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H E L L   H O U S E

Maybe this world is another planet's hell --Aldous Huxley

Hell House

Hell House, Ellicott City, Maryland

[submitted by Betsy Earley, pix by Thomas Hogan]

Virtual Scoob Betsy was kind enough to share with us the following tale of this most creeeepy abandoned ruin in Maryland known as "Hell House"...

Betsy says, "I will send you some background info on Hell House as I try and research it. However, I'm finding there is nothing solid because there is little historical information and the information that is given is sketchy and most is hearsay. What I do know is Hell House used to be known as St. Mary's College. It's located about 5 miles outside of downtown Ellicott City, Maryland (a very haunted town in it's own right) in the old mill town of Ilchester and built in the mid 1800s. Now, here the details get a little sketchy. It was either a seminary for priests or a girls college. It was either destroyed by fire either half a century ago or in the 1990s by some kids or maybe even the fire department to keep out trespassers...

Hell House

Hell House

Hell House

Hell House

Above, l-to-r: One of the first glimpses of HH on Bonnie Branch Road. The site that it sits on is extremely creepy and very desolate. It is surrounded by woods on all sides and right near it is a railroad bridge and a mysterious factory around 200 years old. A small graveyard is on one of the opposite hills, so I hear. This entrance was blocked off. The Ilchester trainbridge, part of the B&O Railroad and also supposedly haunted....the whole area is fascinatingly eerie. One creepy set of stairs which lead up to HH. A lot of people have commented on a cold spot at the top. The stairs continue after many brambles and overgrown grass.

Hell House

Hell House

Hell House

Hell House

Above, l-to-r: the right wing close up- can see evidence of the fire. The crumbling front facade of HH (unfortunately we couldn't get one shot of the entire building because it's on a precipice and very overgrown) The other wide shot of the front facade, looks like it was destroyed by a wrecking ball. A close-up of the entrance- on the marble above the columns are the letters "GE"

Hell House

Hell House

Hell House

Above, l-to-r: Here is a strange pit in the foundation of the site; looks like some sort of subterranean entrance or hiding place... leads to tunnels under the property. Another inside shot. And this is actually the back of the place.

...for some reason, correct historical information is very hard to obtain about this place, and maybe that is one of the reasons it fascinates so many. Enjoy! --Betsy"

Betsy continues to do more research on Hell House- there are hundreds of urban legends surrounding it. To find out more about Hell House (and other Maryland haunts) in the meantime, check out the forum on the following website: Maryland Ghost & Spirit Association

And a very SPECIAL THANKS from us to Betsy & Thomas for the fantastically creepy tale & pix !!

UPDATE JULY 2003

Thomas, who shot the great pics above, sent me the following update...

"According to my sister who was recently there and took a bunch of pictures of it-the spooky looking factory-just below hell house-across from the train tracks-recently, mysteriously burned to the ground" --Thomas H.

All Rights Reserved by the Author. Reprinted here with permission.

 

*V I S I T O R   C O M M E N TS

I received this interesting email about the urban legends and stories surrounding Hell House from another visitor... thanks Lady Frosta...

