A man moves into a house on Lancaster
Street, Baltimore. One day, he decides to take down the previous
owner's kitchen curtains. He takes out a wobbly stool and steps
up to remove them. Suddenly, he looses his balance and begins
to fall. Then, a hand presses against his back, steadying him
and he doesn't fall. No one else was in the room besides himself.
Later, he recounts the story to the woman who sold him the house.
She replies, "That must be mom. She once fell from that stool
and broke her arm. She must have wanted to prevent the same thing
from happening to you."
This is just one of many stories you'll hear while taking the
Fell's Point Ghost Tour. Fell's Point is riddled with ghostly
happenings. Not only is it one of the oldest neighborhoods of
Baltimore, Md., it also has experienced a lot of death. In both
1794 and 1797, many people died of yellow fever. So many, that
the bodies piled up like cordwood in what is now Fell's Point
Square, which may also be the site of their mass burial.
Establishments highlighted on the tour have had ghostly headless
chickens running around the basement, an African American spirit
who likes to move an ash can from the fireplace to the front door,
and an apparition that walks down the street only to disappear
in front of his grave.
"One of my favorite stories," says Amy Lynwander, co-founder
of Fell's Point Ghost Tours, "is at Duda's where we talk
about Doc, a retired seaman" who used to live there. He had
a favorite polka that he played on the jukebox often. After he
died, the polka was retired from the jukebox. However, some months
after Doc died, "the polka spontaneously played for a group
of regulars sitting at the bar." When they checked the jukebox,
the polka was not among the selections available. "They thought
it was Doc saying goodbye."
Maryland has a lot of ghostly activity, says Beverly Litsinger,
co-founder of the Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association, an organization
that researches and investigates ghostly paranormal phenomena
throughout Maryland, "most likely because it has a lot of
The Fell's Point Ghost Tour lasts about an hour and a half and
features about a dozen locations around the neighborhood. For
a real ghost-hunting adventure in the Baltimore area, be sure
to visit these places, as well:
* Fort McHenry, which was, in part, the inspiration for Francis
Scott Key's Star Spangled Banner, is said to be haunted not only
by soldiers who died defending the fledgling US, but also people
who were detained in its dungeons at other points in the fort's
* The USS Constellation is said to be haunted by a young Naval
officer or seaman who died in service to his country. One story
also tells of a priest who was given a tour of the ship by an
older man, only to find out later that no such man worked there
as a guide.
* The Westminster Church and Catacombs, which is home to Edgar
Allan Poe's grave, as well as other well-known historic figures,
has a long list of spooky stories. Visitors have reported hearing
hushed voices, feeling invisible hands touch them, and felt icy
spots with no explanation.
According to Lynwander, October is the most popular time of the
year to take her tour. However, she says, "September is a
good time, too. It's the calm before the storm. It's dark when
you do the tour and the weather is usually very nice." For
more information, visit www.fellspointghost.com.
About the Author
This story was excerpted from the October 2005 issue of The Genre
Traveler, the online travel magazine for science fiction, fantasy
and horror fans produced by C.S. Pothitt. For the full story,
including tips for ghost hunters and photographing ghosts, or
to sign up, visit thegenretraveler.com.