Few places can scare up a good time like Charm City. As Halloween creeps closer and closer, locals and visitors alike may enjoy a festive night at some local haunts that serve up great ghost stories with their suds. In a historic place like Baltimore, expect tales of wars, politics, heartaches … and chickens gone by at the best haunted bars around.

Max’s Taphouse
737 South Broadway
Baltimore, Md. 21231
(410) 675-6297

Max’s Taphouse owner Ron Furman admits to being a skeptic about the paranormal. However, even the most cynical of the staff were spooked when one of the bar’s workers came bounding up from the basement in hysterics, howling about a slew of decapitated chickens running rampant below. It wasn’t until 23 years later, Furman learned inadvertently that the building established as Max’s in 1986 used to be a chicken slaughterhouse. Other paranormal experiences include sightings of a male figure disappearing through a wall and the apparition of a woman in white. As if the deliciously ghoulish tales weren’t enough to make Max’s a top spot to haunt this Halloween, the bar also happens to be the starting point for The Fells Point Haunted PubWalk. Be sure to check the PubWalk’s official website quickly if interested, as tickets sell out fast. Regardless of the season or draw, Max’s Taphouse is a favorite nightspot for locals and tourists alike. Max’s features one of the most extensive beer lists you’ll find in Baltimore, with 140 rotating drafts, five casks and a whopping 1,200 bottled beers, both local and imported. A hospitable staff and fun atmosphere cap off the list of why Max’s is a can’t-miss spot any day of the week.

Related: Best Places To Get A Last-Minute Halloween Costume

Credit: Berthas.com

Bertha’s Mussels
734 South Broadway
Baltimore, Md. 21231
(410) 327-5795

Seafood lovers salivate at the very thought of noshing on any of the platters at Bertha’s Mussels. Despite the emphasis on shellfish, Bertha’s offers a variety of menu items for everyone’s dietary needs. With the inclusive atmosphere and stellar menu, many patrons frequent the establishment oblivious to the speculation that the building harbors paranormal activity. Bertha’s was first established in 1972 as one of the first sit-down restaurants in Fells Point. It is operated in a series of three connecting buildings dating to the early 1800s, when it served as a house, brothel and merchant store. There is said to be high paranormal activity in all of the buildings, including apparitions of women, men and a little girl.

Related: Best Seafood

(credit: thehorsebaltimore.com)

The Horse You Came In On
1626 Thames St.
Baltimore, Md. 21231
(410) 327-8111

The Horse You Came In On puts the “historic” in “Historic Fells Point.” The popular saloon was first established in 1775 and was thought to be a favorite watering hole to notable Baltimore poet, Edgar Allan Poe. According to an article by Rand Dunkle on baltimorestories.com, several Horse employees have experienced paranormal activity they believe is the ghost of Poe. Employees have seen a chandelier swing on its own and had experiences with a cash register that opened and closed by itself. The smoky western décor and affable ambiance make this classic bar a can’t-miss hangout for friends and visitors. The bar also offers half-priced select appetizers and drink specials Monday to Friday, along with live music throughout the week and weekend.

(credit: catseyepub.com)

Cat’s Eye Pub
1730 Thames St.
Baltimore, Md. 21231
(410) 276-9866

Only about a block and a half east from The Horse You Came In On is Cat’s Eye Pub, an eclectically decorated dive known for its collection of regulars, cheap drinks and great live music. During a renovation, workmen found several red light switches left over from when the building operated as a brothel. Although the switches have been covered with drywall, employees have reported instances of hearing the switches click on and off, and many speculate the ghosts of the women from the red light districts haunt the bar. Those easily spooked needn’t fret; the bartenders serve up stellar cocktails quickly and with a hospitality that can be hard to find.

Ellicott Mills Brewing Company
8308 Main St.
Ellicott City, Md. 21043
(410) 313-8141

Beautiful Ellicott City is rich with history, and with its many years has come a litany of ghost sightings and reports of the town being a hotbed for paranormal activity. According to Howard County’s official website, it is not just the city’s history, but its architecture that makes it the perfect place to attract and harbor spirits. “Ellicott City is built on a bed of granite and granite composite … mediums will agree that this fact alone attracts and channels spiritual energy,” it reads. One of those granite structures include the elegant and inviting Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, known for its excellent cuisine and extensive beer collection brewed and aged to perfection. Many have reported ghost sightings of a man that was thought to have hung himself on the second floor of the building.

 Tracy Dye has always had an affinity toward writing and the arts. A fan of exploring all the hidden gems in Baltimore outside of her work and studies, Tracy is thrilled for the opportunity to bring residents all the latest on nightlife and music in the area. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.