from: Barry Stevens
date: Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 3:09 AM
subject: Hell House Maryland comment
Reading some of the old comments, I wanted to say that the factory that had the fire, at the base of hell house was called simpkins corporation. They were a paper recycling company. I know this because I used to deliver there and the inside of the factory was creepy in its own right. I was told by a co-worker during my first couple of times there that there were a number of gruesome injuries as a result of the paper shredding equipment there and that there were two deaths, though I have no real proof or accounts of the deaths. I’m not sure what is left of this plant as I haven’t been there in about 13 years but just some information in case someone were to still go there.
In Columbia, MD, there are a few local legends which come to mind, and which have a remarkable tendency to be based in truth. This is one of those legends. The true story of Hell House begins in the small town of Ellicott City, a short drive from Columbie. The town’s “main street” is a quaint collection of coffee houses, antique stores, and head shops. It is surrounded by high hills and dense, ancient forest. A river runs through it. There is an old insane asylum (the subject of other true stories) and an overall air of energy and the supernatural. Now is where details begin to get sketchy, but I will outline fact.
Many years ago, there was an old girl’s Catholic school. In a fit of insanity that would befit the strange atmosphere, and old priest allegedly hung five girls facing each other around a pentacle, then shot himself. Friends tell me they have researched local historical documents and found that the story of a murder is true, though the demented details were omitted, probably for the sake of decency, as this was many years ago. The house still stands and the stories of it are numerous.
Area teenagers are fascinated. One, lets call him Steve, went with a group of his friends to visit the house. They drove down, taking the strange road that seems to be invisible from the main road. Past the old cement plant and warehouse, now stark and deserted. The decrepid Hell House looming in the horizon. When the car passed along and the front and back windows aligned, it was truly a sight that would make the hardest of skeptics get a bad case of the willies. It always got dark earlier by the house than in the area surrounding it, and the dark was a darker dark than most were used to. It seemed to be palpable, and it played tricks on the mind. Back to the story at hand. The teenagers drove by the house, parked nearby (both entrances to the road leading up the hill are mysteriously blocked, one by a fallen tree, the other by a mysterious absence of pavement and abundance of overgrowth). The boys walked up the hill, feeling the whole time that something was stopping them. The terror they felt was both unexplainable and indescribable. But eventually they got to the top. There was a fantastic view on one cliff, and to their left, the house. All were afraid to go up to the door, much less inside. They’d heard the stories. Candles, blood, and an old man. Some say an old man guarded the place with rubber bullets and dogs (the dogs were real enough, put there by police eventually). Some say the old man was in jail or died. What the boys did see outside was frightening.
Already terrified, the boys were seeing things that werent there when one of them thought he caught a glimpse of something nearer to the side of the house. It wasnt until they were nearly upon him that they saw an old man holding a giant pitchfork sized wooden spoon and a priests collar. The boys ran down the hill, and one even cried. They drove home. Along the way they felt better, and laughed at themselves for thinking it was a ghost. Still, the fact that they all saw the same thing was disturbing. However, when they discussed the incident with others, they discovered that many had seen the same vision. Old man with a spoon, or sometimes an old priest with bloody hands. One story even held that girls can be heard crying. Whatever it was, it remains constant for those who see it, always doing something different, always maddening.
I have tried to visit Hell House three times. The first, i tried driving up the driveway. I had no sooner started up that it rained and the muddy trail made my wheels slip. THe second, I tried driving again, but in nearly the same place as the rain hindered my advance, my car stalled and would not start. It was a new car that had never given troulbe before. Once i tried walking with a friend, but at the point I had stopped before, we were gripped with parylyzing fear and could not bear to go on. Sheer unexplainable terror, for someone who had explored supernatural sites before with no such fear. If any who read this have been inside the house, or know anything else, or can help eliminate some myth, please post and let me know.
As for the hell house in Ellicott City MD, There are actually hundreds of people who have been inside quite recently. You can contact the Patapsco female institute in ellicott city, and they will explain that every year the few weeks before halloween, they give tours and hold activities inside hell house. I was invited to go this year, but was unable. I can give you the phone # for this organization. my email@example.com
And Andy adds this, in response to Lenore:
I am so glad that you wrote something about this. The girl who posted the follow is refering to the patapsco female institute which isn’t really hell house. Howard County Highschools puts on a really awful haunted house every year there. Hell house is further down past ellicott city off of river road and bonnie branch road. I have been there dozens of times. It burned down partially about 6 or 7 years ago on halloween night. You can still go up to it and walk around the shell, although I wouldn’t go in, because it looks like it could collapse any second. The two side roads are blocked by gates now…..dont know when you went last. When I went up there last, lots of people where there and were walking around it. In the back of the house there is another old run down caretaker house where the old man roofus lived who had the dogs and the gun. The first time I ever went to hell house, I never made it to the top, but you definatly could hear the dogs barking up on the hill. He isn’t there anymore though. There is also a conservatory behind it, where they used to grow plants and things. I must agree that Hell House is one kick ass place to go, especially at night when it is really scary. Thanks again for posting this online…I love it.
Hell House (2001/2002)
Subject: hell house information
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2001 02:05:21 +0000
I live in Ellicott City and am familiar with Hell House. I have recently been looking for some information on it, simply because it is close to home and interestingly creepy! I have not found much, but I will tell you what I have come across so far.
Hell House is what is left of Old St. Mary’s College. Im not sure if this was actually the old college or the old seminary. I have found both on the internet and have also heard both. I originally thought it was a seminary, other information leads elsewhere.
I have heard about stories of a man who lives up there, with a dog. The man was supposedly the original grounds keeper and when the place burned down, he stayed in a trailer with his dog. I have also heard that when people try to go up there, he will shoot at you and his dog will chase you away. However this is not true because my friends and I have been up there. We went up during the day and it was quite creepy but no dog and no man.
