MARYLAND — Spooky season is still very much alive, despite the coronavirus pandemic putting a damper on some Halloween festivities.
Costume parties and trick-or-treating in groups might not be a safe idea this year. But taking a socially distanced walk around these Maryland haunts is relatively safe...from coronavirus anyway — the ghosts, however, we can't speak for.
Fort McHenry — a coastal bastion fort in Baltimore — was the site of a British invasion during the War of 1812 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write "The Star Spangled Banner."
Visitors and park rangers alike have reported seeing apparitions of soldiers, smelling gun powder, and hearing mysterious footsteps. Some say they've felt warm spots in the walls of Fort McHenry's jail, where prisoners sentenced to death were held, according to The Travel Channel.
Think you can handle it? The fort's grounds are open to the public every day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest day in U.S. military history. It took place in Sharpsburg, now a suburban-rural town in Washington County, on Sept. 17, 1862. Some 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded in battle, and it changed the course of the Civil War.
Given its bloody past, it's no surprise that people think Antietam is haunted.
People say they've seen men in Confederate uniforms roaming the battlefield before vanishing into thin air, or heard anguished screams coming from an old church.
During COVID-19, it's best to take a self-guided driving tour of the battlefield. The tour road is 8.5 miles long with 11 spots. Walking and biking are also permitted.
If you're looking for some spine-tingling, hair-raising fun, swing by Annapolis.
The story goes that a witch was buried in the woods behind Truxton Park in the 1800s, but mysteriously escaped from her grave. Just past the third baseball field, you'll find a slanted tree that is said to be her final — maybe? — resting place.
Some say they've seen her victims' ghosts hanging from the slanted tree on Halloween night.
Built in the 1930s, Millers Church was taken over by Satanic worshippers who sacrificed young girls, according to multiple paranormal websites.
The Catholic church eventually burned down. All that's left is a parking lot and a large oak tree.
A couple parked at the site one evening, but when they tried to leave, the car wouldn't start. Apparently, the boy went for help and left his girlfriend in the vehicle. When he returned, the girl was hanging from the oak tree.
According to hauntedplaces.org, some visitors have seen the girl's ghost and a phantom hearse that chases away trespassers.
In 1906, a crew of miners at the present-day intersection of Falls Road and MacArthur Boulevard were preparing to set off an explosion in a mine's tunnel. While taking a break, one of the miners tossed their helmet — which was outfitted with a lit candle — near the dynamite.
The explosion collapsed a building and killed a hoist operator named Charles Eglin, according to visitmontgomery.org. Then, strange things started to happen.
Their tools and food would go missing, and the workers would hear unexplainable sounds, like someone knocking on the walls of the tunnels. One night watchman reported seeing a demon with fiery eyes and a 10-foot-long tail.
Some blamed the mysterious happenings on the Tommyknocker — a mischievous elf or gnome from Welsh and Cornish folklore. But then again, who knows?
The Goat Man Story is an urban legend that originated from Prince George's County. There are multiple versions of this story — all equally spooky and bizarre.
Some say the Goat Man was a goat herder who went insane after a group of teens killed his goats.
Others speculate the Goat Man — a 6-foot-tall mythical creature — was created by a scientist experimenting on goats at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The rumors got out of hand and the USDA actually had to publicly deny the story.
Regardless of his origin, the Goat Man is said to terrorize teenagers and couples and chase cars with an axe.
Built in 1865, Jericho Covered Bridge is rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of Civil War soldiers, runaway slaves, and/or teens who were part of a suicide pact.
Look up and you may see them dangling from the rafters.
Jericho Covered Bridge is located at 12228 Jericho Road.