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Ramblewood's Tunnel Led to River, Freedom

The historic home at Camp Ramblewood in Darlington—once part of the underground railroad—is said to be inhabited by paranormal spirits.

Tucked away in the small village of Darlington lies what was once a key component of the underground railroad, and considered by regional paranormal investigators as a hot spot for ghostly activity.

Currently known as Ramblewood Campground and historically as the Worthington Plantation, this old mansion was home to the annual paranormal open house, hosted Jan. 7 by The Maryland Paranormal Research Team. Mike Stevenson, a historian and paranormal expert, was kind enough to show me around and share some history and stories of what has taken place on the property.

Concealed in the basement of the house is a secret tunnel used by runaway slaves as part of the underground railroad. According to Stevenson, the seven-tenths of mile long tunnel runs to the river, where the runaways would rendezvous with a barge, which would take them across the Mason Dixon Line.

Slaves would be harbored in the attic, then pass through a number of secret passageways within the house, which would lead them to the basement. During the time I spent with Stevenson, he shared with me how he believes the presence of a ghost named Nathan resides near the entrances of the tunnel. Nathan was traveling with a group of seven slaves that Stevenson has historically traced backed to the diary of Harriet Tubman.

Stevenson has also discovered the location of the Worthington Family Cemetery, where the Darlington Cemetery was built around upon a later date.

According to the paranormal investigators, they have detected numerous Electronic Voice Phenomenon other wise known as E.V.P, inside the home, mainly at the top of the second floor staircase. Paranormal researchers capture E.V.P primarily through the use of voice recorders while asking possible entities questions, hoping the recorder can pick up their responses.

While at the house, I can’t say I had any paranormal experiences, but did find the mansion extremely fascinating. I imagine due to the secret nature of its history, much of what went on at the plantation will never be known, but undoubtedly played an important role in allowing runaway slaves reach freedom. 

Have you been to the Ramblewood House? Do you know of any other homes or buildings with ties to the underground railroad? Tell us in the comments.

Lynne A Shapiro November 20, 2012 at 06:25 AM
I attended Camp Ramblewood for a number of summers as a CIT and also a counselor....and do not remember anything about a tunnel for slaves to escape in. I do remember stories about the part of the lake being known as Dead Man's Lagoon and other scarey stories as well....hearing many of them at night time around camp fires. I have been friends with the Samuelson family for many years since I attended summer camp....at Camp Ramblewood. As for the comments of Sherry...I do remember that many of the children that attended the camp came from privileged families...however they did not appear to whine or act spoiled to me. I was at the camp during the 1960's and maybe times were different when you were there Sherry. You always have some people who tend to act better then others in that type of environment. I found Camp Ramblewood to be a wonderful experience in my life...one that I thoroughly enjoyed and also found it to be very educational as well. I have some wonderful friends from summer camp....that I have had from the time of my childhood and still have as my friends in my adult years. I am grateful for the times that I spent at Camp Ramblewood...and the many memories that I have from summer camp. When the Samuelson and Cohen families owned Camp Ramblewood it was a wonderful summer camp...filled with a wide variety of activities and a wonderful way to spend the summer.
Ahmad0001 December 18, 2012 at 05:15 AM
There is something very wrong about this story. Harriet Tubman was illiterate and did not keep a diary. She is also not known to have traveled through this area, either. http://www.onlinedatastoragesite.com/software-tools/software-program-for-building-desktop-programs.html
Alexander December 24, 2012 at 06:31 AM
I know the owners now and they do not believe that Harriet Tubman was at this location in Maryland nor do they spread false information that she was there
Cindy Willett May 25, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Les, I went to Ramblewood for 6 years as a kid, and have wonderful memories of Izzie and Irv - who are you related to?? Yes, the White House upper floors were always creepy, and it didn't help that the nurse's station was upstairs. She was a little scary herself! lol Judy, were you a counselor there? I think we've met, and I was in your bunk in the horseshoe.
Judy (Samuelson) Brandman May 25, 2013 at 08:17 PM
Cindy (Willett), Les was Izzy's son. Irv was my father. Yes, I was a counselor there in the "Horse Shoe" for part of the time. My memory of all of the names of the kids I had isn't the greatest anymore, but you do sound very familiar!!! And yes, the top floor of the White House was very creepy! To respond to the controversy about Harriet Tubman.....I have not found anything to indicate that she herself was at Ramblewood, but that land, house, etc. was definitely part of the Underground Railroad. Many "paths" went through that part of Maryland. It would have been nice if she had actually been there, but just the fact that camp was part of the Underground Railroad in and of itself is very exciting!!! And I'm proud to have been associated with it!!!

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