Since moving to Charm City nine years ago, Rob Vary has been quite busy interacting with the many residents of Baltimore — living and not-so living.
Vary, 32, is a tour guide for the Baltimore Ghost Tours, which coordinates three ghost tours in Mount Vernon and Fells Point. He has been working as a ghost tour guide in Baltimore for seven years, though his work with ghosts began even earlier while giving ghost tours as a college student in Gettysburg, Pa.
These days, Vary works in Mount Vernon, where the neighborhood is swarming with ghosts. "We hear of wealthy gentlemen and poor immigrants in a small apartment next to a beautiful church, a possible murder victim in a high-class restaurant, faith healers, Ouija boards and society hostesses who don't want the party to end," Vary said.
When the Windsor Hills resident isn't touring, he is a science outreach educator for Maryland students, going out to schools and doing science programs with K-12 students for BioEYES.
Worst pet peeve? People who break the spines of books.
What song/songs are you loving/hating right now? I have had "Let It Go" from Frozen stuck in my head on a continuous loop for going on a full month now, so it's possible that can count for both.
Last concert/gig you went to? I don't really get to a whole lot of concerts, but I go to a good bit of theater. Does that count? The last show I went to was "The Golden Spike" at the Baltimore Annex Theater.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Reality TV. Now get off my lawn.
TV show(s) you can't get enough of? I love me some "Doctor Who," because I'm one of the cool kids, and lately I've been trying to catch up on "Parks and Recreation."
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? I don't actually drink, but I do love hanging out at the Owl Bar and Mick O'Shea's in Mount Vernon and the Wharf Rat in Fells Point.
Best advice you ever got? "Work smarter, not harder." — Scrooge McDuck. No, seriously. It may not be the most profound or life-changing, but hardly a day goes by that it doesn't come in handy.
Favorite spot/location on the tour? I love the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion in Mount Vernon Square, home of the Engineer's Club. It's an incredibly beautiful building, and Mary Garrett Jacobs was a fascinating woman to tell stories about.
Most haunted place in Baltimore? I think I've heard the greatest variety of stories about the Belvedere Hotel, from scorned women to angry servants to Prohibition bootleggers, which I suppose makes sense for a place that has hosted so many different people over its history.
Favorite thing about Baltimore? I love its general lack of pretension, and how for a large city it can have a surprisingly small-town, neighborhood vibe to it.
AS TOLD TO CASSIDY STERLING