The Lord Baltimore Hotel – that elegant icon in the heart of downtown Baltimore – has played host to scores of luminaries since it was originally built in 1928. Martin Luther King was just one of the many notable guests of the still stunning 23-story hotel. But is the Lord Baltimore also playing host to a handful of transitory tenants from the spirit world? We may learn the answer to that question this weekend when television’s Ghost Detectives once again travel south to survey some of the shadowy specters which seem to occupy Charm City.
The Pennsylvania based paranormal investigators were last here back in 2012 to look into some of the unexplained apparitions which frequent The Admiral Fell Inn in Fells Point. They were also given the privilege of being the first team to conduct a paranormal investigation of the Edgar Allan Poe House on Amity Street. The Los Angeles Post-Examiner caught up with Lead Investigator and team co-founder Bob Christopher earlier this week to ask about the upcoming investigation of the Lord Baltimore Hotel; and to shed some light on his experiences as a real life ghost detective.
LAPX: Thank you for taking some time to speak with us this evening. What attracted you to investigate the Lord Baltimore Hotel?
Bob C: When we were Baltimore a few years back to investigate the Admiral Fell Inn, we became friends the manager, Lee Johnson-Lowe. Lee is the one who told us about The Lord Baltimore Hotel; about some of the hauntings – especially up on the 19th floor where guests and hotel staff have had some strange encounters. After hearing about this, we have been hoping to return to Baltimore. Luckily, some time slots have opened in our production schedule, and I’m looking forward to coming back down there.
LAPX: So there have been reports of paranormal activity on the 19th floor?
Bob C: Yes. People have reported seeing a little girl in a white dress with a red ball. There are also apparently some documented cases of suicides which date to the time when the Lord Baltimore was one of the tallest buildings in Baltimore. We have some history that a local historian has sent along, and we’re in the process of researching that.
LAPX: Do you have any leads as to who the little girl with the red ball may be?
Bob C: We’ve heard that the dress she is wearing appears to be from the early 1900’s. We hope to learn more once we get into our investigation.
LAPX: You mentioned your previous trip here to investigate the Admiral Fell Inn. What was your take on that site?
Bob C: There was clearly something going on there in a few of the rooms. Down in the basement we had quite a bit of activity, but I’m going to say it’s a residual haunting. It’s kind of like a tape recorder playing over and over again. You never know when it’s going to happen. We were just lucky to hit it at a certain day and time where we found some activity.
LAPX: When you were here in 2012, you also investigated the Edgar Allan Poe House. We were along for that investigation, and I recall you saying you wanted to do a computer analysis of some of the phenomena you encountered. What did you conclude once that investigation was done?
Bob C: There is definitely something intelligent there. I believe we got an audible bite of someone or something saying, “Poe”. It wasn’t a Class “A” sound; it was more like a whisper. Everyone on the team had their own determination as to what it was. I can’t say it was the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, but there is something going on there, and it’s definitely an intelligent haunting.
LAPX: I know you’ve had some changes in the cast of your show since you were here in 2012. Could you tell us about your current team?
Bob C: There has always been some turnover from year-to-year. Along with doing these investigations, every one of our team members holds down a regular 40-hour a week job. It gets tough on the road, when you’re filming 14 episodes a year and everyone has a family. Fortunately, for the most part, our core eight from NEPA Paranormal are still with us. We’ve added a few additions like Dave Juliano, who owns the Ghost Hunter Store; Mike Herrmann, who is our new editor, and Rich Rozell from one of the prominent paranormal groups in our area. We’ve kinda built a super team now. We all get along so well and I believe that is the key to gathering evidence. It’s like the spirits can see that we are sincere and that goes a long way with opening the channels to communication.
LAPX: So credibility is important with opening doors on both sides of the veil?
Bob C: Yes, I agree. When I was a kid, I grew up in one of the most haunted houses I’ve ever been in. That’s actually the reason I got into doing paranormal investigation. Of course, back then, if you went out and told someone that your bed levitated or you heard chains rattling, they would have locked you up. It’s more accepted in our culture these days; to the point where you find all sorts of paranormal groups popping up all over the place. The one thing I have learned after doing this for almost 18 years is: There are no experts in this field.
LAPX: Could you share a few comments on some of the other creepy places you’ve investigated? I know, for example, you’ve been to Gettysburg once or twice.
Bob C: We’ve been to the David Stewart Farm (used as a field hospital during the Civil War). The Tillie Pierce House in downtown Gettysburg was an awesome place. Back in 2009, while doing an investigation there, we got an audible EMP of someone yelling three complete sentences in Pennsylvania Dutch. We’ve also been to Pennhurst State Hospital, the Rolling Hills Asylum; it’s crazy. I can’t keep them all in order. One that does jump out is the Knickerbocker in Linesville, Pennsylvania. We’ll be returning there later this month for an event.
LAPX: Are you hoping to do other paranormal investigations in Baltimore?
Bob C: I would love to. I’ve heard about other haunted places down there. It’s just a thing of finding time and making the right connections. But we love coming to Baltimore to promote our show and to promote the city.
LAPX: If I may, I’d like to change gears here for just one question. At one point during a previous conversation, you expressed an interest in doing a Bigfoot investigation. Is that still a possibility? And correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t Pennsylvania considered one of the most active states for Bigfoot sightings?
Bob C: It absolutely is, and it’s funny you asked, because this year we are going to be doing a Bigfoot investigation. We haven’t got a date set as of yet but I’m hoping to do it when it’s a bit warmer, since we will be camping out for a couple of nights. I can tell you that I’ve done some of the ground work for that investigation by meeting with Eric Altman, who is considered to be the foremost authority on the Bigfoot phenomena in Pennsylvania. Eric showed me a lot of stuff, including things like the structures they build in trees. Frankly I was just blown away by some of the stuff he was telling me. I mean, you watch the shows they run on television but even those don’t seem to scratch the surface of what is occurring out there.
LAPX: One last question, if I may. What is your advice for anyone who believes they may have encountered a ghost or may be living in a haunted dwelling?
Bob C: That really depends on a number of different factors. Are they comfortable with what they’ve encountered? Have they been harmed or are there children involved? There are so many different scenarios; you just have to take it case-by-case. I’d say, if you are scared then call us and we may come in and do an investigation to figure out what kind of a haunting it is. There are not always pat answers, but there are certain methods we can take to slow down the activity or possibly get rid of it. That is – if you want to get rid of your ghost. Times have changed somewhat, and a lot of taboos have been lifted. Some people are just fine having a ghost in their house. Not me. I can tell you, after dealing with ghosts during the weekend, while conducting paranormal investigations, the last thing I want to do is come home every night and live with one.
Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A former reporter at The Washington Herald and an occasional contributor to the Voice of Baltimore, Tony’s poetry, humor and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore; Magic Octopus Magazine; Destination Maryland, and Tales of Blood and Roses.