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A few Haunts

The following content is reincarnated from a street racing site that unwittingly ignited intense interest in all things paranormal.

Arcadia Mansion

45-room mansion on the Monocacy battlefield. Rt. 85 near Frederick.

Black Aggie & Grief

Little is as eerie as the baleful stare of a piece of graveyard statuary, especially the ominous monolith "Grief" in DC's Rock Creek cemetery, whose illegitimate but infamous doppleganger, "Black Aggie," was once in Pikesville's Druid Ridge Cemetery near Baltimore but now haunts the Dolly Madison house near the Federal Court in DC. (Dolly Madison house was used by president James Madison & wife Dolly after White House was burned.)

Bladensburg Dueling Grounds

Naval hero Stephen Decatur is one of many who died from wounds at the infamous dueling grounds just northeast of DC near Route 450.

Chestnut Lodge

is an old medical treatment / insane asylum smack in the heart of Rockville (Montgomery county, 20 miles northwest of Washington, DC; home to highest concentration of Ph.D.'s in the country). It was internationally known (google for "chestnut lodge"), hard wired into the psych community after nearly a century of treating many long-term, profoundly disturbed psych patients and mute, catatonic and "hopeless schizophrenics." Briefly a resort hotel, it became the quintessential psychiatric sanitarium. A young neighbor noted it feels like Hannibal Lechter could have been there.

Closed in 2001, its 20+ acres and 20+ buildings (several of which are historic) still seem eerily fresh, frozen, timeless. We've gathered lots of information (resurrecting the original website), including maps, photos, and stories. Cracked CIA agents were possibly treated, and edgy pharmacological studies were reportedly conducted there. Famous families often committed nutty relatives against their will. Several books have been written about Chestnut Lodge, a peerlessly intense facility that still chills and rivets attention with, well, an insanely creepy history and presence.

Not a great place to lose your bearing, your mind or your life, it's definitely worthy of a wild scare or two. Screams and odd goings-on have been reported by nearby neighbors since its closure and before, but those are probably just pranks... Coincidentally, there is a large funeral home three blocks away.

Update 2007-08-21: This email came in from Vicky at Chase Communities, the developer of the new Chestnut community:

"Chestnut Lodge is NOT abandoned and it is dangerous to go onsite during the construction and building process. Demolition of the majority of the buildings has occurred and development has commenced on the property. A Security Company is assigned to Chestnut Lodge and a Neighborhood Watch is in place. It is incumbent upon you as a responsible internet website to advise your readers that we have, and will continue to, prosecute trespassers to the fullest extent of the law."

So, keep that in mind people: it's not nice to trespass, it's not right, and they will prosecute you if you're caught. The Chestnut development is a multi-million dollar undertaking, so paying some lawyers to nab ne'er-do-wells is certainly within scope and capability.

Crownsville State Hospital

, built in 1910, quickly renamed from "Hospital for the Negro Insane" by an act of Maryland's legislature, closed in June, 2004.

"Thirty-one male Negro mental patients from Montevue Asylum in Frederick county were to clear the land and build a railroad spur to the hospital site. Arriving first in handcuffs and guarded by a dozen deputy sheriffs, the men were told to expect different treatment that would not confine them to cells or handcuffs or straight jackets.' Each man was issued an axe. With three orderlies, Dr. Robert J. Winterode, Superintendent of Crownsville, worked with the 'dangerously insane' Negroes, cutting hundreds of crossties and tall poles for the electric wires...that was just the beginning of the fun." --Someone you don't know

"There has been nothing of greater importance to the State ... than the laws enacted for the care and treatment of the insane in Maryland." --25th Annual Report of the Lunacy Commission, 1910 [Did you read that? Maryland had a "Lunacy Commission" -- that's just crazy.]

Positively inspirational. Equally unsettling. Interestingly, the Crownsville site and the Rennaissance Festival site are neighbors.

As of Jan 2005, Maryland operates two state mental hospitals, Spring Grove Hospital in Catonsville (Baltimore county) and Springfield Hospital in Sykesville (Carroll county), via the Mental, uh, Maryland Hospital Authority, or, er, uh, Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA) link.

DC Hot Shot Spots

Infamous sites in and around DC.

Druid Ridge Cemetary

Outside Baltimore.
art and photos of clara daly: seaofstorms.com

Enchanted Forest in Ellicott City, MD // Spooky Dan
2nd oldest amusement park in the country now in ruins.

