Frederick County Ghosts and Legends

May 12, 2020

Today’s stories comes from Ghosts and Legends of Frederick County by Cannon and Whitmore. I thought I’d share a few short stories…

Hope you enjoy!

  • The last story I tell today, is a bit squeamish, so if you prefer not to read it, just skip it. I have included two black and white photos of the Hessian Barracks, Frederick MD to pinpoint where the story begins… (Prisoner Slaughter)

On a moonlit night…

Misty Moonlit Night Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures
(public domain photo)

Sometime around the turn of the century (1900’s), on a moonlit evening, two residents of East Prospect were driving their buggy somewhere near the New Windsor area. They were well thought of and highly respected. Suddenly, they saw a buggy – as bright as day – traveling in the same direction. Suddenly, as they approached the buggy, it disappeared. The ghostly buggy was seen by others, in about the same area, under similar circumstances.

The bleeding gravestone…

Near Thurmont, there is a cemetery that has a haunted gravestone. The story goes that there was a man – Tobias Matthews – that was buried alive after a bad accident. He was thought to be dead. Sometime after the burial, he woke up and tried to claw his way out of the grave. He bled to death, in his own grave.

Now there are dark stains on the gravestone and each year on the anniversary of his death, the gravestone bleeds.

(I can’t find any images of the bleeding tombstone)

Haunted Hood College…

Brodbeck Hall – Hood College
not my image
Brodbeck Hall
Hood College

At Hood College, in Frederick, there is an elevator that goes up and down with no known occupants.
In Brodbeck Hall, which was built over the site of an old saloon, one can often hear the loud laughter of dance hall girls and coarse conversation of drinking men.
there is a story of a college aged girl who had her throat slit while doing laundry in the basement. Somehow she managed to climb three flights of stairs and wake her roommate before dying in the doorway of her room.

Prisoner slaughter…

Hessian Barracks, Frederick, Maryland, Circa 1940 | Lisby | Flickr
Hessian Barracks, circa 1940,
Frederick Maryland

During the American Revolution, a group of Hessian soldiers were captured and being taken to a federal prison in Frederick. It was a cold and biter winter and the patriots transporting the prisoners were weary. They decided to stop at a tavern near Gettysburg for a night’s lodging. The prisoners were locked in a bedroom upstairs, while the American soldiers enjoyed some time drinking and merrymaking.

As the evening wore on, the soldiers grew more boisterous, many becoming delusional with the responsibility of transporting the prisoners back to Frederick. They thought of their poor, fledgling country having to clothe, house, and feed the prisoners. In their drunken state, they decided to kill the prisoners and be done with it. Slowly, they marched upstairs, slaughtered the prisoners and threw the bodies out the window, burying them nearby.

It didn’t take long for terrible, blood-curdling screams to be heard coming from the tavern late at night, usually coming from the upstairs bedroom. The tavern was abandoned shortly afterwards…

A group of men decided to spend the night in the old, abandoned tavern a few years later. The bravest of them decided to decided to sleep in the haunted room, barricading themselves in the room with a heavy dresser. The shrieks and screams started soon after they had laid down for the night. The heavy dresser moved away from the door, causing the men to open the window so they could get away. One of the men broke his leg when jumping from the window.

Eventually the abandoned tavern fell into disrepair and human remains were excavated from a spot near where the tavern once stood. Could these be the bones of the murdered Hessian’s?

The Hessian Barracks

Camp Frederick: Was one of the original uses of the site that now houses The MD School for the Deaf. This sketch shows the grounds as they looked in the 1700’s to early 1800’s.
(Historical Sketch of the Hessian Barracks at Frederick, MD; Maryland Historical File, May 10, 1914)

While the last story seems inhumane and unbearable, this kind of thing often happened in war. Still does, as much as we dislike it. We need to learn from history, and appreciate it for what it is – legend or not – so we don’t repeat it!

Hope you have a great day!
Don’t let any strange noises and ghostly appearances scare you off!
Thanks for stopping by!!

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