There is a wide path that goes all the way around the skeletal building. Grafitti is everywhere as is trash. We walked around to the back and walked up some steps to the greenhouse. We went in the green house(that was pretty creepy)…then there were a few more steps then a lightly treaded grass path (all the land around it was even with the path)..its kinda hard to explain. Then there were a few more steps. I must have been searching very carefully because this was very hard to see. It blended in very well. This trend repeated a few more times, until we were into the woods and could look back and see the building from a distance. I was curious where the steps lead to so I followed them. they lead to a circular cement piece in the ground. I have no idea what it was, but their seemed to be small paths all around. There was also a path as wide and flat as a driveway. We did not go on that path because it was very long and well who knows where it led to!(I think I was more curious than my friend.)
This Hell House structure is at the top of a very steep hill! When we were at the very highest point in the woods (by the cement structure) I looked across the hill and noticed the woods across the road. They were exactly the same height as the woods we were in. It almost seemed as if the driveway path I described earlier lead all the way around to it. The woods did not look untouched. Im not much for believing in ghosts. I did not see any “paranormal activity” or whatever its called. However that place was just creepy. I am trying to find information on the fire and how it got started. I have heard there was an original fire and then another one. I can’t find this information anywhere!
Also, the female Potapsco Institute is sometimes also referred to as hell house. There are many stories to that place also, it is located not too far from old st marys college.
One last thing… across the train tracks and the river, (which is not far at all) is river road, and also hilltop road. From both of these roads you can see Hell House if you look up (way way up) Honestly I drive through those roads all the time and never noticed hell house. I never even knew it was there till somebody pointed it out for me. Very very creepy..but interesting!
I hope this helps…maybe you have some information for me about this place.
I visited a site on the internet about the hell house in Ellicott City and it has this e-mail address on it asking about any experiences with the hell house. Well, I have been there numerous times and I also have pictures. Although it burned down around Halloween of 1997, the brick shell of the old school still stands about 4 stories tall. It is a very eerie place especially at night.
One incident I will tell you about is the time I went there with my friend and our girlfriends in early January 1998. It was about 10:00 at night. We walked up the driveway which was blocked by a metal gate. As we approached the front of the building we heard dogs barking in the distance. The driveway continued around the right side of the building. We started walking down the driveway and when we reached the side of the building we saw a light coming towards us; like a motorcycle headlight. I was in the front but I was turned around talking to my friend so I didn’t see it right away. My friend grabbed me and started to pull me as the others turned and ran. I turned around and saw the light also. Being athletic, my friend and I quickly passed our girlfriends and made it to the bottom of the driveway where we waited for them. Little did we know that my girlfriend had started to walk for some strange reason and my friend’s girlfriend jumped off the cliff/wall on the left side of the driveway. We walked back to our car hoping they would be there but they weren’t. We decided to go back to the end of the driveway. We saw my friend’s girlfriend there and about 30 seconds later my girlfriend came down the driveway. When we asked what happened, my friend’s girlfriend said she jumped off the wall because she couldn’t run fast enough to get to the end of the driveway and she was scared.
Here is where it gets really creepy. My girlfriend said she started walking (I still don’t know why) and a man on a motorcycle pulled up next to her. She said she clearly saw that it was a motorcycle yet it didn’t make any noise. The man was older looking maybe in his late 40’s early 50’s and he had a scraggly looking beard. He asked her if she was there alone and she said no. Then he asked her if she knew that no one is supposed to be there. Then he rode off continuing down the driveway. He didn’t turn around and no one saw him after we started running. How did he get passed the gate unless he rode through it; like a ghost can pass through solid objects. And why didn’t his motorcycle make any noises? This just adds to the mystery.
Another incident of mine is when I went there with two other friends of mine. We walked up the driveway and decided to go around to the left side of the building instead of the right side where we saw the ‘ghost’. We walked around the back and made it to the other side where we saw a small shack where the man was believed to be living in. Rumors say that he is there guarding the house because kids used to go there and party and were trespassing. He supposedly shoots rubber bullets and or rock salt at trespassers. Back to the story, we walked towards the little shack and suddenly we heard dogs barking. The noise was very close in front of us and we looked about 20 feet in front of us and under a car port was an entrance in the ground with a piece of plywood over it. We saw about 3 or 4 rottwieler heads pushing the wood up and of the hole. Their heads were about the sie of basketballs. We immediately turned around and started running back to our vehicles. Thankfully, the dogs did not get out of the hole in the ground. We made it safely toour cars and drove away.
I have been there many times at night and in the daytime. During the day we can always hear dogs barking and even once saw the old man talking to firemen when there was a fire at the neighboring factory around springtime 1998. This is not the same factory mentioned on the website. I do not know what kind of factory the one next to the hell house is nor do I know what kind of factory (mentioned as a cement plant?) on main street in Ellicott City. The name of the road that he hell house is on is River Road.
I joined the Marine Corps in October of 1998 and have been out of state ever since then but whenever I come home on vacation I always at least drive by the hell house. The most recent time I went there was in May or June of 2001. That is when I went up there and took pictures. They are great. I have pictures of the front of the buiding, the greenhouse in the back, and of a seemingly never ending stairway to the top of the driveway (located to the left if you are standing in the driveway facing away from the building. If you are interested I can send you copies of the pictures. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want any more information.
Hell House (2003)
It is so nice to finally find stories of Hell House on the net. I graduated from Atholton H.S. (in Columbia) in 1994, and I can tell you that there was a group of us that used to frequent the grounds around Hell House. I was never shot by any rubber bullets or salt pellets, as I had always heard stories of, but I did hear dogs barking, and did frequently experience very strange things while trying to get up enough nerve to go to the front door. I only touched the door once, then ran as fast as I could to get away. I know that there are a lot of urban legends that surround the history of hell house, and sometime our minds get the better of us, but I can tell you that I always felt something very strange when I was there. It was also fun to go in a large group to see who would chicken out before getting close to the front door. Being a girl, I would particularly enjoy when one of the guys would stay back at the car because they were too scared. Sometimes we would cross the bridge (on the train tracks) and climb up some of the rocks, because from there you truly have one of the best views of hell house. At any rate, just wanted to say thanks for posting something. Now my fianc will finally believe all my stories!!
