I Couldn’t Believe What I Found: The Eerie Charm of 11 Abandoned Places in Baltimore

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Megan Bryant is a passionate writer and traveler who has combined her two loves to help others fulfill their traveling dreams. When she isn’t writing, she’s usually curled up with her 3 Dachshunds and a good book or planning her next adventure—wherever that may be.

Baltimore, a city steeped in history and culture, holds within its urban landscape a hauntingly beautiful and often overlooked secret: a treasure trove of abandoned places that whisper tales of the past. 

These decaying remnants of an earlier era, from forgotten factories to deserted neighborhoods, stand as silent witnesses to the ever-shifting tides of time. In a city known for its resilience and reinvention, exploring these forsaken spaces offers a unique glimpse into Baltimore’s complex past, where once-thriving sites now lie in eerie silence, waiting to share their stories with those brave enough to seek them out. 

Today, we’re going to uncover 12 abandoned places in and around Baltimore that will entice even the most experienced adventurers.

Abandoned Neighborhoods on Baltimore’s Westside

Baltimore is home to both neighborhoods that boast rich histories and those that have been completely abandoned, with numerous two-story buildings standing in disarray. You can find some of these neighborhoods on Baltimore’s west side, but be warned, walking down the streets gives a somewhat eerie feel.

Brager-Gutman’s Department Store

Sitting on the corner of Lexington and Park is the Brager-Gutman Department Store—a once bustling department store that sold clothes, appliances, and other goods. Standing nine stories tall, the Brager-Gutman Department Store was the first public store in downtown Baltimore to have escalators, but its initial popularity soon ended in the 1980s when new stores like K-Mart and Caldors provided fierce competition.

In 1991, the Brager-Gutman Department Store officially closed its doors, and the building has sat abandoned ever since. 

Curtis Creek Ship Graveyard

During World War 1, the U.S. Navy created wooden ships in order to provide provisions to Europe, but these ships were ill-built, and not one ever made it over to its intended destination. In Baltimore, some of those ships were sunk and burned, with Curtis Creek housing ships from World War 1 and others that once traversed Baltimore’s waters. 

The most famous of all ships in the graveyard is the three-masted schooner William T. Parker, which is sometimes called the Flying Dutchman of Baltimore. The boat, which was stranded in 1899, drifted its way unmanned from North Carolina to Maine before the winds pushed it back down the eastern seaboard. With the help of a tugboat, the ship found its resting place in Curtis Creek, where you can still see its remains today.

Fort Armistead

Fort Armistead was constructed between 1897 and 1901 as a defence base, however, after entering World War 1 in 1917, the US took the military from the base to use over seas. After the end of the war, the base shut down before briefly being reopened during World War II. 

When the base was no longer needed for the global war effort, it was transformed into a park where visitors can now stroll the base and its tunnels exploring the debris and graffiti that has been left behind.

Fort Carroll Island

Fort Carroll Island
Image Credit: Canva.

The man-made artificial island of Fort Carroll in the Patapsco River south of Baltimore is a must-visit for those seeking abandoned places in and around Baltimore. Built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1848, the island was used as a fort to protect the Port of Baltimore.

Twenty years after its creation, the island was flooded by torrential rain and deemed unusable; however, it was then temporarily used for storing explosive mines and as a firing range. Fort Caroll spans 3.5 acres with a lighthouse, living quarters, and a kitchen, and over the years, it has become one of Baltimore’s most popular abandoned places, with curious explorers flocking to the island since it was abandoned in the 20th century.

Glenn Dale Hospital

Glenn Dale Hospital
Image Credit: Canva.

In my opinion, abandoned hospitals are some of the creepiest places on Earth and the Glenn Dale Hospital in Glenn Dale is no exception. The dedicated tuberculosis hospital was constructed during the tuberculosis epidemic in 1934 and as fresh air and sunlight were the preferred treatments for TB, the hospital was built on a 216 acre campus with 23 buildings that were separated by vast open lawns. 

As the 1940s rolled around, the use of antibiotics sucessfully treated TB which saw the patient numbers in Glenn Dale dwindle over the next twenty years. In 1982, the hospital was officially closed due to high levels of asbestos and it has sat disused ever since.

House of Isaac Benesch and Sons

One of the most well-known abandoned buildings in Baltimore is the House of Isaac Benesch and Sons, which was once comprised of multiple buildings that served as a bustling department store in 1910. 

The four buildings, all with a unique layout, came together under one business and were a popular location for locals in search of furniture. In the late 70s, however, two of the buildings were demolished to make room for newer structures, and the remaining two have been empty and forgotten since 1997, giving them an extremely creepy vibe.

Marshall Hall

An hours southwest of Baltimore is the ruins of Marshall Hall mansion that was built in 1725 by Thomas Marshall. After the completion of the building, Marshall quickly learned that due to a surveying error, the building was constructed within the tidewater of the Potomac River, however, this didn’t affect its value, as it was listed as the ninth most valuable property in the country. 

All that remains of the building today are ruins, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for abandoned places near Baltimore.

Monroe Street YMCA

YMCAs are vibrant places, but the same can’t be said for the YMCA on Monroe Street, which has been abandoned and decaying for over a decade. The building, despite the fact that it is made from concrete, has definitely seen better days, and the structure, walls, and floors are in extremely bad shape after years of water damage. 

It isn’t recommended to venture inside the building, as it is too dangerous to safely explore, but you can get a sense of what it’s been through just by venturing around its exterior. 

Old Town Mall

In 1818, Old Town Mall was once a busy outdoor shopping district with 64 stores at its peak. Constructed in order to increase commercial purpose in the surrounding area, Old Town Mall transformed the neighbored into a middle-class area making it an ideal neighborhood for families.

As the war pushed families into suburban areas, the population of Old Town dwindled and the area became one of the poorest in Baltimore. Many of the shops were forced to close and despite an attempted revamp in 1968, the area has sat in disarray since the 1980s. Today, only one shop remains and many of the other buildings are left empty and neglected.

Ruins of Clopper Mill

The Clopper Mill gained its fame in 1865 thanks to George Atzerodt—John Wilkes Booth’s co-conspirators who failed to kill the vice president—who spent a night in the mill as he fled Washington in hopes of reaching Germantown. 

The mill, however, had been around for almost 100 years before Atzerodt crashed the night and it was used to harness the energy of the nearby Seneca Creek. Until the early 1900s, the mill remained functional, however, a fire later destroyed it in 1947, leaving behind ruins that you can still visit today.

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