Belmont Manor & Historic Park
6555 Belmont Woods Road
Last year just about this time, life began to return to Belmont Manor when it was reopened to the public. The estate had been a private residence for almost two centuries before it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1964 for use as a conference center. The Smithsonian sold the property in 1982 to the American Chemical Society which used it as a meeting facility. They sold the property to Howard Community College which closed the property in 2010 after facing financial difficulties. Until the property sold in 2012, the grand house quietly sat in a pall of silence. Only the dead stirred.
As the house was being renovated and restored by Howard County, its new owner, the dead continued to stir. Workers on the estate observed a little girl running about. The county contacted Inspired Ghost Tracking who investigated and was able to captured an image of the spectral girl peering around a corner.
This ghostly child can be added to the legend recorded a little more than a hundred years ago in John Martin Hammond’s 1914 book, Colonial Mansions of Maryland and Delaware. In addition to relating the histories of these magnificent estates, Hammond included the occasional ghost story when they popped up. The Belmont Ghost, as Hammond dubs the spectral event, usually happened at least once every winter. On a dark, windy night, residents and visitors to Belmont would hear the sounds of an invisible carriage approach the house. Upon opening the door, the living would see nothing but continue to hear the sounds of an invisible retinue enter the house. Once unloaded, the carriage would be heard to head towards the stable.
Since opening to the public last year, Belmont is now playing host to weddings and other events while the public explores the historic woodlands that remain unchanged since the building of the house in 1738. Now that the dead have been discovered on the estate, Howard County has brought out paranormal investigators and those interested in learning about the spirits around us to learn about paranormal investigating here. According to the Baltimore Sun, the next public paranormal investigation will be held this summer.
- Bonk, Valerie. “Ghost investigations at Belmont gather people curious about the paranormal.” Baltimore Sun. 6 April 2016.
- Gunts, Edward. “The past is prologue for Elkridge’s Belmont Mansion.” Baltimore Sun. 20 September 2012.
- Okonowicz, Ed. The Big Book of Maryland Ghosts. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2010.
- Yeager, Amanda. “Elkridge’s historic Belmont Manor reopens.” Baltimore Sun. 13 April 2015.