I went to the “Hell House” in Elicott City in Mid-October about 3 years ago. There was 4 of us, 3 guys and a girl. We parked down on the road by the paper mill (or cement plant), in between two big rig trailers so as to not be visible to any officers of the law who might pass by. Adjacent to the small gravel area where the trailer rigs were chocked, there was a long, broad stone staricase we walked up that led to a forested area through which we had to walk to get the the main building, there was somewhat of a path through this area that led to the driveway right in front of the main building. This is where I viewed something very interesting. We had flashlights, and by shining them up on the building you could see the majority of the outside brick had been charred. This was ballsy (as well as not very smart) to shine a flashlight up on the building with blatant disregard for anyone (or anything) who might be disturbed by our presence. We were all mostly skeptic and at this point not scared. Anyway, the majority of the outside brick mainly near the windows was charred black, however near the top of the building, front and center recessed in the brick is a small white statue of a virgin Mary, which still appeared to be pure white. Now there may be a perfectly good explanation for this, but it was still strange and disturbing, to me anyway. We continued to walk around the left side of the main building and around to the back where there was a concrete stair that we began to ascend. Halfway up, myself and one other person stopped to get a look at the back of the building as the other 2 people continued to walk the stairs. In one of the windows at the top floor to my far left I saw a light flash. Not a bright light like that of a flashlight or camera flash, but a faint blue flicker that was visible but did not really illuminate the surrounding area. The best way I can describe it would be like an electrical spark in mid-air. This startled me considerably, mostly since the building was just a shell, I knew there was no “floor” at the 4th floor level and therefore ruled out human activity as the source of the light. Still I said nothing, thinking I was the only one whod seen it, maybe my eyes played tricks on me. A few seconds later my accomplice stopped and said “Did you see that?” “The light in the window?” I replied “Yeah that one.” he answered and pointed at the same window I had seen the light apparition in. “Lets get the fuck out of here.” he said. We got the others and explained to them what we had seen and started heading back down to the driveway at the front of the building. The other two didnt seem fazed by our account of what we saw, it actually made them want to get inside the building. So we walked around the right side of the building in search of a door or ground level window, to this day I dont know why we didnt try the front door….. Anyway as we walked around the right side we stopped and heard leaves crunching underfoot, followed by growls and chains, right then we knew it must be the caretakers dogs. They didnt bark, but we could hear them running, getting closer and dragging what sounded like chains. Obviously we ran like hell. The footfalls sounded huge, and Im assuming the dogs were large shepherds or rottweilers… I dont know what overcame but for reasons I cant explain I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around to see…. nothing. Nothing at all. Yet the sounds came closer, paws hitting the dirt, chains, and growling, sounded as if the dogs were right up on me, yet I saw nothing. By now the other 3 had ran past me back through the woods down the path we had came up, I made my own path through the underbrush and ran down the stone staircase as fast as I could to meet up w the others. We wasted no time getting in the van and getting the hell out of there… Im still a skeptic to this day, not ruling out the possibility that there are logical explanations for what I experienced there.. but I havent found those explanations yet, so as far as Im concerned the Hell House hosts an array of malevolent spirits. Something happened there that someone doesnt want you to know about.
Date: October 23, 2003
Subject: hell house in ellicott city
i don’t know if you are still posting info on hell house but i have some if you are. I live right at the end of river road and often visit ellicott city n the area surrounding hell house. Hell house was once st. marys school for girls as you know and yes it did burn down once awhile ago and again in 1998. And as far as rumors of the grounds keeper with the dogs this is also very true. I knew someone who was actually close friends with him suprisingly. He is no longer there he died. there is some controversy surrounding his death but he is most certainly dead. Some say he dies from insanity from being there so long others say he was killed by a random kid visiting there who in a painc shot him (this is very unlikely). others say he was just old. And in regards to the plant nearby it is a recycled paper mill that also recenly went up in flames i happened to drive by on the exact day it happened. There are many other stories surround! ing the ellicott city area it has a mystic appeal to many. there are often ghost tours which never truly show you much but are still interesting. Another local legend which is widespeard amongst the local goths punks and witchs down there is of a hanging that took place near a parking lot at the end of college avenue. The hanging is supposedly of a very powerful white which somewheres around the time period of the salem witch trials i suppose people tend to be very vauge about it. but going there and just sitting you start to get a feeling of something paramormal about the place. but yes back to hell house. i’ve only been once n it was very interesting for me i was only a kid at the time 8 or 9 i think. i’m 18 now so not that long ago. I have a very good memory as far as places i’ve been and the like and apperently my dad my sister (who memory is very very poor she asks me to order for her at resturants cuz she forgets what she likes) n my dad’s friend! and her daughter we walked up after swimming in the river and went around back i suppose when we were soon chased off by the gaurd and his dogs. i say this story even though it seem to have relavence i say because my entire life i’ve been kinda “involved” in paranormal things i’m now studying celtic religions do accupunture and have been known to see random things not off this world. and for some unknow reason as trumatic as this event was for the rest of my family (my sister still shudders to think of it) i have absolutely no recolection what so ever of ever going there. Also the one time since then that i’ve been i didn’t quite make it. it was only a few months ago i went again with my dad n we walked from the local state park off of hilltod road. and crossed the train tracks n approached the stairs. i got to the first step and was filled with such a sense of fear and dread i basically ran away i also happened to bring my dog that day and my dog who! i’ve never seen truly afraid, yelped and ran away with her tail b/t her legs as we approached. Whether hell house is trult haunted or not i’ve seen no evidence to prove or disprove. However visiting hell house is as much a test of people perception as anything. people who go there fearing nothing and not expecting to see anything seldom do feel anying but a sense of urgency in the air. and others who go to see ghost and such tend to see ghost. people who go just to explore the grounds find tons of hidden rooms n such but nothing more. Hell house is something that only truly exsist in the eye of the beholder. and good luck on your next visit
My first time ever going to Hell House was about a year and a half ago, really late at night with my friend David. I had never been there and he wanted to take me, so off we went. we live about 15 minutes away from it, over in columbia. on our way, it started sprinkle a little bit, but we kept going. we parked in the old factory (and yes it does exist, its on the road leading up to Hell House) and started up the never ending staircase that seems to lead just starit up into nothingness, and yes, i mean straitup, it is rediculously steep, with no railings. halfway up, there was a loud crack of lightening followed by a boom and it started POURING, and needless to say, it didnt make the stairs any easier to get up. we got up to the top of the stiars, and there it was, the grand Hell House looming up in front. the storm started getting much worse and there was a muddy trail we would have to go up leading to the house. we decided not to go up on account of the storm and the fact that i almost killed myself on those stairs (there is one step on the stairs that is HUGE, like the step below it is missing and when you go down it, it seems like it never ends, and i slid and david had to catch me haha). we turned to go back and we heard a weird faint whisteling, and we were about to blame it on the wind when we heard dogs barking, we decided to get our booties OUT of the there. we wenrent afraid of ghosts, but we were afraid of crazy old men with dogs.
