Two of Maryland's Most-Haunted Places


From young Civil War soldiers who remain, lost and wandering, on Antietam Battlefield, to the ghost of one of the nation's most infamous assassins, Maryland's turbulent history provides the perfect setting for these most-haunted places:

Antietam National Battlefield in Sharpsburg, MD

Forever immortalized as the location of the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War, Antietam Battlefield, now a national park, has a multitude of stories to tell for those who would listen. The deadly battle between Generals Robert E. Lee of the Confederate forces and George McClellan of the Union Army ended in a stalemate here, but it was important because it kept the South from advancing any further into northern territory.

President Abraham Lincoln was able to introduce his famed Emancipation Proclamation because of the strong showing of Union forces at the Battle of Antietam. But before the 12-hour battle ended, more than 23,000 soldiers would be dead, wounded or missing, making September 17, 1862, a day that would forever be remembered as one of the bloodiest days in U.S. military history.

Today, visitors to the scene of this historic battle still report seeing Civil-War-era soldiers, lost and wandering in the fields and woodlands of the battlefield. Some have heard gun and cannon fire off in the distance. Most sightings seem to happen as the day waxes or wanes -- at dawn or at dusk.

Dr. Mudd House Museum in Waldorf, MD

On April 15, 1865, Dr. Samuel A. Mudd was awakened by a stranger in need of medical attention. The man had a broken leg that needed splinting, and he arrived at Mudd's door around 4 a.m.

The stranger's name was John Wilkes Booth, and he was on the run from Union forces, having just assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater.

Mudd, just 31 years old, and a family man with four children, tended to the fugitive, splinting his leg and allowing him to rest up in a bedroom of the family's home. Hours later, Booth moved on to Virginia where he was later shot and killed by the Union Cavalry.

Eleven days later, Dr. Mudd was arrested for suspicion of conspiracy for the role he played in harboring Booth and was eventually sentenced to life in prison for aiding the man who shot the president.

Today, Mudd's home in Waldorf is a museum that some would swear is haunted. Both workers and visitors to the museum have reported finding human impressions on the bed in the room Booth would have occupied. Unexplained voices, apparitions and flickering lights have also been reported.

Anne Goetz is a local writer who enjoys all things spooky-yet-satisfying about Hagerstown and its surrounding areas.