The first annual Wheat Harvest Picnic was held in Burkittsville, Maryland in August of 1825, one year after the founding of the town. During the event, ten-year-old Eileen Treacle wandered off towards Tappy East Creek and drowned in the shallow water. Eleven eye-witnesses claim to have seen a ghostly white hand reach up out of the water and pull her in.

The creek was searched, but Eileen's body was never recovered. Several days later, the creek mysteriously became clogged with oily bundles of sticks, rendering the water useless for thirteen days.