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An Unusual Haunting | Unexplained Cases (2023)

Written by: Rick Garner
Case Filed: 9/30/23
Executive Producer: Rick Garner


There’s just something special about small town main streets. Something nostalgic…simple…all-American…and unusual. I mean, that’s actually the name of the store. Unusual Company of Ellicott City is known for “World Famous Authentic Italian Gelato with Non-Dairy options, Movie Memorabilia, Collectibles, Comics, and Art all wrapped up in a circa 1905 bank building!” Unusual is the perfect name. Wall to wall and on each of their two floors, they have an amazing collection of merch and products for every level of fan. When I first visited the location, of course I loved all the collectables. And I still need to try the gelato. But I sensed there was something else to Unusual. Maybe it was just a hunch…a store catering to this kind of wear might attract some spooky visitors. Or maybe it was intuition, sensing there was more to this store than meets the eye. So, I reached out to Unusual and inquired about our conducting an investigation of the property and asked if they had experienced anything paranormal. “There is an old story of a lady in a blue dress that haunts the building. She used to work at the bank Washington Trust Company and passed away on the top floor of the building.” In our research, we couldn’t find any mention of a death or haunting in the structure. But it does have quite a bit of history. Originally, the building was the Washington Trust Company, founded in May 1903. They were an alternative to the other Main Street bank, the Patapsco National Bank. The Washington Trust Company did not survive the Depression and went out of business in 1934. Then the space became the Commercial and Farmers Bank until 1999 when it was bought out by Farmers and Mechanics National Bank. Two years later, that bank closed and the space has since been used for business. As their website states: “After the Ellicott City flood of 2018, our family wanted to do something to give back to the community. We saw many buildings vacant and hardly any stores or people walking and visiting the small town as we have always known it. All of us visited Old Ellicott City Main Street as kids. There are so many memories of walking up and down Main Street visiting the small shops. We decided to rent a building and develop a retail concept that would be fun and unique for people to visit.” Mark Russo, a local artist, is friends with the owner who allowed him to call the third floor home for about a week in December 2020. One night, Mark had some unexplained encounters. Mark shared with us a video he captured in August 2019. A chandelier at the front of the store is clearly swaying compared to the others. Considering the variables of A/C air, ceiling fans and possible air from outside, a moving chandelier isn’t entirely unexplained. And yet, under similar conditions, the same chandelier was not moving during our visit. Devin Banks, an employee of Unusual and friend of the owners, has spent many nights at the store but hasn’t had any paranormal experiences. We began our investigation by conducting a sweep of the building. Partially this is done to get a feel of the structure to determine if anything feels “off” or different. We’re looking for cold or warm spots and any place that either makes body hairs stand up or produces a dizzy or even nauseous feeling. We’re also looking for any areas with high or variable EMF. With power on in the building, EMF is expected as these fields can emanate from electrical lines. If present, those fields tend to be constant. But if those fields fluctuate, that’s worth noting. Again, there’s nothing paranormal about electronic magnetic fields - these are man-made and naturally occurring - but in some cases, these fields seem to be associated with neither man or nature which is why theories support ghosts producing their own EMF or being able to manipulate existing fields to communicate with the living. The use of cat ball toys in investigations is a relatively new procedure. The idea is that if they are lighting up and there’s nothing to produce contact or vibration, something unexplained is going on. There’s one particular brand that’s sensitive enough. At first, that sounds problematic as one might think the slightest movement would make them light up. However, in the following video, you’ll see how not only is that not true but also we seemed to get intelligent responses via at least one of these toys. The property has four floors…the first and second floor - seen by customers of the store…the basement - used for storage…and the third floor to which we did not have access. Mike and I spent most of our time on the first and second floors conducting EVP, spirit box and Estes Method sessions. Mike also deployed a technique he’s used with other teams and many locations where spirits are asked to identify the number, color or suite of a playing card. I performed an initial sweep of the basement including using the cat ball toys but it was rather quiet. No responses on the toys. Nothing out of ordinary. But when Mike and I explored the basement together…with the lights out…something unexpected happened. Did Mike see a shadow person? There’s no way to be certain but I believe he saw something…unusual. But we also had unusual experiences in the vault, an area that employees feel very uneasy around. So, is Unusual Company haunted? With Ellicott City’s long history and it being next to a river - the Patapsco - which rivers are theorized to provide energy for paranormal activity - there’s no surprise that there are ghosts all over Ellicott City. For now, visit this local business. Browse their amazing collectables and you’ll likely find something or a few somethings to suit your fancy. Also, enjoy the gelato. But don’t be too surprised if you think someone’s looking over your shoulder. They just might be…or they may not be someone you can see. Reporting for Unexplained Cases, I’m Rick Garner
ABOUT UNEXPLAINED CASES: The Unexplained Cases team is focused on preserving history while documenting the strange, paranormal and unexplained. What separates Unexplained Cases from other paranormal groups is that Darren Dedo and Rick Garner, who today are recognized as early pioneers of the “ghost hunting”genre, have over 35 years in broadcast radio and television news and have won a Southeast Regional Emmy and Associated Press awards. Over the past few years, the UC team has grown to add Michael Chinn as Lead Investigator and Researcher in addition to having the privilege to collaborate with several renowned paranormal investigators, including A&E’s Ghost Hunters Daryl Marston, Mustafa Gatollari, Brandon Alvis, Brian Murray, and Richel Stratton, as well as Malia Miglino from YouTube’s “Macabre Mondays” and “Grave Hunter”. SUPPORT US: Paypal | Patreon | Channel Member | GET MERCH: Teespring | GET EQUIPMENT: Spirit Box SB7 | SBox Ghost Box | K2 EMF Meter | Mel Meter | REM Pod | EDI+ Meter | Laser Grid and Tripod | CONNECT WITH US: Youtube | TikTok | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn |
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