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The Creekside Manor Story
The Creekside Manor Story
Edited by Jennifer LB Leese
In 2003 a bloody murder took place at 11737 Snug Harbor Lane, the old manor house that sits along the Conocochegue Creek - but it isn't the only murder that has taken place at the residence. In 1951 the first murder occurred, the second in 1973, and another in 1989.
"The scene is gruesome," Sheriff Palmer told reporters. He went on to say, "All have this in common: a stormy night followed by an entire family destroyed in what must have been a night of terror."
The property has had a disturbing past dating back to the early 1800's. Once operated as an inn along the dirt road to Clear Spring, Creekside Manor was a frequent stop over for wagons traveling west out of Williamsport. Travelers last seen headed down Kemps Mill Road would were reported as never reaching their destination. Had they been swallowed up the flooding Conocochegue creek or had they stayed at Creekside Manor?
If you trace the properties history further back, at one time it was home to the Conocochegue Indians who lived here on both sides of the creek. Their trails and artifacts still can be found along the creek. The tribe lived in the area peacefully for years until the Potomac Indians destroyed their kind. Some historians have suggested that the Potomac Indians ate the Conocochegue Indians after food supplies ran out for both tribes during an extremely harsh winter.
Dr. Bowers, a traveling lotions and potions seller, built the manor house in the late 1700s to house his traveling medicine show, which consisted of 2 actors, 2 actresses, and 3 clowns during the winter months.
Legend has it that Dr. Bowers and his show returned one October just before a terrible storm that had flooded the Conocochegue for 3 solid days. When the water receded enough to get down Kemps Mill Road it took days to remove the debris from the road. Dr. Bowers' wagons and several clown costumes were found among the debris.
Born and raised and eventually died in the manor house, Mable Mockenburry was its longest occupant. She loved the manor. As a young child she loved to play on the strange looking rock pile in back of the house. Mable's parents died when she was fifteen leaving her to run the manor and raise her younger brother Richard. When her parents died, Mable held the wake and funeral in her living room before burying them on the property, not uncommon during the 1800s. What was uncommon was Mable's parents' deaths really didn't seem to bother her. She almost seemed delighted to show them off in their open coffins, where only the heads of her parents could be seen. Mable quickly went about the business of running the inn.
Since the funeral of her parents, she became known for her barbeque dinners with her sister Victoria lending a helping hand. Neighbors and family members who attended the funeral commented on how delicious her pork barbeque was. Mable's only comment was: "It's not pork barbeque dear, it's just plain barbeque."
Richard quit talking the day his parents died. He grew up walking the road along the creek selling jewelry he made out of bones, and offering samples of Mable's barbeque to entice passersby to eat or stay at the inn.
Mable, a plump matronly looking woman with rosy cheeks and bright red lips lived to be well over one hundred. During her lifetime she had 9 husbands - five were butchers, three were chefs, and the last one was a funeral director who transformed her sitting room into a funeral parlor and the meat locker into an embalming room.
No one, not even Mable's husbands were allowed in the root cellar. Shortly before she died she had the stairway to it sealed off. The root cellar still remains some where beneath the house.
With one of Mabel's husbands, Mad Merle, she gave birth to a daughter whom she named Precious - Mabel's beloved daughter.
A few years later, Victoria weasels her way back into the manor. She wants revenge on Mabel. What kind of sister steals her sister's husbands? And after all they've been through. Victoria also knows that Mabel is hiding a secret - other than her grotesquely strange twin boys in the cellar. But what is it and can she find out?
But Mabel and Victoria really should put aside their differences and start working together - cause mommy's back! And she's looking to end their lives just as they took hers and her dear loving husband's. With the help of the twins and the prince of darkness, Veronica Mockenberry watches as the twins behead the sisters.
It was rumored that Mabel had powers and that just before she died, she passed those onto her daughter Precious. 2010, Precious wed the man of her nightmares (Felton) and just as weddings are supposed to bring out the best in families - it also brings out the worst. Today a year has passed from the event known as the Wedding of the Century and thankfully Mable and her sister Victoria have managed to cheat death once again and have returned to undertake the daunting task of reclaiming control over the inn, the spirits that remain, and the souls who visit.
The people in the house are now struggling with something or someone and it's easy to sense that there are two very distinct and intense forces at work here. Neither is willing to relinquish their power to the other, leaving the house eerily divided.
Creekside Manor has since been restored and now sits within the Hagerstown KOA Campground located at 11737 Snug Harbor Lane. The owners have opened the manor for tours to the public. Some rooms at the inn are lovely to look at, others rooms are there for you to experience.
Do spirits remain in the house and surrounding grounds? Will you see Dr. Bowers' clowns? Mabel and her sister? The twin boys? Their nanny Headless Hattie? Mr. and Mrs. Mockenberry? What about Mabel's husbands - gorgeous George or the butcher? Is Precious still in the house walking the halls with her mother, singing in the hallways?
Parents - here's a few basic rules when entering alone or with children into the manor and when walking the grounds:
1- Don't accept food samples from young men wearing a bone necklace,
2- If you see an old lady in the kitchen window - say hello,
3- Just ignore the drum playing from the woods, screams in the house, and if you see the twins - smile and wave,
4- Keep your eyes forward and your feet moving as Mad Merle leads you through the graveyard - wouldn't want nothing to get ya,
5- Don't pay attention to the screams, groans, and cries from the library or cellar - it's just Mabel and her friends,
6- And at some point I'm sure the thought "who's buried within these walls" will enter your mind, but, trust me, there's nothing to worry about, you'll find out soon enough,
Oh, and after entering the manor, the strong feeling of, "there's no way out" will start to eat away at your core - but again, don't fret - everyone leaves the manor eventually - in some shape or form!
So come feel the terror at Creekside Manor Friday and Saturday nights now through October 29. They're also open Sunday and Monday, the 30th and 31st. Ticket booth opens at 7PM with the last ticket sold at 10PM. For more information call 301-223-6663 or visit www.creeksidemanor.com. The manor is not recommended for children under twelve, so bring them to Mabel's Fun House for Kids instead.