"Emily" painting by Tony Troy from Art & Architecture of New Jersey
Hey, if you're heading to the Ocean City boardwalk and pass 719 E. 11th Street, stop in the Flanders Hotel.
Built in 1923, the ritzy hotel was named after the Flanders Field in Belgium made famous by the poem of Canadian Lt. Colonel John McCrae. It was OC's entry into the upper end resort trade, and the building featured speakeasies, grand halls and rooms, and a huge "catacomb" of a basement, all the better to lure some East Coast mob and celeb business from Atlantic City.
It also provided the perfect setting for a guest who wouldn't leave, the "Lady in White" dubbed Emily.
Guests and staffers have reported spotting the spook of a young woman in the hotel for years, her apparition appearing before dozens, if not hundreds, of people. She's been seen all around the Flanders, but mostly in the Hall of Mirrors. Other sites she roamed were the catacombs, the hotel lobby, and the second and fourth floors. And she's always barefoot - hey, it is on the beach.
Emily appears and disappears into walls, plays with door locks, opens and shuts doors, unscrews light bulbs, and for years her laughing and singing have echoed merrily through Flander's halls. The train of a white gown has been seen disappearing around the corner of a corridor. A photograph taken at one of the hotel's weddings captured her misty form; ghost hunters have rolls of orbs on film.
Her presence is so famous that the hotel had a mural of her painted, and named a restaurant after her. Artist Tony Troy painted a portrait of Emily based on the descriptions told by workers and guests of the hotel, and it's hung on the second floor. It shows a young woman with long reddish-brown hair standing by a piano wearing a long white dress and no shoes.
Ghost Tours of Ocean City say that Emily is the shadow of a woman who was a girlfriend of a WWI soldier who never returned from Europe; how fitting for a girl from a place named for Flander's fields.
Many paranormal groups have examined the hotel. The South Jersey Ghost Research gang found the spirit of a young girl in the Flander who may have died from hypothermia or from the water.
They noticed that the painting of Emily shared a physical resemblance with the little girl. Putting two and two together, the SJGR group theorized that she was looking for her mother - and that woman may be Emily. Here's their report on YouTube, Part 1 and Part 2.