Why did we rate this "Confirmed"? Because multiple sources off the internet sites have experienced paranormal activity at this location & therefore warrants a rating of "Confirmed".
What's the tale? The Woodburn Mansion is home to multiple spirits, mostly good and one bad. It was built in 1790 and its first haunting was reported in Judge Fisher's paper written in 1924. It is host the ghosts of Mrs. Bates's father, a white-wigged ghost who enjoys to drink expensive wine, a Revolutionary War period woman, a little girl in a red-checked dress, and the unpleasant slave raider. The home was a stop for the runaway slaves and one night slave raiders came to the home (Daniel Cowgill owned it at the time). He managed to run off the slave raiders but one hid in the Poplar tree that stands today. He lost his footing and fell into the branches where his head was caught in a hole of a split branch and there he hung until he died. His body can still be seen hanging to death.
What do we know as fact? Thanks to this site we know the home was built in 1798 by Charles Hillyard III. Many residents and visitors to the mansion have seen ghosts and spirits in the house including guests at the inaugural party for Governor Mike Castle. The ghosts known to be in the house are Mr. Hillyard, a girl in a white, gingham dress, and a slave who was caught hiding in the trunk of a large tree that is no longer on the property (no factual evidence supporting the claim he fell into the branches and hung himself to death). The first documented case of the home being haunted was actually in 1815 when a Methodist preacher named Mr. Dow came to the mansion while it was owned by Dr. and Mrs. Bates and reportedly saw an older gentleman in a powdered wig, knee britches and a ruffled shirt, it was the ghost of Mr. Hillyard. The claims the home was a stop for runaway slaves is unconfirmed. It comes from a novel that was published in 1884 where the author, George Alfred Townsend, claimed the Cogwill mansion was harboring escaped slaves and the Cogwill family did own the mansion at the time. There is no proof that claim in the novel was anything other than fiction.
Thoughts: The paranormal activity on the property is documented on the government website for Delaware on the site linked to above. There is no doubt this location has ghosts, spirits and residual energy.Tags: Woodburn Mansion