Embark on These Ghost Tours to Get Your Fright Fix

'Tis the season for guided walks around historical sites known to have been frequented by spirits.

We may not see or hear them, but they’re around—especially near Halloween. We’re talking about ghosts: the looming souls of the departed that have a tendency to oscillate between the dead and living realms. If your heartbeat excitedly starts to quicken at the thought of making contact with the paranormal, the Baltimore area offers a handful of historical walking tours around sights that spirits have been known to frequent. Here are a few worth checking out:

Oct. 21: Spirits of the Furnace
In Thurmont, this nighttime tour with the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society—which works to preserve the history of one of Maryland’s first iron furnaces—acquaints participants with spirits looming in its nearby village. Flashlights and sturdy shoes are recommended for the dramatized tour, which includes spooky scenes based on real happenings. (Think: the ghost of an enslaved butler prepping for a mansion dinner party.) 12610 Catoctin Furnace Rd. Thurmont. 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. $5-10.

To Oct. 28: Mt. Vernon GhostWalk
It only makes sense that this historic Baltimore City neighborhood would house some otherworldly spirits. While scoping out the area’s historic architecture with a tour guide, hear the stories of a failed Mount Vernon séance and guests who never left the storied Belvedere Hotel. The Belvedere Hotel. 1 Chase St. $17.

To Oct. 31: Haunted Annapolis
For more than 20 years, this 90-minute ghost crawl through the city’s waterfront district—created by late Maryland historian and Baltimore Sun journalist Mike Carter—has been giving locals goosebumps. Depart from the historic Maryland Inn hotel (located at the top of Main Street) to encounter lingering spirits. The Maryland Inn. 6 Church Circle, Annapolis. $15-20.

To Nov. 18: Ellicott City History Tours
From eerie Main Street tours to pup-friendly ghost walks to hair-raising pub crawls, there are tons of adventures for Halloween fans to experience in Old Ellicott City. Among them are the The Mt. Misery Ghost Tour, which explores the northern part of town, and chances to see spirits roaming through the halls of Savage Mill. Locations, times, and prices vary. 

Year-round: The Original Fells Point Ghostwalk
Fells Point is full of so-called haunted landmarks, from The Horse You Came In On Saloon—where legendary author Edgar Allan Poe is rumored to have ordered his last drink—to the notorious Admiral Fell Inn. A favorite since 2001, this tour unearths the neighborhood’s enduring paranormal presences, supposedly hanging around from when Baltimore was but a scrappy seaport city. Max’s Taphouse 733 S. Broadway. $17.

Year-Round: Maryland Heritage Tours
For close to 25 years, the state’s oldest operating ghost tour has delighted locals with the dark history of Frederick—thought by many to be one of Maryland’s most haunted cities. Stops along the way include a “spiritual playground,” for the ghosts of youngsters, as well as the home of Barbara Fritchie, a Civil War patriot whose ghost stands guard to keep away the spirits of confederate soldiers. Locations and times vary. $10-16.