With temperatures across the region hovering in the 100 degree range, most Marylanders would certainly welcome a quick cooling down. But for many, that chill may come with a reticence to turn out the lights tonight.
The Ghost Detectives, whose television show airs on the Fox affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., were in town last spring to investigate some of Baltimore’s more frightful places. These included the Edgar Allan Poe House Museum on Amity Street, Westminster Hall and Burial Grounds at the intersection of West Fayette and Greene streets, and the historic Admiral Fell Inn on the waterfront in Fells Point. On Friday night, their season opened with the soundings they conducted at The Admiral Fell Inn.
The Admiral Fell Inn is listed on the website TripAdvisor.com as one of the top hotels in America with, “A Room with a Boo.” Stories of spiritual activity at the place have long been part of Baltimore lore, but there was never a scientific investigation of the seafarers’ haven. Enter the Ghost Detectives.
Given unfettered access, the Ghost Detectives spent the better part of two nights conducting a series of probes in suspected “hot spots” throughout the inn. Their investigation yielded enough raw data to warrant continued research once the crew returned to their lab. That research completed, they produced the episode which premiered last Friday night.
One of the knocks against these types of shows is that the producers often sacrifice science for sensationalism. Not the Ghost Detectives. If anything, crew members go out of their way to expose natural causes for those bumps in the night. Spending time with the detectives, as they did their investigation of the Edgar Allan Poe House Museum, I was impressed by their sincerity, their able approach and their obvious quest for finding the truth. An objective investigation cannot be an easy thing, given the pressure to create a show which will keep viewers tuning in. Founder Bob Christopher admitted that in years of conducting ghost investigations, he’s only actually seen two apparitions. But the payoff has been worth it, both in the mounds of curious data collected and in the number of seeming hauntings the team has been able to explain away.
Christopher’s time in Baltimore was limited, and he expressed regrets that he couldn’t spend more hours investigating his target sites. He did, however, heap praise via his Facebook page on those who made his team’s investigation both pleasant and possible. These included Larry Noto at The Admiral Fell Inn, Jeff Jerome at The Edgar Alan Poe House Museum, and the media coverage he received in The Sun and in the Baltimore Post-Examiner. Christopher was especially thankful for the Baltimore City Police Department and the people of Baltimore for what he described as, “easing an anxious out of towner’s mind.”
“People say a lot of bad things about Baltimore. I felt safer and more welcome here than I do at some places back home.”
Christopher also expressed an interest in returning to Baltimore sometime in the near future to investigate other sites. These, he said, might include the antebellum frigate U.S.S. Constellation, the liberty ship John W. Brown, the submarine Torsk or the Coast Guard Cutter Roger B. Taney – the last ship still afloat from the attack on Pearl Harbor. Fort McHenry – which withstood a British bombardment in1814, only to be subsequently used as a Union POW camp during the Civil War and then as a hospital for the returning wounded of World War I – is also a possibility. Tudor Hall in Bel Air (the family home of John Wilkes Booth), the Point Lookout Lighthouse in Scotland, Md., and the Hazelhurst Manor in Ellicott City are also places of interest.
The episode that was shot at the Edgar Allan Poe House Museum is set to run July 13. Check out the teaser below.
For now, afficionados of all things spooky and their chill seeking neighbors can consider the investigation of The Admiral Fell Inn for some intriguing harbor side fare. Just don’t blame us if that screech you hear in the night didn’t come from a fired up alley cat or from your overworked ceiling fan.
Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A one-time newsboy for the Evening Sun and professional presence at the Washington Herald, Tony’s poetry, photography, humor, and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore!, Destination Maryland, Magic Octopus Magazine, Los Angeles Post-Examiner, Voice of Baltimore, SmartCEO, Alvarez Fiction, and Tales of Blood and Roses. If you notice that his work has been purloined, please let him know. As the Good Book says, “Thou shalt not steal.”