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Hunting for Hauntings:
Mid-Atlantic Tourism Group Demonstrates the "Spirit" of Hospitality

BALTIMORE, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Not long ago, innkeepers and museum curators might have contacted a "ghost buster" to banish unwanted apparitions as a means of keeping visitors from being frightened. Today, though, those in the hospitality industry are more likely to bring someone in who can actually attract ghosts to their sites.

Odd as it may seem, ghosts are big business. Throughout the year, but especially as Halloween approaches, travelers enthusiastically seek out eerie noises, creepy cold spots and unexplainable sights in the hopes of making their weekend getaways more memorable than the average vacation. In short, guests love ghosts.

The Mid-Atlantic region provides ample opportunities to hunt for haunts and, recognizing that, the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) has assembled a list of haunted sites from each state in the alliance (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC). The selections below are a starting point for eager ghost hunters looking for opportunities to spot specters and find phantoms. More details about sites and activities are available from the contact provided with each listing. In addition, a MATPRA web site, www.MidAtlanticGhosts.com offers an ever- lengthening list of eerie attractions and events throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

DELAWARE

Addy Sea
99 Atlantic Avenue
Bethany Beach, DE 19930
800-418-6764
Plumber John Addy of Pittsburgh built his home, now a bed and breakfast, in 1904. Room One contains a copper tub that was originally installed by Addy himself. Guests and owners have reported that sometimes the tub shakes for no apparent reason. Organ music is often heard wafting through the rooms, but there isn't an organ in the home. The owner has often heard footsteps and unexplained noises, and on one occasion she was locked in a downstairs closet when the door swung shut on her. The owners, who don't know the identity of these otherworldly guests, have determined that they are mischievous yet non-
threatening.

MARYLAND

National Museum of Civil War Medicine
48 E. Patrick Street/P.O. Box 470
Frederick, MD 21705
301-695-1864

The building that houses the museum functioned as an undertaker's establishment for nearly a century -- including the years of the Civil War.Visitors and staff have reported seeing shadowy figures in person or on surveillance cameras, feeling cold spots in various parts of the building and sensing presences. Not all of the vibes were good ones, so when the museum was renovated recently, the staff brought in a paranormal specialist to cleanse the building. Since that time, all the negative energy seems to have left; these days, most reports are of orbs that appear in photographs.

PENNSYLVANIA

Eastern State Penitentiary
2124 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA
215-236-3300

This site in Philadelphia -- a gothic, castle-like structure built in 1829-- was once home to such characters as Al Capone and Willie Sutton. The building, which is now a museum, was designed to be frightening. Ghosts are reported to include ill-fated prisoners and a phantom guard who appears in the guard tower. The prison also hosts a Halloween celebration that takes visitors through five cellblocks and the central rotunda, all enhanced by tremendous special effects.

VIRGINIA

Camberleys Martha Washington Inn
150 W. Main Street
Abingdon, VA 24210
276-628-3161

There are many ghost stories associated with this historic hotel, which served as a hospital during the Civil War. A young woman named Beth, who cared for the wounded soldiers, fell in love with one of her charges, John Stoves. He died, and Beth passed away just a few weeks later. Employees have reported seeing her ghost as she returns to Room 403, the room where Stoves died. Others tell of glimpsing a phantom horse looking for his master, a Union soldier shot in front of the building.

WEST VIRGINIA

National Building Museum
401 F St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
202-272-2448

The magnificent edifice where Civil War veterans once came to collect their pensions is known to be visited by a soldier on horseback - possibly Montgomery Meigs, the building's designer. Swirling faces are also sometimes seen at the top of the glorious marble columns in the building's great hall.

SOURCE Mid-Atlantic Tourism Group

Web site: http://www.MidAtlanticGhosts.com
http://www.addysea.com
http://www.CivilWarMed.org
http://www.marthawashingtoninn.com