Haunted hotel rooms, spirits lurking through ballrooms, and elevators that operate without pressing a button sound like scenes straight out of Ghostbusters, but accounts like these have been documented at the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel. Instead of guests running for the hills or vowing to never book another night, the hotel has seen an influx of guests staying in hopes of experiencing supernatural incidents.
On September 29, the public will have a chance to kick off the Halloween season by participating in the world’s largest ghost hunt at the hotel along with more than 100 other haunted landmarks in 13 countries.
Haunted Journeys, an Ohio-based organization run by husband and wife duo Maria and Bob Schmidt, will be hosting the third annual National Ghost Hunt Day. This year will be the first time that they’ve expanded the event globally.
“We thought what should we do to bring attention to National Ghost Hunting Day,” said Maria, who registered the day on the national calendar in 2016. “It’s a method to increase awareness about historical properties for the purposes of raising funds for preservation.”
The criteria for participation required the property to be historic, of course, but to also have documented accounts of previously investigated paranormal activity. The location must also donate all proceeds to either the historical preservation of the site or, if it’s a lucrative business such as the Lord Baltimore Hotel, donate the proceeds to a charity of their choosing.
The historic high-rise downtown checked off all the boxes and will be donating 100 percent of the funds collected from ticket sales to Back On My Feet, an organization that helps to combat homelessness. The hotel is even offering discounted rates for any participants wanting to stay to experience the full effect.
Built in 1928 in downtown Baltimore, the Lord Baltimore Hotel was one of the tallest structures in Baltimore during the Great Depression, which contributed to more than 20 documented jumps off the top of the building from 1929-1932. Hence, all the ghost sightings throughout the years.
“I have been here for five-and-half years and I have personally never experienced anything,” said Lee Johnson-Lowe, spokesman for Lord Baltimore Hotel. “But I know a lot of the stories and have encountered employees, as well as guests, that indicate that they have experienced such things.”
Johnson-Lowe, who admittedly says he’s not a believer, details one story of a small girl, Molly, who haunts the 19th floor of the hotel with a red ball looking for her parents. He says that she and her parents supposedly all jumped from the top of the hotel decades ago, but her spirit remains. The Schmidts say that stories like these are the reason they’ve become so enthralled with the practice of ghost hunting, also having had similar experiences running their Victorian inn down in Florida.
“It happens more frequently than people think,” Bob said. “When you finally experience the supernatural and metaphysical, you open yourself up to the possibility that connection with the spirits is possible.”
Participants at Lord Baltimore will have the option to learn more about strengthening those intuitions and heightening their consciousness through a workshop with local psychic medium Amanda Jackiewicz of Spirit Flows Studios. She will also be conducting a limited number of individual mediumship sessions before the ghost hunt.
At 8 p.m., the real fun begins, attendees will be split into groups to investigate four known places of paranormal activity in the hotel: the basement, ballroom, 19th floor, and the penthouse. This four-hour long portion of the event will be hosted by Pennsylvania-based R.E.A.P Investigations, a group that researches and educates the public on paranormal activity.
“I will tell you that people who are open to this, when they walk in the doors, they always say that the hotel is very crowded,” Johnson-Lowe said. “There are a lot of spirits here.”
If ghost hunting isn’t your thing, there are ways for you to participate from the safety and comfort of your home. The Lord Baltimore Hotel’s hunt will go live on Facebook at 10 p.m. with more than 100 other locations as each conduct a ghost hunt at the same time.
The ultimate goal for the Schmidts’ event is to encourage unity within the community of ghost hunters while promoting preservation of historical landmarks.
“The Lord Baltimore is an ideal candidate because of its storied history,” Maria said. “The enthusiasm for this event has just been incredible.”