Cecil County Lore in Local Author’s Newest Book

More than a dozen Cecil County stories are featured in Ed Okonowicz’s newest book, “The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories.” Published by Stackpole Books, the 417-page, hardbound volume includes more than 150 ghost stories from throughout the state of Maryland.

Divided into six sections, the book features stories from every county throughout the state, as well as a number of legends set in Baltimore and Annapolis. Okonowicz, a county resident, said the strong connection between history and folklore is present in a large number of tales.

While stories set in old mansions and historic sites were expected, some of the more unusual tales involve a headless “horse,” a court case with a message from a ghostly witness, and “dancing” spirits that made regular visits to a rural home along the Mason-Dixon Line. The incidents retold in the book include both historic and contemporary reports. And while Cecil County’s spirited activity is well represented, several inns in nearby Havre de Grace, plus rural legends in nearby Harford County, also command significant space.

Although old newspapers and documents are the basis for the older tales, interviews provided stories with more personal details. “”I talked to a lot of people who shared some rather amazing experiences,” Okonowicz said. “They shared their encounters in regular houses you and I pass by every day, and several said they never imagined such unexplained events would happen to them. But when they found out someone had been murdered in the house, or it was built over an abandoned cemetery, they were actually pleased. Because those facts offered a possible reason for the strange incidents.”

The hardbound book, at $24.95, is available at Kathy’s Corner Store in North East, Md., on amazon.com or contact the author at edo@mystandlace.com

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