January Link Roundup

As we prepare our next story – the one we hinted at last month – we’d like to give you a taste of the darker side of Western Maryland. These links serve as a reminder that we’re not just about tree houses and Civil War memorials.

Creepy Missing Person #1. The Black Hills Forest has claimed several lives over the years. While our own research is about those lost and never found, here’s a woman who was found but never identified. Note one juicy detail: Jane Doe was locked inside a steamer trunk with “sticks scattered over it.” Scattered randomly? Or ritually? The cops won’t say.

Creepy Missing Person #2. This guy was also found in the Gambrill section of the forest. Parts of his backbone showed “asymmetry and unusual irregularities” yet the skeleton “did not appear to have suffered trauma.” There’s something twisted here, and it’s not just John Doe.

The FBI and Whiskey Springs Pond. After our Snallygaster piece, some of you wrote in to ask why the FBI was looking for anthrax in the Frederick Watershed (a.k.a. Black Hills Forest). The Baltimore Sun has a good explanation. Oh, and here’s what the feds found.

A trip up (or down?) Spook Hill. Finally, the lighter side of the darker side: Burkittsville’s own Spook Hill, where you can put your car in neutral and it will roll up the hill on its own. We’ve tried it – and it absolutely works. Naturally, there’s local lore behind this: It’s said that the ghosts of Civil War soldiers are giving your car a push. Here’s a video of what it’s like.