Mary Fisher of Severna Park will do most anything for the historic Rising Sun Inn on Generals’ Highway in Crownsville. Regent of the Ann Arundel Chapter of the Maryland State Daughters of the American Revolution, who own the Inn and operate it as a Chapter House and museum, Fisher spearheads the fight to keep this 18th century farmhouse up and running. This demands time, energy and a certain indifference to the occasional paranormal intrusion.
Take, for instance, the frisky phantom who has cozied up to Mary’s hubby Reed Fisher. On a family tour, Fisher rambled on about the evolution of the structure, the lives that unfolded there, the stories the Inn would tell if walls could talk — embellishing, of course, with haunted history.
“All while listening to my husband pooh-pooh my ghost stories,” Fisher says. “He has never believed in ghosts.”
In the north bedroom on the second floor, Fisher described its resident specter. According to a 1980s’ resident of the Inn, the room is home to a lovesick wraith with a proclivity for pinching. As each reported victim was male, the renter believes this ghost is female.
“Who was this woman in real life?” asked Fisher’s daughter Barbara. “Do we know her name?”
Came a quiet voice from the doorway.
“Abigail,” said Reed. “Her name was Abigail.”
Certain he was joking, everybody laughed. “Sure,” said Fisher, “let’s call her Abigail.”
During the ride home, Reed confessed. “I wasn’t kidding,” he said. She whispered softly into my ear: My name is Abigail.”
Despite this experience, Reed says he still does not believe in ghosts. Even so, he’s told his wife that the spirits applaud the care the Inn is now receiving.
Yet more hauntings have happened in recent months. Both Fisher and another chapter member claim to have felt unseen fingers stroking their faces; a third lady says she’s felt something tickling her lower leg.
A quirky 19th century resident, blacksmith Randolph Williams, shows up now and again to spy on the neighbors.
In last year’s The Spirits of the Rising Sun Inn (www.bayweekly.com/Spirits-Rising-Sun-Inn), we reported that the same 20th century tenant who coexisted with The Pincher also claims to have encountered Randolph, his long-departed relative, while residing in the Inn. At every sighting, Randolph’s ghostly figure appears in an upstairs window, staring at the stone house directly across General’s Highway.
For the past five years, Brenda Hawkins has lived in that cozy stone house. This past spring, seeing activity at the Inn, Hawkins walked over to introduce herself.
“I told them I’ve seen the figure of a man standing at the Inn’s second-floor window,” says Hawkins, “staring over at my house — not often, but always around 3am.”
The women gave Hawkins a copy of last October’s Bay Weekly and suggested she read about the Inn’s haunted history.
The following day, Hawkins emailed: OMG! Have I been seeing Randolph?
So … the saga continues. Perhaps the spirits are still around, making sure their storied home is being loved and preserved.
As long as those specters are gentle and playful in persuasion, Fisher says she and the chapter ladies will graciously share their space.