Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Savage Mill Ghost Tour 2016

To celebrate the season, my wife and I did the ghost tour at Historic Savage Mill, Maryland. The tour began with a quick overview of the history of the mill, from its initial construction in the 1810s (delayed by the War of 1812, naturally) to its current state as a mall-like collection of restaurants, shops, and artist studios. The history gave us several reference points for the spectral stories from our tour leader.

Ghost Tour begins at Savage Mill

For most of its existence, the mill was indeed a mill, producing canvas made from cotton. That canvas was used for everything from clothing to tents to ship sails and many other uses. By the end of World War II, the demand for canvas dropped and the mill closed in the late 1940s. A great visionary tried to turn it into a Christmas wonderland (including a one-ring circus). He was too far ahead of his time and the operation went out of business in about a year. The mill was then used as a warehouse before it was converted into shops and artist studios in the 1960s. Both construction workers and patrons of the mill have had odd experiences that are credited to ghosts or other supernatural phenomenon.

I'll tell just a few stories so as not to spoil the tour, but merely to whet readers' appetites to go on the tour. One shop is Clipper's Canine Cafe. The store's inspiration, Clipper, was a dog who used to laze about in the middle of the store. One day, the dozing pooch suddenly jumped up and yapped at his tail. He settled back down for a few minutes, but then leaped up again and barked at where his tail was. After a few more time, the dog left the store. No coaxing from his owner or his owner's mother could bring him back into the store. Perhaps the spirit of one of the children who worked at the mill was giving a little tug at the poor puppy's tail.

By the canine shop

Many workers who stay late into the night occasionally here some commotion in the hallways, as if children are running up and down. We can confirm that children do run around the mill, since we have played hide and seek there with our children. The stories were about restaurant managers who heard commotions at 2 or 3 in the morning, so that definitely wasn't our kids! The managers have also heard people eating in a back corner of the restaurant, only to discover an empty booth. The guide said that some managers have taken to leaving paperwork till the morning so they aren't bothered by late night shenanigans from people who are no longer there.

A hall frequented by our children...and maybe other children?

The tour doesn't have a lot of blood-curdling horror in it. One story involved a girl with a bloodied face who appears at a door. Whenever occupants come to help her, she vanishes. Often, the police are called in to help find her in the mall, but the more experienced officers know that they won't find anything. There's never a child or a blood-stained trail to follow. Again, it might be a restless mill worker making an appearance.

The spookiness is pretty mild. With only two hundred years of history and no real horrible crimes (except for Gooney Man Bridge, of course), the tour is quite PG. I think our nine-year old would be fine to take the tour.

More stories in the courtyard

We recommend the tour, which runs till the beginning on December.

No comments:

Post a Comment