For Immediate Release October 12, 2012
Contacts: David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or email@example.com
Mysterious Maryland - 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Is the University of Maryland really haunted or is it just a little bit... mysterious?
Heading into its second century, you might expect to find at least a few ghosts or goblins on campus. In fact there are plenty of stories out there that suggest the university has more than its share.
Recent paranormal investigations have added grist to the many legends about mysterious happenings on campus.
Newsdesk continues to explore this Halloween story tongue-in-cheek each year. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do putting it together.
The latest investigation happened in May, 2012 by Maryland Paranormal Research - who brought a four-person team to campus. They filed a lengthy report on their website that included this conclusion:
"The expedition accumulated over 30 hours of video and 17 hours of audio. All campus locations visited appeared to be very active with multiple possible entities present. The basis of assessment comes primarily from collected audio, which was comprised of a mix between Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) and ITC. No apparitions were observed nor were captured on video. Some electromagnetic/electric anomalies were encountered, to include the inexplicable repeated crashing of (normally stable) laptops. Regardless of location, electrostatic detection pods, once lighted generally stayed so when placed in active areas.
None of these incidents, while coincidental, can be ascribed as paranormal in origin, but served as a reminder to baseline potential EMF emissions sources. Expedition audio captured several instances of what appeared to be specific, direct, context-relevant and phrase and/or sentence-length responses to questions, as well as messages intended for one or more investigators."
Newsdesk's Tom Ventsias escorted the ghost hunters as they investigated the Rossborough Inn and wrote about his experiences for Maryland's Faculty-Staff Newsletter - Between the Columns:
Members of the 2010 Maryland Society of Ghost Hunters (from left) Joseph Houghton, Kristin Seblak, Misty Levasseur, Renee Behling, Duane Oden, Alan Cohn and the group's founder and president, Rodney Whittaker. Photo by Rob Frelow
During the day, the Rossborough Inn presents an inviting gateway to the university - a restored, three-story Colonial structure where staff and student volunteers from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions greet prospective Terps and their families with questions like "What do you want to study at Maryland?" or "Are there any extracurricular activities you're particularly interested in?"
At night, however, after the last worker has left and darkness envelopes the oldest (circa 1798) building on campus, the queries one might ask are far less appealing: Why is a third-floor window mysteriously able to open itself? What are the strange flickering lights emanating from the adjacent Carriage House? And does the spirit of "Miss Betty"- who reportedly worked in Rossborough during the Civil War -still wander its original hardwood floors?
A group of paranormal experts armed with an array of electronic gadgetry recently toured the Rossborough, looking for answers, for signs of nighttime activity more associated with Halloween than freshman orientation. The seven members from the Maryland Society of Ghost Hunters spent more than four hours on a sweltering June evening recording detailed electromagnetic and temperature data, filming darkened rooms with infrared cameras and asking a series of provocative questions designed to stimulate a conversation with any spirits that might be lurking...
The second building was Marie Mount Hall. Newsdesk's Graduate Intern Ashley Westerman edited the above video of the Ghost Hunter's investigation. Did they find anything?
The final investigation focused on the oldest building constructed on campus - the only building left standing after the fire of 1912 - Morrill Hall. After the two previous investigations turned up little or no paranormal activity surely Morrill Hall - with all the stories, smells and noises - it should have something to offer! As the Maryland Society of Ghost Hunters reported - there was, indeed something: "Investigator Russ Cosner asked for a name to let us know they are there. He received a direct response on the Ghost Box saying 'We are Here'." If you're not too scared - you can hear it yourself:
Here's what the final report stated: ""Although the results of this investigation was inconclusive.This does not (mean) the location is not haunted.We just did not get substantiating evidence to declare a haunting for the time frame we were there.It is understandable that paranormal activity does not occur on cue."
Back in 2008 - WTOP's Kristi King conducted her own investigation - and filed these reports featuring University Archivist Anne Turkos:
WTOP's Kristi King
Haunted Maryland Report #1
WTOP's Kristi King
Haunted Maryland Report #2
Finally - Mysterious Maryland - a 2007 exhibit in the Hornbake Library - offered ghostly examples on campus - and across the state of Maryland.
Know of a haunted place on campus we haven't highlighted? Let us know by email to dottalin (at) umd.edu.
Media working on Halloween-related stories are invited to check out our special Expert's List and features below. Our faculty can talk about everything from safety tips to the economic impact of Halloween.