Monday, October 5, 2015

The Chesapeake Bay Hermit

In the Chesapeake Bay, there are a couple of islands with houses owned by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and they let students and tourists and whoever come and stay in the houses with CBF educators. This woman was a CBF educator who was hosting my high school group. The house we were staying in was about probably a bit over 100 years old and had originally been used as a hunting lodge. But since that time, the island has been almost completely submerged, and the house stands partly on a dock, partly on land, partly on these long wooden legs. The only way to get to the front door of the house is by boat, and it is the only house on this tiny little island.

So this woman tells us that when she was a new employee working at the house, the other CBF employees tell her that she should try sleeping out on the front porch for her first night there, claiming it will be the best night of sleep she's ever had. The porch is closed in with netting, so you can sleep out in the cool weather without worrying about bugs.

So it's the middle of the night, and she wakes up to the sound of cabinet doors banging open and closed and someone walking around in the kitchen (which is towards the front of the house where she is sleeping). Thinking it's one of the other CBF employees, she gets up to tell him to be quiet, but when she walks into the kitchen, all of the cabinets and the fridge are wide open, there's food thrown everywhere, but there's no one there. She's pretty freaked out, but thinks it must be rats or a raccoon or something, and starts to clean up the mess, when she hears the side door of the kitchen open behind her, and when she turns around, there is an old man with a long beard standing right behind her with his face right next to hers. Before she can say anything, he puts his finger to his lips and says, "Shhhh...Shhhh...." and then walks out the side door.

When she told the other CBF employees about what she had seen in the morning, they made fun of her for a little while, trying to make her think it was a ghost, before they finally told her that the man was a hermit who lived alone on another tiny island nearby. There was basically a standing agreement that he could take food as he needed it from the CBF as he wasn't well but didn't do anyone any harm.

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