Group offers ghost tours
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