Five Romantic Ghost Stories
Updated: Oct 29, 2019
As we inch closer to one of our favorite holidays, it only feels right to celebrate by telling some spooky ghost stories. But, being the romantics that we are, we decided to spice it up by sharing a few romantic (and often heartbreaking) ghost stories. (P.S. - thanks to our graphic designers Liz & Heather for the idea and illustrations!)
1. Maritana & Don Cesar
Thomas Rowe was studying abroad in London in the 1890s. While attending his favorite opera “Maritana,” Rowe fell for a Spanish woman named Lucinda who played the lead. They began frequent rendezvous and quickly fell in love. Unfortunately, upon learning of the relationship, Lucinda’s parents didn’t approve and forbade them from seeing each other again.
Lucinda was then taken back home to Spain, after which Rowe eventually returned to America, and while they promised to write each other, his letters were always returned. One day, he did receive a letter from Lucinda: “Time is infinite. I wait for you by our fountain … to share our timeless love, our destiny is time.” Along with this letter, he received a news clipping announcing her passing.
Heartbroken, Rowe vowed never to love another. Some time later, Rowe built the Don CeSar hotel on St. Pete Beach in 1928, named after the hero of the opera that brought the two together and the name by which Lucinda would refer to him. He also included a perfect replica of the fountain at which they promised to meet.
After his passing, passersby began reporting a very happy couple walking hand in hand through the hotel halls, often fading into a hazy mist or disappearing completely when approached.
2. Ms. Bradshaw and the Bayfront Boarding House
Built in 1914, the Bayfront Boarding House (now known as the Casa Blanca Inn) in St. Augustine, Florida provided a safe and comfortable place to live for families and travelers alike and overlooked the beautiful Matanzas Bay. During the height of the prohibition, the original proprietor, a widow named Ms. Bradshaw, is said to have fallen in love with a local rumrunner who would smuggle in alcohol via boat.
Ms. Bradshaw would keep watch from either the roof of the boarding house or her top-floor window and use a lantern to signal if there was danger. One rainy night, she noticed a patrol of federal agents around the bay and rushed to her roof, waving the lantern back and forth to warn her lover of the threat. While no one knows what exactly happened to him, they were never reunited.
To this day, people question the mysterious sound of footsteps when they are alone, the brief yet distinct smell of oranges in the air, and the ghostly sight of a lantern waving back and forth from a top floor window.
3. The Lady in White
Her name unfortunately lost to time, the daughter of a wealthy Englishman was sent to the prestigious Chatham Estate in Fredericksburg, Virginia in the late 1700’s. Her father sent her after discovering that she was in love with a common dry-salter, a man he believed was far below his daughters station. While away, she enjoyed the company of many influential and famous guests, but continued to pine over her distant lover.
Soon, it was revealed that the dry-salter had made the trip to America after her, and the two constructed a plan to leave together and elope. On the fateful night they were meant to meet, she carefully crept out of her room window, however she did not get the chance to make it to their rendezvous spot, as she was apprehended by none other than General George Washington, who was friends with her father and had heard of the escape plan.
The boy was caught and arrested, and while none know his ultimate fate, the girl was shipped back to her family and later made to marry a man her father approved.
While on her deathbed, the girl made a vow to return to her favorite path at Chatham Estate - the very path which would have led her to her one true love. She upheld her promise, and returns in search of her long lost lover every seven years clothed in an ethereal white dress, beginning on the very night she died on June 21, 1790.
4. Martha Mersereau
Martha Mersereau lived a happy life with her husband in their home on Staten Island. However, that happiness was disrupted in 1861 when her husband was swept into the ranks to fight in the Civil War. Poor Martha worried night and day and would pace the house continuously in anxious anticipation of her beloved husbands return.
Eventually, she received word that he died on the battlefield. Heartbroken, Martha is said to have locked herself in her bedroom and died of a broken heart not long after.
Stories tell of a faint silhouette in the windows of the dining room of their old house (now an inn) and an eerie sensation of being watched.
5. La Planchada
A nurse named Eulalia worked in a Juarez hospital. A talented and compassionate woman, every patient under her care considered themselves lucky. She was great at her job and popular with the staff, especially a newly hired young doctor. The two began seeing each other, eventually falling in love and becoming engaged.
Not long after, the doctor was sent to a medical seminar out of town, and when he did not return the following week, Eulalia became worried that something had befallen her love. Several more weeks passed before the hospital received word that the doctor had met another woman at the seminar and the two eloped.
Eulalia was heartbroken. While slipping into depression, her work continued to suffer more and more until she was neglecting those under her care. This continued until her neglect caused the death of a patient.
Eulalia soon fell ill, and while she was cared for by the rest of the staff, she couldn’t handle the guilt and heartbreak eventually died in the hospital she worked for.
Shortly after her death, the staff and patients claimed to see a nurse walking the corridors at night, sometimes with her feet never touching the floor. She was said to be wearing a perfectly pressed and clean uniform, which earned her the name of La Planchada (The Ironed Lady). Patients in the intensive care ward in which she was kept would wake up feeling mysteriously better, saying that a nurse “took care of them.”