Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghost Story: The Haunted Diamondback Tavern in Ellicott City, MD

My name is Ana and I am an Internal Medicine Technician at VCA-VRA.  My husband Chris and I have an interesting hobby we like to go Ghost Hunting. As Halloween approaches, we want to tell you about a place we found in Ellicott City, Maryland called "The Diamondback Tavern".

Ellicott City when it's not on fire or under water is busy being a hotbed of paranormal activity.
The Diamondback Tavern is a very quaint, bright and airy place. When we arrived all the good seats were taken at the bar, so we squeezed in at the far end near the kitchen doors. We were told by their sister restaurant Portalli’s that this place was very haunted and employees have seen apparitions walk by while they looked in the mirrors.

Ellicott City is a very old town. The buildings where the Diamondback Tavern now stands have been referred to on early maps as barns or sheds. These buildings were built between 1830 and 1870 to serve the livery trade.
The Diamondback Tavern has changed names many times. Prior to being the Diamondback Tavern, it was the Mill Town Tavern, which was then replaced by the Tiber River Tavern.
Once we settled down with a nice libation, we struck up a conversation with the bartender who told us about the “Lady in White” and said that he had seen her more then three times in the place.
The first time he had just opened up the place and was about to set up. He said that he had to come through the double doors to get to the bar. Right before he pushed the doors open he could see through the window of the door and the “Woman in White” was standing at the other end of the bar. He thought that no one should be in here so he went through the double doors and started toward her. When he did she then turned left towards the hall that leads to the bathrooms and as he came around the corner she was gone.
The second time he only saw the white outline of her petticoats, but he knew it was her. He followed her again towards the bathrooms and as he came around the corner no one was there again.
He also has seen her in the main dining room and she seemed to be headed to the bar area. No one knows who she is or where she came from he said.
I did some research and I found a story of a woman attacked and killed in this same building in the 1920’s. The employees of the past restaurant, The Tiber River, also reported noises, voices, footprints, poltergeist activity and the “Lady in White”. It is even said that on one occasion at closing, came a loud unexplainable crash. The owner ran upstairs, unlocked the room, and found a table completely overturned. Rather than the settings being shattered across the floor, they remained perfectly in place, beneath the overturned table. Other stories tell of a transparent female face in the window witnessed by a county police officer and bare footprints appearing across a newly varnished floor when Tiber River was fixing to open up.
Our bartender also mentioned a hanging upstairs, but never really finished telling us if there was a ghost with that tale.
He said his friend who was also behind the bar could tell more stories since he had worked at the site for eons. His friend however did not really want to talk about the ghost. When we asked him what he thought about the ghost, he answered," I hate the ghost and every time I talk about her something happens and plus I don’t believe in it."
So my answer to him was “even if you don’t believe in it you have stories, right?”. He smiled and said “yes”, but he just walked away. I was determined to get something out of this guy.
I figured it was not that he hated the ghost; it was that he was afraid of it. It seemed obvious that she must like him since she kept making herself apparent to him. Eventually he was close to me again and I asked him not to be so tight lipped and he laughed. He said, “Ok, I will give you one of my stories, but just one and maybe the best one.” He begins to tell me, he had worked in the restaurant when it was The Tiber River, named after the river that runs through Elliott City. He started it by saying, " It was a busy day and I was a bar back then. I helped the bartenders clean up. It was the end of our shift and the bartenders were all gone for the night. During that time the tables in the dining room had white tablecloths and candles in the middle. During dinner service we would light the candles and at the end of the night all had to be blown out before closing. Since I was the only one left downstairs I blow out all the candles. The GM who was also a head bartender was upstairs, so I headed up to speak with him and let him know everyone was gone. He then came down stairs to check on things and started yelling for me to come back down and seemed upset. He said, ‘What the heck! I thought you said you had closed up!’ ‘I did’, I responded and he said, ‘well you better look again’. So as I went into the dining room, all the tablecloths were lifted up in a bundle on the tables and I mean all the tables and one candle in the back was still lit. I was scared and just stared at the mess. The GM asked me again what had happened, I could not even answer, and I ran through the kitchen and out of this place."
As we made our way back to our car through the cobblestone streets and narrow dark alley at Tongue Row, we applauded Ellicott City as it always gives a paranormal story; all you have to do is ask.'


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