Monday, October 08, 2007

The Spooky Express... Departing for Point Lookout, Maryland

To celebrate the release of my spooky novella *In the Fog* in By Grace's *After Dark* spooky anthology (and to revisit my first spooky novella, *Haunted*, in By Grace's first spooky anthology *Out of the Shadows* [Buy *Out of the Shadows*])... I thought I'd visit some spooky places this month (via my internet connection-- great Armchair Tourist strikes again).

First Stop on the Spooky Express, Point Lookout, Maryland-- the setting for *In the Fog*. Let me note that I did take some liberties with the hauntings at Point Lookout for the sake of the story I wanted to tell (heh-- go buy the book to find out what kind of story I told. ;) )

Okay, a bit of history about Point Lookout. Originally, it was part of St. Michael's manor, one of three owned by the first governor of the colony of Maryland, Leondard Calvert. In the two centuries preceding the Civil War, it was a popular summer resort, complete with beach cottages, a wharf and lighthouse. The resort suffered due to the war, and in 1862, the federal government leased the resort. Hammond General Hospital was built. The first patients arrived in August of 1862.

The first prisoners of war housed at Point Lookout arrived in early 1863, and were mostly Southern Marylanders accused of helping the Confederacy. After the Battle of Gettysburg, the site was expanded to include a prison camp and was then called Camp Hoffman. Three forts were erected to protect the prison camp, capable of housing 10,000 Confederate soldiers. Fort Lincoln, one of the three, remains today.

By the end of the Civil War, a little over 52K men had been imprisoned at Point Lookout, and out of that number, between 3K and 8K died.

There have been numerous reports of paranormal experiences at Point Lookout over the years, especially at the lighthouse. There is apparently a missing family cemtery that's never been found, too. There are too many stories to paraphrase here, so I'll leave you with a link and you can read all about it yourself if you are so inclined.

I used Point Lookout as the setting for *In the Fog*, specifically the lighthouse, where most of the action takes place. I used some of the history of the area, but other than that, my novella is purely a work of my imagination.

Spooky Point Lookout Tales.

Join me for my next Spooky Express trip... to New Orleans.

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