The story of the upper Bay’s Kitty Knight House begins on the night of May 6, 1813, when British soldiers and American militiamen were caught in a skirmish on the shores of the Sassafrass River.
Militia fought with the British but ultimately retreated to the safety of Fort Duffy near Fredericktown, leaving villagers, mainly women, children, and the elderly, vulnerable. The British responded by razing the towns.
One villager, Miss Kitty Knight, decided to take her own stand. A tenant in one of the town’s lodging houses, she confronted British soldiers who attempted to set fire to the house. She put the flames out by stomping them. When Rear Admiral George Cockburn himself came to take care of the problem, Knight convinced the British commander to leave her home and her elderly neighbors’ homes safe, and the British moved on.
Knight stayed in the boarding house, originally built in the 1700s, and ended up purchasing the home herself in 1836. She lived there and owned the boarding house until her death in 1855, when she was buried in the churchyard of St. Francis Xavier Shrine in Cecil County, Maryland.
Whether or not Kitty has remained in her peaceful grave is another story—one which the current owners of the Kitty Knight Inn and members of the Mid-Atlantic Paranormal Project (MAPP) seek to explore.
“We definitely have chatter about the house being haunted,” says April Doughty, director of marketing for the Jamestown Hospitality Group, which owns the property. “Guests say that doors will shut, or you’ll hear voices when no one is there. While it’s always exciting to view the findings of paranormal investigation teams, the haunting of Kitty Knight remains a mystery.”
To explore these “happenings” in further detail, the MAPP team comes in for an evening of paranormal exploration around the Inn a few times a year. On Nov. 11, guests can join the evening and spend the night in the home, exploring during the nighttime hours between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., when paranormal activity is generally at its peak.
This isn’t the first time the MAPP team has encountered paranormal activity in the Inn. Tony Avallone, Founder of the MAPP team, has been exploring the Kitty Knight Inn for the last decade with some incredible results.
“We strongly believe that there’s a presence that could be Kitty Knight herself,” says Avallone, who notes that the majority of activity occurs in Knight’s former bedroom and the hallway leading up to it. Avallone himself has spent the night in her bedroom with cameras rolling, and had unexplained occurrences happen.
“Our team investigated the room all night, and I ended up sleeping in the bed after we wrapped up around 3:30 a.m.,” he says. “At about 6:30 a.m. I woke up feeling a tugging, and I was freezing cold. I could see my breath. The thermostat was entirely off, but when we watched the footage, no one had touched it.” The rest of the Inn was at a normal temperature.
But Kitty doesn’t seem to be the only spirit haunting the Inn’s halls. The MAPP team’s camera equipment has picked up orbs which move methodically around rooms, often having distinct human features. In one room, where a child’s spirit has reached out to the team, investigators were able to roll a ball back and forth with the unseen spirit, despite the floor being absolutely level. And recordings from the townhouse’s ancient basement catch the sounds of children either laughing or crying.
Avallone and his team want to bring these experiences to the public to show that paranormal relationships are nothing like what you see on television. And while they may make the hairs on your neck stand up, the spirits are welcoming.
“Whatever is there enjoys having the company of the guests,” he says.
There are several opportunities to catch the MAPP team in action at the Kitty Knight Inn. Overnight investigations take place on November 11, January 13, and February 3. For more information, click here.