Westminster’s 'Most Haunted': The Shop at Cockey's
The Shop at Cockey's is number one on Westminster Patch's "Most Haunted" Countdown.
Rich with history, Cockey's is now home to the Historical Society's Shop at Cockey’s. The building once served as a tavern, and before that, a home where J.E.B. Stuart may have set up a temporary headquarters on the way to the Pennsylvania line.
The ghost at Cockey’s Tavern was well known to all who have worked at and/or frequented the house or tavern. Some believe it is the ghost of a soldier, particularly when heavy boots are heard climbing up the stairs. Most of all, the ghost is known to move paintings and pictures on the wall.
According to Ghosts and Legends of Carroll County, Maryland by Jesse Glass, one such instance occurred in 1981. A woman eating lunch in the tavern announced, “I don’t believe in ghosts!” Just then, a painting on the wall behind her fell, striking her on the head. Witnesses claim the woman immediately began to revise, “I believe! I believe!”
A similar story was recounted by a volunteer working at the shop, Darleen Weller. Apparently two ladies who were eating at the Tavern were discussing how they didn't believe in ghost stories as they ascended the staircase to use the ladies room on the second floor. Just then, a painting lining the wall of the staircase seemed to 'jump' from the wall and fall down at their feet.
The waitresses who worked at the Tavern claimed that they were not afraid of the ghost, but instead treated him as a respected friend. They would speak to the ghost and often take his antics as signs and/or warnings.
One tale describes how a waitress found a picture of a schoolteacher on the floor one morning, later that day she learned the woman had not only once lived in the Cockey house, but she had passed away the same day her painting ‘fell’ from the wall.
Another similar tale is told about a local lawyer, Mr. Walsh, who failed to show up for his traditional evening meal at the tavern. A picture of Grant that typically hung over the fireplace was instead found lying across the table at Walsh’s reserved seat. Later, the staff learned that Walsh had passed away that very night.
In each instance, the pictures that are misplaced are not broken. The frames, the glass and particularly the wire that was holding them is all perfectly intact and secure.
There are many more stories to tell about this restless solider. Visit the Shop at Cockey’s to check it out for yourself…if you dare.
These stories were recounted from the Carroll County Ghost Walk Tour brochure, located on www.westminstermd.com. Visit the site to get more details and read about other haunted places in Carroll County.