“In terms of important historical associations with ghost stories and a grisly past, Point Lookout Lighthouse in St. Mary’s County is right up there. It’s five stars out of five stars,” says Ed Okonowicz.

The Cecil County author and semiretired college professor is Maryland’s premier collector of ghost stories, regional folklore and supernatural tales.

The lighthouse Okonowicz is talking about stands at the tip of St. Mary’s County, where Potomac River waters swirl and mix with those of tidal Chesapeake Bay.

The 530-acre site, including the lighthouse, has been a state park since 1962. It was once one of the most feared and notorious Union prisoner-of-war camps, where more than 4,000 Confederate prisoners died during the Civil War.