Tuesday's Trip to Hell House College
Hell House College was the nick name given to St Mary's College in Ilchester, MD. The college was originally set up as a Roman Catholic Seminary in 1868, prior to that George Ellicott Jr. turned his homestead here into an Hotel and Tavern in anticipation that the Baltimore and Ohio Railway would stop here, but instead it stopped in Ellicott Mills (now Ellicott City) and unable to make a go of it, Mrl Ellicott sold the building and land to the Catholic Church.
Hell House College is located on a granite cliff overlooking Patapsco River. The Seminary operated at this location until 1972, over the years class sizes dwindled as fewer young men entered the priesthood until it was forced to close it's doors.
There are many rumors floating around as to the real reason Hell House College closed, ranging from priests committing suicide and many others. The building fell into decay and burned in 1997 and the whole thing torn down in 2006. Today, there isn't much left, the altar stands and so does the remains of a fireplace and some ominous feelings.
Today, the location is reported to be one of the most haunted sites in Maryland and is part of Patapsco State Park. I have wanted to go here since it was brought to my attention. My best friend and I went near by but it was getting dark so we didn't venture into the woods at that time. But, this past Sunday I went with another friend. From the time we left my car to when we got back was just over 2 hours. The trail is blazed from several angles but not easy to follow. Getting there was a bit of a challenge. From Frederick Road we turned onto Hilltop and parked at the corner of Hilltop and River Road, there is also parking under the railway bridge. River Road is closed west of Hilltop because of recent flooding. We walked under the railway bridge and entered through a gate along a narrow path that opened at the base of a very steep set of steps. I can't give exact directions to the altar but there are trails, we walked west keeping the river to the right of us past an opening in the floor, up another flight of steps to the remains of a stone fireplace, up the hill past that keeping to the right along a path to a fork and we kept to the left of the fork and came to the Altar.
It was fun, the site definitely has some eerie feelings. Worth the trip though!!