Abandoned Hell House in Patapsco Valley State Park

The abandoned Hell House in Patapsco Valley State Park, Maryland (Images: Forsaken Fotos; the abandoned Hell House)

Deep in the woods of Patapsco Valley State Park stands an eerie ruin known to urban explorers as the Hell House. The decaying gazebo, beneath which lies an alter, is among the most substantial remains of an ecclesiastical training institution known as St. Mary’s College. But its eerie appearance, coupled with the rusting metal cross which hangs beneath the abandoned structure, have placed the Hell House at the epicentre of local ghost stories and urban legends that speak of satanic cults.

Derelict ruins of the so-called Hell House in Patapsco Valley State Park

St. Mary’s College, situated outside Baltimore, Maryland, was built in 1868 to prepare young men for a life in the church. Just over a century later, in 1972, the college was abandoned and quickly became a draw for urban explorers and local ghost hunters.

The forgotten Hell House outside Baltimore, Maryland

After decades of abandonment, a fire ripped through the derelict college in 1997, and by 2006 the remaining structures had been demolished. A number of scattered ruins can still be seen throughout Patapsco Valley State Park, but the crumbling Hell House is by far the most substantial – and eerie.

The Hell House, a decaying gazebo, altar and cross, is all that remains of St. Mary's College, which was abandoned in 1972

The Hell House resembles a tall, forgotten pavilion lost in the forest. Its towering form rises among the trees, a foreboding sight for those who stumble across it unawares. Structures like this often make for predictable legend magnets, but if you choose to visit the ruins of St. Mary’s College, keep your eyes peeled for the satanists who’ve allegedly claimed the Hell House, and its decaying altar, as their own.

(Images: Forsaken Fotos)

Related: The Striking Brutalist Architecture of Scotland’s Abandoned St Peter’s Seminary-Cardross



  • HCT

    Strange, we lived in the neighborhood that abutted Patapsco Valley State Park for 3 yrs in the mid-90s and visited that park a number of times with our small kids because there was a kids playground there with swingsets and all, but had never heard of these ruins. Maybe they weren’t as publicized back then (in the “pre-internet age”….)

  • njguy54

    It would be interesting to see photos of the Hell House when it was in its prime… and perhaps a bit more heavenly.


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