he Victorians loved a good ghost story — especially at Christmas. Since Cape May was recast as a resort with Victorian character after the Great Fire of 1878, I can think of no better setting for a good, old-fashioned ghost story, a classic haunting tale that you can read aloud while sitting in front of your own hearth. Cape May is, after all, America’s oldest and most haunted seaside resort, a place with a ghost or two lingering about. This is the story of a young man who lived, and died, in Cape May more than 100 years ago and is still around to tell that story to anyone psychic enough to listen. For people visiting Cape May for the first time, a drive past the beautiful collection of homes on Beach Avenue is a must. One of the most stately of all of the homes facing the sea is the Peter Shields Inn. With its imposing, large white columns rising three stories high, this is a building that commands respect. Inside, its sweeping hallways and grand staircases are eye-catching. They’re also the home to the ghost of a young man who walks these corridors at night, at his former summer
A MAJESTIC OLD building The magnificent Greek revival building that now houses the Peter Shields Inn was originally the summer home of a respected Pittsburgh businessman whose East Cape May project was grand — but destined to end in failure, and tragedy. Previous page: Peter Shields and his family in their new automobile. Peter’s son, Earle, who would lose his life at the age of 15 in a hunting accident, is behind the wheel.
home in what was once known as East Cape May. The eastern end of Cape May feels like it’s miles from the main section of town, but it really isn’t that far. But it has an isolated and lonely feeling that I cannot adequately describe. (Maybe it is a past life experience there?) And yet, some of the best places I have stayed in Cape May are on this end of town — Peter Shields,
Angel of the Sea, Rhythm of the Sea to name a few. So what is it with the energy down here that makes me feel like time has stopped? As a medium, I am constantly connecting with energies in whatever place I happen to be. I have found that sometimes residual energies left by living people linger in one spot or attach to a dwelling. Residual energy is a fingerprint left from an emotional trauma by a living
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Everything you need to know about the holiday season in Cool Cape May.