Now i havent gone for a long time since then until last night. yes, i was at hell hosue last night. my friend called me up at midnight and said she was going with a bunch if her coworkers from Target and wanted me there cuz she still didnt know them very well and she knows im into all that “ghost shit” as she put it, haha. well we all meet up at target and there is 13 total, we did a count so we wouldnt lose anyone. we drove up into ellicott city and parked at the old factory and, flashlights in hand, and everyone hand in hand because they were freaked out, i was pretty ho hum about it all, we started to make our way up my favorite stair case. it wanst raining this time so it was much easier but it was quite a workout. we made our way up the first stair case and then started up the woodsy trail, and suddenly, these two men come out of fricking no where. they looked about in their forties, and well, a teeny bit hillbillyish. they had these crazy southern accents and were wearing plaid shirts and torn jeans and carrying huge flashlights, and one looked like he had a gun in his pocket, so we were all kind of like ehh. i didnt really care for being around them so me and my friend and a few other people sort of backed off while a few of our manly boys talked to guys. then, our boys came back and said that the Men claimed they had an office up there and that they will show us around up there and show us the graveyard and the dungeon. i was like, dungeon? what? but we started walking with the two guys, still weirded out by them and figured wed rather have these guys in sight rather then following us trying to scare us and being weird. then one of the gusy started talking about how 15 minutes earlier there was a guy up in hell house running around with a shotgun claiming he had just escaped from some mental facility and that he was looking to kill his brother, and they made him leave. i dont kno whether they were trying to scare us or not but they were weirding me out, but we kept going cuz we figured it was too late to turn back now and we’d rather not be alone. he (by this time there was only one guy left, i have NO idea where the other one disppeared to), but he took us up by this huge pile of crap next to the house (like wood planks and old sinks and what not) and he kicked a few peices away and low and behold, there was a dungeon. it was a square hole in the ground with a ladder leading down and it looked like there was something living in it. we were like Okkkk and then we started climbing some rusty crap leading into the house, and it looked liek it was gonna crash on our heads. then my friend ryan cut his hand on an old rusty…stove or sink or something, so we turned to go back out of the hosue because it was dangerous and we didnt feel liek having to get tetnis shots that night. then the Man took us up another trail past the hosue and we came upon another house looking thing with stuff growing around it and there was a little shed with a HUGE pool next to it. these people must have been rish or something. the water in it reached the top and was green and murky and someone threw a rock into it and made a huge thick PLOP sound and released some sort of sickening smell so we kept walking, where we came up to about a dead end with these two broken down trailors with graffitti all over them. then the guy was like…this is my stop. we were like eh? your leaving? and he was like yah im going home and he disappeared behind the trailors and we were like whaaaaat the hell. i wonder if he lived in one and his friend in the other? freaky. then we kind of realized we were alone and then noticed another trail leading off behind the trailors with some headstones. i assume that was the graveyard, i didnt get a good look at them, because there we were so many of us and people were pushing to see so i said screw it. we kept walkingdown the dark trail and sliding on dirt and rocks and everyone slipping because by then only 2 of our flashlights were working, and let me tell you two crappy flashlights amongst 13 freaked out teenagers on a pretty much moonless night is not fun. after a long walk including the staircase we made it back to our cars and then in the light of the headlights we looked down at our arms and hands and noticed that some of us had blood streaked on our arms. some claimed it was rust but it definently wasnt because it was frickin dripping down my arms, like it was splashed on, and none of us got cut by anything, soooo….yah, we didnt know what to make of that. our only weird things were the two creepy men and the blood on our arms, we didnt see an old man, didnt hear dogs we didnt see an old priest with bloody hands. id love to see the priest tho, nothing like seeing a dead bloody priest to shock you back into reality. i recommend people going and visiting, its a fun group activity late at night, kinda weirds everyone out, but, for the love of God, BE CAREFUL. those steps are really dangerous and going into hell house is even more dangerous cuz the place IS falling apart and ryan DID get a small cut on his leg from something rusty, he will probably need to get a shot for it. email me back if you see the weird 2 men or anything else of interest!!!
