On this month's Special Page:

Our Media Director, Trish Wilson, tells us about her experience spending a few nights in a haunted house


Brent Monahan
Nerine Dorman
Laurie R. King
Joe Mynhardt
Luca Paris

The Kitty Knight House, located in Georgetown, Maryland, has a ghostly reputation




Photos above are contemporary images of the Kitty Knight house



The above photos were taken in 1946 of a brochure and also of an interior room


Kitty Knight's grave at the St. Francis Xavier Church in Warwick, Maryland


A painted portrait of Kitty Knight (b. approximately 1775 to d.1855)


A Haunting – The Kitty Knight House
by Trish Wilson, Media Director, The Horror Zine


I've enjoyed ghost stories since I was a child. While I'm a skeptic, I like to think of myself as an X Files Atheist – I Want To Believe. I've been to numerous haunted sites, inns, battlefields, restaurants, and other spooky places. My favorite haunted experiences were at The Kitty Knight House in Georgetown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. I had wanted to stay at this inn for several years. I had known about the hauntings, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

The first time I stayed at this inn, it was on a Friday evening. Meals were half off on Friday nights, so I lucked out. I ate a hearty dinner and retired to my room close to 9 pm. I was tired, and I had to leave early in the morning for a convention. The restaurant closed for the night soon so I'd enjoy a quiet night at the inn.

The story behind Kitty Knight is that she lived in the stately Colonial which faced the Sassafras River. During the War of 1812, British soldiers sailed up the river and fell upon Georgetown, Maryland. They torched the homes. Miss Kitty stood on her porch and swept the torches away with her broom. She wasn't about to let the British burn down her house. She made a deal with the soldiers – she's let them camp in her home if they didn't turn it into cinders. They complied, leaving her home and one next to it intact. After Kitty Knight's death, her spirit wandered the halls checking on inhabitants. She has been known to block doors (once by shoving a TV in front of one), turn on and off lights, and appear on the staircase - a tall, imposing, and elegant figure.

The ghost of Miss Kitty had the reputation of taking care of her guests. I don't recall in which room I stayed, but it was not the infamous Kitty Knight room – the haunted one which was on the second floor. I was in another room on the second floor with a lovely view of the Sassafras River. Far from the ruckus in the dining room, I enjoyed the quiet. I read a book for about an hour, and then I went to bed and drifted off to sleep.

I awakened to a great deal of noise coming from the room next to mine. It sounded like a party was going on in there. Too tired and embarrassed to complain, I checked the clock for the time – 2:30 am – and then tried to go back to sleep. I was surprised there was so much noise. It seemed odd to me, as if something were wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on exactly what that was. I wanted to say something about the noise, but I was too timid to speak up. I didn't want to cause any trouble, and I didn't want to come across as a stick in the mud.

I awakened again at about 4 am. The inn was uncannily quiet. The partygoers must have checked out for the night or passed out. I felt a chill of excitement and a little fear as I pulled the blankets and sheets up to my chin. What if I encountered something in the dead of night, alone, in my room? What would I do or say? I had often read that the best thing to do when confronted by a spirit is to ask what it wanted. I was far too frightened to even think of doing anything of the kind! I had read books by legendary ghost hunters Hans Holzer and Elliott O'Donnell. Holzer worked with a medium who helped troubled spirits move on to the afterlife so they were not trapped on this plane. In my experience, demonic themes like those found in the "Conjuring" movies and "The Amityville Horror" weren't very common at that time. Ghosts were more often seen as sad, lost souls who were mostly harmless. So, I felt safe and quite thrilled.

Momentarily, I heard footsteps walking down the hallway away from my room. Who would be wandering about the halls at this late hour? Whoever it was took heavy steps as if wearing boots. Was it a guest of the inn – or a ghost? I wasn't about to open my door to find out! If it was Miss Kitty, she had a heavy step as if she wanted to be sure I knew she was there. While I felt frightened and very excited, I did not feel in danger. According to the legend, Miss Kitty wandered about the halls at night to check on her guests. I suppose she was satisfied I was squared away in my room.

