Do you believe in ghosts? Lots of people do! Even if you're a non-believer, you may still find the subject of ghosts fascinating.

Point Lookout SoldiersSince the "appearance" of ghosts usually has some connection to a location and its past, ghost hunting can be an exciting way of learning about a place's history.

Some ghost hunters discover a ghost at a certain location, then explore that location's history to try to explain its presence. Others go to historical places where they think ghosts may exist and seek them out. Either way, knowledge of history is an important ghost-busting tool.

Are some historic places more likely to be haunted than others? Many ghost seekers believe it is important that the site have some sort of tragic event associated with its past. Tragedies like car crashes and murders are often thought to be responsible for the haunting of a site.

If you believe and want to go ghost-hunting, Point Lookout State Park is a good place to start. Many famous ghost hunters have great stories of the many ghosts they've encountered there.

In the 1860s during the Civil War, Point Lookout was the site of a U.S. hospital and a prison camp for Confederate soldiers. Thousands of confederate prisoners, along with hundreds of sick and wounded Union soldiers died and were buried there.

Point Lookout circa 1865

The remains of the Union soldiers were moved to other cemeteries after the war, while the Confederate soldiers were left in unmarked, swampy graves.

In 1910 when the U.S. government returned to Point Lookout to mark the graves, they did not know who was buried where. To make matters worse, the bodies were not buried in coffins, and some of them had washed out of the graves. A decision was then made to move the bodies inland to higher ground.

This combination of the site's tragic history and the removal of the bodies from their original resting place, might be responsible for the many reported sightings of Union and Confederate spirits roaming the park.

If you'd like to learn more about Point Lookout State Park and its ghostly occupants, park rangers host ghost programs, tours and hayrides. For information call 301-872-5688.


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