In June of 2003 the debris from Simkins Paper Mill erupted over Ellicott City like Mount Vesuvius.
It was ten years ago this month when I stood outside with my neighbors watching ash cover our homes, yards and cars. The sun was setting as word spread that Simkins Mill was burning down.
The ash from the paper mill filled the sky. This was not the first mill fire, nor would it be the last, but this fire severely damaged the mill and forced it to shut down forever. Built in the 1820’s, it was converted to a paper mill in the late 1920’s and it remained in operation until 2003.
Today the abandoned mill lies in ruin. There have been many stories of hauntings over the years, so Robby and I decided to make the paper mill our first official paranormal investigation site.
We were not disappointed!
Strangely, the mill has been abandoned for ten years, but two days after our investigation, a newspaper article was released stating, “Demolition Begins on Simkins Mill.”
Coincidence? I don’t believe in them. There was a story here that needed to be told.
We began with an evening investigation and finished up the following day. Both times we were able to capture remarkable photos.
Original Casper Photo
Casper: The Friendly Orb
The first night of our investigation was profound. We captured a “Casper Orb” on the road side of the mill building. I have photographed many orbs, and most are light and opaque, but this orb was bright and I’ve never seen one with a face!
Original Ghost Dog Photo – Look at the top of the lower left window
George Bolton: Ghost Dog
George Bolton – Ghost Dog
Ghost Dog Outline
The next day, Robby and I walked along the river bank and took pictures of the back of the mill building. As we walked, the Ghost Radar app was talking up a storm and there was mention of a dog twice.
Once when the Ghost Radar said, “Dog”, I took a picture of a window. We were looking at a certain window because there was a long string hanging in front of it and the string started swinging wildly. A bird could have caused the string to move, but combined with the app telling us about a dog, I felt that we were being directed to take a picture in that particular area.
At the top of a window, there is a Ghost Dog looking out at us.
His name is George Bolton.
The ghost stories that I’ve read about Simkins Mill are spooky and scary, but Robby and I found a friendly spirit showing itself as Casper, and a cute puppy dog who wanted to be recognized.
Since the demolition of the mill is finally imminent, I think these two spirits wanted to be remembered as friends, not as evil spirits. The mill is obviously dear to them and they wanted the good times to be remembered, not the ruins.
Simkins Mill Ghost Radar Conversation
Words from the Other Side:
Ben Bone Battle Have Stick Dawn Divide Held Pictured Right Either Living Vapor Discovery
Tonight Mark Handsome Variety Dog Flower Won Mind Movement Calm Mission Pole Bowl
Saturday Discussion Begun Far Mighty Dog
George Bolton: Ghost Dog of Simkins Mill
Ben and I worked at the mill. Whenever he brought a juicy bone for me, we would have a pretend battle over it and I would have to probably fetch a stick, but the reward was well worth it. Ben was good to me.
Dawn came early at the mill. Men would divide into work groups as they held their tools and settled in for the day. I have to admit, this is not the life that I pictured for myself. On my right were noisy machines and on my left were even noisier machines. You could either love them or hate them, but either way they created a way of living in this mill.
Life was good and I enjoyed my job as the mill guard dog, but today felt different. Something was wrong.
As an eerie vapor mist rose from the river, I made a discovery tonight that would prove to be my last.
Mark, the night manager, was vain and believed himself to be far more handsome than he was, but he carried a variety of treats that any dog would beg for so I tolerated him.
With a flower tucked in his vest pocket, he certainly won the best dressed award at the mill, but his mind was elsewhere tonight. His movement towards me was calm, but I could tell that he was on a mission. He had a strange pole in his hand as he put the bowl down in front of me…
It was a Saturday when I crossed over. There was a discussion over how the fire had begun, but their conclusions were far from the truth.
I want to be remembered as the Mighty Mill Dog.
I remain on guard, as always.
The Next Investigation
Next week’s Investigation will be at the St. Mary’s Cemetery on Ilchester Road in Ellicott City.