“And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!"
The above is the last few lines from "The Raven," a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1845. It is probably one of his creepiest poems – and arguably one of the most famous. Poe lived and is buried in Baltimore – and some say his ghost still haunts several locations there. Poe is buried in the Westminster Church Cemetery – located just a short distance from his former home, which is open for tours. His wife, Virginia, and his aunt are also buried at the cemetery – although one of them still may be roaming through their former house -- visitors to Poe's residence sometimes report the ghost of a woman in the house. The Edgar Allan Poe House is a National Historic Site and is open to the public every weekend in October (noon to 4pm).
Baltimore is considered one of the country's most haunted locations, and it isn't just because of Poe. Baltimore was founded in 1729 and was involved in the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. During the Battle of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" as he watched the attack.
The first USS Constellation was launched in 1797 and was used by American merchantmen and later circumnavigated the globe. It was broken up in Norfolk in 1853. The second and current USS Constellation was launched in 1854 and was used during the Civil War and during World War II. The ship is now docked in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and it is said that spooky occurrences happen onboard. The very brave can spend the night on the restored ship during the Overnight Adventure Program.
The Middleton Tavern, one of Baltimore's oldest buildings, was established in 1750. It was visited by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. In addition to being a fascinating historical location, the tavern is reportedly haunted by ghosts who turn wall-mounted lanterns and fling objects off shelves. The tavern is still in operation, so be sure to visit while hungry and enjoy the crab cakes, clams, oysters, and rockfish (not to mention the drinks and entertainment).
Two neighborhoods top the must-visit list in Baltimore – Mount Vernon and Fell's Point. Established in 1763, Fell's Point is a gorgeous historic district with cobblestone streets. This was the rowdy seaport town filled with taverns catering to sailors. Be sure to visit the Robert Long House, built in 1765. It is the oldest home still standing in Baltimore. The Fell's Point "Ghost Walk" tour leads visitors through the historic village, who can experience some of the history through local legends. Be sure to stay at the Admiral Fell Inn, which includes several different buildings dating back to the 1770s and is known for its ghost stories and legends.
Mount Vernon is a gorgeous historic neighborhood, listed as a National Historic Landmark District. It is one of Baltimore's oldest neighborhoods and contains a stunning collection of 19th century architecture. A landmark in the neighborhood is the original Washington Monument, which was built in 1815. Enjoy the architecture and history as you take the Ghost Walk tour, which stops at several beautiful locations, including the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion.
Any time of year, Baltimore is a fantastic city filled with all types of culture, entertainment, and historic sites. It is home to John Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital, two of the city's top employers. And with nicknames that include "Charm City" and "Monument City," Baltimore is a terrific destination any time of the year. But if you're looking for ghostly legends and chills, October is the perfect time to visit. From the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry (be sure to visit the dungeons!), Baltimore's history is legendary – with a delicious dash of spooky.