I live near the Hell House and me and my friends go up there often. I have heard so many stories about that place. The first time I went up there, we could hear dogs barking so we left. I have visited it many times during the day and it is actually a very fascinating place. If you walk far enough along a trail behind the college there is an iron cross and even farther back is a pool and old bath house, completely abandoned. The Female Institute isn’t nearly as scary. Its kinda boring actually. But last night me and my friends went up there and the gate that is always closed was wide open, swinging in the wind. Its was so freaky, it seemed like the beginning to a horror story. If you have any thoughts on this, just email me back, thanks
I just wanted to write and say that I am glad you have a spot on your site for hell house. I have been doing a lot of research on the place recently and it has been very helpful to go on to sites like yours and see the different perspectives on what it is and what has happened there.
However, some things were wrong in the explanations i saw on your site. Hell House, formerly known as St. Mary’s Seminary and College, was never an all girls school. It was a school for priests of the redemptorist order from the late 1800’s until the early 1970’s. Local urban legends do claim that there was some sort of crazy priest that killed five girls in the way you mentioned, however in all my research i have not found any documents that support that story… not to say it is not true in light of the fact that the catholic church would want to cover cover details such as those up.
Some more modern legands about the grounds i have (to my surprise) found to be true. Like the man who guarded the grounds. His name is Allen Rufus Hudson, although most trespassers refer to him as old man Rufus. He was hired a long time ago by the owner of the grounds at the time. He did keep dogs up there, records state that they were Rotties but many people who claim to be chased by them say they were german shepherds. Hudson lived there for over 20 years, trying to make sure no one vandalized the grounds. He did have a gun, but from what i understand it did have real bullets. In fact, he was arrested for shooting a trespasser in 1996. After a fire burned hell house down in 1997 police were called to investigate a skull found in the rubble. Hudson let his dogs loose on the police and they shot and killed both of the rotties. the skull was later determined to be that of a deer.
In the 70’s there were many accounts of a strange cult living on the grounds of hell house. people who trespassed on the grounds during that time claim that people in cloaks and white face pait would chase them away. well… about that… haha… during that time the priests still had the building and i am afraid to say that the strange cult was just men of the cloth trying to get irritating trespassers off their property.
I am really not trying to discredit anyones storys or personal experiences. I have just done a lot of research into the rich history of the building. And above all else i must say that there is a strange aura around the grounds. They do hold a secret that i am still trying to uncover. And, the fact that a fire was started twice… the first one was started a year before it was completely burned down. Only two rooms were damaged though, and the cause was never found. also… just a little interesting fact.. hell house was completely burned down on halloween night 1997. the cause for that fire is unkown also, but many think it may have been occult practices.
I am still trying to get documents that state the reason for the catholic church’s selling of the property. I am hoping to get some information on the legends of the crazy priest… wheather they prove the story to br wrong or right.
I’ve been to Hell House a dozen times. I unfortunately never got to see it before it burned down. I’ve always gone up there during the day with friends. It isn’t too creepy during the day.
Two times my best friend and I got the courage to go up at night. The first time we didn’t make it 5 feet away from our car before we started seeing things and ran back.
The second time was at sunset and I had bought a brand new flashlight for the occasion. We were walking around using it, even though we didn’t really need it, and it wasn’t scary at all. We heard dogs barking, but it was very far away. As soon as we started to walk around to the back of the building, it seemed to get dark very quick. We started to get scared and then my flashlight stopped working. It was brand new with new batteries. I took it apart and put it back together and it still didn’t work. We ran back to our car and as soon as we closed the door, it started working again.
Another story is when my best friend went up there and they saw a man with a gun chasing them and she fell down the main stairs near the train bridge. She said he had dogs and he chased her and her sisters very far and once they got to the bottom of the stairs, they didn’t hear or see anything.
Yea I went to hell house last night and it’s not made out to what it seems like in order to get there you have to go past the factory that looks abandon and go under the railroad bridge then park on your right hand side in a little dirt area. Then there is a hill go up the hill and move towards the railroad tracks and while your walking to the railroad tracks look on your left for steps then everything else is self explanatory. But yea I went there last night and me and my friends couldn’t not find it, we were on river road but we didn’t go far enough yet we saw the old factory and explore that. It looked like nobody worked there the windows are all broken doors boarded up and everything so we looked saw old foot prints in the snow and left. So we go farther up the road past the bridge and something told me to look right. So we got out of the car and walked up the hill and sure enough I found steps. So we walked up the steps and there was “Hell House” we explored it and everything me and a couple of my other friends walked in the fallen down house and around. There’s like 4-6 other buildings around it that you can visit but to me it wasn’t al that scary it just looked liked a burnt down building nobody got scared until they heard a scream, but then it turned out to be the screeching noise of the train.
I finally have enough courage to share this story with all of you. I never realized how many people have had so many paranormal experiences. So here goes nothing.
I was seventeen years old and was living in Catonsville, Maryland. I had just moved to Maryland from North Carolina in 1996. I was living with my sister and needless to say, things didn’t work out. I ended up meeting this guy and we started dating. Next thing I knew, things were getting worse at home so I decided to move in with him in his apartment.
He was originally from Maryland and had always been a sort-of “bad boy”. We both were into paranormal activity and stories. He had a horrible experience with an Ouija board before he met me. He was dating this girl and she was always messing with the board. She was contacted by a spirit and the spirit wanted to talk to him instead of her. The girl ended up being possessed by the spirit and was later exorcised. The spirit vowed he would come back for him later in time. That was the beginning of the problems.
He started telling me about this place called,” Hell House” that was located in Ellicott City, Maryland. He thought that it would be really cool to take me there and show me what it was like. So, one evening, we set out with a couple of friends to go and explore this place.
