THE TYLER-SPITE HOUSE
Located in the Historic District of Frederick, just across the street from the old courthouse, is the Tyler-Spite House. Built as a private residence, the house is now a wonderful and elegant bed-and-breakfast establishment, serving gourmet food, offering carriage rides of the district and catering to every need of the guests.
But there are other stories here as well as the satisfied reports from the guests.... stories of a ghost.
According to records, the house was built by Dr. Sam Tyler in 1813. Somehow, the house earned the nickname of the "Spite House" because it prevented the construction of a new street that would allow traffic to proceed straight ahead to West Patrick Street, one of the main thoroughfares of what is now the historical district of the city. Apparently, Dr. Tyler objected to the idea of more noise along his quiet street. He like the idea of a peaceful neighborhood and to further prevent the traffic, and to stop the street from going through next door, he built another house in what would have been a street in 1815. He never lived in this house, but rented it out.
Over 100 years later, the house was sold to Dr. William Schnauffer. There had been other owners of the property but this was the first time that the ghost would be mentioned. People began to report a strange presence in the upstairs, especially after the place was turned into apartments.
In recent years, an artist named Marie Theresa Fernandes had a number of strange encounters. She says there is definitely some sort of "presence" in the house.
The door to the attic was located just in the hallway, outside what was then her apartment. She claimed that every night, at 2:30 in the morning, she had an eerie visitor. She would awaken from sleep in a cold sweat, with the feeling that someone was standing in her room. Sometimes, she would see a gaunt, white figure moving around in the dark room. The apparition seemed to be masculine, with long, stringy hair and a loose robe. She also claimed that the figure sometimes poked at her with long, bony fingers.
"I would often hear leaden-footed muffled footsteps on the attic stairs, and although I never saw anything during the daylight, I always had a feeling I was being watched," she said. She once braved the climb to the attic and found that it was empty.
The Tyler-Spite House is located at 112 West Church Street in Frederick, Maryland. The house now operates as an exclusive bed and breakfast and is highly recommended.
Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor
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