Chilling ghost stories unfurl in Rockville


Photo used with permission by Google Commons

This is what most people picture when they hear of ghosts. However, Montgomery County residents have reported seeing ghost cats and other supernatural figures.

It’s a cold walk to the graveyard, but it must be done. The flowers clutched in sweaty palms are now slightly wilted due to lack of water. A student sets the flowers down on the Rockville grave of the famous writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, asking his ghost to get them through this essay.

My grandpa once saw a ghost lady in a cave while he was in the army.”

— Nastaran Moghimi

When people think of ghosts, some think it’s fiction and others think it’s fact. Senior Nastaran Moghimi said, “Yes [I believe in them] because I’ve seen them and know other people who have seen them too. My grandpa once saw a ghost lady in a cave while he was in the army. She was telling him to watch out and move. Right after, a huge rock fell and he would have died. But the ghost saved him.”

Moghimi has also had experiences with the paranormal in Rockville. “For me, I used to see this huge cat and apparently no one else could see him. When I asked about him, [I was told] he died years ago,” Moghimi said.

Paranormal experiences are not just individually experienced. Rockville is an old city, and with it, comes lingering residents and their stomping grounds. According to Montgomery Ghosts and Visit Montgomery, some stomping grounds with unique stories are West Old Baltimore Road and the Tale of Old Man Stottlemyer, Old Angler’s Inn and the Porter Ward House.

West Old Baltimore Road is said to be haunted by Old Man Stottlemyer, a farmer from 100 years ago. Legend goes that Stottlemyer was going down West Old Baltimore Road on a steam tractor. When he was about halfway down the road, his tractor started having problems. He got off to check it out. Stottlemyer didn’t realize the tractor wasn’t in the right gear before it was too late and began rolling backward. The tractor rolled on top of Stottlemyer, pinning him against a tree and cutting him in half. Sources have said that if you go down the road late enough, you can see the ghost of his upper torso.

Old Angler’s Inn is also a chilling place, home to a poltergeist. This mischievous spirit is known for dragging phantom chains across the floor at all hours. The sound the chains make have been described as “nails on a chalkboard.” Staff say the ghost seems to get more active around closing time, when people are tired and want to go home.

The Porter Ward House is another hub for visitors who have overstayed their welcome. Before the house became a law office, it was a doctor’s office. It is said that one of these doctors had a daughter, who became pregnant out of wedlock. At the time, that was considered a disgrace. In order to maintain the doctor’s reputation, he is said to have locked his daughter in the attic and bricked off the door, leaving her to perish. People have reported seeing the daughter’s face in the attic window watching them.