The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Fate of haunted landmark affected by Pentagon base closings?

I saw online this morning (it's still the 25th out here on the Left Coast) that one of the bases the Pentagon has approved for closure is Walter Reed Army Medical Hospital. Apart from the historic significance of the site (and the cool medical oddities museum it houses - the bullet that killed Lincoln; skulls from Civil War casualties; tumors, organs, pickled punks floating in formaldehyde or alcohol... but I digress...), it also got me wondering about the fate of the Walter Reed Forest Glen Annex. Just outside DC sits the former plantation-turned-seminary of Forest Glen. Taken by the Army during WW2 for use as a convalescence facility, the campus has a number of Victorian architectural follies built while it was a girl's school. We actually stumbled across it while trying to find our vet's clinic back when we lived in DC - dilapidated surreal buildings (a pagoda, a chalet, all joined by sagging wooden bridges) leaping out through foggy gloom behind chainlink fences with "No Trespassing/US Government Property" signs. Even if it wasn't haunted, it certainly made for an astonishing and creepy sight as we drove past. Come to find out, it was turned over to a private developer not too long after we left the DC area. The developer is going to restore the historic buildings, converting some to condos, and preserving others as community spaces. While I'm glad that the decay of these historic (and quite unique) buildings will be prevented, the feeling is somewhat bittersweet: what isn't available for private redevelopment these days? Click some of the links - the photos, while cool, (sadly) do not do the site justice. Stumbling upon them as we did, in the drizzle and fog, with the Gov't signs - it looked like the perfect site for a horror movie.


Blogger Carnacki said...

I saw this in the draft today while checking the blog and I showed it to a co-worker. I was really proud that on such a topical news event, one of us had the supernatural angle covered so quickly. ;)

8/26/2005 02:49:00 AM  
Blogger protected static said...

I'd've had it posted sooner but I wanted to do some fact-checking first... Of course, whenever the military is talking about closing bases, there's got to be at least *one* with a supernatural angle, right? Particularly any of them that are pre-Cold War...

8/26/2005 11:26:00 AM  

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