April 14, 2020
Legends and stories from Frederick County (MD)
This story come from Spirits of Frederick by Alyice T. Weinberg
Hope you enjoy!
“”It was a dark and stormy night,” Snoopy would say if he were writing this story, “a snowy, blowy wintry night in 1973.”
Mrs. James E. (Pat) Hartle, tells of an experience she had at Comus Inn when she was employed there many years ago. Pat was a former breeder of Appaloosa horses and has a den full of trophies and memories.
“Comus Inn is a delightful house-turned-restaurant near Sugarloaf Mountain, in Montgomery County, not far from the Frederick County line.”
The house was originally a two story, two room log cabin built in 1860. It has been added on to at least twice, once in 1890 and again in 1900. Some of the original hand-hewn logs can still be seen. At one point, it was moved sideways and backwards so the owners could turn it into a restaurant. It was lifted off its original foundation and moved. Not a stone or brick was lost!
Some say it was dubbed the name “Happy Choice” by George Washington because of its location and spectacular view of the mountain skyline. It was once owned by the Johnsons and Fitzwater. Some locals say the crossroads where the inn sits – now Routes 109 and 95 – were once known as Johnsonville and Nicholsonville. The name “Comus” came about around the turn of the century (1900’s), more than likely because of a politician or government official, when a post office was installed in Wesley Maxwell’s grocery store.
“”There was a blacksmith shop owned by Joe Wolfe, and a schoolhouse, and a general store,” according to Mrs. Lois H. Maxwell, who was 88 at the time. “The store was owned by my father-in-law and the four corners was a popular, busy place.”
Business was at a standstill on this dark and stormy night. The kitchen had closed early and everyone was heading home. Everyone except Pat and one of her girlfriends, who decided to stay and keep her company. They had decided that the roads were too bad to try and make it home.
The two women were a little spooked, being alone in the empty restaurant, but they had coffee and were safe and warm. They settled down and started playing cards. All was quiet…and then things began to happen. The swinging door to the pantry opened and closed all by itself. They thought they heard laughter some where. The two women were the only ones in the place.
After brewing some coffee and starting a card game, pots and pans started rattling in the kitchen, the swinging door kept swinging and the coffee urn – which they were sure was turned off, started spewing coffee.
They tried to concentrate on the cards and ignore the noises between the nervous giggles, but the outside lights started flicking on and off sporadically. Squeaky shutters started banging. when they went to check on the wooden shutters, they were locked open as they should be.
Puzzled and shaking with fear, they decided to drink some more coffee and search the inn from top to bottom. Their search reveled nothing. They new something unnatural was going on…but decided to bunk down on the floor on some old coats and sweaters.
There was no sleep…when the dawn came, they were exhausted but glad to see the sun come up. Over night, it had snowed six or eight inches. By ten in the morning, the roads had been plowed and the rest of the staff started showing up for work.
Ghost stories started being told. One waitress told of a ghost named Herman sneaking around the premises long ago. He wore a uniform of some kind and could be seen peeking in the windows from the porch. She also said that China could be heard crashing to the floor late at night, but no dishes were broken.
Hope you have a great day!
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