Middleton Tavern

Middleton Tavern Annapolis, MarylandDowntown Annapolis is well known for its stores and dining. Every block seems to have a restaurant or a tavern for tourists to enjoy. In the harbor area there is one tavern that has stood the test of time and even has a few ghost stories to tell.

Middleton Tavern, located at 2 Market Place, opened in 1754. The property was bought by Horatio Middleton in 1750 and the building was built as an inn for sailors called Old Inn. Middleton’s family also ran a ferry taking people to the eastern shore.  Old Inn was used as a few different businesses by the Middleton family, such as a tavern and a store selling dry goods. It was owned by the Middletons until 1792.  The Middletons sold the property to John Randall in 1793 and it remained in his family until 1854.  In 1864 it was bought by Frederick Marx, who turned it into Marx Hotel. Marx only kept the property for a few years and in 1867 sold it to William Myers. Myers rented the property out to George Rost (or George Schmidt depending on the resource).  George rented the place until his tragic death in 1875, when one of his disgruntled employees murdered him. The property then became residential for a short time in the early 1900s, changing multiple owners. In 1968 it was purchased by its current owner Joseph Hardesty who renovated the building a couple of times after having fire damage in 1970 and 1973 and turned the building into the Middleton Tavern. The last big renovation was in 1983 when they added an oyster bar and private dining rooms on the 2nd floor.

Hauntings of the Middleton Tavern

The most popular spirit is a ghost named Roland. No one seems to have any history on his life, but he is dressed as if he was from the days of the revolution. He is often seen near the window staring out into the water. Roland is also accused of stealing drinks and messing with the tap. One employee reported to find an empty glass on the bar with ice in it, which was not there a few minutes before.

Other spirits reside at the Middleton tavern. One is believed to be a cook that used to work there. The other is George, the owner who was murdered by his employee.  Dishes have been reported being moved by themselves, unexplained voices and footsteps can be heard, and chairs would be pulled out after being pushed in.  Lanterns that are fastened to the wall securely have been moved as well.

The last spirit associated with Middleton tavern actually is outside the tavern on Franklin St. In the late 1700s, Alexander Hastings was beaten to death during a robbery. People claim to see a man running through the alley yelling for help, only to be dragged away by shadow people. Witnesses would call the police for help, only for the police to find the alley empty with no signs of an attack.


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

Maryland Historical Trust MD Inventory of Historic Properties Middleton’s Tavern (AA1817) [Electronic Record]; Historical Sites Survey Field Sheet; Individual Structure Survey Form; Records of the Maryland Historical Trust; Maryland State Archives at 21 State Circle, Shaw House, Annapolis, MD 21401

Middletown Tavern. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.middletontavern.com/home.html\

Smith, P (2012). Baltimore’s Most Haunted Places [Electronic Version]. CBS Baltimore retrieved from http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/top-lists/baltimores-most-haunted-places.