13 Ghost Stories And Legends That Prove Maryland Is The Creepiest US State

As one of the thirteen original colonies, Maryland has had plenty of time to acquire creepy folklore and pervasive urban legends. Evil spirits and mythological creatures are believed to lurk in the deepest parts of creepy Maryland. Ghost stories from Maryland involve strange figures, haunted hospitals, and mysterious monsters. This mid-Atlantic state was home to the master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, and his spirit is said to still wander near the site of his grave.

Some of the tales seem quite outlandish, for sure. But Maryland has a long and complex history filled with decades of vicious battles, storms, and horrific slayings. All of these events contribute to a spine-chilling oral history that's been passed down through many, many generations of Maryland locals. These creepy Maryland urban legends will send a chill down anyone's spine. 

  • 1

    The Goatman

    For years, witnesses have reported seeing a bearded man with horns and cloven hooves skulking through the woods of Maryland. This Goatman stalks through the Old Line State, eating wild animals and breaking into homes to eat family pets. He also likes chopping up teenagers getting steamy at Lover's Lane. Clearly, he's a very original monster. 

    The first alleged sighting of this hybrid creature was in the 1970s, when the legend of the Goatman became a cautionary tale to warn kids about the dangers of premarital sex. Over the years, Goatman stopped popping up in random places and made a home in Prince George's County.

    Where did the Goatman come from? The most common theory is that he was the outcome of horrible human/animal hybrid experimentation. While the true origin of Goatman remains cloudy, the terror his sightings invoke is all too real.

  • 2

    Crybaby Bridge

    The haunting tale of the "Crybaby Bridge" is a pretty widespread Maryland urban legend. Located in Prince George's County and crossing over the Patuxent River, this places Crybaby Bridge right in the middle of Goatman's territory.

    A baby tragically died in the river back in the 1950s, and locals still argue about what really happened that day. Some say a young mother threw her illegitimate child over the bridge, only to take her own life as well. A more recent theory focuses on the KKK and their ritual killing of African American children being responsible for the haunting of the bridge.

  • 3

    Chessie, The Chesapeake Bay Sea Monster

    According to legend, the Chesapeake Bay is home to a sea monster that locals have dubbed Chessie. She’s an aquatic snake-like beast with flippers running around 30 feet in length. Chessie has been spotted in the bay sporadically since the early 1940s. Chessie was named in 1977 and there has been a rash of sightings since then.

    Speculation about what Chessie really is ranges from the mundane to the fantastic. Some say she's a manatee or a large river otter, while others think she might be a mutant eel or a huge anaconda that got lost. 

  • 4

    The Haunting At The Sotterley Plantation

    The historic Sotterley Plantation was built along the Patuxent River back in the 18th century and is currently the oldest surviving plantation in southern Maryland. While it was a private residence for a number of wealthy families through the years, it's now a public space. Staff and visitors have all reported strange happenings on the grounds. Lights flicker on and off, strange noises can be heard throughout the house, and breakfast smells waft up from the kitchen when no one is cooking.

    One of the more menacing ghosts that live on Sotterley Plantation is a former owner who still haunts the grounds. His spirit is notorious for throwing people he doesn’t like down the staircase.

  • 5


    When the German immigrants settled in western Maryland in the 1700s, they brought with them the terrifying lore of the Snallygaster. This half-bird, half-reptile swoops down from the skies to hunt livestock and small children. The carnivorous creature allegedly has a 25-foot wingspan and deadly talons that glow like hot metal.

    Some have claimed to have seen a blazing red third eye in the middle of its forehead, razor sharp teeth, and octopus-like tentacles. Witnesses have claimed the Snallygaster cries like a baby and screams like a woman, implying that it may resort to mimicry to lure potential victims into its grasp.

  • 6

    The Jericho Covered Bridge

    Constructed in 1865, the seemingly peaceful Jericho Covered Bridge has a plethora of disturbing stories surrounding it. The most common yarn spun involves the silhouettes of bodies hanging from the rafters. Some believe they're the ghosts of a horrific suicide pact, while others claim they're the spirits of lynched enslaved people. 

    Many late-night drivers have reported cars stalling on the bridge. Some have spotted powdery handprints appearing on their vehicles after crossing the bridge. Others have seen a ghostly woman crossing the bridge with a basket of fresh flowers or the spirit of a young woman with a burned face.

    There are myths of strange and horrific creatures lurking around the bridge in addition to the ghost tales. One creature is described as a terrifying grey monkey with a massive tail. There have also been reports of a hideous red-eyed demon guarding the bridge. The presence of these creatures might explain the blood-curdling screams heard often near the bridge.