Now, you need to know a little about Hell House to understand why people were so intrigued by it. There are a couple of versions of this story, but this is the one that I know. Hell House was actually named Saint Mary’s College. It was a college for Catholic girls. The school was running well until the Priest started having unholy lustful thoughts. He tried to repent and still could not satisfy his hunger. The Priest started sexually assaulting the nuns. The nuns were to afraid to go against Priest but begged him to repent his sinful ways. The Priest did not listen and kept assaulting the nuns. Well, one of the nuns finally stood up and went to the Archbishop and told him what was happening. The Priest was then thrown out of the college but vowed that he would return and that all would repay. Well, one night there was startling screams coming from the dormitory. When that nuns arrived to see what was wrong they found five of the school girls dead. The girls had been placed in the shape of a Pentagram. Authorities tried to find the Priest, but he was never to be found. Reportedly, the nuns were then possessed by demons. It is said that the nuns later massacred the rest of the students. Shortly after the college was closed. The owners placed a caretaker on the premises to guard the old college to protect it from vandalism and “noisy” teenagers. He had rottweilers on the premises to help “chase” out any trespassers. It was said that screams and laughter could be heard throughout the premises and in the tunnels underneath.
It was around eleven at night when we arrived at Hell House. Hell House sat on the top of a hill and there were three ways to get to it. Two were blocked by iron gates and one was a steep staircase entrance. We parked the car by the stairway entrance and stepped out of the car laughing. It was such a thrill to be there and the pure notion of seeing a spirit or hearing the screams was terrifying…yet exciting. The stairs were very steep and broken beer bottles lay on every other step. Foliage was growing within the cracked stone. All in all, it was a very scary sight.
I watched as my boyfriend started ascending the stairs. A horrible feeling came across me and settled in my gut. I couldn’t go up those stairs. My boyfriend noticed I was uneasy but insisted I come up. Our friends were lagging behind and talking amongst themselves. Very cautiously, I started walking up those stairs. Now, I have a Christian background and have always been taught that if I truly feel something evil and it is trying to get to me to say, “Satan, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ.” I was a good ways up those stairs and my feelings just got worst. So, I said what I had been taught that would help me. I quietly muttered those words. Only I could hear what I said, so it was a suprise to me when my boyfriend looked back down at me,(who by the way, had almost reached the top) and said,” Jessica, run, you’ve pi$$ed him off!.”
Now let me tell you, it is really hard to run down steep stairs in the pitch black night, but let me tell you, I ran like hell. I reached the bottom and got off those stairs and my feelings started to ease. At the same time, I was mixed with fear and a horrible emotion. My boyfriend came down and said that a voice had told him he had heard me, and that I had made him very angry. I asked my boyfriend to repeat what I had said and he told me every word.
There is no way my boyfriend could have heard me. He was too far up those steps and I had said it coming short to a whisper. There is more to this story, because that spirit followed us home. I later found out that my boyfriend had run into this spirit before.
If you want to hear the rest of the story, I would be glad to finish it. Just email me and let me know.
As for the boyfriend, he is not necessarily of a good origin or character. Which took me some time to figure out. Needless to say, I am now happily married to another man, a good man.
Thanks for your time and sorry it is so long. Until next time.
..or one of the hell houses.
Hi there. My name’s Kayin. I went to what we thought was Hell House with a few friends. See, I’m not from Maryland, i’m from Toronto Canada. I was visiting, and we thought it would be cool to check it out.
The thing is, ever since then, i’ve been trying to dig up info on what the hell it was that i visited that night. It’s so hard to find good pics. And people’s stories are always mixing up both Old St. Mary’s College and Female Potapsco Institute. I wanted to figure out which one I went to.
I believe it was the Old St. Mary’s College… cause i vaguely remember something written over a main door. On one wall that was still intact, a decorative cross was in the wall made of bricks. The stairs up to the place were overgrown. The paths hard to find. Lots of smaller buildings besides the main one, all of which were overgrown with forest.
The one thing i do remember quite well is a very hidden path in the forest off to the side. We followed it and came into the remains of some kind of altar. in the middle of the forest. It was a small four pillar domed structure, with a large CROSS still under it. I’ve never read anything elsewhere about this cross.
Anyways, here’s our story about our trip there.
In the car, down a twisty-hilly road that seemed to be so dark covered by trees overhead, we were listening to some music on CD. At the beggining of a track of a song i thought i knew pretty well, there was this deep, throaty, rumbling noise that lasted less then a second. It didn’t quite seem like it was from the speakers, but the music was loud. For the first few seconds i didn’t think about it, then turned to my friend Lisa in the back seat and asked her if she heard that. She said she did, and that it was strange.
The funny part to the story is this. We got to the bottom of the hill and path up to the place. Parking our car, we got our flashlights out, and a walkie-talkie. Suddenly a VAN drives by, turns around, and pulls up and parks. Out of the van comes these two STONER kids. There were other people in the back of the van (the windows were tinted but could see a kinda freaky looking face in the window). Now, these dudes reeked of POT. It was hilarious cause they asked if we were going up, had flashlights, and could tag along for a bit. We said ‘sure, whatever’.
So here we are, five of us, and two stoner kids, heading up this hill to this pretty scary place. I turn to Lisa and ask her : “Doesn’t this seem like the start of EVERY teen horror movie ?? I mean, we have all the characters right here. These two stoner kids will be the first to get killed off.” The stoner dudes eventually went away once we got up to a set of stairs, but I couldn’t help but call everyone ‘GANG’ every so often, and add ‘ZOINKS’ to the ends of sentances.
Anyways, Back to the scary parts of the night…
Once the stoner dudes were gone, we continued around the main structure. Around the side (?) of it was a door. lots of grafitti. the insides were all caved in mostly, and all that was left was the walls.
We followed what seemed to be a path deeper into the woods. up some more steps. We came upon two small houses that were very overgrown with forest.
