Lilburn Mansion

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Spirits of Lilburn Mansion are not afraid to show their disapproval of the living
and take matters into their own hands.

Paranormal activity stems from changes made, childbirth gone bad,
deadly illnesses, and love of home.



Lilburn Mansion is also known as Hazeldene, Hazelhurst and/or Balderstone Mansion.

Lilburn Mansion is a completely restored, 19th-century Gothic and Romanesque revival style stone and granite, 7,000 sq. ft castle with twenty rooms, made complete with a four-story medieval tower attached to the home. From the tower, one sees, I’m told, breathtaking views of nearly seven acres. There is a circular driveway, screened-in porch, a pool and a veranda. There are plenty of great outside and inside spaces for small, medium or large social events.

lilburn-mansionOn the mansion’s property, there are two other buildings. “The Cottage” is a three-story carriage house, and the three-level smoke house is the only one known to have ever been built in Howard County.

The current owners, Eric and Patricia, live in The Cottage and rent out the entire Lilburn Mansion to individual couples, and groups of up to twelve people, charging seven hundred and fifty dollars a person for the experience of having the entire Mansion to themselves. The total bill would be $1,141.00 after the cleaning fee and Air BnB’s fee are added.

Staying here is like stepping back in time to the Victorian era, with appropriate elaborate decor, and antiques that showcase how the original owners must have lived their lives here. It is like the Hazelhurst family still lives here and went out for a walk.

On the main floor, the ceilings are twelve feet high, and among the rooms there are seven marble fireplaces. Common rooms include the parlor, the living room, the lavish dining room and the library. The kitchen is modern, which must make it fun to prepare meals.

Upstairs there are four large bedrooms for guests, each with a queen bed, with one to two air mattresses. Each room has its own elegant bathroom with a claw-foot tub and elaborate shower.



Henry Richard Hazelhurst was an English immigrant from Berkshire and a civil engineer, who made his first fortune in the railroad industry. He then invested his money in starting an iron foundry in Baltimore. The new business took off during the Civil War, making Henry another fortune selling iron to the Union forces. He was considered part of the American gentry, earning a listing in the 19th-century “Blue Book.”

Henry married his first love, Ellen Hazlehurst, in 1844. They had one child together, Ellen Catherine. Mother Ellen died in 1848 in childbirth gone wrong, along with the baby. Henry married again in 1852 to Elizabeth Virginia Hazlehurst, a woman ten years his junior, bringing his daughter Ellen with them.

Just before the Civil War in 1857, Hazelhurst built this handsome Gothic mansion to showcase his wealth and for the pleasure of his family and himself. During the Civil War, it became a hospital for wounded soldiers to recover.

Henry and his second wife Elizabeth had five children together: George, Marie, Margaret, Julia and Elizabeth, but lost three-year-old Marie to disease.

Henry and Elizabeth saw the five children grow into fine adults, who probably went to college and became successful people. I bet they even saw them get married at Hazelhurst Mansion. Henry eventually retired and lived at the mansion with Elizabeth until she died in 1887.

More tragedy was to enter Henry’s life. Ellen Catherine passed in 1891. Julia’s death in the tower from childbirth happened in 1893. Margaret died in 1895. Henry lost his family one by one, but still had his son George, and his daughter Elizabeth, when he died in 1900, at eighty-five years old.


After Elizabeth died in 1905, George sold the Hazelhurst family forever home in 1906 to the Wells family. The patriarch of the Wells household was considered a bit of an odd duck by the Ellicott community because he snapped at anyone who tried to talk to him. In 1923, this petulant soul sold it to the John Maginnis family who moved inside, but they weren’t alone. They immediately experienced immediately auditory paranormal activity.

During Christmas of 1923, a fire erupted, badly damaging the mansion. The Maginnis family rebuilt it almost exactly the same as the original except that they replaced the tower’s Gothic turret with a stone parapet. Uh oh!

