Nestled in the corner of Mays Landing on Main Street stands an old Victorian home that looks like something out of an old horror film. Most know it as the “Abbott House.” During its 150 years as a bed and breakfast, the house has been a temporary home to many residents, but not all of its guests have checked out.
According to a local legend, a young girl inhabits the top floor of the inn, and guests have reported hearing the sounds of a ball bouncing in the upper floor.
Dave Juliano, a member of the South Jersey Ghost Research (SJGR) group, says his team received a call from the owner in 2002, after she had experienced unexplained activity in the home. A few weeks after receiving the call, the team set up camp in an upstairs bedroom. What they found in their investigation shed light on the local legend.
“We did encounter the little girl,” says Juliano. “And we did hear the sound similar to a ball bouncing.” Juliano says the team did not know about the details of the haunting prior to their visit, in order to keep the investigation from being tainted by previous knowledge.
According to the report from the investigation, four electronic voice phenomena (EVP) appeared on tape, as well as 28 events on video and 46 positive images on film.
As Juliano explains, EVPs are voices that were not heard at the time of the recording, but were imprinted onto the recording by an unknown process. Ghost researchers believe these sounds are the voices of ghosts.
Juliano says the events captured on the infrared video camera included moving balls of light that were not visible to the naked eye, while the digital camera also picked up these balls of light (orbs). They appear later using infrared cameras, which are able to see light rays outside of the human visible spectrum.
The SJGR team does not know whom this ghost spirit belongs to, and Atlantic City Weekly was unable to find any record of a death in the house in the public records.
“[But death] isn’t necessary to have a haunted house,” says Juliano. “People can decide to return to their homes, favorite places, a place of comfort, etc. The spirit could also be attached to the land or a nearby property.”
The Abbott House, built in the 1860s by lawyer Joseph E.P. Abbott and his wife Adeline, is located in the older section of Mays Landing and much history surrounds it.
The house sits on Main Street, two doors down from the Boakes Funeral Home and diagonally across from the First United Methodist Church cemetery.
What makes the story even more eerie, when Atlantic City Weekly tried to contact the owner for questioning, she was nowhere to be found. The phone at the Abbott House went unanswered, and the voice mailbox was full, preventing the ability to leave a message. According to real-estate records, the house is not on the market, and the local police department had no information regarding the owner or the house.
Juliano is not sure if the owner who contacted him 10 years ago is the same person who owns the home today.
Juliano is the director of the South Jersey Ghost Research group, and has been investigating haunted locations and consulting on paranormal cases for over 25 years. In 1994, he created the Shadowlands Web site, the Internet’s first paranormal site with a specific focus on ghosts, and has written a few books on the subject since then. He has appeared on various shows on the History Channel, the Travel Channel, and National Geographic Channel, and is the co-host of the Paranormal Straight Talk radio show on the ParaX Radio Network.