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Abandoned Places in Maryland

The state of Maryland is full of great terrain, bustling cities and historic sea side towns, but there are some creepy, abandoned places too!

From asylums to ship graveyards here are the top 5 abandoned places in Maryland!

Mallows Bay

The first one is the ghost fleet of Mallows Bay. Tucked away in a tiny bay along the Potomac is one of the worlds largest ship graveyards, a slowly decaying testament to the most expensive shipbuilding endeavor in modern history. Mallows Bay contains the wrecks of nearly 230 vessels which is believed to be the largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere. The ships date back to the First World War, when the US found itself in dire need of transport vessels for soldiers and supplies. Steel was reserved for ships that would see battle, so they rushed to make 1000 wooden ships in 18 months. Well, they never made the deadline and the ships were poorly constructed. By the time the Germans surrendered, not a single ship from the lofty order had crossed the ocean. With the war over and steel once again in abundance, the ships were discarded and left to rot in the Potomac. The last effort to clean up the ships in the 1960s discovered that the shipwrecks had, in their non toxic wooden state, became the foundation of an active and thriving ecosystem. Acting as vessels for new life, the ghost ships will remain in the bay until they crumble away to nothing in the waters where they rest.

Forest Haven Asylum

This abandoned asylum was once a state of the art facility before devolving into one of the most deadly mental institutions in American history. Opened in 1925, it was initially made to treat children who were mentally ill, handicapped or otherwise unable to function normally in society. Unfortunately,  as funding was reduced drastically in the 1960s, it became notorious for abuse and even death inflicted on those it was supposed to serve. By the time Forest Haven Asylum closed its doors in 1991, hundreds of patients had met their deaths within its walls. Today, the buildings of Forest Haven asylum are still standing, bearing the decay and graffiti of time. There’s even a rumor of the shallow graves of some of the inmates eroding to reveal the unfortunate corpses.

The Glenn Dale Hospital

In the early 1930s, at the height of the great depression, a tuberculosis epidemic swept through Washington DC. As hospitals became overcrowded, it became clear a dedicated facility was needed to handle the outbreak. So in 1934, the Glenn Dale hospital was built on 216 acres with 23 buildings. They thought that prolonged exposure to sunlight and fresh air would treat TB so rooftop gardens were installed and expansive lawns. 

As doctors discovered antibiotics proved more successful in treating tuberculosis and they became more widely available in the 1950s, the number of TB patients in Glenn dale hospital dwindled until in 1960 it was repurposed as a nursing home and hospital for indigent patients. The facility finally closed in 1982 due to the high levels of asbestos in the buildings as well as the costs to upkeep it. It sits unused since then and attracts graffiti artists, ghost hunters and curious explorers.

Winderbourne Mansion

The Winderbourne Mansion is a Victorian house built in 1884 by the wealthy and well connected Enoch and Mary Totten. Enoch was a respected Washington lawyer and Mary came from a rich family that included her father, Timothy Howe, a senator of Wisconsin. Many locals believe the house to be haunted, in part because of the terrible tragedy that occurred there. All three Totten children caught typhoid fever, likely from drinking contaminated water, one of them dying from it. Another daughter, Edith Totten, who became a doctor, saw her own child die after sliding down and falling from a long bannister in the home.  A second Family , the Pickrells, acquired the home in 1929 and kept it in the family until the death of Edward pickerel Jr in 2004.  His brother has been trying to sell the property ever since with no success. Currently the abandoned 9 acre property is littered with old cars and overgrown gardens while the inside is strewn with old furniture, dusty magazines and outdated clothes.  

Holland Island

After hundreds of years of settlement, this once bustling fishing village sunk into the Chesapeake Bay. Holland island was first settled in the 1600s and grew to a community of around 350 persons by 1910. There were dozens of homes, post office, school and a church. Most of the townspeople were fishermen. Somewhat ironically, the water that provided the community’s livelihood would also be its undoing. After years of erosion, the sea levels rose and the shoreline began to disappear into the ocean. The last family left the island in 1918. By the end of the 20th century, only one structure remained standing. A 2 story residence that was completed surrounded by water at high tide. A severe storm demolished is in 2010, leaving only sparse areas of marsh and debris as evidence the island every existed. By 2012, Holland Island had eroded completely. Although nothing can be seen from the surface, the town is still down there, somewhere underneath the sea.


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