Ghostly Encounters: A night at the Rossborough

In honor of Halloween, we saved the spookiest story for last.  Take a look back at the previous weeks for more ghostly tales: week 1week 2week 3, and week 4.  We hope you have enjoyed our paranormal accounts over the last four weeks.  Make sure to stop by some of them tonight!

We finish our ghost tour at the Rossborough Inn, one of the best UMD sites to experience unexplained paranormal occurrences.  The Rossborough, built between 1804 and 1812, was named for its builder John Ross, a tavern keeper and local landowner, and was one of the original college buildings.  Many travelers and stagecoaches used the inn as a way-station to break their journey between Baltimore and Washington, because it was situated on the main route between the two cities.  The building has also served as the headquarters for the Agricultural Experiment Station, housing for faculty and students, a faculty-staff club, and office space for University Relations staff.

Rossborough Inn, 1901

Although many members of the campus community have passed through its doors, the Inn’s most famous resident is a ghost named Miss Bettie. She is the specter of the woman who managed the Inn during the Civil War.  Her ghost, clad in a long yellow gown in the style of the period, has been sighted several times walking the halls of the Inn.  In 1981, Larry Donnelly, a dining services employee, spotted a female ghost in the Inn during renovations to the building.  Several weeks later, a waiter at the Inn saw the same woman, attired in a long yellow dress just as Donnelly had described.  Perhaps Miss Bettie is also responsible for other unexplained occurrences at the Inn such as a vase of flowers appearing on its own; doors opening and lights turning off on their own accord; footsteps sounding overhead when no one is there; and a strange face appearing in mirrors and windows.  Have you met Miss Bettie yet?

Undergraduate Admissions staff who work in the building today are convinced that Miss Bettie, and perhaps other spirits, inhabit the Inn, and now we have even more proof.  In May 2012, a team from Maryland Paranormal Research spent some late night hours in the Inn and gathered a number of recordings of otherworldly voices.  Check out the results of the investigation here! You might want to leave the lights on . . .

We wish you all a spooky Halloween!


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