Lifestyle

Haunted Ghost Tours are great anytime of year- but especially during Halloween! Image courtesy of Web Wright Photography.

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 TOURS

Watermark’s haunted ghost tours take shape on water and on land! image courtesy of Web Wright Photography.

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.

Rainy nights are especially perfect for a haunted ghost tour in Annapolis! Image courtesy of Web Wright Photography.

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.

COVID NOTE: Watermark is taking many precautions to make sure tours are safe such as clear face shields for tour guides. More detail about the steps they are taking can be found on their website.

ANNAPOLIS TOURS & CRAWLS

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.

St. Anne’s Church is a popular haunt on the Walking Ghost Tour. Image courtesy of Megan Donahey, @megantaylor1622.

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!)

Is this an apparition? See for yourself at one of Annapolis Tours & Crawls ghost tours. Image courtesy of Annapolis Tours & Crawls.

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.

HAUNTED HARBOR TOURS

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.

Explore the darker side of the city with Aloysius Martin, owner and tour guide of Haunted Harbor Tours. Image courtesy of Haunted Harbor Tours.

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!

“Old Annapolis, Francis Street” by Francis Blackwell Mayer, shows Annapolis in 1876. Hear the chilling tale involving this Annapolis artist on your Haunted Harbor tour! Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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!

Chelsea Harrison

Chelsea is a proud lifelong Marylander. She is a creative writing teacher, tutor, poet, and freelance writer and editor. She is also a mom of four little ones who are learning to love Maryland’s sights, sounds, and seasons as much as their momma. Some of Chelsea’s favorite Annapolis memories are interning at the Paca House, her wedding (ceremony at Annapolis Maritime Museum, reception at Loews), shopping Main Street on Black Friday (a yearly Burton girl tradition), and watching the Blue Angels. The concept of free time is foreign to Chelsea at this stage of her life, but if she found some, she would fill it by reading, crafting, baking, or watching a movie with the little wildlings.