Hauntings beyond Halloween in America’s Mid-Atlantic
Do you believe in ghosts? If you live in the mid-Atlantic you don’t have to wait for Halloween to come in order to have ghost sighting because sightings (or at least great ghost stories) are abundant in the region. From haunted pub crawl crawls to ghost walks and haunted inns you can be sure to have a ghostly encounter at any time of the year.
In this recently update list of ghostly domiciles, here are a few of the places where you can put your ghost-busting talents to work.
Ellicott City, Maryland: This historic city in Howard County, is perhaps one of the most haunted spots on the eastern seaboard of America. Ghost walks and haunted pub crawls are available year round. However, if you’re looking to test your mettle perhaps you’d like take one of the Ellicott History Haunted Tours. You could have a haunted tarot and tea, dinner with the devil or go on a witch history pub crawl and meet one of Maryland’s famous witches.
Reynolds Tavern, Annapolis, MD: When you stay at the Historic Reynolds Tavern, you may be cared for by the innkeepers, or by Mary Reynolds herself. Mary maintained the tavern until her death in 1785, yet some believe she has never left the building. Employees have heard her sing Christmas carols, experienced her “fixing” the grandfather clock in the dining room, and watched as she showed her dislike of new employees by breaking tea pots and glasses. The Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association confirmed her presence with photographs and temperature readings, and exclaimed that Mary is not alone; they identified a total of five spirits in the house.
Captain Schoonmaker’s B&B, High Falls, NY: Starting with the comment, “a funny thing happened last night,” guests often share tales of how a candle was lit, a light was turned on, or they heard footsteps when no one was there. In 1814, the 12-year-old son of the inn’s namesake, a Revolutionary War hero, died and was buried outside the inn. As mischievous as young boys are, the theory is this little boy is hanging around still having a little fun.
Borland House, Montgomery, NY: In the second chapter of her book, Back Into the Light, author and ghost investigator Linda Zimmermann tells of her team’s experiences here. In fact, there was enough ghostly activity to fill eight pages with tales and photos of ghostly sightings. Zimmerman concluded her chapter on Borland House by saying “Be without fear, as there is nothing harmful here, and go there with a sense of wonder and eagerness of getting a chance to experience something unique.”
1871 House, New York City, NY: One guest recounted a vivid story about awakening to find a well-dressed man wearing a bowler hat standing at the end of her bed. Strangely, she was not afraid and requested that he leave her alone. He slowly got up and left out the door, never to return.
Saratoga Farmstead, Saratoga Springs, NY: Guests at this B&B will hear the story about a young black boy and his enslaved mother who hid in the attic during the Civil war and eventually died there. As the story goes, each time someone tried to climb up the attic stairs, the ghost of the young boy would stick his arm out, tripping the intruder to protect his mother. During a session with paranormal experts, these ghosts were released to “the next level,” and folks no longer trip on these stairs.
Inn at Herr Ridge, Gettysburg, PA: Formerly known as Herr Tavern & Public House, the tavern here served as an impromptu field hospital for the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Battle of Gettysburg. It appears that the spirits of the wounded soldiers are still enjoying the spirits at the tavern here. Innkeeper Steven Wolf said that once someone ordered a beer, but no one was there. Odd occurrences regularly happen, including mysterious whispers, calling the names of the employees, plus cold spots, glasses and silverware flying off tables, even knives and forks falling blade or prongs first into the floor. Others have witnessed computers typing gibberish and lamps relighting after being extinguished. One employee was looking for a glass of water she had left sitting somewhere else; giving up, she returned to her desk to find it sitting there, frosted over. Many attribute these strange occurrences to the “house ghost,” Frederick Herr, who purchased the tavern in 1828.
Mary-Penn B&B, Gettysburg, PA: With the history of the famous Civil War battle fought here, it’s no wonder that Gettysburg is one of the better known haunted destinations. A paranormal group recorded horse noises and voices in their basement, and from time to time guests have claimed to experience friendly spirits.
Harry Packer Mansion, Jim Thorpe, PA: You may recognize the facade of this pink mansion because Disney used it as a model for their haunted mansion. While ghost stories have been confined exclusively to the murder mysteries held here throughout the year, the owners are on the lookout for Disney personalities going bump in the night.
Inn at Jim Thorpe, Jim Thorpe, PA: Simply visit the inn’s website, and click on the Ghost Stories button to learn about the antics of the friendly spirits here. Guests have witnessed unexplained shadows and others have photographed orbs on digital cameras. One guest complained that the chair in his room turned upside down each time he tried to sleep. Another guest claimed that a ghost put his phone in the refrigerator.
Cornerstone B&B, Philadelphia, PA: A sweet, floral scent precedes sightings of a ghostly female shape at the Cornerstone. Innkeepers claim she is an ethereal presence, and her signature perfume always occurs as she gently taps the foreheads of those at the inn. Some claim she’s a resident angel; others feel she’s a ghost.
Several haunted establishments previously listed in an earlier article like New Jersey’s Main Street Manor, Manchester Inn and White Lilac Inn have since closed but their resident ghosts still haunt those who walk by.
Ghosts might just be lurking around every corner in the Mid-Atlantic. So, keep your senses sharp and be prepared for the unexpected when you hear strange noises in the night. Explore these haunted destinations year-round, and you might just have a spine-tingling encounter of your own. Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, the ghostly allure of the Mid-Atlantic is hard to resist.
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Tonya Fitzpatrick, Esq. is co-Founder of World Footprints, a social impact travel storytelling content hub she runs with her husband, Ian, that has been recognized as Best Social Impact Travel Media Company by CEO Monthly. She is an award-winning travel and business journalist, global public speaker, and 3-time TEDx speaker. Tonya regularly shares her insights on career transitions, DEIA in travel and the transformative power of travel to audiences all over the world. Recognized as Black Travel Journalists of the Year—an honor she shares with Ian, Tonya contributes her time and leadership to several boards and commissions in the travel community including SATW, The Explorers Club (DC), North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) and JourneyWoman. Tonya recently was been appointed to the Maryland Tourism Development Board by Gov. Wes Moore.