The Ghost of Nell Cropsey
Located at 1901, Riverside Drive, in Elizabeth City, is a beautiful white, two story home formerly known as the Cropsey Home. This historical home differs from others in that it not only harbors it's own set of unusual secrets, but also a beautiful ghost who's spirit has haunted the house since the 1900's.
The ghost of the young girl is said to be that of “Nell” Cropsey. Her father moved her and her family from Brooklyn New York to Elizabeth City in 1898. Though many men in Pasquotank County would have jumped a the chance to court Nell, she chose, as her suitor, the sherriff's son, Jim Wilcox.
Jim was 5 years older than Nell, and their romance spanned over 3 years. In November of 1901, with the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, the Cropsey family planned a trip to their hometown in New York.
The family never got the chance to take that trip.
On November 20, 1901, 19 year old Nell Cropsey disappeared from her home. Jim Wilcox was the last person to see her that night, and when interrogated later, he could not provide consistant answers. The following day, Jim was arrested for kidnapping and suspicion of murder.
And so the search for Nell began. The residents of Elizabeth City united, forming parties that searched the residential areas, farming fields and the countryside. The on December 27, 1901, two fishermen found the body of Nell Cropsey in the Pasqotank River. The coroners report concluded that even though Nell's body had been found in water, she had not drowned. The actual cause of death was trauma to the head.
Jim Wilcox was eventually convicted of 2nd degree murder, with a sentence of 30 years in prison. In 1918, Wilcox was pardoned for the crime, due to lack of evidence. Upon his release from jail, Wilcox was unable to find work, and finally in 1932, conspired with the editor of the local newspaper to write a book about the Cropsey Case.
After a short meeting with the editor, Jim Wilcox ended his life with a self inflicted shotgun would to the head. A couple of weeks later, the editor died in a car accident, taking the secrets of the Cropsey Case with him.
No one knows the events that transpired on that cold November evening. No one, that is, except Jim Wilcox and Nell Cropsey. And neither one of them are talking.
Nell, who has haunted the home since her body was found, is often seen, but never heard. She roams, the halls, appearing and then disappearing in bedrooms. Even the current tenant's son has caught a glimpse of her. At first the apparition frightened the family, but now they have come to gladly share the home with her. After all, the house was her home before it was theirs, before she met her unexpected and tragic end, becoming caught between the world that we know and the spirit world.