Scaring up ghost tours

Leanna Foglia, a local actress and tour guide, tells a haunted tale during a Fells Point Ghost Walk Tour. | Photo courtesy of Baltimore Ghost Tours

This fall, learn more about the spooky legends and lore of Maryland’s largest city, with Baltimore Ghost Tours.

The 60 to 90-minute tour focuses on Fells Point, and gives visitors an overview of the landmarks and the people who once inhabited the historic waterfront neighborhood, established by William Fell in 1732.

The neighborhood, now known for its shopping, cuisine and nightlife, was once the location of a thriving ship-building industry. It was also a major point of entry for European immigrants.

According to Melissa Rowell, Baltimore Ghost Tours co-owner, taking a tour is an engaging way to learn more about the “colorful history” of Fells Point.

“A lot of the old buildings in Fells Point are still standing; there was a big fire in Baltimore City [in 1904], which destroyed many of the old buildings in Baltimore, but Fells Point was spared,” she said.

Rowell said the eerie stories told on the tours are based on years of research and first-hand accounts. The guides who lead the tours are professional actors and “compelling storytellers,” she said.

“The number one thing we look for, when hiring a guide is the ability to tell a good story.”

Fells Point yellow fever victims

According to the book “Baltimore’s Harbor Haunts: True Ghost Stories,” which Rowell co-authored, the square in Fells Point is the site of a mass grave.

“During one of the yellow fever epidemics, possibly in the one in 1794 or 1797, people were dying within twelve hours within contracting the disease. Supposedly the bodies piled up so quickly, a mass grave was created in the square and the poor souls remain there to this day,” the book states.

Rowell said tours vary with each guide. The most visited stop, she said, is by Bertha’s Restaurant and Bar at 734 S. Broadway Street. The second floor storage room is supposedly haunted by a little girl who once lived in the building as a boarder, and who fell victim to yellow fever.

Beware of “Edgar”

Another popular spot is “The Horse You Came In On Saloon,” or simply “The Horse,” located at 1626 Thames Street. Dating back to 1775, it claims to be “America’s oldest continually operated saloon.” According to legend, the tavern is haunted by a mischievous ghost named “Edgar,” because it is rumored to be the last spot Edgar Allen Poe was seen before his death on Oct. 7, 1849.

Fell-Bond cemetery

Rowell said guides also usually stop at the Fell-Bond cemetery on Shakespeare Street. According to legend, the area is haunted by a mysterious man dressed in clothing from the early 1800s.

“He looks wealthy and [he] surveys the street as if he owns it. Many people say that he is the ghost of the founder of Fells Point, William Fell, as he has been seen to vanish in front of the Fell-Bond cemetery,” according to “Baltimore’s Harbor Haunts.”

About Baltimore Ghost Tours

The Fells Point Ghost Walk Tour departs from the sidewalk outside of Max’s on Broadway, at 731 S. Broadway near the Fells Point Square. Tours are offered March through November. Comfortable shoes are recommended for all tours. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit https://baltimoreghosttours.com/fellspointghostto ur/, or call 1-877-293-1571.

 

By Rachel Ponder, APG News