Not surprisingly, auditory paranormal activity increased, especially in the tower. However, despite the spectral displeasure, peace reigned between the living and the dead. The Maginnis family stayed until 1930, when they sold the property to Beth Hillel Sanitarium. The auditory activity was ignored because the focus was on taking care of the patients, who could be a handful.

Over the following years, its ownership changed at least four more times. In 1965, the Balderstone family bought it and moved in, calling it Hazeldene. They discovered that there were spectral residents residing as well. Besides the usual auditory activity, the apparitions of Henry and one of his daughters were seen separately and together.

In 1977, Dr. Eugenia King and her son bought the mansion, and lived there six years before selling it in 1983, probably to house flippers. The new owners did some needed renovations and restorations, and sold it in 1988. The people to whom they sold it to didn’t last long. They wound up selling the property in 1990, despite the warning that it came with a ghost.

By the 2000s, the maintenance of this historic mansion castle was becoming expensive. The owners in 2005 came up with an idea to put it to work, which helped subsequent owners to bring in needed income to cover expenses.

The 2005 owners decided to open a bed and breakfast and began the lengthy process of asking permission of governing authorities. They petitioned to open a bed and breakfast with rooms located in the cottage on the same property, to include rooms located in the mansion itself.

Their proposal was conditionally approved in Feb. 2006 by Howard County but further approvals were needed. But because these owners had to move across the country, they sold the property. The new owners carried through with getting the special approvals needed, and opened their bed and breakfast.

Currently, as of 2023, owners Eric and Patricia have listed their Victorian Gothic Castle Mansion on the website Air B and B, renting it out for group social events like weddings and receptions, family events, and overnight guests for a handsome fee that helps with the maintenance costs and taxes, and helps them to make a little bit of profit.



In Ellicott City, Lilburn Mansion’s ghosts have been public knowledge since the 1920s, with new stories being added to town lore over the years. In a small town, news travels fast.


Changes made to a beloved spectral home can upset the spirits who love it the way it was originally built, or were used to being in charge.

Church Street Cafe, NM (When Marie Coleman purchased the Ruiz family forever home and began major renovations to turn it into a commercial restaurant, the spectral matriarch Sarah Ruiz was furious and took aggressive action. In the end, she decided to try to help after Marie talked to her).

1890 House, NY (The spirit of Frederick Wickwire got his feathers ruffled when workmen hired by the 1890 House board came in and started improving and restoring things).

Bull’s Head Inn, NY (Not a great idea to set up a bar in the old bedroom of a temperance leader. Oops!).

Lilburn Mansion, MD (The spirit of Henry Hazelhurst and other unseen presences were extremely displeased when the Gothic peak was taken off the tower, and a stone battlement (called a stone parapet) was put there instead. He freely showed his displeasure through increased auditory activity, and may have had help from other unseen presences).


Being rich in the 19th century didn’t guarantee that family members wouldn’t fall victim to circumstance or disease or dumb human accidents. Children were often victims of disease, and accidents, and the childbirth experience could be deadly in certain circumstances. The spirits of children may decide to stay in the family home where they felt love and support.

The Witch House (Corwin House), MA (Judge Jonathan Corwin’s first two wives both died in childbirth. He and his third wife were unlucky in raising their many children. Five of their kids died in this house. At least one spirit child resides).

McRaven House, MS (The spirit of Mary Elizabeth Howard died in childbirth. William and Ellen Murray lost two of their five sons to yellow fever).

Duff Green Mansion Bed and Breakfast, MS (Duff and Mary Green lost their first born to disease at six years old, their son to an accident at eleven, and their third child in early adulthood to a freak accident. All three of their spirits reside with their spectral parents).

Lilburn Mansion, MD (The Hazelhurst family lost one child, Maria, from disease. Their daughter Julia died in childbirth just four years after she married. Some of the other families who lived here, may have lost children and maybe a baby).


The spirits of children may choose to stay in a place other than their homes because they so enjoyed the attention and love they received there while alive.

