Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hell House Hike

Yesterday Peanut and I took a hike up to the ruins of St. Mary’s College just outside of Ellicott City. The former seminary located at the intersection of Bonnie Branch Road and Illchester Road is also known in local lore as Hell House.

Near as I can tell, the scariest thing about this property is the overseer, a Mr. Allen Rufus Hudson. That may be justified. In May of 1996, according to this story in The Sun, he was charged with assault, battery and assault with intent to murder for shooting a trespasser with a shot gun.

I sort of wished I read that before we climbed these stairs.
At the top of the steps I spotted a small tent just off to the side. Fortunately, at 11:00 AM on a Saturday, it was unoccupied. We ventured on.
This is a really fascinating place. The only evidence of the five story main building that once sat at the top of the hill is a pile of rubble but there is ample evidence of its former life as school for the Catholic priesthood. We walked along the former driveways and took in some pretty nice views of the Patapsco River down below.
One of the few remaining structures on the property was this outdoor altar. I was struck by the irony of the satanic graffiti on this Christian shrine. I’m not a particularly religious guy but it did occur to me that the large decaying symbol of Christianity would still outlive the spray painted symbols of the non believers.


Scott said...

very cool post..... the engineer in me loves reading about and exploring old buildings and such...

it's amazing how much history is around us just wasting away or buried by a few trees..

Anonymous said...

Dont' tell FM about this - it'll be on his hit list.