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In Laurel and Howard County, it's time for ghostly encounters and spooky tales

As the days grow shorter and the nights darker, the month of October offers a goody bag of tricks and treats for those in the mood to fool with spirits.

Here are a few local haunts one can explore.

The 235-year old Montpelier Mansion offers numerous programs and events throughout the year from school field trips and lectures to the popular Festival of Herbs, Teas and the Arts.

This October, a new side of the mansion will be revealed as the staff will share the mansion’s secrets of the unexplained.

“We trying something new,” said Mary Jurkiewicz, museum manager, of the program Tales from the Dearly Departed on Oct. 20.

“We’re asking folks to come and tell a story,” Jurkiewicz said. “The staff will kick it off with some fun and scary tales. One of the staff members has a story to share that will be interesting to hear.”

In the past, the museum has hosted a speaker who either read or shared their own ghost stories in the month of October.

“Hopefully we’re not scaring anybody away by asking them to tell a tale,” Jurkiewicz said. “We want audience participation. If you gotta story, we want to hear it.”

Depending on time, a tour of the mansion by candlelight will also be offered.

“If they want a tour, we’ll do it,” Jurkiewicz said.

Now in its third year, the popular Tea with the Dearly Departed will also take place on Oct. 20, only earlier in the evening at 5 p.m.

“Folks are encouraged to dress up,” Jurkiewicz said. “We do have prizes.”

Seasonal fare will be served and families are encouraged to attend.

“We’re told we have one of the best teas,” Jurkiewicz said. “Our caterer never disappoints.”

Savage Mill started hosting its ghost tours this year in August. Every Friday and Saturday evenings through November, tours lead participants around the grounds and inside the mill.

“We get really busy in October,” said Aimee Troglio, marketing and operations director for the Mill. “Tickets have to be purchased prior to the tour. Some will sell out.”

All the tours are led by Marty Schoppert, the mall historian.

“He knows all the stories,” Troglio said. “People definitely believe.”

Private and group tours are also available during the week per request.

“They have great attendance,” Troglio said of the tours. “People enjoy them.”

*Ghostly Guides at the Patapsco Female Institute, 3655 Church Road, Ellicott City. Features a tour of the ruins and use of professional ghost hunting gear. Campfire and s’mores included. Fridays through Oct. 19, 8-11 p.m. $25. 410-313-0419.

*Ghostly Guides at Baltimore and Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum, 3711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City. Features a tour of the building and use of professional ghost hunting gear. Bottled water and snacks included.

Meyd commented that the museum has had several eerie occurrences, including model train displays turning on and off mysteriously and an inner door in the gift shop blowing open on occasion.

The program runs on Saturdays through Nov. 17, from 8-11 p.m. $25. 410-313-2922.

*The Haunted Experience and Happy Haunted Hayride, co-sponsored by the Elkridge Adult Athletic Association. In case of weather concerns, call 410-313-4451.

The hayride take place Oct. 21 and 28, from 2-4 p.m., at Rockburn Branch Park, Montgomery Road. Recommended for ages 2-7. $5. Features a friendly hayride.

The Haunted Experience takes place Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27, from 7-10 p.m., at Rockburn Branch Park, Montgomery Road. $10. Features a hayride into the woods where ghosts and goblins dwell.

*Meet the Friendly Ghosts of Belmont Manor, 6555 Belmont Woods Road, Elkridge. Members of the Inspired Ghost Tracking team will talk about their experiences with the numerous ghosts that call Belmont Manor home. Oct. 23, 7:30-9 p.m., $15.

Elkridge Furnace Inn, 5745 Furnace Ave., will offer Poe’s Last Stanza on Oct. 19, from 7-11 p.m. Readings of Edgar Allen Poe and a three-course dinner.

“We do events every month, “ Sarah Hardy, special events manager said. “This one is new and a little more darker.”

Reservations are still being accepted. $80. 410-379-9336.

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