Freaky First Fridays Ghost Tours at the Hager House

Freaky First Fridays Ghost Tours at the Hager House

Last fall we reported on ghost tours at the Hager House.
"Tourists ask us all the time if the house is haunted," says John Bryan, Historic Sites Facilitator. "When we offer the ghost tours during the Halloween season they are very popular, so we made the tour available monthly to give those folks that couldn't make it in October a chance to get in on the fun!"
Because of this, they decided to offer the tours the first Friday of every month, which they are referring to as "Freaky First Fridays". The next one is set for Friday, July 3, 2009 at 9pm.
So now ask yourself, is the home of the founder of Hagerstown haunted? Just what goes on there after the sun goes down?
Tours started about 5 years ago. Stories come from previous staff and visitors to the Hager House. "All the stories are true things; nothing has been made up," said Bryan. "There are stories for each room in the Hager House from the attic to the basement."
The tales presented by the Hager House staff are all true stories that come only from staff, volunteers and tourists at the Hager House. According to John Bryan, Historic Sites Facilitator, the Haunted Hager House Ghost Tours came about because many visitors to the House have asked if the house was haunted. "Sometimes they're serious and sometimes they're joking. But I can tell you that we do have incidents that go unexplained, and the best way to relate them is to offer our special Haunted Hager House Tours during the Halloween season."
Bryan said the staff will present true stories of things that occur in the house, such as objects that move and reports of actual sightings of ghosts. "We'll let the tourist decide if there are ghosts or not, we're just relating what we have experienced. The stories come only from staff, volunteers and tourists at the Hager House. It will be up to the visitor to determine whether these stories have logical explanations," said Bryan.
One of the intriguing stories involves reported screams coming from the basement. And the most popular stories is of a woman in Victorian dress (wearing green) in the upstairs hallway window of the Hager House. She has brown hair and keeps it in a "snood" (bonnet). "A lot of the stories seem to focus on the Hammond family in the early 1800s, probably 1830 up until after the Civil War. They occupied the house for a chunk of time. It was a chaotic time - a time of disease. We think that the groups focus on one of the epidemics that occurred in the 1840s."
In fact through research staff at the Hager House discovered that the Hammond children (then adults) died in a quick procession of time (roughly a six month span). They believe that was due to an epidemic of some sort. "The woman may be one of his children," said Bryan. "Things happen outside the Hager House, too, and those stories will also be related. The phenomena range from darting shadows to the smell of pipe tobacco, and these things tend to always occur in the same locations."
Bryan himself has not seen an apparition, but he has experienced objects being moved and placed in a different location, footsteps, cold spots, and the feeling of being watched. Last winter he and his niece heard a woman laugh from behind them (the upstairs hallway area).
A previous curator related a story that a candle came up off the windowsill and broke. "There's a record of 13 deaths occurring at the Hager House."
There will be one candlelit tour and reservations are required.
The house is located at 110 Key Street, in Hagerstown's City Park. The Jonathan Hager House is the original home of Jonathan Hager built in 1739 and proudly celebrates the 270th anniversary of its construction in October 2009.
Admission for the tour is $3.00 per person with children under the age of six admitted free, but please keep in mind that this tour is designed for adults and children over eight years of age. Freaky First Friday tours will also be offered on August 7, 2009 at 9pm, September 4, 2009 at 9pm, October 2, 2009 at 7pm, and November 6, 2009 at 7pm. There will be one tour each evening and reservations are required.
Get in the "spirit" and come out for some interesting and true stories from our own backyard. Call 301-739-8393 or email hagerhouse@hagerstownmd.org for more information and to register.