Community / October 12, 2016

14 Spooky Sites at UMD

This story was originally published on Oct. 28, 2014.

In collaboration with University Archives, we present this spooky story on 14 allegedly haunted places at the University of Maryland. After reading through this creepy collection, we know you will want to find out more.

Here’s the UMD Ghost Tour – a map and walking guide – created by UMD’s Facilities Management:

Find out additional details, including historic photos and audio descriptions from University Archivist Anne Turkos, on YouTube.

Photo Credits: Patrick Gillece, MBA 2015; Erica Bonelli, Intern, Office of Marketing Communications; and John Consoli, UMD campus photographer. Note that all photos have been “spookified” for this story.

1 - Rossborough Inn

The Rossborough Inn is part of the original property Charles Benedict Calvert deeded to the Maryland Agricultural College in 1858. Many spirits are said to inhabit the Inn, from a man who lost a duel in front of the Inn, to a Confederate soldier who camped on the college grounds, to perhaps the most famous Rossborough ghost, Miss Bettie, who managed the Inn during the Civil War. Her ghost, clad in a long yellow gown in the style of the period, has been sighted walking the halls, and perhaps she is responsible for other unexplained occurrences at the Inn: doors opening and lights turning off on their own accord; footsteps sounding overhead when no one is there; and a strange face appearing in mirrors and windows. She could even be one of the voices recorded at the Inn in May 2012.

2 - Marie Mount Hall

Marie Mount Hall is named for Marie Mount, dean of the College of Home Economics from 1927 until her death in 1957. Night watchmen and building inhabitants in the late 1970s reported sensing other-worldly presences: doors opening and shutting on their own, toilets flushing when no one was there, and matches blowing out when all the doors and windows were closed. Perhaps these occurrences can be tied to Dean Marie Mount’s gh­­­­ost, who allegedly can be heard vigorously playing a piano on dark and stormy nights.

3 - Washington Hall

Washington Hall is a dormitory constructed in 1940 and named for Washington County, Maryland. It’s the site of the tragic death of University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias. Bias, one of the university’s most promising basketball stars, died of a cocaine overdose at a dorm room party with his teammates while celebrating his selection by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA draft. The campus community still mourns the loss of this great athlete, and some think his ghostly presence lingers on campus. Occupants of the dorm room in Washington Hall where Bias died have reported hearing sounds of a bouncing basketball in the middle of the night.

4 - South Campus Dining Hall

South Campus Dining Hall was built in 1974. It’s the largest dining hall on campus and features a wide variety of dining options and houses the offices for the Department of Dining Services and various student publications, as well as the campus radio station, WMUC. Editors in the Diamondback office have reported a ghost hard at work when they are not there. Books in their bookcases have been re-arranged, papers and clutter in the managing editor’s office were cleaned up although no one who had keys to the office was present at the time this occurred.

5 - Morrill Hall

Morrill Hall is the oldest academic building on the UMD campus and is named for U. S. Senator Justin S. Morrill of Vermont, the father of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862.  Over the years, members of the campus community have reported hearing the sound of marching feet outside the building, as well as a number of strange smells within its walls. The Morrill Land Grant Act required mandatory military training, so students were organized into a corps of cadets, who drilled on the field in front of Morrill Hall. This field was also the scene of many a punishment when individual cadets misbehaved and were required to shoulder their rifles and march back and forth for hours to work off the demerits they received. The smells are alleged to originate in the experiments conducted in the building's early days as Science Hall or as remnants of the Great Fire of 1912. The Maryland Ghosts and Spirits Association detected the presence of numerous spirits in this building during their 2002 visit to campus.

6 - Tawes Fine Arts Building

Tawes Fine Arts Building was completed in 1965 and named for J. Millard Tawes, governor of Maryland, 1958-1966. Tawes was the home of performing arts before the opening of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in 2001. Shortly after the completion of the building, a ghostly presence took up residence. More than one person has heard persistent footsteps echoing throughout the theatre when no one else is there. These footsteps, as well as practical jokes and other unexplained occurrences, are all attributed to a mischievous ghost named Mortimer.

7 - Easton Hall

Easton Hall is a dormitory constructed in 1965 and named for the county seat of Talbot County, Maryland. A student committed suicide in Easton Hall in 1991, and it is rumored that the student’s ghost haunts the premises.

8 - McNamee Cemetery

McNamee Cemetery contains the remains of several members of the McNamee family, who sold the land surrounding this plot to UMD in 1938. The university had the cemetery bricked over, supposedly to prevent anyone from disturbing the graves, although some speculate that it may have been to keep whoever is buried in the graves from disturbing the campus. One of the deceased in the cemetery is a child named Albert McNamee, who was born in 1904 and burned to death at the age of four. Martha Bryant McNamee is also supposedly buried there; she died sometime before 1900.

9 - Stamp Student Union

The Adele H. Stamp Student Union opened in 1955 and is named for the university's first Dean of Women, Adele Hagner Stamp. Many renovations have led to a vast maze of oddly connected hallways, strange stairways, and confusing floor plans. Visitors have encountered elevators that move suddenly and abruptly on their own and unexplained cold spots that can chill one to the bone. Many attribute these odd occurrences to spirits that haunt the building.

10 - H.J. Patterson Hall

H.J. Patterson Hall was constructed in 1931 and named for Harry Jacob Patterson, director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station from 1898-1937 and president of the university from 1913-1917. One evening, a campus employee entered H.J. Patterson to complete some routine maintenance work. He made his way up to the attic and began his labors. As he was working, he felt an eerie presence enter the room. When he looked around, he saw a strange, misshapen shadow dart across the wall. The worker insists that he was alone and that the shadow could not have been another maintenance worker.

11 - Hornbake Library

Hornbake Library was built in 1972 as an undergraduate library and was named for R. Lee Hornbake, vice president for academic affairs. Hornbake now houses the UMD Libraries’ Special Collections, including the University Archives and artifacts some say are best left undisturbed. Staff have heard and seen a woman in a dark dress and high heels in the stacks in the library.

12 - Fraternity Row

A number of houses on Fraternity Row are rumored to be haunted. The brothers who lived in the Delta Tau Delta house believed that the ghost of a dead fraternity brother, killed in an automobile accident in 1955, haunted the premises. Furniture has moved around the house on its own accord, and a cabinet belonging to the deceased brother always maintained an interior temperature markedly warmer than the surrounding room temperature. The brothers even reported seeing reflections of a person's face in a blank television screen when no one else was in the room.

13 - Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority House

The UMD chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi was established in 1924. The sisters tell tales of music playing and computers operating without warning or human intervention. Racks of accessories have also fallen over unaided, and at least one sister has seen a set of red eyes staring at her.

14 - Kappa Delta Sorority House

The UMD chapter of Kappa Delta was founded in 1929. The Kappa Delta house is allegedly haunted by the spirit of Alma Preinkert, the campus registrar and the founder of Kappa Delta. One night in 1954, Preinkert awoke to find an intruder in her house. She apparently tried to stop the man and was stabbed multiple times. Her brutal murder, to this day unsolved, is most likely the source for her spirit’s haunting visits to the Kappa Delta house. Besides the ghost of Miss Preinkert, the KD sisters have also observed mysterious girls in white dresses dancing on the sundeck of the house over the summer months.

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