US Naval Academy

Besides being Maryland’s state capital, Annapolis is also famous for being home to the US Naval Academy. Tourists are often passing by sailors from the academy in their uniforms just about everywhere in Annapolis. The academy was established in 1845 after a mutiny occurred during training out to sea on one of the ships. Three officers were hung when they went against their captain and it was decided that training was best to be done on land at a base.

Hell Point

Hell Point - US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MarylandAt the mouth of the harbor sits a quiet peaceful spot where Spa Creek connects called Fort Severn. Before the Academy was established, it was an area of piracy, prostitution, taverns and crime. Pirates were often punished in cages and hung at the opening of the harbor as a warning to any pirate who dared to enter the area. Today sailors claim to still see the cages hanging with glowing skeletons in them. They believe seeing them is now a sign of a bad storm coming.

Captain John Paul Jones

Bancroft Hall - US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MarylandAnother infamous story at the Naval Academy is of Captain John Paul Jones. He was famous for fighting a British ship in 1779 and won the battle even though his own ship was sunk. He is famous for telling the British “I have not yet begun to fight” when they demanded his surrender. He was a courageous man that never lost a battle. He died in Paris in 1792 of illness. His body was then buried multiple times. He was at first buried in France, a poor mans grave. Then the French decided bury him as a hero, giving him a second funeral and burial. The graveyard in which he was buried was built over and the some started to wonder what happened to the body of the Captain. In 1905 his body was found when the area was cleared away during a search for his remains. They had a parade for the remains then shipped him back to the U.S. Naval Academy. They kept him in the basement of Bancroft Hall for several years waiting for his tomb to be ready. He was finally buried on January 26, 1913 in the lower level of the Naval Academy Chapel.

Of course with all the mystery and unusual circumstances with the late captain’s remains, an odd legend has circulated with the tomb. Navy students say they can ask advice from the legendary hero. Soldiers have claimed to have heard a mysterious voice ask such questions such as ‘What is your name soldier?’ and ‘Where am I?’  There has also been reports of seeing a mysterious figure near the tomb and have issues with electronics being powered on and off by themselves. People who have taken pictures of the crypt have seen strange orbs and ectoplasm in the images.

Lieutenant James Sutton

Another mysterious story surrounding the Naval Academy is of Lieutenant James Sutton. Sutton was out with three other officers one night in 1907 and they all took the same taxi back home. What happened that night afterward led into a difficult trial. According to the taxi driver, the other three officers told him to stop the car and they pulled James out of the car. They told the driver to leave and as he pulled away he heard a gunshot. The officers claim that James went crazy and shot himself in the side of his head. The biggest twist in his trial was when Sutton’s mother claimed that she could always feel what James was feeling and said after he died he came to her and told her he was murdered. He told her of a watch that was broke during the attack and was found later at the scene of the crime. Another autopsy was performed after this and it was found that he was beaten before he was shot, which changed his death to murder. Unfortunately the lack of evidence left them unable to charge anyone with the murder.

James spirit is seen around the campus, believed that he is upset that his murderers went free. He is usually seen in Bancroft Hall dormitory watching the officers sleep and seen going through the walls. People have also reported seeing glowing lights around the grounds near Bancroft Hall. During a paranormal investigation, James was heard on camera closing a door and heard someone speaking.

Resources

Carter, M. & Dray, J. (2012) Haunted Annapolis: Ghosts of the Capital City. Haunted America. Charleston, SC.

‘Ghost Hunters’: Marine Ghost Gives Physical Response, So They Bring Out His Mother (2012).  The Huffington Post retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/ghost-hunters-marine-ghost-response-mother-video_n_1436426.html

Okonowicz,E. (2007) Annapolis Ghosts: History, Mystery, Legends and Lore. Myst and Lace Publishers, Inc. Elkton, MD.

Tricchinelli, R (2007) Maryland’s Haunted Colleges [Electronic Version]. Southern Maryland Online retrieved from http:somd.com/news/headlines/2007/6631.shtml

Wood, P. (2013). In Annapolis, Spirits Move Halloween Revelers Through City’s History [Electronic Version]. Baltimore Sun retrieved from http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-10-18/news/bs-md-ar-haunted-tour-20131017_1_ghost-tours-halloween-revelers-watermark