Black Aggie

There is a legend about Druid Ridge Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. It is locally well-known for it being the former home of a statue known as Black Aggie.

In the early part of the century, there was a woman named Aggie, who was a nurse working at a hospital. She was congenial and well-liked, but it seemed that patients under her care always seemed to die. Suspicion grew, and she was put to death, which turned out to be a mistake when she was discovered to be innocent the very next day. A communal feeling of guilt spread, so a statue was put in Druid Ridge Cemetery in her honor. When the statue was unveiled, strange occurrences started happening.

I’ve heard that if you stand before it at the stroke of midnight, you will be struck blind by the statue’s red glowing eyes. People have even been found dead in front of it, including a “pledge” from a local fraternity.

Another rumor is that pregnant women who walk in the figure’s shadow (where oddly, the grass never grew) would suffer miscarriages. People began to gather at the graveyard at night, which became a frequent problem. Then one morning, the cemetery employees walked into work to find the statue of Black Aggie with only one arm. The other had been sawed off. Upon investigation, the arm of the statue and a saw were found in the backseat of a worker’s car. The man was brought to trial, and he claimed Black Aggie cut off one of her arms and had given it to him in a fit of grief. Some people believed his story, but it wasn’t enough for the court. He was found guilty.

These urban legends led to much unwelcome attention toward the statue; many people were caught breaking into the cemetery at night to visit it, and the pedestal was frequently vandalized. The Agnus family, disturbed by the sort of attention the statue received, donated it to the Smithsonian in 1967. It sat for many years in storage at the National Museum of American Art (later named the Smithsonian American Art Museum) where an authorized recasting of the original Adams Memorial statue now sits.