Forest Glen Seminary

(aka Walter Reed Army Medical Annex): Formerly an elite girls academy. Inside 495 beltway, near Mormon temple, on Linden Lane. Sports Maryland's only Japanese Pagoda (ca. 1904) along with 32 other extraordinary buildings dating from late two centuries ago. Entirely spooky.

Originally the "Forest Inn" hotel, then the "National Park Seminary" elite women's finishing academy, later a seriously-wounded soldier treatment & war convalescence campus, then a medical research annex, now under renovation. Tons of unusual history in this place, in Montgomery county, right under the Mormons' noses.

Fort Howard Veteran Medical Center

(aka North Point Hospital) (map) Abandoned veterans' hospital, soon to be veterans' retirement community. Right on the water. Gun batteries. Long history. Oddly spooky.

Fort Lincoln Cemetary

death beckons from the Civil War.

Ghosts of Glen Echo

at aging Glen Echo park, just outside Washington, DC. A few hundred yards from the historic C&O Canal and an unknown missile silo. DC sure is a place of endlessly intriguing (and maddening) diversity. map

Ghost Tours

list + descriptions from Maryland State Historical Society.

Ghost Lore

Montgomery County Historical Society, 103 West Montgomery Ave., Rockville, Maryland (Beall-Dawson House, 301-762-1492 info) The society's Ghost Lore night --held every October-- starts out in the Old Baptist Cemetery and in the Beall-Dawson House, where you can go from from to room and hear different Montgomery County ghost tales.

Glenn Dale Hospital

is a massive, abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium in Prince Georges county: Built in the 30's and closed in 1982, with 20+ buildings that span 200+ acres including underground tunnels and biologically hazardous conditions, it's definitely off-limits and reportedly patrolled by cops with night-vision and dogs. Talk about irresistable! Presumably, cops can't enter buildings, but it's a hefty fine for trespassing. If you ever wanted to know first-hand about ghosts (or at least a good scare) Glenn Dale might be of interest.

Hundreds and maybe thousands of people plan to or have already visited this doomed, decrepit facility. There are whole internet sites, chatboards, photo collections, and discussions about it. Included herein are maps, links to everything relevant we found online, and a (compressed for web) clip of KiD's flashlight excursion with several other performance enthusiasts.

However dangerous and fearsome, it's an incredible hulk of history that is facing plans for renovation or demolition. Meanwhile, it puts 'haunted house' on a whole new level.

Hampton Mansion

535 Hampton Lane, Towson, MD (410-823-1309 info) Once one of the largest plantations in the Baltimore area owned for generations by the Ridgely family, this beautiful mansion is said to be haunted by a female missionary Ridgely, and a young man who was killed by being struck by lightning. They have removed the original chandeliers whose phantom falling sound signaled the impending death of a family matriarch.

Gold in DC

Early last century, Montgomery county, Maryland had over 28 gold mines. Wander the woods off MacArthur Boulevard at night, and legend has it you'll see the fiery eyes of the tommyknocker burning into your soul. A type of spirit linked to mining, Potomac's tommyknocker sprang from a deadly explosion in 1906 at the now-abandoned Maryland gold mine located near the entrance of the C&O Canal's Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center. Now that's some eery joints.

"Hell House"

in St. Mary's College, Ilchester, Maryland (originally, "Mount Saint Clemens") is the 100+ year old real "Hell House" near Ellicott city for the Redemptorist order of Roman Catholic church and not the oft confused Patapsco Female Institute (which is up on the hill in Ellicott city).

SpookyDan's wicked site: "[The property caretaker] was even charged with assault, battery and assault with the intent to murder in 1996 when he shot and critically wounded a trespasser. I don't know what came of the charges but Hudson remained caretaker and continued living on the property."

Henryton Nuthouse + TB Hospital

in Sykesville, Md. Abandoned tuberculosis hospital which later served the mentally disabled.

SpookyDan's wicked site: "located in a wooded, steeply sloped rural area in the southeast corner of Carroll County. The facility was established in the 1920's as a tuberculosis hospital for the 'Negro' population. [Later] converted to a facility serving the developmentally disabled population (i.e., mental retardation) in 1962, and closed in 1985. It has been vacant since closing. However, the Maryland State Police currently use the facility on a part-time basis to train police dogs and demonstrate how to conduct searches."

