Friday, 20 July 2012

HAUNTED GALLOWS HILL, WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA

The judicial system has come quite a way since the 19th century. Long gone are the days when justice could be found at the end of a rope. During a hanging in Wilmington the convicted would meet their fate on Gallows Hill, which is present day Market and Fifth Streets. Today the 500 block of Market Street looks like any other road in Wilmington, but the block has a gruesome history. It's known as Gallows Hill where public hangings took place in the early 1800s. John Hirchak with Ghost Walk of Wilmington said, "It was a real social event, public executions back then people used to be brought in, they'd like an open area, like what was up here so they could view the execution." Under this very ground some of the executed still remain Many of the victims were from other ports of call and they were tried here on land they had no one to claim body or pay for burial, they'd dig trenches around the gallows and bury them for free," Hirchak said. In 1860 Dr. William Price built a home on Gallows Hill. When his family moved into it they discovered they weren't alone. Lew Musser witnessed paranormal activity. He said, "Lots of things have happened at that house, one time someone wrote help on the window… There's also steps on the stairs in that house where you hear the steps of the condemned walking up to the gallows." No one among the living actually lives here anymore. The home is now an architecture firm. People still claim to see ghostly figures or bright lights in the windows of the home that has become a legend. "We have no doubt in our opinion, this is, in our opinion, the most actively haunted home here," Hirchak said. There's no telling how many bodies remain buried at Gallows Hill. A few decades ago, while renovations were taking place at the price house, a body was unearthed. The owner ordered it reburied on the property.

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