The Haunted Wayside Inn
First Established in 1780, the Wayside Inn is located near an original portion of the Old Columbia Turnpike, which was established in the early 18th Century. This turnpike was intended to serve as a major link from the mill of Ellicott’s Lower Mills, later renamed Ellicott City, south to Georgetown in Washington, DC.
Local Historians indicate that the Wayside Inn was one of several Inns in what was at first Ann Arundel County, and later Howard County. While it is frustrating that no records have been found to verify this assertion, its proximity to the old turnpike makes it a likely candidate. A further indication would be the name, Wayside Inn. Nowhere are there records of that name as a commercial establishment, yet the name has been passed down through many generations of owners, leading one to believe that this was once an established Inn. Local lore has it that both General George Washington and John Quincy Adams were guests at the Inn and that could certainly have been the case, especially for Washington. We know for fact he was in the general vicinity. His name is on a ledger at a pub in nearby Elkridge.
The Wayside Inn is known throughout this area as “that house with the candles in the windows.” Many myths have sprung up concerning those famous candles including but not limited to: 1.“They show the house is haunted!” 2. One of the owner’s sons went off to war and the mother put the candles in the windows as a tribute to her son. 3. In the same vain, one mother put the candles in the windows when here son went off to war and said they would stay there until he came home. He never did which is why they are still burning.
Ellicott City, in itself is said to be very haunted by the tortured souls when the town's Railroad role became became a makeshift hospital for hundreds of wounded Union soldiers from the Civil war.
A female ghost is said to haunt the inn; another account tells of a witness who heard a door open and then the sound of approaching footsteps, but no one was there.
The Wayside Inn
4344 Columbia Road
Ellicott City, MD 21042
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