Stranahan House, FL (The spirit of a young Native American girl resides here where she can still be close to her loving teacher, the spirit of Mrs. Stranahan).

Jennie Wade House, PA (The spirits of children, who lived across the street in the orphanage, found love and acceptance here from Jenny Wade and her family. They still enjoy themselves here).

Logan Mansion, LA (The spirit of a girl with a serious heart condition who lived next door while alive found love and support from a childless couple, Lafayette and Lavenia Logan. She has chosen to spend her afterlife with their spirits, who also reside here).

Lilburn Mansion, MD (The spirit of Margaret, the childhood best friend of one of the Hazelhurst daughters, has chosen to reside where she felt acceptance and love).


Families who are broken up because of tragic deaths, sometimes reunite in the afterlife, meeting in the family forever home to be together again once more.

Bowman House, ME (The Bowman family, the spirits of John, Jennie, Ella and baby Adie, are together again in a home they never got to live in together while alive).

Hartford Twain House, CT (After their forever home was restored carefully to its former glory, the spirits of the Mark Twain family and their maid moved back inside. Two of their three daughters died tragically. Now they are together again).

Whaley House Museum, CA (The earthly tragedies of the Whaley family have caused them to stay together as spirits).

Lilburn Mansion, MD (The known spirits from the Hazelhurst family who reside here to be together are Henry Hazelhurst and two of his children, who died from accidents. Other family spirits may visit to keep them company).



The Spirits of a Small Child and Baby

The spirits of a young child, and a baby, make themselves known by crying in the upstairs bedrooms.

One family who lived here reported that their dog was afraid to enter a second floor room off the hallway.

The Spirit of a Young Girl

Housekeepers have seen the apparition of a young girl wearing a chiffon dress, playing in various rooms of the mansion.

This same spirit has also been seen walking down one of the hallways with a spirit of a man. Two spirits seen together, sounds like a father-daughter duo.

Spirit of a Man

It is thought to be the spirit of Henry Hazelhurst.

The form of a male apparition was once reported to have materialized in a doorway right in front of a witness, which caused some excitement.

The aroma and sometimes the actual presence of cigar smoke drifting through the air has been noticed in the library.

Spirit of the child Margaret

It is thought that the spirit called Margaret is the cause of the following mischief.

The heavy chandelier in the dining room began to swing with vigor during a 1960 family event, which surely livened up the party.

The chandelier did the same thing in front of a future owner, who lived here several decades later.

A vase of flowers elevated off its stand and turned itself over, pouring the water and dumping the floral arrangement on the floor.

“I Claim the Tower!”

The spirit who has claimed the tower is probably Henry Hazelhurst, who is willing to share this space with the living, but insists on fresh air.

The sound of heavy footsteps climbing the tower stairs has been heard by the living.

The windows in the tower area open by themselves, sometimes refusing to close.

One energetic resident even tied them down with rope.

No sooner had he come outside to see the efforts of his labor, he saw that the windows were untied and open once more!

General Activity

Doors will open, shut and lock by themselves.

A variety of footsteps are heard all over the house.

The aroma of cooking food can be noticed in rooms near the kitchen, even when no-one is there.



Owners, staff and guests have had paranormal experiences with the spirits who reside or visit, sometimes becoming the full paranormal sports package when the spirits are inspired.

I could find no hard paranormal evidence posted online.



Yes Indeed.

The spirits who reside here coexist with the living, remembering their happy memories, working through the tragedies they suffered, going about their business, doing what they enjoyed, and getting their chuckles on occasion but never hurting anyone.




3899 College Avenue
Ellicott City, Maryland

This private residence is located on College Avenue, on the left side of a winding road which stays the course up a side of a hill in Ellicott City. Please respect the privacy and property rights of the people who live here and have taken such good care of this large granite stone home. Hopefully, in the future, Lilburn Mansion will become part of a bed and breakfast business, when new owners buy this property.


  • pictures.
  • Posted by Ron Ieraci


Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

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