Ghostly Encounters: Who’s playing the piano in Marie Mount Hall?

Here’s the second in our weekly October series of posts about ghosts at UMD.  We hope you had a chance to check out Morrill Hall, last week’s spooky site.  Visit Terrapin Tales again throughout the rest of the month for more paranormal postings.

This week the spotlight shines on Marie Mount Hall, named for M. Marie Mount, who came to campus in 1919 as the head of the Department of Home and Institution Management and served as the dean of the College of Home Economics from 1927 until her death in 1957.  The building was constructed in 1940 and originally named Margaret Brent Hall after the colonial Marylander who was the first American woman to request  the right to vote. But in 1967, the Board of Regents voted to change the name to Marie Mount Hall.

James Gitlin draws a skeleton, University of Maryland, March 29, 1989

This student draws a skeleton on the steps of Marie Mount Hall. Doesn’t that sound like an invitation for a haunting experience? We know we wouldn’t be caught dead there!

At one time, Miss Mount supposedly lived in the building in a special dean’s apartment there.  She was much loved by her students, and University President Wilson Elkins declared in a 1957 memorial to the dean that “The character of Marie Mount will live forever.”

Miss Marie Mount, c. 1940-1950

Marie Mount, c. 1940-1950. Don’t you think she looks a bit . . . spectral?

Dean Marie Mount does just that.  Night watchmen and building inhabitants in the late 1970s reported sensing other-worldly presences, doors opening and shutting on their own, toilets flushing when no one was there, and matches blowing out when all the doors and windows were closed.  Could these activities be Dean Mount reminding us of her everlasting presence? It’s said that on dark and stormy nights, as the wind blows through the building, and the rain pounds on the window panes, she can be heard vigorously playing a piano. Next big thunderstorm, Marie Mount Hall is the place to be!

Scared yet? Just wait until you hear about the secret cemetery on campus next week. We’re getting goosebumps just thinking about it!

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