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Lilburn is one of the most beautiful homes in the town of Ellicott City, Maryland and it is also the most notorious of the town's haunted residences. The unexplained happenings here have given rise to ghost stories that date back more than a century... and they still continue today.

 (Right) Lilburn in Ellicott City remains perhaps the most famous haunted house in Maryland.

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Lilburn was built in 1857 by Henry Richard Hazelhurst, a prosperous business owner who would go on to make a fortune in the iron trade during the Civil War. As the years passed, a series of tragedies struck the family as Hazelhurst lost his wife and several children. One of them, a daughter, was said to have died in childbirth at Lilburn. Hazelhurst outlived most of his family and died in 1900 at the age of 85.

In 1923, the Maginnis family purchased Lilburn and it was during the time in which they lived in the house that the stories of ghostly activity in the mansion began making the rounds in town. It was said that footsteps were heard by the family in the tower, along with many other strange noises which could not be explained. It was suggested that the ghost might be the daughter of Henry Hazelhurst who had spent her final days in the house before dying when giving birth.
Tragedy almost struck another family at Christmas time that year, when a fire broke out and much of the mansion was ruined. The place was completely rebuilt, except for one minor change.... when the tower was reconstructed, Maginnis chose to replace the gothic peaks that had been on it with stone battlements. Apparently, this slight change did not sit well with the ghosts of Lilburn, because paranormal activity began to increase, leading many to wonder if Henry Hazelhurst himself might still be lingering behind.

This photo of Lilburn was taken by Lori Weckesser in February 2004, just hoping to capture an image of this famous house -- and never expecting to find that someone was looking out the window at her. Note the person standing in the downstairs, rounded windows. This is a living person. Then make note of the upstairs window about the porch roof. (See enlargement below)

This image was enlarged by Lew Lehman and shows what appears to be a spectral face peering outside.

The stories of ghosts continued for years and the house was owned by several different families. In the 1960's, it was purchased by the Balderson family who had their own share of supernatural tales about the house. The phantom footsteps continued to be heard and the family dog refused to go into a small room on the second floor hallway. On another occasion, a heavy chandelier in the dining room began swinging back and forth during a party, startling many family friends.
The windows in the tower refused to stay closed and at one point, Balderson resorted to tie the windows shut with a heavy rope. By the time he had finished tying the rope and walked outside to see the windows from the exterior of the house, the ropes had already been undone and the windows opened by unseen hands.

A housekeeper for the Baldersons claimed to hear a child crying in the house and also to have smelled a man's cigar in the library.... even though there was no one else in the room. She also claimed to see several apparitions in the house, including the shadowy figure of a man and a girl in a chiffon dress, walking down one of the hallways.

Following the Baldersons tenure in the house, it was purchased by Dr. Eugenia King, who lived there with her son. They also reported problems with the tower windows and a repeat performance of the chandelier in the dining room. An additional occurrence took place when a vase of flowers suddenly turned upside down and emptied itself onto the floor.

In 1983, the house was purchased by another family, who restored the house and made some major renovations. They claimed to have no encounters with the supernatural occupants of the house..... and yet by 1988, it was on the market again. It has remained private property in recent years but is often for sale. If you have an interest in buying a legendary haunted house -- this may be the place for you!

Copyright 1998-2004 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

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