"Merry Meet, My name is Lady Frosta and I live in Baltimore, Maryland. Hell House as you call it was one of my favorite places and still is because of the lore. I would like to share what I know about it, if I may. Us locals refer to it as Creepy College. St. Mary's College was a school for high society debutantes at the height of the period, it was built as a charm school for Southern girls. When the original owner built it, he was forwarned about the land being drenched in blood. From the civil war. The owner wanted nothing to do with it and waved the warning away. He wanted to build the school for his new bride who was a school teacher. The years quickly passed with out incident and the man and his wife furnished with love a beautiful daughter, named Agatha, also today known as Black Aggie. As Aggie grew with in the school, she was the owners prized possession and with her charm and poise at an early age the wealthy Southerners threw money at the owner to make their daughters as diplomatic. Aggie grew to be a beautiful young woman and at the age of 16, she was about to have her coming out. It was around this time she started to hear voices of malice and malevolence and was startled by what they were saying to her. The owner and his wife were distraught and called the local doctor for fear that she was not sound or had come down with dimensia. The doctor gave her a clean bill of health. But the voices didn't stop. The night of the party had finally arrived and the owner's wife went to help Aggie get ready. She was said to have screamed so loud that the local quarry had stopped work. The owner quickly ran up the stairs to Aggie's room only to find that his only daughter was dead. A vanity mirror had crushed her skull. Months dragged on the school was closed and resumed as soon as the owner felt his wife was able to teach again. The owner's wife was said to roam the halls in her sleep looking for her daughter Aggie. The owner was worried and again called for the local doctor. He said that she was suffering from depression and that it would pass as soon as she would stop grieving. The rumors from the girl students were saying that they saw Aggie's ghost. Some were that when the owner's wife was sleep walking they could see Aggie's silhouette walking beside her. The father's of the girl students quickly pulled their daughters and funding. The owner was starting to panic. One night when he noticed his wife wasn't in bed he searched for her. He finally found her in the bell tower, she had hung herself from the rope used to ring the bell. The locals stated that she couldn't had done it herself she needed help. He closed the doors to the school and died shortly of tuberculoses, in his will it was said that he wanted to repent for his sins of not adhering to the warning he was given so many years ago, so he left it to a convent. The convent/seminary was said to have blessed the place thoroughly. Years passed and the Cardinal of the convent/seminary was said to have had lustful desires. He repented, confessed his fantasies, until he was said to have given into them. He molested 5 nuns. This went on for about a decade and his desires had grown more and more erotic and abundant. He too gave into them. One of the molested nuns came forth and confronted the archbishop. The archbishop barred the cardinal, but not with out words. Something like I will be back, no one is safe in this building. God will forsake you all. Something to that effect was said. On halloween night at midnight, it is said that screams were heard through out the building. The nuns and priests came startled out of their beds to find the five molested nuns were hung above an inverted pentagram. A nun for each point. This legend, has made it so that the local satanist are said to occupy the grounds and have their ceremonies there. By satanist, I mean anti-christian, the reverse of the bible, not Luciferians, or those who believe in the self. It was after the nuns were killed a man hunt for the barred cardinal was launched. He was never found. It is said that his soul even now doesn't rest, but resides with the grounds. He traded his soul to torment those who opposed him. It is said that someone is murdered on Halloween night each year there. Some say the ghost of the cardinal or by the satanists. The bridge is called "Cry Baby Bridge" it is said that infant sacrifices were made there and the bodies were buried in shallow graves either in the cemetary or with in the woods themselves. At midnight you can hear the infant ghost cries, then shortly after you can hear a ghost train, although neither are there. Orbs and spiritual remnants are often sighted there. I have been to the college, and I was in all. I had goose bumps and the hair on my neck stood on end. In the woods farther back there is a swimming pool. There it looks like time stood still. Water still is in the pool, even though it is algae covered. A new diving board is still completely in tact. The brass railings may have ivy grown over them, but the brass itself is not weathered or has a batina finish to it, rather it looks as if it has been recently polished. The most amazing thing are the angel statues. It is said that if you sleep under them them will crush you in your sleep. Also there is a granite cross there, but it is odd be cause it is completely black. Which is unusual for a Catholic facility to have it. Some say that it was spray painted or weathered, I have seen it for my own eyes, it is just black. I hope this helps. Brightest Blessings, Lady Frosta"

...an interesting tale, however, our visitor Thomas- who is responsible for shooting the fantastic pix you see here on this page, and in addition has done a lot of research into the place's history- offers the following clarifications about the somewhat confusing and unclear stories surrounding Hell House... thanks so much for sharing this with us, Thomas...

"Here are some corrections: (1)Hellhouse itself was never a debutantes school. She is confusing it with Potapsco Institute for Girls located near Hellhouse and often confused with it (2) I have never seen a pool nor have I read any other account of there being one. (3)There are no angel statues at hellhouse.If they had managed to survive looters and vandals all these years, believe me I would have taken photos.(4)Cry baby bridge is in another county. There is a bridge nearby, but its not the famous "Cry baby bridge" (5)Black aggie was a statue in another town. Its no longer there. The nuns story is pretty spooky and actually is associated with hell house, although in the version I heard its was five teen girls who were killed. Few take the story seriously, though. I never heard any story of everything happening on Halloween, or people being murdered there every Halloween."

Do you have a creepy tale and/or some interesting pix to share?

 

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