April 23, 2024
Annapolis, US 56 F

Step inside the Sands House on special Historic Hauntings tour by Watermark

Walk across the creaking floors and through the dark cavernous halls of one of the most historic houses in Annapolis after dark…if you dare.  As the weather chills and decaying leaves crunch under your feet, it’s time to experience a ghostly tour with Annapolis Tours℠ by Watermark® and Historic Annapolis! During the month of October, Watermark’s Historic Ghost Walk expands to Special Historic Hauntings and includes an exclusive trip inside the spooky Sands House at night. A private residence for three centuries, this historic home has rarely been open to the public and is exclusively open to Watermark guests at night. Ghoulish period-dressed guides lead the way by candlelight through historic – and many say haunted – Annapolis. Special Historic Hauntings begins Friday, October 6 and is offered Friday and Saturday evenings through October 28.

Heather Skipper, Director of Land Operations for Watermark says, “We are excited to partner with Historic Annapolis for another exciting fall adventure!  Our Special Historic Hauntings will allow guests to step back into time, learn of the spirits from the past and perhaps catch an orb on their cameras or a chill up their spine!  Visiting the interior of the historic Sands House is an extra special sneak-peek in to the past.”

Lisa Robbins, Vice President of Education and Interpretation for Historic Annapolis says, “The Sands House is one of – if not – the oldest house in Annapolis. It has stood the test of time and been witness to many interesting personalities and life events through the years.”

Special Historic Hauntings is offered during the month of October only. The tour begins with a walk through the historic district. Guides lead by candlelight sharing stories based on real reports. The tour culminates with a dramatic visit inside the darkened house. This unique tour offers guests an exclusive opportunity to step inside one of Annapolis’ oldest and least explored haunts at night. The tour is 1 and ¾ hours long.

About the Sands House:

One of the oldest and most significant frame houses in Annapolis, the Sands House is just a few steps from the City Dock. Built around 1700, the home includes many 17th- and 18th-century features that intrigue architectural historians. The Sands House holds fast to nearly three centuries of history and is home to many mysteries including its age; no one really knows exactly how old it is!

During a 1988 renovation, archaeologists dug into ground that had lain undisturbed beneath the house for more than two hundred years. There, they uncovered signs of another house, built by English settlers sometime in the seventeenth century and under a few more layers of earth were marks of a structure put up by Native Americans some 1600 years ago.

For two hundred years at least, the house sheltered the site of earlier structures and what their occupants left behind. As the volunteers with Archaeology in Annapolis dug deeper and deeper, the earth yielded colonial artifacts, C pipe stems, thimbles, pins, a flintlock, a coin, a toothbrush and even bits of ancient Native American pottery. Like anything made of materials as perishable as wood, the Sands House is a composite of the repairs, additions, modifications and renovations made year by year, decade by decade, over centuries.

The builder and first occupant of the house are unknown. In 1771, John Sands purchased the home and it was passed down through seven generations of John Sands’ descendants. Even when John and Ann Sands operated the house as an ordinary (or tavern), it was also a home for them and their five children. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was recently purchased and gifted to Historic Annapolis by the Chambliss family.

Step inside and discover a ghost story of your own! Believers and skeptics alike are welcome to join Watermark’s creepy and entertaining guides.  Listen to tales of spirits in the mist and look out for roaming ghosts. It’s a true adventure into the unknown!

Special Historic Hauntings is offered from October 6 – 28 on Fridays and Saturdays. The tour departs at 7:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. from the Historic Annapolis Museum at 99 Main Street, Annapolis. Price is $22/adults, $14/children 3 -11, free for children 2 and under.  Tickets may be purchased in advance at AnnapolisTours.com and in person from the Museum Store.  Advanced reservations are highly recommended. A glowing light is provided to protect guests from the spirits; an important step as guests on past tours have captured photos of digital orbs on this tour.

From Spring through September, Annapolis Tours by Watermark’s regularly offered 1 ½ hour Historic Ghost Walk tells the infamous ghost tales of this historic city including spooky stories of drowned watermen, headless apparitions, night wanderings, grisly accidents and the town’s most haunted properties.

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