Frederick City Hall

Downtown Frederick is filled with historic buildings and landmarks. The armies of the Civil War marched through the streets and many historic moments took place in the city of Frederick. Some historic events before the Civil War managed to leave a lasting imprint on the city.

The building that is now Frederick City Hall used to be the Frederick Courthouse. The original building dated back to the 1700s. In 1781 a farmer named Peter Sueman was arrested during the American Revolution. He claimed he was neutral during the revolution but they believed he was one who was involved in a plot to free prisoners. Others arrested involved were Yost Flecker and Casper Fritchie. On August 17, 1781, Flecker and Fritchie were hung for their crimes. Sueman was hung, like the others, but before he expired they cut him down and beheaded him. His remains were then cut up and left for his family to retrieve. His family was forced to protect his remains from the public. Before he was killed however, he apparently put a curse on the courthouse.

The building and its land seemed to suffer bad luck afterwards. Shortly after the execution the courthouse burned down. A new courthouse was built in 1787. Another fire happened in 1842 but it only destroyed the steeple and roof. In 1861 however the entire building burned down. It was suspected to be arson since the water supply was mysteriously cut off.

The curse seemed to subside after that fire. The 3rd courthouse built in the place eventually became Frederick City Hall in 1983. Afterwards a new issue seemed to take over the building. Employees started reporting of strange paranormal activity. Lights, electronics and faucets would turn on and off. Pictures on the walls would be moved. Workers would hear footsteps and noises after the building closed. The elevator seemed to have a mind of its own and would run by itself in the evening. People started calling the formal execution spot on the front lawn the “Devils Playground.” Eventually reports of a dark figure in black were seen around the building. It is believed it is Suman’s wife still guarding his remains after his execution.

Resources

Ames, B. (2010) Ghost Tours Tout Frederick City Hall Hauntings [Electronic Version]. Frederick News Post retrieved from https://www.fredericknewspost.com/archive/ghost-tours-tout-frederick-city-hall-hauntings/article_e839e687ebfe-577f-9ed6-b6979c89dab4.html.

Muntz, M. (2016). Haunted Happenings in Historic Frederick [Electronic Version]. Visit Frederick retrieved from https://www.visitfrederick.org/blog/post/haunted-happenings-in-historic-frederick/.

Varhola, M. J. & Varhola, M.H. (2009) Ghosthunting Maryland. Clerisy Press, Cincinnati, Ohio