Jan 7, 2020
Frederick County (MD) Legends
This story/legend comes from Spirits of Fredrick, by Alyce T. Weinberg.
“Prospect Hall had ghosts coming out of the woodwork for years. In the halls, on the stairs, in the library, even on the lawn. Built in 1749 on a tract of land called Tasker’s Chance.” Prospect Hall was a private high school at the time the book was written, and is now the site of luxury condos (the mansion and immediate land/lawn is still there as well as the surrounding stone wall along Buckeystown Pike and Himes Ave). Earlier residents had their sleep disturbed by ghostly organ music, ghastly wails and threatening footsteps.
“A retired judge and others talk of things they have seen and heard in that mansion.” A former caretaker now in his eighties, Amos F. Brown, said that he and his boss crept around at night with lighted candles and shotguns, searching for suspected intruders.
At the time this book was written, it is said that it was common knowledge that Daniel Dulany’s youngest son and the housekeepers daughter were lovers. Daniel Dulany owned the mansion many years ago… Dulany’s son was sent to a school in England when they were found out! The girl died inexplecably! It is said that her body was walled up between the partitions of the east bedroom (where the trysts occurred). On nights when all was quiet, the maid’s misty specter would come floating down that grand staircase and along the halls. Was she searching for her lost sweetheart?
There is another sad phantom that is said to roam the property. Major Joseph Hooker, gave up command of the Army of the Potomac in 1863 to General George Meade in the parlor of Prospect Hall. With this act, Hooker lost his chance of great fame at Gettysburg. His spirit apparently would appear in the library, sitting at the desk with his head in his hands in total despair.
“Local history has it that George Washington’s favorite horse – Blueskin – came from Prospect Hall and was given to him by the Dulanys. He was returned to pasture there when he was worn out. He died famous and beloved and was buried on the front lawn. Sounds of galloping have been heard…
“The front hall of the mansion was once luxuriously furnished, rippling with chandeliers and mirrors and was originally large enough to turn a wagon and six horses in it.” It is a grand building, pictures don’t do it justice!
During the Civil War, it is said that the mansion was used as a hospital. Body parts and dead bodies were thrown over the hill, that’s what they did back then. When it was being used as a school, the front hall as well as the rest of the mansion was partitioned to make classroom sized rooms. The wood floors, beautiful cornices, deep window sills and walls built of brick brought from England are the same. The Doric Greek facade is still there. Blueskin and all the other ghosts of the past may be there as well! My mom always told us the mansion was haunted! I have no idea what the building is used for now, but it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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