Weird Western Maryland Home

As of 22 December 2023: 160 entries!

Thanks for visiting. My name is Andy Duncan, and these are my Weird Western Maryland pages at Frostburg State University, where I am a tenured professor of writing in the Department of English and Foreign Languages.

Here I hope to share some of my favorite local and regional curiosities, mysteries and surprises that I have gathered in many years of happily random research.

An incomplete alphabetical list of topics that interest me include:

  • Aliens, UFOs and UAPs.
  • Anomalies, scientific and otherwise.
  • Apparitions, ghosts, haunts and poltergeists.
  • Beliefs, cults and superstitions.
  • Bloodshed, chaos and disaster.
  • Conspiracy, espionage and scandal.
  • Cryptids, critters and monsters.
  • Curses, omens and prophecies.
  • Eccentric people and places.
  • Hidden histories and modern myths.
  • Legends, urban and otherwise.
  • Lost and buried treasures.
  • Roadside oddities and alternate tourism.
  • Ruins and abandoned places.
  • Witchcraft, magic and deviltry.
  • Xtra weird: too tough to categorize.

While I am known in some circles primarily as a fiction writer (see, none of the material on these pages is made up, at least not by me. I will provide the best sources I can for these accounts, with links wherever possible.

Comments, suggestions and additional weirdness are always welcome: arduncan at frostburg dot edu, or c/o Department of English and Foreign Languages, Frostburg State University, 101 Braddock Road, Frostburg MD 21532.

A note on geography. By Western Maryland I mean the state's four westernmost counties; if you look on a map of our eccentrically surveyed "state of human error," it's the panhandle where Maryland is only, at any point, one county wide. For what it's worth, these also are the only Maryland counties where bear hunting is legal. My including Frederick County has proven surprisingly contentious; I am collecting further complaints on that score only via Ouija-board messaging, for due consideration when I return to the astral plane. In the meantime, I'm also beginning to post material from the contiguous counties of Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, hereafter known on these pages as Adjacent Borderlands.

A note on organization. For now, all this material is arranged geographically, an aid to readers who want to start by looking up the places they know best. Within each county, information is presented alphabetically by location, which may be a town, a crossroads, a mountain ridge, or some other place name. Locations with multiple entries are listed, if possible, in roughly chronological order, from historic to current. Information not specific to a single point on the map--or spanning multiple jurisdictions--can be found on the general pages for that county. Other organizational strategies exist, of course, and we may try them out, given time. Being too precise about our organizations, our hierarchies, our classifications, would be pointless, as Charles Fort reminds us:

"If there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere." -- Charles Fort, Lo! (1931)

Thank you to my wife, Sydney, without whom I could accomplish nothing; to all the sources credited throughout (a complete bibliography is in the works); to Reid Bluebaugh and the rest of our IT staff; to all the faculty colleagues, faculty committees and administrative offices that have supported my research and teaching; and to all the students who keep bringing me gems and daily inspiration, year after year.


These pages are dedicated to my late student Dave Knotts (1989-2020), who personally thought the ever-fresh, centuries-old bloodstain on the floor of Garrett County's Tomlinson Inn was just groundwater seepage, but who so enthusiastically told me about it that he almost convinced himself otherwise. I hope these topics energize future students as much as they energized Dave. Photo courtesy Dana M. Bridges.