Are you pulled right into the energy of Cape May? You’re not alone.
The dead are on permanent vacation here. So what makes Cape May so haunted? Something is causing the ghosts to linger. Cape May’s special energy creates some unseen force or cohesive bond between earthbound spirits allows them to survive season after season by the ocean at New Jersey’s southern tip.
I have my theories, based on years of investigations at locations throughout Cape May. The first involves the relationship of many of the ghosts to each other. Living people born and raised in Cape May often joke they are all related to each other. Many people in town I know are descended from many of the first founding families. Some of these founding family members are still hanging out in spirit, especially in venues in West Cape May and other outlying areas. I was surprised while researching some of the haunts that many of the ghosts are actually blood relatives of each other. Founding families like the Eldredges, the Hughes, the Hands, the Spicers and the Leamings all have ghostly representatives in and around Cape May and many are interrelated. Does the “family” know something about Cape May we don’t? Did one of the founding fathers (or mothers) start a ghostly trend that their descendants decided to follow? If one examines the cast of dead characters in the overall scope of Cape May hauntings, it certainly seems there is a connection. Behind all those phantom footsteps are ghostly bodies with an agenda and a reason for being there. Some of these ghosts is they have been in town for a long time. They have a good thing going and don’t want to lose it.
Another theory is that Cape May has a very positive energy. It’s this energy that draws both the living and the dead to town. I have been to many seaside towns, but none seem quite as paranormally active as Cape May. Although Charleston, Savannah and Ipswich are certainly in the running! The energy in Cape May is palpable. The minute one crosses the bridge coming into town by the Lobster House, it’s like a disconnect from the craziness of life. It’s instant relaxation for the soul, for those souls who will listen and heed the beckoning call of Cape May’s calming energy. Of course, some souls just can’t relax, even when they are dead—as proven by the array of wired dead characters haunting the old resort.
Examining each ghost’s backstory and sifting through fleeting communications I have experienced with some of them, I often find the things that keep ghosts tethered to the earth are of the emotional or material sort. For example, the Physick Estate ghosts have a very strong tie to their former home, which they consider their only home. They stay because it is unoccupied most of the time with the exception of MAC staff members and tour takers. Their connection is both material (they built the house) and emotional (they all lived and died in the house.) Other ghosts died in town while vacationing, working or just died of natural causes in the course of their lives. There are a lot of ghosts of children in Cape May. They have seem to have no inclination to find their parents anymore. Their bonds have changed to see other ghosts as their family. I think this is why a lot of the ghostly kids do not leave. they were orphaned once, they will not have it happen to them again. Some of the life (and death) stories do not present a good enough reason for them to stay, but they do. I think they could go, they just don’t want to. Some even seem to continue with their earthly occupations in the afterlife, showing up for work day after day. Does life after death also include a 40-hour work week?
If one really wanted to get to the core of the mystery in Cape May, one would have to compare apples with apples. Ghosts are fields of energy, surviving personalities, but energy none the less. Cape May has it’s own natural energy. The energies attract one another. Opposites are said to attract. Could earthbound spirits be in need of positive energy to survive? Cape May seems to have an unlimited supply of both ghosts and positive energy. It is a match made in life, and the afterlife. For now, I will continue to enjoy the positive energy of Cape May while seeking out the answers to why America’s oldest resort is truly a ghost town, and not just in the winter.