Tonight, Annapolis Tours invited my daughter and me along on one of their special October Historic Hauntings Ghost Walks to learn a little bit about the folks that lived (and died) in Annapolis in centuries past. The tours are offered from April through October with the October tours adding an interior visit to the William Paca House–the non-October ones only visit it on the outside!
The tour began at the Historic Annapolis Museum and Store (new location at 99 Main Street) and wound its way through narrow alleys and dimly lit streets for 90 minutes. Squire Richard was our guide last night and ably led our group of 12 on our journey led by a candlelit lantern. What was interesting was that all but 2 were from the area.
The stories are plentiful and seeing Annapolis on a cool rainy night was a very special experience. We visited the area near the Market House which was originally a swamp (the harbor was near Acton Cove) and heard about the tales of sailors who are said to haunt the mouth of the Severn River.
The other sites we visited included the Shiplap House, the Brice House, the Hammond-Harwood House, the William Paca House, the Little Brice House, the State House, and of course the cemetery at St. Anne’s Church.
And along the way, Squire Richard would stop and tell a tale about an incident (or an amusing anecdote) that had happened or had been reported at a certain home.
Coincidence seems to play a big part in the paranormal world of Annapolis. For instance, at the Little Brice House on Prince George Street, a ward of the Brices was frightened by an apparition that appeared under the portrait of Mrs. Brice. It looked like Mrs. Brice (who was in England at the time) only she had a shroud around her head–a treatment for smallpox at the time. Several weeks later, when a ship came into the harbor, Brice was notified that his wife had died on the day, and the hour of the apparition’s appearance–from smallpox.
Another residence (now a law firm) on Duke of Gloucester Street was bothered by a friendly, playful spirit. The spirit would turn phones upside down, move pencils, and other harmless pranks. A woman working on the third floor who had grown up in a haunted house struck up a friendship with this playful spirit and even nicknamed her “Mary.” Several years later, the attorneys were refinancing the property and performed a title search and discovered that they originally moved in 100 years to the month from when the home was originally built, and that the original owner was a woman named Mary.
I am not going to spoil the tour or the intrigue, or the frights. I will tell you there were no sightings on our tour, but while in the William Paca House, my phone began to act strangely. I was tweeting the tour and went to upload a photo taken inside the home, but it failed. I assumed it was the construction of the house, but when I was outside, it still would not upload. I can view the photo on my camera, but when I tried to attach it to a tweet, Facebook, or an email, it failed. When I transferred my photos to my computer, they all came over except one. I am open for explanations.
And here are all of the photos I snapped on the tour!
Here is a twitter feed of the hashtag #ANPGhostWalk that I used during the tour. I highly recommend you make time during the next few weeks and take it all in. And if you tweet, use the hashtag #ANPGhostWalk. It is well worth it for visitors and residents alike. There are only six more dates for the Historic Hauntings Walk (access to the interior of the Paca House), and you can reserve your spot online up to two hours before the trip –or pay Squire Richard at the beginning!