Winterwood Gift Shop

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A ghost named Hestor is said to haunt the Winterwood Gift Shop, once known as Hildreth House. The historic 1772 structure was originally built by Joshua Hildreth; it was sold to the Sawyer family in 1978. It has long been thought to be haunted, with apparitions, flickering lights, moving objects and footsteps, and a plaque by the door warns folks not to be afraid of the ghost. “Hestor” is named for a spinster who once lived in the building. She died in 1949.

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Geographic Information

3137 Rt. 9 South
Rio Grande, NJ
United States

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39.02290144856829, -74.86913426219871
Cape May County, New Jersey
Nearest Towns:
Rio Grande, NJ (0.9 mi.)
Whitesboro-Burleigh, NJ (1.4 mi.)
Burleigh, NJ (1.8 mi.)
West Wildwood, NJ (2.8 mi.)
Erma, NJ (3.6 mi.)
Wildwood, NJ (3.6 mi.)
Villas, NJ (3.7 mi.)
Wildwood Crest, NJ (3.8 mi.)
North Wildwood, NJ (4.0 mi.)
Diamond Beach, NJ (4.5 mi.)

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Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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Comments (2)

  1. Last year, 2019, my fiance was pushed lightly on the left shoulder in the room with the fireplace, as he read the plaque near it. No one else was in the room with him.

    Today, we made our yearly visit, and I was in the same room, but further removed from the fireplace. I had just looped a third ornament around my finger and was turning to move to the next room. I was in the middle of the room, away from any displays, as I turned, my hand was pulled to the side and when I turned back to it, one of the looped ornaments was 90 degrees to the left of my finger, then dropped down and the tension on it was released.

    We love this shop, and it’s always nice to say hi to Hestor.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.