University of Maryland Newsdesk. www.newsdesk.umd.edu
For Immediate Release
October 27, 2003
Contacts: David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Is Maryland haunted? With Halloween right around the corner, that question is being asked by more than just a few on campus - just ask some of our Experts. Or take the tour below yourself - and see what you think!
Morrill Hall's lore dates to the Thanksgiving fire of 1912,
in which it was the only building to survive the blaze. Legend
has it that workers in the building smelled smoke in the vents
but further inspection revealed no source of the strange odor.
Used at various points for the zoology and veterinary science
departments, it housed cadavers for medical training according
to a 2002 article in The Diamondback. In the same article,
a specialist in the paranormal inspected Morrill, concluding
it houses abundant spirits.
Recently, workers in Morrill Hall found human remains under
a sink while the building was undergoing renovation. Additionally,
the staff in Morrill has heard noises late at night and found
mysterious guano in the building's attic. Students often wander
into the building during the fall to see the "haunted building."
The building, constructed in 1898, is the oldest campus building
with its original fa¿ade intact. It was named after Justin
Morrill, sponsor of the Morrill Land Grant act establishing
federal land grant colleges, including the Maryland Agricultural
College (later to become the University of Maryland.
Named after the first dean of home economics, Marie Mount
Hall is supposedly haunted by its namesake, who reportedly
did not want to leave the university after she died. Campus
employees claim to have seen Marie Mount's ghost and heard
her playing the piano on dark, stormy nights. An expert in
the paranormal reported feeling the spirits of Mount and others
in a 2002 Diamondback article.
in 1940 as an addition to Silvester Hall, the building's corridors
and ceilings - a mixture of ashen, concrete walls and yellow
floors - slant strangely to merge with the old construction.
The building was first called, simply, the home economics
building. It was renamed Margaret Brent Hall in 1959 after
a colonial businesswoman considered the first American woman
to request the right to vote.
"The Home Economics College at the University stands as [Marie
Mount's] monument," wrote University President Emeritus Harry
Clifton Byrd of the hall, in a 1957 memorial to the home economics
dean. In 1969 the Board of Regents renamed it Marie Mount
Hall in appreciation of Marie Mount's innovations in home
economics at the University. Under her guidance, the "department
of home and institution management" became its own division
and later the College of Home Economics.
Then-University President Wilson H. Elkins may have known
more than he let on when he wrote in a 1957 memorial, "The
character of Marie Mount will live forever." Marie Mount used
to house student dormitories, according to facilities management.
There are still signatures of students who wrote their names
on the walls of their old rooms.
known than "haunted" Marie Mount and Morrill halls, HJ Patterson
is allegedly spooked. Once, a maintenance and structural trades
manager in facilities management saw a stray shadow across
the wall working alone in the building. He does not believe
the shadow belonged to another worker.
Nicknamed "Steinberg Castle," the building is named after
Maryland Agricultural College President Henry Jacob Patterson.
It was built in 1931 and houses the department of plant biology,
the department of natural resources, a soil testing lab and
the Center for Agricultural Biology.