There are some Annapolitans who walk the same hallways, to and fro, never leaving the house. They peer out windows, sometimes giving a little wave to passersby. They stomp, they moan, they throw things about…they are bored to the point of torture and tortured to the point of boredom.
If you think this describes life during quarantine, think again. I’m referring, of course, to the happy haunts who have been roaming Annapolis’ historic sites for hundreds of years. You can hear more about these spirits’ stories and explore the city’s darker side on these Annapolis ghost tours.
Watermark, a mainstay of Annapolis tours, has three spooky options: Special Historic Hauntings, Historic Ghost Tour, and Spirits & Spirits.
Special Historic Hauntings runs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in October. This is a walking tour, where you will visit many of Annapolis’ haunted sites. The tour offers exclusive access to the Hammond Harwood House garden after hours so you can hear a 20-minute presentation on the supernatural connections of this historic site.
Historic Ghost Tours begin Saturdays in November. It is so easy to fall under the spell of these spooky stories with your guide, in period dress, leading you through cobblestone streets by candlelight.
Spirits & Spirits…because of course Annapolis has a ghost tour on a boat! This tour runs on Fridays and is a hybrid boat/walking tour. By sea, you’ll hear tales of pirates, Naval Academy ghosts, and nautical myths. By land, you’ll hear historic and haunting tales of downtown landmarks. And yes, as the title of this tour implies, you are welcome to purchase “spirits” from the on-board concessions on this tour! Due to the popularity of this tour and small group size (14), this tour is often sold out. Extra tours will be added the weekend of Thanksgiving on Friday and Saturday at 5:00 PM.
The Walking Ghost Tour (runs Tues. through Sun.) is PG and family friendly if you book the 7:00 PM option. However, the more scandalous R-rated version runs at 9:00 PM. Your lively and informative tour guide will regale you with tales of naughty, troubled, and dark spirits who linger here, with a nice dose of history mixed in.
If you want to “drink in the history, crawl out the door” (as their website describes it), then the Haunted Pub Crawl is for you. This 2-hour pub crawl will show you a secret side of historic Annapolis pubs. At each stop, you’ll have time to order drinks and chat with your tour-mates, while also hearing tales of some cheeky spirits who refuse to leave their favorite pubs.
(Note: Although the pub crawl is on hiatus at the moment, the company is working hard to arrange a crawl that will include private tour spaces in each bar, in order to safely distance from other patrons. Watch their website for updates!)
COVID NOTE: Annapolis Tours and Crawls are taking many steps to make sure tours are safe including hand sanitizing, mandatory face masks, and maintaining safe distances between tour guides and patrons/booking groups.
Aloysius Martin, owner and tour guide of Haunted Harbor Tours, warns you not to bring your children on this tour. He also wants you to know that his company is “not responsible for any possessions, hauntings, lingering spirits, injuries, or creeping madness which may occur during or following the tour.” This tour is not messing around.
On this 90-minute ghost tour (runs nightly), Martin shares tales of hauntings, witches, murder, torture, and other truly horrifying historic tales. These are not just any folklore tales; Martin is passionate about historic research and bases all his tour material around historic documents like court records and newspaper archives. If you want to be scared witless, but with a focus on history, this tour is for you. And if you attend on Halloween, be sure to wear your costume—the best costume will win a deck of tarot cards on this special tour!
COVID NOTE: Haunted Harbor Tours also takes safety very seriously. Some of the measures they are taking is tour guide temperature checks before tours, social distancing, and avoiding high traffic areas.
So if you’re tired of haunting your own house this Halloween season, grab your mask and brave the dark streets of Annapolis for a safe, fun, and unique tour experience!