Group of­fers ghost tours

Cecil Whig - - OBITUARIES & REGIONAL - By BRAD KRONER

Spe­cial from the Bar­gaineer

— The build­ing that was once the State The­atre hasn’t been ac­tive in years, but some say that on a dark, quiet night, you can still hear the faint sound of a pi­ano play­ing in­side the build­ing.

Down St. John Street from that site, at the Amer­i­can Le­gion build­ing, the third floor re­mains un­used and de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, left alone for years af­ter a woman al­legedly hung her­self there. Ru­mor has it that she still haunts the floor.

These sto­ries and oth­ers can be heard on a ghost tour with Havre de Haunts, a para­nor­mal re­search team based in Havre de Grace.

Lisa Lopez, whose fam­ily can trace its ori­gins in Havre de Grace back to 1812, founded the ghost tour and para­nor­mal re­search team in 2013 af­ter 10 years of con­duct­ing ghost tours with Havre de Grace Main Street tours.

Lopez said she is a big fan of and has par­tic­i­pated in ghost tours at Get­tys­burg, which helped grow her in­ter­est in con­duct­ing ghost tours in Havre de Grace.

“I said, ‘ We need some­thing like this in Havre de Grace. We have to have some sto­ries,’” she ex­plained.

Lopez said Havre de Grace’s his­tory pro­vides many op­por­tu­ni­ties for ghost sto­ries, not­ing that al­most all of the town was burned down in 1812 and that many build­ings were used as Civil War hos­pi­tals.

Lopez said there’s “not as much death now,” but “we have a few newer ghosts sto­ries as well.”

She first got in­volved in tours af­ter catch­ing the tail end of a Havre de Grace Main Street tour. She ended up stop­ping the guide af­ter the tour and found out they were start­ing to do ghost tours, Lopez said.

“That’s how I got started. They pulled me right off the street,” she said. “I worked my way up to run­ning them for sev­eral years be­fore de­cid­ing to branch out and do some in­ves­ti­gat­ing on my own.”

Lopez teamed up with Rob­bie Van Pelt, an­other para­nor­mal re­searcher with 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence.

The two have been in­volved in a hand­ful of para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and Lopez said that, al­though she en­joys ghost sto­ries, she was a lit­tle skep­ti­cal.

“I had al­ways been a skep­tic,” she said. “I had been on the fence about it.”

That changed af­ter one of their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

One night, Lopez and Van Pelt in­ves­ti­gated Ba­houkah’s An­tique Mall on Union Av­enue.

Us­ing spe­cial equip­ment that can de­tect the elec­tro­mag­netic dis­tur­bances caused by spir­its, as well as an au­dio recorder, they tried to de­tect and com­mu­ni­cate with a spirit.

They placed a flash­light on a ta­ble and asked if the spirit could turn it on. In­ex­pli­ca­bly, the flash­light turned on, and then off. The elec­tro­mag­netic de­tec­tors “went hay­wire,” Lopez said.

“I was like, ‘ How the heck did that hap­pen?”’ Lopez said. “That was pretty in­ter­est­ing to see when the spirit is ac­tu­ally try­ing to make con­tact with you.”

Lopez ex­plained that they couldn’t hear the spirit with their ears, but a voice recorder picked up log­i­cal an­swers to ques­tions they asked.

Tours oc­cur at 7 p. m. and at 8: 30 p. m. on Fri­days and Satur­days in Oc­to­ber. Each tour lasts an hour and a half. Adult tick­ets are $ 13, child tick­ets are $10 and mil­i­tary mem­ber tick­ets are $ 10.

HAVRE DE GRACE

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