Hauntings of The Wayside Inn
A Haunted City
The entirety of Ellicott City itself is said to be haunted, not just the Wayside Inn.
Due to the city’s important location along the railroad during the Civil War, the Union had a garrison stationed in the town. Myriad buildings were repurposed as wartime hospitals.
Legends and modern accounts alike assert that the tortured spirits of the soldiers never left the last place they remember from mortal life. And perhaps that is because the land itself is hospitable to spirits.
Ghost hunters and experts that visited the town point to features like the underground waterways and vast amounts of granite the city is carved from as powerful conductors of energy, electricity, and paranormal phenomenon.
Houses, schools, fire stations, bridges, and countless other locations across the city are reported to be haunted. And the Wayside Inn is no exception.
The Ghosts of the Wayside Inn
Many guests tell of encountering a female ghost inside the Inn. Footsteps can be heard in otherwise empty rooms, doors open seemingly by themselves.
And you may catch a glimpse of a white dress out of the corner of your eye, only to turn and find nothing but a waft of gentle perfume.
The welcoming candles in the windows are another source of speculation that speaks to a ghostly presence.
Some believe that the tradition was started by a widow seeing her son off to fight in the Civil War. Legend has it that she vowed to light his way home and keep the candles burning every night until his return. But he never did, so they burn still.
And others say that the owners of the Inn placed the candles as a tribute to a son that died in battle – a symbol of love and community for a town that had lost so many sons to the Civil War.
Though the flame has long since been replaced by electric lights, the tradition of keeping a lighted candle in each window has been carried on by each owner of the Inn.