By: Andrew Silverstein

With Halloween right around the corner, the haunted, historic nature of many neighborhoods around Baltimore has never seemed more appropriate.  One of these areas, Ellicott City is widely recognized as one of the most haunted small towns on the East Coast.  The Howard County Tourism Council hosts ghost tours every 2nd Thursday of each month that explore paranormal activity-rich buildings in the area.

Ellicott's haunted nature is due, largely in part, to many of the 100+ year old houses that still stand in the city today.  Take, for instance, the Hayden House.  Once known as Oak Lawn, this house was built in the early 1800's for Edward Parson Hayden, the first county clerk in Ellicott City.  When turned into a building for county parole and probation in the 70's workers would notice coffee pots heating up even when unplugged, smells of cooking even though there were no cooking appliances in the buildings and multiple sightings of a man-like figure walking around the building.

The Lilburn mansion said to be one of the most haunted places in Maryland.  Owned by an iron mogul, Henry Richard Hazelhurst in the mid-1800s, Lilburn was immediately rife with tragedy when Hazelhurst lost his wife and several children, one even passing during childbirth in the house.  Since then, disturbing paranormal activity has been the norm in this Ellicott City mansion; phantom footsteps, mysterious voices, even an unexplained fire that damaged much of the house in the early 20th century.  And, this is just a very select few odd happenings at Lilburn over the years.

Other haunted Ellicott City locations include the Patapsco Female Insitute, the Mt. Ida Visitor Center, and the Old Fire Station, all of which can be visited on the Ellicott City Ghost Tours.  For more information visit Howard County Tourism Council website here or call 410-313-1900.