by Mindie Burgoyne
The Free State has no short supply of ghosts. It’s no wonder that communities around Maryland have crafted their own ghost walks and tours to introduce visitors to hometown haunts. Each of these ghost tours is conducted by locals who know their history and have encountered spooky characters. Check out these ghost tours and see the paranormal up close and personal.
The City of Annapolis offers two ghost tours, with a haunted history of the State's capital. (Photo by Mindie Burgoyne).
Historic Annapolis Ghost Tours
Annapolis is so haunted that it has two ghost tours – a walking tour and a pub crawl. Your host will be well versed in the haunted history of Maryland’s state capital, but will also share first hand accounts of ghostly encounters. Stories include Amy the working girl who haunts Rams Head Tavern and Thomas Dance, a construction worker who died while working on the State House dome. For information on both tours check out http://www.ghostsofannapolis.com.
Fells Point Ghost Walk
This historic part of Baltimore’s waterfront is full of colorful spirits. This maritime seaport village has been host to immigrants, sailors, merchants, prostitutes, musicians, writers, artists and more. The guides will even tell you about ghost sightings that have happened on these popular tours. There is both a pub crawl and walking tour. Book early, as they sell out quickly. http://www.baltimoreghosttours.com/index.html
Candlelight Ghost Tours of Frederick
A 90 minute walking tour of downtown historic Frederick – the town that claims to be the most haunted town in Maryland. The tour is rich with stories of politicians, defiant citizens, Revolutionary War patriots, actors, artists and numerous undead from the Civil War when Frederick received over 6000 sick and wounded from nearby battlefields. Their stories of suffering, dying and refusing to be dead are told on by guides in period costumes who lead guest through the dark streets of Frederick. http://www.marylandghosttours.com/
Spirits of Point Lookout
The landscape of this windblown prison camp on the Chesapeake Bay is littered with ghosts of Confederate soldiers who froze and starved to death during their imprisonment here. Out of the 50,000 prisoners who were held at the Point Lookout Union Prisoner of War camp, over 4000 died horrible deaths, and their spirits have been the focus of paranormal enthusiasts for years. Reenactors tell of this and other stories associated with this very haunted site in Maryland. www.spiritsofpointlookout.com
Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City
This historic town on the Patapsco River has quite a haunted past. Since its days of being a mill town, there have been many characters who have remained a part of the landscape even “after death.” What makes this tour unique is the testimony of “first hand” experiences by restauranteurs, merchants and residents about recent paranormal events. www.VisitHowardCounty.com (also on this website, see Haunted Tour of Savage Mill)
Haunted Tale Candle-Lit Walk – Denton
Experience one of the most haunted towns on the Eastern Shore. Your guide is a master story-teller who will point out the Denton jail where the ghost of Wish Sheppard who was hung on the courthouse lawn – and whose hand print remained behind on his jail cell wall long after his death – still torments the staff who work in the jail today. Also hear about the ghost of Annie Bell Carter who fell to her death from a second floor balcony and was impaled on a tree stump and now dances across her lawn. http://www.tourcaroline.com/
Haunted History and Walking Ghost Tour of Havre de Grace
This is the third year for this fun ghost tour hosted by the Havre de Grace Main Street Community. This walking tour is composed of historically documented occurrences and first hand accounts of hauntings, murders and paranormal events that happened in the past or are currently happening today. www.mainstreethdg.org
NOTE: Advanced reservation is strongly suggested for all of these tours. Be sure to call ahead and reserve your space as all of these tours sell out quickly.
For a list of more ghost tours in Maryland, see the Maryland is Fun website ghost tour page. http://www.mdisfun.org/PRESSROOM/Pages/HauntedMaryland.aspx
Mindie Burgoyne works for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. She is the author of Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake, and also runs the blog www.TravelHag.com.