Black Aggie

Black Aggie, Baltimore Maryland

Black Aggie

Baltimore has a lot of famous legends and hauntings, but one is considered to be infamous. This legend has evolved into a life of its own and anyone who grew up in the 1960s in Baltimore can tell you their own personal experience with the legendary Black Aggie.

Stolen Art

Black Aggie’s story begins with the family plot of Felix Angus in Druid Ridge Cemetery. The plot was located in the Annandale section of the cemetery and he decided to create a monument on it. He purchased a statue created by Eduard L.A. Pausch for the site. The statue had issues from the beginning before the spooky rumors even began. It turned out that Pausch copied the statue from Marian Adam’s grave that was originally created by world renowned sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens. This statue was to represent the depression Marion went through after her father died and lead to her poisoning herself. The statue was nicknamed Grief. Henry Adams, Marian’s husband, actually tried to hide the grave site from people who were determined to see the statue and would never discuss it or his wife’s death. It’s believed that the public attention may have been what led Pausch to copy the sculpture himself. Angus created his family plot, along with Pausch’s copied statue in the early 1900s. Shortly after St, Gauden’s widow found out about the monument and tried to file a lawsuit to force Angus to remove the copy. She lost the lawsuit and the statue remained in place. Felix Angus died October 31, 1925. The bizarre stories of the statue started shortly after his death.

The Birth of a Legend 

No one really knows how the stories began with the statue. The first documented incidences were by visitors to the cemetery, constantly driving by and taking pictures of the statue. This then lead to popular visits on Halloween night for thrill seekers. The popularity of Black Aggie grew into local fraternities and sororities using it as part of their initiation rituals by having their pledges sit on the statues lap. One rumor is a student had died of fright due to the hazing. Bizarre stories seemed to come afterwards about the statue. People claimed she had red glowing eyes that would shine at midnight and she would walk around the cemetery at night. People started having parties at the grave, performing satanic rituals and teenagers would lose their virginity at her feet. The visits to the grave caused the grass around her to start dying, which people blamed on her. She was also accused of causing miscarriages in pregnant women if they came near her. One well known story is of a man who the police arrested after finding a different statue’s arm cut off and in his car. The man claimed that Aggie gave it to him.

Stories of Black Aggie even extended out from beyond visiting her grave. Many children got in on the scare as well with mirror games and parents threatening them with her in order to force a child to behave. One person said that as a child she was told to put her head under her pillow and say Black Aggie three times and she would grab you from under your bed. Another story is similar to the infamous Bloody Mary game except you would turn off the lights and spin around 50 times while saying Black Aggie’s name and she will appear in the mirror.

Goodbye Aggie 

The insanity surrounding the statue eventually came to an end. In 1967 the statue was finally removed from the grave. She was donated to the Smithsonian but was never displayed. It seems she was passed around to a few museums before ending up in storage at The National Museum of American Art. In 1987 she was placed in the courtyard of the Dolley Madison House, where she remains today.

Black Aggie Today 

Black Aggie is accessible to the public at the Dolley Madison House. As for the grave of the Agnus plot, it sits peacefully with grass now growing around it and an empty monument with a spot that is visible where Aggie was removed. The caretakers of Druid Ridge cemetery claims they still get around 3 calls a month from people asking about Black Aggie. There are now rumors of another statue near the Agnus grave that people are mistaking for Black Aggie. This statue is of an angel with scissors that people claim will stab you.

Resources 

Blank, T. & Puglia, D. (2014). Maryland Legends: Folklore From the Old Line State. The History Press. South Carolina.

Okonowicz, E. (2004). Baltimore Ghosts: History, Mystery, Legends and Lore. Myst and Lace Publishers. Elkton, MD.

Okonowicz, E. (2010). The Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories. Stackpole Books. Mechanicsburg, PA.

Taylor, T. (2000). Black Aggie: The Haunted History of One of America’s Most Mysterious Graveyard Monuments. Ghosts of the Prairie retrieved from http://www.prairieghosts.com/druidridge.html