Government House

Government House, Annapolis, Maryland

Government House

The Government house is the home that houses all of the Maryland governors. Located at 110 State Circle, across from the State House, this building has seen many historical figures come and go through it, along with a tragic death.

House History 

The home that is seen today was not actually the original government house. McDowell Hall, located now on the campus of St. Johns College, was used as the government house in the early days. In 1870 the new government house was built in the State Circle. The home was heavily renovated once in the 1930s to what it looks like in its current day, with minor updates taking place throughout the years.

Reverdy Johnson 

On February 10, 1876 Governor Carroll was having a small dinner party and one guest who was staying at the house was Attorney Reverdy Johnson. Reverdy was in town for a case and Carroll invited him to stay at the home instead of going to a hotel or inn. After dinner Reverdy, who was coincidentally born in the Government house, went into what is now the Victorian Parlor. The other guests assumed he was taking a nap as was suggested by his son in law and went on about their business. Around 8:15 pm maid alerted Governor Carroll that Reverdy Johnson was laying in the yard. They assumed he fell out of the window in the parlor and hit his head on the paved carriage area below.

Johnson’s ghost 

Governor Carroll started getting reports right after Reverdy Johnson’s funeral of strange noises in the house and people seeing a man dressed up on the lawn. The man was also being reported sitting on the front porch and standing in the pineapple fountain in the yard. Everyone believes this is Reverdy still hanging out at the place of his birth and death.

Party Ghosts 

Other spirits seem to reside at the mansion as well. Staff has reported of hearing music, voices, lights, and strange smells when no one else is in the mansion. The housekeeper has claimed that they have heard the sound of a party going on in the reception room and when she opened the doors she has seen the room full of people in historical clothing. She went to get another witness and when they returned the room was empty. They have heard similar party sounds in the middle of the night and have had the guard dogs act up in the reception room for no reason. People have passed by the house and have seen parties taking place at the mansion that were not actually there.

The mansion is still used for the governors. It does have a strange superstition of February 10th. They will not throw parties or events at the mansion on this date and the paranormal activity seems to increase that day.


Behrend, J. (2001) Ghosts of America’s East Coast. Crane Hill Publishers. Canada

Carter, M. & Dray, J. (2012) Haunted Annapolis: Ghosts of the Capital City. Haunted America. Charleston, SC.

The Ghost of Government House [Electronic Record]. (2007) Maryland State Archives at 21 State Circle, Shaw House, Annapolis, MD 21401 retrieved from

Walker, A. (1995). The Ghostly History of Annapolis [Electronic Version]. The Baltimore Sun retrieved from