People and Places with Pierce: The Attmore-Oliver House

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – “It’s a wonderful old house,” said Jim Hodges, curator of the New Bern Historical Society.

The Attmore-Oliver House is a New Bern gem with an interesting former owner.

“Miss Mary Oliver was the last of the line,” said Sue Dunn, an administrative assistant at the New Bern Historical Society. “She didn’t have any children…”

“She was a character,” said Hodges. “She was used to having her own way.”

A character that some say has never left. You could say she still haunts the place.

“Occasionally the door will open and there’s no reason for it,” said Dunn. “So maybe that’s Miss Mary Oliver, who knows.”

“In 2006, they had an official professional paranormal investigation,” said Hodges. “They spent the night here and in multiple locations throughout the house, they documented orbs and energy fields.”

According to that investigation, the real epicenter of the ghostly activity is here in the attic. Some have said that they can literally feel the hair standing up on the back of their necks.

“The first thing I do when I come in is say good morning Miss Mary,” said Hodges. “I kind of blurt it out. Some people might think that a little strange but she leaves me alone.”

She may not bother Jim, but she makes her presence known in other ways.

“You can see all of these orbs or all of this energy field,” said Hodges. “I mean that’s very convincing.”

But Miss Mary Oliver’s claim to fame may be the infamous Kit-Kat Stomp.

“She didn’t like animals and therefore employed someone to kill any cats that came onto the property,” said Dunn. “She didn’t want to pay him so he then to get some revenge buried all the cats head up in the yard. Now it’s said you can hear her stomping around upstairs in her high heels in a huff for days and days.”

The story is so popular, you can still find people looking for those cats heads in the front yard. As for why her spirit lingers here.

“Her reluctance to let go of this house and knowing that she was the last Oliver,” said Hodges. “She was just not quite comfortable saying goodbye. One thing I want to do is to spend the night in this house. I intend to do it by myself and just see if anything makes me want to run out in the middle of the night.”

Maybe he shouldn’t try that on All Hallows’ Eve.

 

The New Bern Historical Society is hosting a ghostwalk October 27-29. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

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We’re always looking for your story ideas for People & Places with Pierce. If you have an interesting person or place you’d like to see featured, email Pierce or send him a message on Facebook or Twitter.

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