11175 Point Lookout Road, Scotland, MD

(301) 872-5688

Status: Former Civil War Prison; Natural Wonder; State Park



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By PatriotickCC BY-SA 3.0Link

By Robert and Pat Rodgers - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="https://secure.flickr.com/photos/kasilof/8954027153/sizes/z/in/photostream/">https://secure.flickr.com/photos/kasilof/8954027153/sizes/z/in/photostream/</a>, CC BY 2.0Link


The first European to land at this location was Captain John Smith who was surveying the area for the English Crown in 1608. He reported it as the perfect place to build an English colony because of the abundant game, natural beauty and strategic value.

The first settlement in what in now the State of Maryland was built nearby – St Mary’s City – and the lands now in the State Park were part of the Estate of Leonard Calvert the colony’s leader.

British forces attacked the area during the American Revolution.

The point got it’s name in the War of 1812 when it was used to look out for British ships coming up from their base on Tangier’s Island in Virginia to raid towns in Chesapeake Bay. A relay system was set up on the roads between the point and Washington DC.

In 1813 the British took the point ending the spying on their fleets movements in the bay. This is thought to have a large contributing factor toward their ability to attack and burn Washington DC in 1814.

In 1862 during the American Civil War the point was converted into Union Army base including a fort and garrison, a hospital and a POW camp for Confederate prisoners.

After the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863 Union forces suddenly found themselves with hundreds of Confederate POWs and the 40 acre prison camp was quickly built with 15 foot fences guarded by Union soldiers.

Most of the prisoners were common soldiers; the officers were generally jailed in Fort Delaware which is also haunted (See the Delaware Page).

The camp became overcrowded quickly – 20,000 soldiers when it meant to hold 12,000 – creating terrible conditions. It was the largest POW camp in the Union and quickly became the worst.

The camp also held Maryland citizens who were Confederate sympathizers or had been caught helping the Confederacy.

The official count is just under 4,000 Confederate prisoners who died in the camp – some websites claim as many as 8,000 – which, while undeniably terrible, was a death rate lower than the Confederate soldiers faced in their own army camps.

Today almost half of the original camp has been washed away by the rising water levels in the bay.

Beside the former camp there is a 3 acre mass grave for the Confederate POWs who died. It is privately funded and has a Confederate flag flying over it as well as US flag.

The park also includes a lighthouse first built in 1830 where people lived until the 1980’s.


Paranormal Activity

Hans Holzer himself investigated the lighthouse recording 24 separate voices in it saying things like “my home” – thought to be Anne wife of the first keeper - and “fire if they get too close to you” – thought to be a Union prison guard.

The apparition of Ann Davis – wife of the first keeper – has been seen in a white shirt and a blue skirt in the lighthouse.

The apparitions of several men have been reported moving through the lighthouse. Two ghosts have been seen in the basement, but they are always so faint no one has ever identified even their gender.

Many people hear their name being called both in and around the lighthouse.

Cold spots and rotten smells are also reported in the lighthouse. Phantom footsteps are also heard here.

Phantom snoring is heard in the lighthouse kitchen. Loud disembodied voices have been heard on the front lawn. Phantom knocking is often heard; numerous tenants of the lighthouse have opened the front door to find no one there.

During a séance conducted in the 1970’s a photo was taken of a resident at the time holding a candle; a misty soldier leaning against the wall with one leg crossed over the other is seen right beside her.

The apparition of an older lady has been seen near the possible location of the Taylor family cemetery – no one knows exactly where it was, only that it existed – she seems to be searching for something and has interacted with the living generally inquiring as to where the graveyard is.

The apparition of a Confederate soldier has been seen crossing a road into the forest which would take him out of the park. The location is near where the Confederate hospital was where the prisoners were treated for smallpox. The prisoners would often try to trick the Union guards by saying they were going to the hospital and then attempt to escape.

This ghost may be eternally making his escape. He is most often seen in the rear-view mirror of vehicles after they pass the spot.

Many people have reported voices calling out for help in the water, but no one is ever there. This phenomenon is also reported by people fishing off the coast.

Dogs and other animals are known for watching things that cannot be seen by the human eye; especially on what was used as a road during the Civil War.

The ghost of Joseph Haney is seen wandering the beach where his body was found. Attempting to row to shore where his ship – the Empress – sank off shore he was lost to the sea.

Many campers and other visitors have seen the apparitions of Confederate soldiers wandering the grounds both in the day and after dark.

There are numerous EVP’s – including Class A – and photos taken in the lighthouse and the rest of the park that can be found on the internet.