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Tour captures the spirit of Westminster's past The favored haunts of ghosts featured


An article in Monday's Carroll County section about a Halloween walking tour of historic sites in Westminster should have credited Jesse Glass' book, "Ghosts and Legends of Carroll County, Maryland," for much of the material presented by the county Office of Tourism.

* The Sun regrets the error.

On a guided tour of Westminster, visitors may meet locals from yesteryear.

The Carroll County Office of Tourism has mapped out a Ghost Walk, with stops at eight well-known haunts.

The details of the town's most popular haunts are all in "Ghost Walk," which promises tourists "a spirited self-guided walking tour of Westminster."

pTC The county spent $700 to print 5,000 copies of the pale gray brochure, which gives walkers a history of local specters and the locations they inhabit, all within a few blocks along East Main Street.

Spirit sightings have occurred in churches, houses, hotels and restaurants. Legend has ghosts cooking at the courthouse, roaming headless through the old jail and citing Shakespeare at a former barbershop.

Even the Carroll County Visitor Center has its ghost-in-residence. The most patient patient is still waiting for his appointment with Dr. George Collgate, who once practiced in the same building.

"After more than 150 years, the ghost is still waiting to see the doctor," the brochure says.

Visitors to the county now have a choice of four walking tours in Westminster and nearby Uniontown and a driving tour of Civil War sites.

"We have had a lot of response for all the tours," said Barbara Beverungen, tourism director.

Ghosts may have as much appeal as historic architecture and restored buildings, she said.

Since the ghostly brochures, complete with a map, hit the streets last week, the Visitor Center has been inundated with calls about friendly ghosts. About 25 calls came in the first three days, said Ms. Beverungen.

The Westminster branch of the library has been leading autumn ghost walks for several years. The tourism staff used those routes as a pattern for the brochure and added touches of local history, which they researched through library records.

"I did the library walk last year and went through their information," Ms. Beverungen said. "Ours is an abbreviated version."

Brochures are available at the Visitor Center, 210 E. Main St., Westminster. Information: 848-1388.

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