Woodburn Mansion


The story of Woodburn Mansion.

In Dover, Delaware as you, approach the Woodburn Mansion better known as the Governor’s Residence you may not want to turn around and head right back home.

On the front lawn, the first sight your eyes will see is a gigantic, ominous, twisted Popular, with all kinds of scary looking holes. Along with this eerie sight, the rest of the lawn is not much better with old pine trees, crepe myrtles, English boxwood, and other popular trees.

The mansion itself is a 1790 Georgian Mansion restored to the exact look and feel of the time complete with all furnishings. The mansion has a rich history from being home to governors, and one of the stops on the Underground Railroad to help slaves escape.

If the looks of the place is not enough to scare you away, then maybe the ghost of a man with his head hanging out of the scary looking popular will be. Many have seen this slave raider just as he died many many years ago. He, along with other slave raiders had come to the mansion with the hopes of finding runaway slaves. Daniel Cowgill, a Quaker owned the mansion during this pre-civil war time, he made all the slave raiders leave his home. This one raider wished to hide and wait in the hopes of catching a slave on his way to safety. He crawled inside the large popular tree, however, on his journey, he slipped, his head was caught in one of the holes and there he died hung in the scary old tree. Many people to this day have heard his moans and seen him hung in the tree.

This is not the only ghost that still calls the Woodburn Mansion home. Since 1824, those that visit have seen or felt the presence of other around them. One such man was Lorenzo Dow who was visiting in 1824. He was coming down the stairs after a restful night’s sleep to enjoy breakfast with his hosts Dr. M.W. Bates and his wife. He passed the man on the stairs and believed it was another guest in the house. When he arrived at breakfast, he learned the man dressed in clothing a generation early was none other than Mrs. Bates departed father.

While you are visiting, never leave a glass of wine sitting around or even a decanter full. If you do, it will be gone by morning, as one ghost loves the taste of wine.

Other apparitions that have been seen include a ghost dressed in Revolutionary war clothing.

Woodburn Mansion

Woodburn Mansion

Woodburn Mansion

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