|The building that is now the Snow Hill Inn on East
Market Street in Snow Hill, MD was built around 1835 for a prominent
landowner and businessman, Levin Townsend. In past years the
Snow Hill Inn has served as as a private home, the town post office,
the home of the Town Doctor, and apartment building and now an Inn.
Dr. John S. Aydelotte occupied the house in the 1870's and ran a
medical practice in the Town of Snow Hill. He served as the town
doctor into the twentieth century. One of Snow Hill's senior
residents can remember as a child seeing Dr. Aydelotte walking through
the town streets with his cane in hand shooing away boisterous
Dr. Aydelotte died in 1929 and is buried in Whatcoat Cemetery just
a few blocks away form the his home, now the Snow Hill Inn.
Buried with him is a father's grief over a son lost tragically to
His son was William James Aydelotte who at the age 21, while
attending the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacology in
Baltimore, ended his own life by apparently "cutting his own throat
several times." It seems young William was not doing well in
school and didn't want to face being a failure his his father's eyes.
While in his room at a Baltimore boarding house, William penned a
note dated December 14, 1904 where he wrote "Dear Papa, ... it is
useless to keep me at school ..." The next morning, keeper of the
boarding discovered William after hearing what sounded like someone
falling and deep groans. The following is an excerpt from a
Baltimore Sun article printed the following day.
``Hurrying upstairs, she opened the door and
beheld the young man rolling on the floor, groaning and the blood
flowing from several gashes across his throat,''
``From the appearance of the room, Mr.
Aydelotte had evidently cut his throat while standing in front of
the bureau. He is then believed to have walked to his bed and cut
his throat twice again . . .''
Descendants of the Aydelottes have often
questioned the circumstances of young William's death.
The story in the paper was compiled in a single
day with information from police, the coroner, the pharmacy school
dean, the keeper of the rooming house on West Franklin Street and both
the current and previous women in whose homes Mr. Aydelotte took his
The reporter reveals details of William - a third
year pharmacy student - developing tonsillitis and being too ill to
study, and Dr. Aydelotte writing the Dean inquiring after William's
progress. The article also reveals information about a "young
lady" in Westminster with whom William had been corresponding and the
exchange was abruptly discontinued. Then there are hints that
the friendship between William and his Westminster lady friend had
recently been renewed. Speculation 9even if unjustified) could
cause a body to wonder what (or who) really drove William over the
George Walton Mapp, whose mother was Mildred Mapp
(William's sister) was quoted in a 1993 follow-up article by the
Baltimore Sun as saying of the tragedy,
"We didn't talk about him. It was the
great tragedy of our family. We never believed he killed
Whether William did himself in for fear of
disappointing his father or "was done in" by someone who wanted him
gone, many today believe his un-restful spirit haunts the Snow Hill
To the modern day visitors of the Inn, he's
become known as "J.J." Innkeepers, contractors, guests,
children, employees and towns people all have stories of the young man
who roams the halls of the Inn, locking doors, opening windows,
turning lights off and on, setting fire alarms, appearing in mirrors,
shaking beds with sleeping guests in them, extinguishing candles,
lighting the fireplaces and more.
Undoubtedly, the Snow Hill Inn has had more
ghostly encounters (some documented) than any other single site in
Recently a paranormal specialist, who was a
friend of the Innkeeper visited the Inn. She spent time in the
Barrister Room which is believed to have been William's (J.J.'s) room
as a boy. It was there - in the Barrister room that she
encountered the ghost - and spoke to him.
She confirmed that there was a ghost, it was a
young man - and it was William. William told her that he did, in
fact commit suicide, He shared secrets of emotional trauma with
the specialist that she felt were best not to reveal. She did,
however state that "William had some serious issues that he has not
Copyright 2004, by Padua House, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Used only with permission.