Oak Lawn

Masterpiece Architect
On Park Avenue, in the district area of Ellicott City, there is one structure that stands out amongst the old buildings. With its granite stone walls and distinctly iron rails, the Hayden House would make any passerby look twice.

Mr. Hayden
Formerly named Oak Lawn, this beautiful building was once a grand home to Edwin Parsons Hayden, a well known and respected attorney. Hayden built the home in the 1840’s and lived there with his wife and 6 kids. After almost a decade of residing at Oak Lawn, Hayden passed away on May 10, 1850, at the age of 39.

Becoming Government Property
After Hayden’s death, the house had many private owners. In 1937 the house was finally bought by Howard County. The county used the home as the headquarters of the board of education. In the 1970’s the home was purchased by the district court.

The Cooking Ghost
During the time the district court used the house, strange occurrences started being reported. The Hayden house did not have a kitchen, or a place to cook food, yet people started noticing the smell of bacon, eggs, soup and apple cobbler being cooked. Along with the strange smells, workers in the courthouse reported other incidences. Lights and the coffee pots started turning on and off by themselves, napkins would fold themselves, footsteps were often heard, and one worker even reported seeing a strange man when they were alone in the building. Due to these incidences, the building would close at 4:30 so no one had to be at the building after hours alone. People believed it was Edwin haunting the building, but no evidence proved this, so the ghost was named the Cooking Ghost of Oak Lawn.

Today
In 1981 the building became the law library. Today the Hayden house is still part of the courthouse.

Resources
Holland,C. (2003). Ellicott City, Maryland- Mill Town USA.Ellicott City, MD: Historic Ellicott City Inc.

Okonowicz,E. (2007) Haunted Maryland: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Old Line State.PA: Stackpole Books.

Taylor, T. (2001). The Haunting of America: Ghosts & Legends of America’s Haunted Past. Illinois: White Chapel Productions Press

Wise, M. (2006). Images of America: Ellicott City.Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing