-year-old tug boat hand, William Stevens.

“After the fire, folks came to the police and began to ask, ‘what happened to the old man we saw in the fire’. A lot of people saw an old man walking back into the smoke, and wouldn’t leave, and seemed disoriented,” described Scott.

Orton’s workers said they have heard William’s ghost opening and closing a back door in the wee hours of the morning, while they are closing down.

Scott said, “That perhaps is responsible, those two deaths, for some of the strange occurrences that go on here in the Orton’s pool hall, and across the hall at Longstreet’s Pub as well.”

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videoWWAY took a tour of some of the more popular haunted spots around Wilmington with Ghost Walk Tour Guide Lewis Musser.

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