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Paranormal happenings at Hagerstown historic sites include scents, visions

November 30, 1999|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN

A man who dresses in black, 19th-century clothing is said to have been spotted on the Hager House porch, and a woman wearing a veil over her face has been seen sitting on a tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery.

The man in black at the Hager House is one of two apparitions that people have said they have encountered at the home that Jonathan Hager, the founder of Hagerstown, presented to his bride in 1740, said John Bryan, historic sites facilitator for Hagerstown.

People also have reported seeing a woman wearing Victorian-style dress in the upper hallway of the house in City Park, he said.

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Even Bryan isn't immune.

He said he has heard footsteps, and once heard a gasp as though he had frightened someone unseen. He also caught the scent of smoking meat in the house's attic, which in times past is where meat would have been hung up to dry, Bryan said.

Other unexplained smells, including perfume, flowers and other sweet fragrances, have been reported, he said.

Rose Hill Cemetery is a great place for investigators of the paranormal, said Beverly Litsinger, president of the Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association.

People have reported seeing Civil War-era soldiers inside the cemetery, and a picture captured the image of a woman who appears to be praying on a tomb, she said.

More than 6,000 people belong to the Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association, which investigates reports of paranormal activity to determine if places are haunted, Litsinger said.

She goes to people's homes and business to answer the question: "Do they really have a ghost or are they crazy?" she said.

The Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association's Web site is at www.marylandghosts.com.

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