For this whole time, i had the feeling of something behind us, and it was unsettling to be at the back, behind everyone else.
there was a path we followed that, along the way, we found an odd piling of rocks in the middle. maybe the remains of a fountain or well or something. it had a wierd metal pipe sticking from the top of it.
we followed a foot path (there were brick borders along the sides of this path) untill there were too many trees in the way to keep going. we turned back, and at this point the feeling of whatever it was behind us was now gone.
we started back to where we came from, but then Lisa noticed what no one else would have noticed. A path off to the side that was mostly covered in trees and forest. We pushed through it all, and found a wall, and followed that to steps and an entrance to the wall. past the wall, maybe 15-20 feet into the forest was the remains of an altar of some type. Four pillars supporting a dome, with a huge metal CROSS underneath it.
This place felt much diffrent then everywhere else. Quiet and safe somehow. I’m not religious, especially not christian, but i could feel the diffrence here. We stayed for a bit. I noticed that the ground under us, under the cross, while dirty, was some kind of brick pattern if i remember correctly. But the ground didn’t feel ‘solid’. Jumping on it moved it in a way, and sounded like it was hollow underneath. We didn’t think much more of it then that however, cause the whole thing was very creepy.
We continued through past the altar, and found our way down to another path. Eventually this led us to a strange wall thing in the side of the hill. What looked like a firepit or something built into the wall in the side of the hill.
We turned back here, and tried to find our way back to the car. At this point i immediately felt something close again, and it was there that Lisa and I heard the same deep breathy grumbly noise we heard in the car. This time our friend Jim was sure he heard it too, and we obviously picked up the pace. The noise sounded very close behind us.
From there along the way back, we saw probably the same overgrown house we saw from the other side. We also got our last look at everything, and also our discovery on how easy it was to get turned about down there, and how hard it was to find the way we came into the place. Eventually we just went down a path and ended back at the car. We left, pretty creeped out, but satisfied.
No dogs, no old man. Just two stoner kids. ^_^ I wasn’t sure what the ‘Greenhouse’ reffered too either.
It’s great how every story i’ve read describes it diffrently. It’s odd too though. Kinda spooky. I’d love to see more pics, and even a layout of the surrounding area.
Anyways. I think my original point was to find info to clarify where is where. But hope you found it all intresting.
Hell House (2004)
Subject: Hell House in Ellicott City, Maryland
Date: January 23, 2004
My name is John, and I go to Howard High School in Howard County, Maryland. I would like to write about the rumor of Hell House in Ellicott City, Maryland after reading articles on your website.
I live in Ellicott City maryland. I went to school there, and the historic Ellicott City has been my back yard. There are two parts to Ellicott City. The new one is not the original city that was built long time ago. Now the historic city is mere tourist attraction and shops. The haunted house use to be Saint Mary College. It’s for the rich upper classes people’s daughters. From all these time growing up in Ellicott City, I did not hear any thing about girls being murdered. I have been to the Hell House countless times, during the day and night. I’ve been going to that house whenIwas about 7. Once you get used to it, its like a play ground. It’s really dirty there are over grown bushes and vines, especially during the summer. There are also a lotta trashes and liquor bottles as local teenagers take the house for partying. The house did burn down in 1997, but for unknown reason. One reason might even be the police and fire department intentionally burnt it down so that people won’t loiter there. I would just like to clear the rumor that the house is nothing super natrual but an old burnt down ruin.
I have visited Hell house more than once. Everytime I have went there, there have been other teenagers with me and even some other people who just came to see about the spoof. I have seen the place they so call the “pool” which I am sure was just a basement room built in the ground, that since the place had been burnt or destroyed left it open. Water from rain and storms have accumulated and many people refer to it as the pool. Alot of people go up to hell house and try and scare other people visiting. Each time I have went there I never seen anything out of the norm. I have went in both daylight and in nightime. Its just an old abondened building. The story about the girls being killed may be true, however I do not think that there is much to go and see. Its just your mind playing tricks on you. I do believe in ghost and hauntings and things, however, nothing was spooky about Hell House besides the fact that I knew of the story and heard many things and was questionable about what would happen. One true thing is however, cops patrol the streets there. The property has been taken over and is owned by someone. Therefore if you are caught parking there or caught trespassing you are likely to get a warning and you are likely to get a ticket. So if its worth the trouble, to go and see some house supposively haunted, based on a semi myth, go ahead, just make sure you get dropped off and then picked up because otherwise, you will get into trouble. Good luck and Have fun…?? …??…
I have been to hell house within the last couple of days. And we have some real great pictures of the pool and the greenhouse. And the pavilion with the cross which still stands. As far as any haunting we haven’t came across anything strange.
The grounds stretch for ever. And it seems the farther you walk the more things there are to find. If you would a copy of the pictures just email me back and I will gladly get them too you.
I don’t really know the legend of Hell House just what I have heard from other people. I have been there when the caretaker was alive also. And the stories of the dogs and the rubber bullets are true. My name is Nancy. Please let me know if you would like copies of the pictures.
Yea, I heard the place burnt down too. I had a friend that knew the guy that kept the place up and he said it was definatley haunted. That’s the same guy who used to chase us with Rots, and shot rock salt at us when we used to snoop around up there. (That’s when it was 16, I’m 29 now). My friends could’nt start there car on heartbeat bridge one night just like the rumors say. Scared the crap out of them.
I just read the article on ‘Hell house’. I have grown up near Ellicott city & I too used to think the pictures you show were hell house. Later, in my college years, I learned that Hell house is an actual house in the old Ellicott city. I can find out the location, but the ‘hell house’ you show was a catholic girls school, I believe it was called St Marys. The many stories get confused, but they are definatly two totally different places.
