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Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales

Murder of Sallie Dean - Harmony, Caroline County, MD

On March 26, 1895, thirteen year old Sallie Dean never made it to school. Instead, she was accosted on her way by someone she knew and trusted. Her bloody body was found in a wooded area by her father later in the day. Her throat had been slashed. This happened near the tiny Caroline County village known as Harmony, which lies south of Denton, about halfway between Denton and Preston. The local authorities could not pin down a murderer, so as the local community grew increasingly antsy, Baltimore detectives were brought in to investigate. They quickly apprehended the local blacksmith, Marshall Price, a 23 year old married man who lived in the vicinity of the dirt road Sallie Dean walked every morning on her way to school.

Marshall Price denied guilt immediately. While in custody, however he changed his story and admitted guilt in the crime, but implicated another neighbor – Grant Corkran, as the mastermind of the crime. Price even defiled the victim beyond death by claiming she was unchaste. Eventually, Grant Corkran was cleared and Marshall Price was sentenced to hang for murder. Then Price gave everyone what they wanted … the true confession. He was evidently hoping that by coming clean with all the facts, the judge would grant him a reprieve. In this confession, Price actually commends himself that he did not “violate” the young woman sexually even though he murdered her. The following is a transcript of this confession by Marshall Price as reported in the Denton Journal:

“I want to tell you something,” and after hesitating extended his right hand and said, “The detectives said Sallie’s throat was cut by a left-handed man, I want to say that this is the hand that cut her. When I came out of the woods after cutting the material for the frames, I crossed the road about ten feet behind Sallie who was on her way to school. She spoke to me pleasantly and remarked it was a lovely day. I joined her and walked a short distance conversing upon matters of no importance.

"A sudden impulse took possession of me. Without warning I raised the axe which I carried in my hand and struck her on the side of the head. She fell on the ground partly stunned. I dragged her to one side of the road and cut her underclothing, then tore the clothes with my hands. She revived about this time and said, ‘Oh, my head … how it hurts.’ I then caught hold of both of her hands and dragged her to the woods, cut her throat but I did not violate her person. I covered her body with a cedar bush and buried her dinner bucket and the knife with which I cut her throat. I WAS ALONE. Grant Corkran had nothing to do with the murder.

“After the body was found I took an active part in the search fro the murderer thinking I could in that way divert suspicion from myself. The detectives were too smart for me though. When I got to Baltimore I decided to confess to the U. S. Marshal implicating Grant Corkran partly for revenge because Grant got the better of a trade we made - and partly because the people of Caroline County would lynch me if they thought I alone committed the murder.”

Price was lynched by an angry Denton mob, and all the men that had a direct hand in lynching Marshal Price died horrendous deaths – all within five years. He and Annie Belle Carter (see Willson’s Chance) are the only two buried in that cemetery that face east-west. Marshall’s head is at the eastern end, so that when he rises on judgment, his back will be to his maker. All other graves are placed in a north-south direction.

In 1989 owners of the home once occupied by Sallie Dean's family told local papers about mysterious happenings going on in the house... unexplained events and strange presences.


More tales can be found in Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales East of the Chesapeake ... be sure to get a copy.

Big Lizz | Capt. Leonard Tawes  |  Crisfield Tales   |  Hanging Tree  |  Hope House  | Kitty Knight House  |   Patty Cannon  |  Richardson Maritime Museum   |  Marshall Price -Murder of Sallie Dean  |  Shoal Creek Manor  |  St Paul's Cemetery - Rock Hall   |  Tales From Down Below, Lower Dorchester  |  Two Haunted Tales from Somerset  |  Whitemarsh Cemetery  |  Willson's Chance - Ghost of Annie Belle Carter  |  Wish Sheppard - Caroline Jail

Haunted Eastern Shore by Mindie Burgoyne

Haunted Eastern Shore
Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake
by Mindie Burgoyne

ISBN: 1596297204
PRICE: $17.99
160 Pages
Published by History Press
Haunted America series

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Book Description:

They walk beside the murky waters of the Chesapeake Bay, linger among the fetid swamps and roam the manor halls. These are the tormented souls who refuse to leave the sites of their demise. From pitiless smugglers to reluctant brides, the ghostly figures of the Eastern Shore are at once terrifying and tragic. Mindie Burgoyne takes readers on a spine-tingling journey as she recounts the grisly events at the Cosden Murder Farm and the infamous legend of Patty Cannon. Tread the foggy lanes of Kent Manor Inn and linger among Revolutionary War dead to discover the otherworldly occupants of Maryland's most haunted shore.

Haunted sites mentioned in the book include:

  • Cecil County - Holly Hall, Old Bohemia, Mitchell House

  • Kent County - Cosden Murder Farm, White House Farm, St. Paul's Cemetery & Bridge, Kitty Knight House

  • Queen Anne's County - Bloomingdale, Kent Manor Inn

  • Caroline County - The Tale of Wish Shepherd, The Murder Sallie Dean, Athol - a Child's Ghost in Henderson, Willson's Chance

  • Talbot County - The Lost City of Dover, Whitemarsh Cemetery, The Wilderness, Tunis Mills Hanging Tree

  • Dorchester County - Shoal Creek Manor, Patty Cannon's Trail of Tears, Suicide Bridge, Green Briar Swamp & Big Lizz, Tales From Down Below

  • Wicomico County - The Ghost Light Road

  • Worcester County - Cellar House, the Snow Hill Inn

  • Somerset County - Ananias Crockett's House, Holland's Island, Vance Miles House.

Tales include narratives given to Salisbury University Folklore students thirty years ago, describing hauntings, ghosts and legends of the Eastern Shore.

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