Early the next morning, I showered, packed, and walked downstairs to check out. I told the woman at the front desk about the party going on in the room next to mine, and how loud it was. She gaped at me with a deer in the head lights expression on her face.

She said I couldn't have heard a party. I was alone in the building all night!

The prickly things ran up and down my spine. I had experienced ghostly phenomena!

While I would love to believe I had encountered one hell of a haunting, I was aware that the kitchen was downstairs from my room. Most likely, I heard the kitchen staff cleaning up for the night after dinner service had ended. It was very late, though. Later than I expected the kitchen staff to still be in the building. So … what if?

What were those footsteps I heard clomping down the hallway? I had not imagined them. Even if the "party" was the staff cleaning up, I heard those footsteps moving just outside my room. Thrilled that I had a wonderful haunting experience to talk about after so many years of my own private investigations, I wanted to return.

And return I did – with my husband.

Our day at the Kitty Knight House was uneventful. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and gazed at the beautiful view of the Sassafras River. The patio was closed because it was nearly winter, but we did walk outside. I had enjoyed coffee on the patio the first time I had stayed. We stayed in the same room I had during my first time at the inn. I was afraid we'd end up leaving and not experience anything, but I was happy to return. We watched a little TV and then went to sleep.

I snapped awake in the middle of the night when someone – or something – had turned on the overhead light. I'm a very light sleeper, so that light turning on woke me up immediately. It was eerily quiet, which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I remembered my husband had turned off the light before we retired for the night. I was too tired to get up and turn it off so I ignored it and went back to sleep. I awakened shortly before dawn, and the light had been switched off.

The next morning, I asked my husband if he had turned the light off before going to bed. He said he had. He had not turned it back on at all during the night.

Who had turned on that light? And who came back and turned it off?

I also heard those steps in the hallway again, just like my first visit. There were people staying in the inn that night so it could have been anyone. However, those were the same heavy footfalls I heard the first time around. Was Miss Kitty looking after me again? I recalled reading that her ghost had a habit of flicking on and off the light switches in addition to wandering about the hallways at night.

I haven't been back to the Kitty Knight House since, but I would enjoy a return visit. I felt comfortable, safe, and curious. Whether or not my ghostly experiences were real, the inn was beautiful and welcoming. I'd like to think I experienced a haunting. I'm satisfied that I had. And what a haunting it was! Ghosts enjoying a party in the room next to me! Phantom footsteps! Lights turning on and off in the middle of the night! I couldn't have asked for a more thrilling stay. If Yelp were around, I'd have given the Kitty Knight House a great review – ghosts and all.


About Kitty Knight


An early American heroine, Catherine “Kitty” Knight was credited with saving part of Georgetown, Kent County, MD, during the War of 1812. She was the daughter of John and Catherine Knight, both prominent and active citizens of the area. Her uncle served in the General Assembly and was a member of the United States House of Representatives.

Miss Kitty Knight, who became a celebrity in her own right, was born about 1775. She was one of the most beautiful and accomplished women of her day. She was tall and graceful, with hair dressed high on her head in colonial style. She attended a ball in Philadelphia during a session of the Continental Congress, and George Washington was one of her dance partners.

The British invaded the Eastern Shore of Maryland during the War of 1812. Their goal was to burn down houses and communities close to the shore to protect their soldiers as they moved about the Chesapeake area. While the men marched to fight, older men, women and children were left to protect the area. They were no match for trained British troops and many fled fearing for their safety.

As the British approached the hill where the two brick houses were located, they were met by Miss Kitty Knight. She stood her ground and pleaded with Admiral George Cockburn not to burn the houses. The British had already put the torch to one of these houses that was occupied by a sick and destitute old lady. Miss Kitty pleaded for the old lady and her home and managed to convince the Admiral not to burn the houses. Miss Kitty is reported to have declared: "I shall not leave. If you burn this house, you burn me with it!"

This all happened even though Kitty did not own either of the houses. She was doing her duty to protect the community. She did, however, purchase one of the houses later. In a local newspaper of November 22, 1855 in an article referring to Miss Kitty Knight's recent death, printed "by her heroism at the burning of Georgetown … she saved several families from being made homeless and friendless by the fire and sword…"