To most teenagers, Maryland can often seem like mundane suburbia, but there’s more to the state than meets the eye. Many places riddled with dark histories are hidden all around if one knows where to look.
One of the most chilling spots in the area is Forest Haven, an abandoned mental institution still standing in Laurel. It opened in 1925, specifically to house children with mental disabilities. Its malpractices were not brought into light until the 70’s when a lawsuit was filed against them by the family of a child in their care. They closed their doors permanently in 1991, leaving behind multiple accounts of patient abuse and death.
Twenty two miles away lies Glenn Dale hospital and sanatorium, an abandoned hospital home to many urban legends like the “Maryland Goatman.” Built in 1934 for the treatment of tuberculosis, Glenn Dale later became a hospital for the criminally insane.The hospital closed in 1981 and is now condemned, with rumors that the insane still haunt the halls. Prince George’s County officers patrol the area at all times and often receive complaints of screams and noises coming from the hospital as well as other paranormal activity.
Park Seminary’s history might not be considered creepy, but its remains could certainly be classified as such. First opening as a boarding school for girls in 1894 in Forest Glen, the architecture was built to be purposefully whimsical, taking inspiration from many different countries to present students with a broader perspective. During World War II, the property was purchased to become a hospital for soldiers. In 2003, it became a residential area and remains as such today.
Within the area, a Greek styled building, a Dutch style windmill, and a Japanese pagoda can all be found, but it is the undeveloped woods of Park Seminary where the forgotten ruins of the school can be found. A crumbling castle resides in the forest, surrounded by large, mysterious statues of women, casting an eerie atmosphere on the area. This location is ideal for urban exploration because, unlike the others, it is legal to visit and explore.