Howard County Ghost Tours

The village of what became as Ellicott Mills was founded during the English colonization of the area in the 18th century. The Ellicott brothers, Joseph, Andrew, and John, came from Quaker Country—Bucks County, Pennsylvania—in 1772 to create what would eventually become one of the largest milling operations in the colonies. The settlement that grew around their prosperous milling operation was first called Ellicott Mills. In 1867, the town’s name was changed to Ellicott City. It is a unique and beguiling 250-year-old town. Appreciated and enjoyed by many over the years, and indeed, some are so attached to the area that they have never left, even after their death!

Morning shadows Ellicott City

Morning Shadows credit Victoria Goeller

Is Ellicott City more haunted than any other city on the East coast? Some say yes. Our town has certainly seen its share of death since its founding; natural death, death by accident, devastating floods, fire, and even murder. But remember, just because a location is haunted doesn’t mean that a person died there specifically. Spirits wander and relocate, choosing buildings seemingly at random.

Spiritual energy somehow “pockets” in our town. Geographically, Ellicott City is built on a bed of granite and granite composite. Mediums agree that this feature alone attracts and channels spiritual energy. Many of the original buildings were built using rock that was blasted and carved from the very bedrock they’re built on. Paranormal investigators have also said, “There are other reasons for the plethora of spiritual energy. Electricity, water, and antiques.”

Overhead there are transformers and thick electrical cables. The Tiber River flows directly beneath many of the buildings on the south side of town and empties into the Patapsco River at the bottom of the hill. Many spirits are said to have arrived here piggybacking the personal affects they once owned during life and have yet to part with.

Historic Ellicott City contains several antique stores. Paranormal experts agree that sometimes a spirit will remain with a personal item until departing for the light, such as a ring, a dress, a picture, or a piece of furniture.

Some of the town’s favorite forever residents are Charlie, a station agent still moving freight boxes at the Ellicott City B & O Railroad Museum, the oldest surviving train station in America. Dennis was a construction worker who perished while the Howard House was being built. Louisa is at the site of a former funeral home. The Duchess of Main Street is a must-find during your ghost tour. You can even find a number of Union Soldiers who are still on guard. Many more entities are scattered around the town.

Mt. Misery credit Victoria Goeller

Mt. Misery Credit Victoria Goeller

Ellicott City isn’t the only location in Howard County with a plethora of ghosts. The Historic Savage Mill complex is an active site for spirits. Buildings there date from 1822. As was the case throughout the world, most manufacturing industries employed children in their operations. There appear to be a number of child spirits who are still working and playing at Savage Mill.

At Savage Mill, shop owners and customers are surprised to frequently hear their names being whispered or even called out. Items are moved from desks and display cases overnight. A mischievous little girl continues to trip people on a staircase (thankfully, no one has been injured).

Rebecca, who fell to her death on another stairway, sometimes appears at the very spot where her dead body was discovered. You can hear these and all the stories of our ghosts by signing up for tours on Friday and Saturday evenings at both Ellicott City and Savage Mill.

Maryland History Tours, LLC is locally owned and operated and offers roughly 90-minute tours. More information and tickets can be found at They always caution tour takers to check their rearview mirrors when leaving to make sure no spirits are going home with them!

Mt. Misery Ghost Walk

The hills north of town harbor some very eerie legends of spirits and unexplained happenings from decades ago and even days ago! This tour meets at the Museum of Howard County History at 8328 Court Ave. Ellicott City, Md. Recommended for guests age 16 and up.

Reservations Required - no walk-ups allowed

More event information is available here

Haunted Main Street

Historic Ellicott City today is a resilient town almost 250 years old with great shops and a vibrant nightlife. So is it any wonder that the many ghosts who still call this town home remain to see if they can still raise the hairs on the back of your neck?

Reservations Required - no walk-ups allowed

More event information is available here.

Ghost Tours at Historic Savage Mill

An hour-and-a-half ghost tour led by Savage Mill’s historian explores the history and ghostly tales of Savage Mill. Are you a paranormal thrill-seeker? Do you binge Ghost Hunters until 3 a.m.? Discover the Mill’s haunted history, where restless spirits continue to roam these halls to this very day. Learn about the working conditions during 19th century Savage Mill and how they tie to the ghostly encounters today and the cheeky little girl who loves tripping the living.

More event information is available here.

Make It A Fall Getaway

Howard County's ghost tours offer an intriguing and spine-tingling way to explore the area's history and supernatural mysteries. They provide a captivating experience for tourists of all backgrounds, whether you're a believer in the paranormal or just looking for an exciting adventure.

However, your ghostly journey doesn't have to end with the tour. To fully embrace the enchanting atmosphere of Howard County and continue your exploration, we encourage you to consider staying overnight at one of the county's charming hotels or inns. By doing so, you'll have the opportunity to extend your experience, immerse yourself in the local culture, and perhaps even uncover more hidden gems.

Howard County boasts a range of accommodations, from historic inns with their own ghostly tales to modern, comfortable hotels. Whether you choose to stay in Ellicott City, Columbia, or another charming town in the county, you'll find a warm welcome and a comfortable place to rest after your ghostly adventures.

So, why not make the most of your visit and book a night or two at one of Howard County's lovely accommodations? It's the perfect way to enhance your tourism experience and create lasting memories of your haunted adventure. Don't miss out on the chance to uncover more secrets and stories in this intriguing and enchanting corner of Maryland!

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