Friday, December 27, 2013

The Cooking Ghost

Ellicott City Historic District

In 2010, Ellicott City, a small town in Maryland, was noted as one of the best places in America to live by MONEY magazine. 

This city is a part of the Baltimore-Washington metro area in Howard County. Ellicott City is also considered one of the most haunted small towns on the East Coast.

Edward Parson Hayden, the first county clerk in Ellicott City, built what is known as Hayden House or Oak Lawn in the 1800s. He lived in this home with his wife and six children. He died in 1850.

His home in more recent years has been used to house the Howard County Board of Education and then the District Court. In the 1980s a county law library was added.

Early on, strange stories about Oak Lawn started to circulate. These stories reached a fever pitch in the 1970s when the home housed the district court and the Howard County Office of Parole and Probation.

Oak Lawn
Clerks and secretaries reported that the lights in the building would turn on and off by themselves. A coffee pot would often heat up by itself even when it was not plugged in. These witnesses also reported they heard footsteps in the part of the home that was not in use.

Several workers saw a rocking chair move without cause, and one staff member who arrived early to work one morning reported seeing a man through a glass pane at the front door. When she entered the home, she searched thoroughly, but no one but herself was inside.

The oddest experiences surround phantom food smells. Besides the coffee pot acting strange, many workers smelled the aroma of soup or bacon and eggs at all hours of the day and night. What confused them was that there were no cooking appliances in the building at this time.

Because of these persistent smells, the workers dubbed this active ghost at Oak Lawn “The Cooking Ghost.”

One employee who often stayed late to work noted that this ghost made its presence known in a variety of other ways. He saw cloth napkins fold and unfold on their own right in front of him.

He reported that one night as he worked on the second floor, he saw a “white haze” out of the corner of his eye. When he turned to get a better look, he saw a dense misty ball of vapor floating in mid-air. He stated it wasn't too dense for he saw what was behind it. He watched as it then vanished into thin air.

One witness who currently works at the Court House states he sees “weird things” all the time. A hot plate turns on by itself--again even when the dial is turned to off and the unit is unplugged.

One of his female co-workers saw the ghost of a female walk by her and then walk right through the wall that leads to the law library.

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