Tales of mobsters, murders, and brothels headline the haunted history of Fell’s Point, Maryland, where The Admiral Fell Inn is located. The elegant waterfront hotel has 80 rooms created out of eight historic buildings. Many of these buildings overlook cobblestone streets, which adds to its charm. Instead of downplaying the ghostly history, the Inn encourages it by hosting a complimentary ghost tour. Staying in The Admiral Fell Inn is sure to be an adventure.
Admiral Fell Inn History
The Inn has eight buildings, which date back to the late 1700s. Before becoming an inn, it was a variety of other businesses, including a ship chandlery, a vinegar factory, a YMCA, a boardinghouse for actors, and a sailor’s lodging house. In 1900 Fell’s Point was a rough place. It was full of saloons, mobster hangouts, illegal gambling halls, brothels, and sailors. A Christian boarding house and recreational center then opened, which was called The Anchorage, and the building is now the central structure of the Admiral Fell Inn.
In the early 1900s, Mercy nuns took care of sick sailors in the main part of the building. These women would try to heal the sailors, but there was only so much they could do, and many died there.
In 1929, the YMCA took over and expanded it into a Seaman’s YMCA, which featured 105 tiny rooms. It lodged 50,000 sailors per year and operated in this capacity until 1955, when it became the Vinegar Works bottling factory. The vinegar factory closed in the 1970s.
In 1985 it was renovated into a 38-room bed and breakfast and renamed The Admiral Fell Inn. 1996 brought upgrades and expanded it into the 80-room hotel that it is today. It has a rooftop event space and the decor pays homage to the 18-century era from which it came.
Admiral Fell Inn Hauntings
The Admiral Fell Inn is considered one of the most haunted hotels in Maryland. It is no wonder since many patrons have died in the hotel between the sick sailors and possible mob victims. The Sun (now known as the Baltimore Sun) reported that one sailor even shot himself on hotel property. These sailors enjoyed alcohol, prostitutes, and gambling.
Guests have reported seeing floating sailors where there used to be fire escape stairs and butlers knocking on their hotel doors. Sometimes they are seen wandering the halls or heard partying upstairs. Once in a while, a ghost dog is even spotted playing in the hallways. The ghosts also like playing tricks on guests by setting off alarm clocks at strange times. A guest heard footsteps and saw a woman walk through the wall before telling him to lie back down.
It is not just the guests who have witnessed these ghosts either. There was an incident after an evacuation due to a hurricane. The hotel manager heard a loud party going on even though the hotel was empty. In 2003 when the tropical storm Isabel hit, the general manager heard a similar party upstairs, but the hotel was empty once again. It sounds like the seamen did not get their share of partying while they were alive, so it seems that they continue even in death.
Haunted Rooms at the Admiral Fell Inn
If you want a truly haunted experience, stay in Room 413. This room was the scene of a ghastly murder in 1999. Christopher Jones, an out-of-town guest attending a pharmaceutical convention, was killed by Gary Mick, a homophobe who was stalking him. Mick bashed in Jones’ head with a hammer claw. He was only caught because his next victim got away and identified him.
Some of the hotel’s housekeepers often get a strange feeling when they clean the room, and others refuse to go in it at all. Some feel a breeze or a hand resting on their shoulder. Others have experienced sudden cold spots and shadows darting around the room.
Staying at the Hotel
The Admiral Fell Inn has a great location on the harbor. One really cool thing about it is that it does offer its own ghost tour. These tours are held Wednesday through Saturday. The Admiral’s Historic Ghost tour takes you back in time to learn about the property’s history, experiences of various guests, and nautical tricks like tying knots.
The tour ends at the Admiral Fell Inn Tavern, which is also the oldest part of the hotel and considered the most haunted. Not only does the bartender, Steve G. Mavronis, serve artisanal cocktails, he also tells ghost stories. There was an incident when the ice cube trays were taken from the freezer and found in various refrigerators, which he would not do. He also has a picture of what he believes is a woman’s ghost outside the tavern’s window. He has witnessed the hanging bulb lights flicker and says that he knows when something paranormal is about to happen because he feels the energy level drop.
Adding to the haunted feeling of the hotel itself is the design. There are many narrow and winding hallways with nooks and crannies. The second floor is interesting because it splits into two, where you can either go up or down.
Baltimore Ghost Tours hosts a Fells Point Ghost Walk Tour. Advance tickets cost $14/person. It begins outside of Max’s on Broadway. If you want closer attention, book a private tour any night of the week.
Mt. Vernon Wicked History Pub Tour – About 10 minutes from the Admiral Fell Inn, you can explore a ghost tour in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood. The tour will give you information about the most esteemed Baltimore members. Francis Scott Key died in Mt. Vernon, and F. Scott Fitzgerald almost drank himself to death. There is a rich history from the Gilded Age to the Jazz Age, and this tour will go through some of the spookiest highlights.
Horse You Came In On Saloon – Just a few steps from the Admiral Fell Inn, you will find the Horse You Came In On Saloon. It is the oldest saloon in the entire United States, and you may even encounter a famous ghost here. It is said to be the last place Edgar Allen Poe was seen alive, and the rumor is that he still visits. Edgar Allan Poe House – If Poe’s frequent saloon haunt is not enough, you can visit his actual house that he lived in until 1835 when he moved to Richmond. The house features exhibits of his foster parents, his life and death, and short stories and poems written while he was in Baltimore. There are also artifacts such as his lap desk, chair, and telescope. It has a gift shop for souvenirs of your time there.