Local Legends: Haunted Places in Maryland
Happy October, Route One fans! By now, you're probably sipping your pumpkin spice lattes and planning your Halloween costumes--or maybe you're on the hunt for a local scare! Grab your friends, your family or your date, and head to one of the many places in Maryland rich with spooky history (and maybe even a ghost or two).
No question about it--Antietam is one of the most picturesque places in Maryland. (Just ask Missie Conroy!) But it's also the site of the deadliest battle of the Civil War, and many believe that a place so full of violence and misery will have lingering unhappy spirits. Visitors report hearing battle cries of charging soldiers or smelling gunpowder as they walk along the battlefield.
A sign for Bloody Lane at Antietam. Photo via Federal Highway Administration
One of the most famous sites at Antietam is Bloody Lane. When the Confederate army invaded, much of the battle took place on a sunken road. Though the Confederates held the road for awhile, the Union army eventually overtook them, and the southern army was slaughtered. That road now has the ominous title of Bloody Lane--and yes, you can visit it. You'll learn a lot about Civil War history on your visit, but more importantly, you might snap a picture of a ghost.
Westminster Burying Ground
Any Baltimore resident worth their Old Bay knows this is the final resting place of Edgar Allen Poe. If you were really good in your history class, you know that his young wife and much of his family was buried here as well. Some visitors have claimed to see the ghost of Poe here, but if his ghost is hanging around, it has a lot of company. Haunting America reports other spirits, like that of a woman in white, and of a medical student who was caught stealing bodies from the graveyard for his anatomy experiments. Even former groundskeepers join the party, protecting the graves of the burying ground even after their own deaths.
The ghost of Poe? Nope, just a really good impersonator I met when I visited the grave. Photo via Eva Niessner.
P.S.--if you like to drink spirits while you search for them, head down to The Horse You Came In On saloon in Fell's Point. Not only was this supposedly Poe's last stop before his untimely death, it's also a bar older than the Declaration of Independence and haunted to boot.
Dr. Mudd's House
We've all done things we've regretted later, but Dr. Samuel Mudd of Waldorf, MD, had bigger regrets than most. When a handsome young actor needed his broken leg set, Mudd helped him out...but that actor was John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, and he had broken his leg escaping after the murder. Dr. Mudd was accused of helping Booth's assassination plot, and he was thrown in prison. But Mudd insisted he was innocent, and according to visitors to the Waldorf Mudd house, he still does. Visit Mudd's mansion, and perhaps the sad doctor will appear to you, probably to tell you he really wished he had just said no.
Jonathan Hager House
Hagerstown is named for Jonathan Hager (surprising, right?), and his home, which is located in what is now the City Park, is a 17-century gem. It's also famously haunted, with two former families that had lived in the house said to cause all kinds of mischief--moving things around, flickering lights, the usual. If you're in the area, you can also stop by the Zion Reformed United Church, where Jonathan Hager is buried--and also the site of his death. Hager may still be around, making sure that his beloved church is in good shape, and also maybe hoping someone would bring him a Krumpe's donut.
It doesn't look so scary....by daylight, of course. Photo via Wikipedia.
Lilburn, just outside of Ellicott City, is a beautiful 19th-century mansion situated in the forest. Visitors have reported seeing ghosts of men and children, hearing footsteps, and getting a feeling of intense dread. Lilburn is a private residence, but supposedly no one stays in the house for very long. There are even stories about construction workers and renovators who had been hired to work on the house that were too scared to stay on the job--or even to say what had frightened them so much.
Perfect for the cover of Haunted Homes and Gardens! Photo via Tumblr
Got a good ghost story from your little corner of Maryland? Let us know in the comments!
This post was written by Route One Apparel blogger, Eva Niessner.