New Bern is a city near the North Carolina coast. It is popular mostly due to the Tyron Palace complex, which includes a replica of the state’s first capitol, gardens, historic homes, and many more.
Downtown New Bern, North Carolina. (Link: https://www.mitchellhardwareonline.com/historicnewbern.html)
Another reason why people visit New Bern is because of the supposed haunted house. This is called the Attmore-Oliver House. Many claim there have been numerous paranormal activities here caused either by the spirits of the dead due to the smallpox pandemic in the past or the former owner of the home.
The facade of Attmore-Oliver House. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/501518108475224547/?nic_v1=1ayQF%2FQ3DQdpv6EfL9XaaStloNfE%2BNV2B9W5Z%2BypU605CCZQnrPsQ8z0QER2p2f1Pe)
History Of The Attmore-Oliver House
The Attmore-Oliver House was sometime in 1790. The home was originally constructed to a retired officer of the Continental Army named Samuel Chapman. Later, the home was sold to a local merchant and gifted the home to his daughter and her husband. They were the ones who remodeled the home in order to make it a then-fashionable Greek-Revival style. Years later, the home was passed down to the family of Hannah Attmore and her husband, William Oliver.
An old photo of the Attmore-Oliver House. (Link: https://www.newbernsj.com/article/20130910/news/309109902)
Today, the white home with three stories and a large porch in both the front and the back, belongs to the New Bern Historical Society. It is used for their functions and events and is always one of the places where people stop during walk tours. Visitors can go inside because it also serves as a small museum but they cannot take photos while there.
The Ghosts Of The Attmore-Oliver House
The Attmore-Oliver House is reportedly haunted by many spirits and entities. One of which are soldiers. Accordingly, local residents believe that because some medical supplies and artifacts were discovered in the house when it was being renovated, it served as a hospital during the Union occupation. Some of the sons of the families that lived in the house served as soldiers during the war while fighting for the Confederate side. Thus, they are believed to haunt the Attmore-Oliver House.
Another spirit that allegedly haunts the Attmore-Oliver House is the last owner of the home. She was identified as Mary Oliver. According to Sue Dunn, an administrative assistant with the New Bern Historical Society, Mary had a “character” as in she was “used to having her own way.” That character is said to be felt to this day because doors will occasionally open in the home and they believe it is the doing of Mary.
Jim Hodges of the New Bern Historical Society shared that in 2006, there was an official paranormal investigation and the investigators spend the night there. Per the investigation, the center of the paranormal energy and activities is in the attic. Some of the investigators claimed they felt their hair standing up on the back of their necks during the night they spent at the Attmore-Oliver House. Hodges also believes the spirit of Mary still lives there so the first thing he does when he goes there is to say good morning to her. Hodges noted, “I kind of blurt it out. Some people might think that a little strange but she leaves me alone.”
The most notable presence of Mary is referred to as the Kit-Kat Stomp. This paranormal activity pertains to a stomping sound upstairs as if someone was wearing high heels. Accordingly, this was what Mary did when she employed someone to kill cats that came onto her property because of her dislike of animals. When the person did what she asked, she did not want to pay him. That person then buried all the cats’ head in the yard and Mary stomped around her room for days and days because of her frustration.
The yard at the Attmore-Oliver House. (Link: https://newbernhistorical.org/attmore-oliver-house/)
Hodges believes Mary cannot let go of the home and cannot leave because she was the last Oliver. It is also unclear why people stayed away from Mary during her last years but this could be another reason why she still makes people know about her presence at the Attemore-Oliver house.
A Former Worker Talks Of Her Experiences
The Attmore-Oliver house conducts tours and one of the former workers here revealed she dressed up as a girl who lived in the early 20th century. She said that she has always been very open and in tune to the paranormal. She added that there are “definitely spirits there as there are in most very house in this area, but they basically mind their own business.” The former worker pointed out there is nothing negative in the Attmore-Oliver house.
Some workers rehearsing for the tour at the Attmore-Oliver House. (Link: https://www.newbernsj.com/photogallery/NC/20191005/NEWS/100509981/PH/1)
She also said that she has caught glimpses and things oftentimes when there and the most memorable was “when I was standing at the foot of the stairs and saw a woman looking down at me from the very top level clear as day.”