Hello I used to visit St. Mary’s college in Maryland when I lived there, and I have some things to share with you. Inside of the main building, yes I’m daring enough to go into the collapsing remains, but there is a basement. Yes I have been in the basement, looks like a wine storage room and a workshop. Also inside the concrete parking structure to the right of the main building had a hatch and a staircase. The staircase had fallen, but I climbed down in there, it has three story’s and on the bottom one it looks like three jail cells. I’ve been through every nook and cranny of this property and I love it and miss it. Please send me your pics of the property at ( email@example.com) I would love to see it again.
Hell House (2005)
Hey there…Hopefully I’ll get a response =)
I read your accounts of Hell House off ofwww.ghosts.org/hellhouse3.html and wanted to tell you that I myself am very interested in Hell House. I went there just tonight, but did not park anywhere to really go up and check it out. We just got a feel for the area and so are going back tomorrow(well later today, since its 2am) during the day. Other than that I’d love to just go up there since its on top of a hill and overlooks a lot of the area.
I hear there are two entrances. We couldn’t find one off River Road, but we turned onto Bonnie branch road just before river road wraps around the cement factory/paper mill and when we looked to our right, there was a driveway with a metal bar in front of it. I wonder if that “endless staircase” is near there? We did go onto hilltop road and got a great night view through the trees of the outline of Hell House, with the factory bridge right in front and a bit below us.
If you get back to me I’ll e-mail you more about what happened tomorrow. Hopefully we don’t get caught by anything.
I live fairly close to Ellicott City, where hell house is. Actually, it is the former St. Mary’s College, a seminary for young men entering the priesthood. I read that someone couldn’t find the staircase. If you park under the railroad bridge and walk toward the road that has a gate in front, you will see the staircase. It is extremely steep. The stairway was used originally to allow people access from the railroad tracks to a tavern that was built in the lower house. The tavern never really got of the ground, due to the fact that the train only stopped if someone requested it to, which didn’t happen often. The property was later bought by a catholic group know as the Redemtionist, which later called the place St. Mary’s College.
My friends and I went up there just the other day. It was late at night, about 10:30 ish and with a slight drizzle and fog. This just added to the scariness. We parked by the driveway type road that has the bar across it and walked up that way with a couple flash lights. On the side of that driveway is a skeleton, I believe of a deer, but a skeleton non the less. As we walked up towards Hell House I had this strange feeling grow stronger and stronger. My friend also experienced this. We reached the ruins and it wasn’t really anything special, just seemed more like a place to dump trash. We unfortunately couldn’t explore the place due to none of us have our provisionals and had to be home at midnight. As soon as we took our first steps back down the driveway towards the cars I felt light hearted and almost happy and rambunctious. This was a sharp contrast to the feeling of forboding and uneasyness that I had felt only moments before. I know this doesnt have much to do with the supernatural part of Hell House…only that strange feeling. I didn’t hear any dogs…probably long dead…or see anyone aside from my party.
My name is Lisa and I live in Baltimore, MD. I visit Ellicott City all the time. I would like to clear up a few things.
A lot of people get Hell House and Creepy College confused. Yes, they are both colleges and they are both quite creepy, but the stories behind them are quite different.
Hell House, once called “St. Mary’s College” is the one off Bonnie Branch Rd. in Ilchester. It was once a school for young men studying to become priests. In 1997, it burned down and only a brick shell remains. I don’t know why people say St. Mary’s is haunted. I haven’t heard any specific ghost stories about it. I just know that it was sold to a new owner in the 1970’s, but it wasn’t used as much and was soon abandoned. It is creepy looking, but I have been there probably more than 30 times, and not once has anything strange happened. The only story I heard was that the old groundskeeper that was once there (nobody is there anymore) shot at some trespassers and a stray bullet hit one of them.
Creppy College, also known as the Potapsco Female Institute, is located at the top of Church Rd. in Ellicott City. This was once a school for rich farmers to send their daughters. The school couldn’t keep up with the quick moving times and was soon abandoned. The story of the priest who hung five girls facing each other and then killed himself happened at this building. You can go on a tour of this building, but don’t go by yourself at night and try to sneak in because there is still a groundskeeper at this building, and he has been known to scare off trespassing teenagers.
Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to go on the tour of the female institue, but I hope to this summer. I have been to St. Mary’s College numerous times, and if you ever get the chance, it is a very interesting place to visit. It upsets me how much other visitors have ruined this once very beautiful and old building. One day, I hope to see someone maybe buy this property and restore it somehow.
If anyone would like to email me about these subjects, please feel free. My name is Lisa and you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
I was hopping to clear up a few commonly misconstrued aspects about this place. First off, it was never a girls school. The school is always confused with the Patapsco Female Institute about five miles down the road. It was a college for youn men who wanted to become priests under the redemptorists order. I was there this past weekend. There is not much left to the place. The main 5 story building is now barely three still standing walls. The driveway follows past the building and behind it are a wooden garage type building, next a stone garage/storage building, which has what is left of a beaten up 1980’s nissan 300z. There are a set of stairs behind this building that leads to whats left of the greenhouse. Follow the driveway farther back and you will come up to what looks like and outdoor altar/service area. the altar sits under a dome supported by 2 steel collumns at four different quadrants of the dome. I t does sound fairly hollow under the ground where the altar is though. Get back on the driveway and down the hill to your right is a round concrete platform that looks over the river and paper factory. The driveway splits in two at this point. one direction takes you to the swimming pool, which looks more like a swamp now, and the pumphouse and loker room. The other driveway goes back to a garage and large round water tower/container. There is a rusted out 60’s/70”s van in the garage. Not to much farther past them is the line where the property turns into the Patapsco State Park trail.
I have plenty of pictures if you would like to see some from my recent trip. Its really sad because i did research with help of the historical society, and the buildings/grounds were once a nice area.
Now I am not going to say that it may or may not be haunted as the majority of Ellicott City is haunted, but there is deffinetly and creepy felling up there. When we got there the weather was nice, and as we got further along the winds really got stronger.