Inns, Hotels, Restaurants

This is a list and descriptions from Maryland State Historical Society.

Lime Quarry & Kiln Works

near Harper's Ferry, WV. Huge. Deep. Still. Not a smart place to fall into. Numerous dilapidated structures on the quiet grounds form an abandoned, sort of business-town. Now privately owned and rotting away into nothingness, this dying place echoes with the clamor and deeds of a bygone era.

West Virginia Limestone Quarry and Mine: So-called "deep boring" into limestone is not an uncommon mining practice. Seventy years ago, a long-time miner, unlucky Silas Weathers, tumbled into an excavation pit during a sheer wall collapse. His body was never recovered. Some say the same can't be said of his ghost.

Mary Surratt House & Tavern

9110 Brandywine Road, Clinton, Maryland (301-868-1121 info) It is said the ghost of Mary Surratt, one of the co-conspirators in Lincoln's assassination, still haunts her former home, as well as other spirits from that time period. She claimed innocence until her execution. Voices , cries and footsteps have also been heard.

Mt. Airy Plantation

at Rosaryville State Park, Upper Marlboro, MD (Rte. 301 & Highway 4 -- (301)856-8987 or (301)888-1410 for info/tours) This colonial mansion is said to be haunted by members of the Calvert family, including one eccentric one who didn't like her parlor being used. There's also reportedly the ghost of a girl in white, an old woman and a horseman.

Nike Missile Base

// Spooky Dan // Waldorf, Maryland. Hard to believe...

See also Spooky Dan's NRL Satcom: "In the mid-1960s the Naval Research Laboratory built an experimental satellite-communications facility at a former Nike missile control site near (W-45) ... used during the Vietnam War as part of a special operation called "Compass Link", established by the Defense Communications Agency to pass high-quality target photography..."

Per the Ed Thelen site, Nike W-45: Accokeek, Maryland C-4 West Waldorf, South side MD 228 (Naval Research Lab Field Site, Lower Waldorf) // L-4 West Waldorf, North side MD 228 (Naval Research Lab Waldorf Annex)

Obelisks R Us

While DC is definitely the monument capital, it's near crazy how many obelisk monuments are around DC. (Nov 2005, there's a new one up on the hill at Harper's Ferry.)

Patapsco Female Institute

up on the hill in Ellicott City, MD -- see Hell House, above.

Pennhurst State Hospital // Spooky Dan

Point Lookout

in Scotland, Maryland, Route 5 Southern Maryland (301-872-5688 info). Easily one of the most haunted places in the DC metro area, this was the site of one of the largest Confederate prison camps during the Civil War (52k+ inmates). Point Lookout State Park, located at the junction of the Potomac River & the Chesapeake Bay, has had sightings reported so frequently that the park rangers keep a log. October 28 and 29: Spirits of Point Lookout, sponsored by the St. Mary's Kiwanis Club. info at www.spiritsofpointlookout.com or 888-316-5679.

Rosewood Asylum

Abandoned mental hospital and state training center/school in Owings Mills, Maryland. Hmmm, would that be ... an electroshock machine? An hydrotherapy tub? The gauges go up to and exceed 300 degrees. Either way --°F or °C-- that's above the boiling point...

Stubborn Lights
more places in howard county: http://www.preservationhowardcounty.org/Endangered.htm
another awesome site on rosewood: seaofstorms.com

Seton Psych

Seton Psychiatric Institute, Baltimore city // Spooky Dan "An interesting footnote is the fact that the Sisters of Charity were later accused of using the Mount Hope Retreat to 'unlawfully imprison' and torture patients." Nothing goes together quite like history and mystery! Here's another gem: "To make a long story short… Catholic priests that had problems including sexual involvement with minors were sent here for treatment avoiding prosecution."

