Clifton, one of Montgomery County’s oldest structures having been built around 1742, is also home to one of it’s longest recorded ghosts. Stories of Aunt Betsy date to before the Civil War. The story of the house and its hauntings are legendary in the Sandy Spring area, where Clifton is located.

Dorothy took these photographs of the coffin door at Clifton. A coffin door is a small door sometimes found in older homes. Supposedly, they were used to bring the coffin in and out of a house for the wake so the body did not have to pass through the passage the living used. I have some questions about the validity of this claim because this door, and many of the others you find on the internet, seem to me to be too narrow to fit a coffin if it were to be passed straight into the house. Also, to have a door used for such a narrow purpose seems impractical to me. However, in the 18th and 19th century, death was more a part of every day life and perhaps such a door would get more use. Has anyone else heard of coffin doors? What do you think?


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Filed under Ednor, Sandy Spring

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