Keep your eyes open for ghosts this Halloween, legend has it that there are more than a handful of them in Carroll County.
According to the book Ghosts and Legends of Carroll County, Maryland by Jesse Glass and the Ghost Walk in Carroll County brochure adapted for a “spirited self-guided walking tour," there are at least a dozen haunted places in Carroll County.
Check out the five stories listed below, taken from the Ghosts and Legends of Carroll County book andGhost Walk in Carroll County brochure.
More than 150 years before The Kimmey House, 201 East Main St. in Westminster, became the offices and library of the Carroll County Historical Society, it acted as an office space for the medical practice of Dr. George Collgate.
It is said that a ghostly patient of Dr. Collgates’ lingers in the building to this day, evidently, still waiting for his appointment.
Built in 1804 by the Shriner family, the ghosts of the Shriner house continue to play with electronic devices and scare family pets.
The house is located in Linwood, a small town on the outskirts of Carroll County. The story goes that two brothers began fighting over a woman they both loved.
One day, sitting on the front steps, one brother took out a pistol and shot through the dining room window, striking and killing the other brother. Bloodstains remained on the dining room floor for many years after the murder, and ghosts of both brothers have been spotted ever since.
The family currently residing in the house said a terminally ill relative was living in the house and she continued to ask for the two men who visited her. Her description of the two men matched a description of the two brothers when they were entangled in their bloody fued.
According to an article entitled “A Haunted Maryland Mill” in the October 1, 1888 edition of the “American Miller” magazine and recounted by a Carroll County Times Article, there is a mill not far from Westminster where a ghost continues to play out an endless chase.
A previous owner of the mill said that every year he saw the ghostly image of his dead neighbor riding a dead horse and chasing after a dead fox, the very fox he had been pursuing when fox, rider and horse mysteriously lost their lives.
As the tale goes, it took the mill owner six years to recognize that the rider appeared on nights when the moon was full, riding full speed after the fox until the fox leaps and dives into the churning water of the dam. The horse and rider plunge into the water as well, and all three disappear beneath the water.
On the corner of Main and Court Street in Westminster, there once stood a grand hotel. Within the hotel was a restaurant and a barbershop owned by Jim Hopes. Hopes was known to be a bit eccentric. While he had always dreamed of performing on the stage, he would assume a different character each day, playing the role of Hamlet or Macbeth as he clipped hair in his crisp white smock.
Hopes’ business grew until a heart attack forced him to take his final bow.
As long as the hotel stood, rumors circulated of passers-by still hearing Hope quoting his Shakespearian lines. Many also attested to catching a glimpse of Hopes in the window of his closed down barber shop, still dressed in his crisp white smock.
A great drought fell upon the residents, one long ago summer in Westminster. So severe was the drought that people were closing off their wells and refusing water to travellers and animals.
On the Eastern end of town two aged and well-respected ladies determined that God would not forsake them and opened their well to anyone and everyone in need. They posted a sign by the well stating “Free admittance to all, water belongs to God.” Soon, all who came to partake of the well water began to refer to the well as “God’s Well”.
Today, the well at 206 East Main St. remains, as do rumors of a little blonde girl, that has often been seen happy and smiling near the well. Some think perhaps it is the ghost of a child, grateful for a sip of water from “God’s well”.
There are Websites that list far more sinister happenings at the Shellman house as well. To read such accounts click here.
Have you encountered any of Carroll County's ghosts? Tell us in comments.