State House

State House in Annapolis, MarylandThe first image that comes to mind when people think of Annapolis is the State House. At 100 State Circle, right in the center of the circle sits the historic government building. Atop the beautiful building sits an incredible dome with a tragic story.

Maryland State House in Annapolis

The State House that now sits in the circle is actually the 3rd State House. The original was built in 1697 but burned down in 1704 and the 2nd house was complete in 1709. After 60 years the 2nd State house did not meet the needs of the Maryland government and the modern state house began its construction in 1772 and was completed in 1779.

 

State House Dome Annapolis, Maryland

It was the construction of the dome that wrote the sad tale of Thomas Dance. Thomas was a plasterer who was hired to complete the dome. On February 23, 1793, Thomas fell 87 feet to his death while working on the historical dome. After his death, strange occurrences started happening in the State house, specifically near the dome. People began reporting footsteps, doors opening by themselves, unexplained sounds, cold spots, and objects being moved. Eventually reports started coming in of people actually seeing Thomas! People started claiming to see a man in 18th century clothing walking around on the outside balcony of the dome, smoking a pipe in the State House, and seeing him hanging out on the grounds. Workers eventually started blaming any misfortunes or mishaps on Thomas. Apparently after his death his family was denied payment for his work and was deported back to England. People believed that Thomas was angry over how his family was treated and a lot of the hauntings are him acting out.

Inside of State DomeThomas is also known for being very protective of his final masterpiece, the dome. In 1997 a tourist decided to speak negatively about the dome while on a tour. All of the sudden a gust of cold air came sweeping by him so strong it knocked him on the ground! Doors also flew open, sending papers flying out of the building. The gust lasted about 10 seconds and the tourist left nothing behind but a huge puddle!

Resources

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

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

Rasmussen, F. (2007). The Creepier Side of the State’s Capital [Electronic Version]. The Baltimore Sun retrieved from http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2007-07-21/news/0707210016_1_annapolis-dome-simmons

Ricksecker, M. (2010) Ghosts of Maryland. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA.

Wilson, J. (2012). Haunted Annapolis: Ghosts of the Capital City [Electronic Version]. WAMU 88.5 retrieved from http://wamu.org/programs/metro_connection/12/10/26/haunted_annapolis_ghosts_of_the_capital_city