Spring Grove Psychiatric Hospital

in Catonsville, MD // Preliminary digging shows this place may be the end-all to creepy, state-run institutions. More shortly. "The Nation's 2nd Oldest Psychiatric Hospital" intertwined with UMBC (Univ. Maryland, Baltimore Campus)

Susquehannah School for Boys

(aka Tome School at Port Deposit, Md.) UrbanAtrophy (beware: UE sites like UA frequently hide and disguise important facts such as true names and locations)


Turns out there are several abandoned race tracks around the DC area. The Corvette Stingray made its US debut in 1959 at one of them. Mario Andretti and similar big names had early career wins at local tracks like Marlboro Raceway and Baltimore-Washington Track. No hauntings reported yet, but the pictures we've seen so far look positively creepy. More info soon. Thanks to Mark for the link! (Note there are several dozen abandoned race tracks and drag strips in south-central Pennsylvania, which was a hotbed of motor racing in the fifties.)

Informatino originally posted ~2004. 2022: Youtuber Michelle Gibson explores an incredibly interesting angle.


  • Nearly all of historic Ellicott city (mapquest)
  • The old mills in and around Seneca creek
    • Clopper Rd. near Waring Station
    • Black Rock Rd.
    • Seneca Rd.
    • Black Hills Park., off Spinning Wheel Ln + Waters Landing Dr
  • Montpelier Mansion
  • Montevue Asylum, Frederick county
  • Mansions in Rock Creek Park, including Klingle mansion, where Chandry Levy's (Rep. Gary Condit scandal) body was found
  • St. Elizabeth's (west campus) mental hospital.

Nike missile silos, ring of 1950s-era, small missile silos (now abandoned/sealed) surrounding DC+Balt; two are along McArthur Blvd (near Goldsboro Rd.); another two are in Gaithersburg by the Army resrever barracks near MoCo airpark.

Forest Haven, juvenile center, possibly old hospital? On 198 in laurel (fort meade?) heading towards Glen Burnie. Shortly after Remmington's, left turn. Brick wall gate-like structure as entrance. Abandoned brick building that used to be a mental hospital.

Ammendale Institute

Cedar Knoll

The "cry baby bridge" on Patuxent Rd. in Odenton

snallygaster re blair witch, "Mothman Prophecies" book

Snallygaster is an "oicotype" from the Frederick County region of Maryland, USA. Most likely corrupted German "schnell geiste", a Pennsylvania Dutch lore term meaning "quick spirit" often associated with those draughts that slam doors, topple lightweight objects, or scatter papers. The visual or physical appearance of the Snallygaster is confusing since there are several variations, some of oral tradition, having roots in the dragonlore of the early settlers. The Snallygaster more often has similarities to dragons, green scaled, and winged.

Snallygaster is a monstrous bird that preys on children. Literary accounts of the Snallygaster were printed in local newspapers. These narratives were most likely invented tales by two rival editors. To end the rivalry caused the Snallygaster demise; sent plummeting headlong into a boiling vat of whiskey. Such a just end for this unseen spirit. Of interest to scholars is the nature of the various tales likely invented, those which were patterned after Dragonlore, the absence of Native American influence (owing to the region once inhabited by Leni Lenape, Susquehannocks, Cherokee and other Northeast tribes), and its connection to Pennsylvania Dutch lore.

see also bellwitch.org

Blair Witch cameraman died in plane crash 17Aug04. Cinematographer Neal L. Fredericks, best known for his work on "The Blair Witch Project," was killed Saturday while shooting the independent film "Cross Bones" in the Florida Keys. He was 35. Fredericks was filming aerial shots for the movie from a single-engine Cessna 206 when the plane's engine sputtered twice at about 500 feet before going down in 50 feet of water, according to "Cross Bones" writer-director Daniel Zirilli. Zirilli, the pilot, a co-producer and a first camera assistant escaped the wreckage through an open door, but Fredericks, who was strapped into a safety harness beneath camera equipment, was unable to free himself from his seat before the plane was submerged.

Info on the "small scale model" Washington monument, reported now manhole-covered, which served in the construction of the monument.

Info on MD prisons, including the max security prison in Hagerstown and the one in Jessup.

John Russell Pope, the architect of the House of the Temple 1733 16th street, [old temple at 433 3rd street NW] was not a freemason. His design was submitted 6 May 1911.

Info on Maryland nuclear reactors. Calvert Cliffs.

Info on industrial sites. Bethlehem Steel. Dickerson power plant.

Please email additional pictures or information, especially medical reports or studies. Recently declassified documents concerning the US Gov's experiments with LSD, BZ and other superhallucinogens at Maryland facilities (Edgewood Arsenal, NIMH, Ft. Meade, Chestnut) are currently being released.

Dark Passage
Tons of coolness online. good example