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The History And Mystery Behind Pasadena's Wishing Rock

Dylan Roche
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October 16, 2012

By Terri Peters

Haunted houses, mysterious plane crashes, murders and suicide attempts barely scratch the surface of the collection of spooky stories surrounding Pasadena’s Wishing Rock. Located off Ritchie Highway along Wishing Rock Road, the granite formation goes unnoticed by most residents and passersby alike.

Those impacted by the rock’s influence, however, are firm believers in the presence of a supernatural force radiating from the Wishing Rock and reaching far beyond its physical location in Pasadena to an area that includes parts of Glen Burnie and Severna Park.

Despite the fact the Wishing Rock and surrounding property are privately owned, the area has long been trespassed on and visited by locals. From teens looking for a secluded hangout to paranormal investigators seeking answers from this historic location, the property has seen its share of thrill-seekers and curious individuals throughout the years.

Local legends and stories of the rock’s beginnings tell of Indian chiefs who came from up and down the East Coast to make treaties at the base of the rock.

Listed on the Maryland Register of Historic Places, the Wishing Rock has also made headlines in at least two area missing persons cases. Karen Kamsch lived on Wishing Rock Road with her grandmother in the 1970s, and went missing in 1976 at the age of 14. Karen’s grandmother, Olga Kamsch, died in 1999, but claimed her entire life Karen had run away in the night.

In 2007, Karen’s younger brother contacted police to find out the status of her case, only to find the police department had no record of her being reported missing. An official missing persons report was filed for Karen in May 2007. The case is still listed as an open investigation.

In August 2012, the remains of missing Brooklyn Park resident Jessica Lynn Lee were discovered in the wooded area near the Wishing Rock by a man walking through the woods. Lee had been missing since May 2012, and according to a press release, the Anne Arundel County Police Department is still investigating the case.

John Romine, a retired county officer, believes he was impacted by the rock throughout his time in the area. Romine is the author of “The Enigma Of The Wishing Rock,” a collection of strange tales about an area he calls “the Glen Burnie Triangle.”

“The closest I could figure, the influence of the Wishing Rock was from the Earleigh Heights area north along Ritchie Highway to about the center of Glen Burnie - Crain Highway and Old Annapolis Road by the Arundel Center North - then along Crain Highway to about where it dead ends into Ritchie Highway near the Glen Burnie Mall, and then south again along Furnace Creek and Marley Creek back to the Earleigh Heights area,” explained Romine. “It would also include B&A Boulevard through Sun Valley and part of the Mountain road corridor, about to Solley Road, as the Wishing Rock actually backs up to that area along Mountain Road.”

Romine’s story began in 1964, when a tornado moved through the Cadillac Homes community unexpectedly. In his book, he chronicles strange and terrifying events that occurred in the triangle through 2002. Romine explores accounts of haunted houses in the area, as well as unexplained events such as car wrecks and plane crashes. The book addresses mysterious murders and suicides, senseless acts of violence and natural disasters that all share the common thread of being located within the influence of the Wishing Rock.

Romine’s interest in the subject has brought him notoriety as an expert in supernatural events in the area. In 2007, the author was featured on the Discovery Channel’s show “A Haunting” in an episode about a haunted house in Glen Burnie’s Harundale community. Romine says he has also recently been contacted by the SyFy channel about their new show “Paranormal Witness,” which will feature an episode dedicated to the bizarre happenings at the Wishing Rock.

While some local residents may not believe in the mysterious powers and influence of the Wishing Rock, Romine said his life has been greatly impacted by the granite formation.

“There will always be skeptics who refuse to believe in something even when presented with facts and proof,” said Romine. “Being a cop for almost 30 years, I built my reputation on my credibility and my ability to extract the truth from people through good interview techniques before reaching any conclusions. If one has an open mind and examines all the evidence available, there can be no doubt that things exist which we can't explain.”

Comments

Posted 12/31/1969 07:00 PM

I am a long time resident of Millersville and have gone to Wishing Rock many times. There used to be an old roller rink back near the rock that was called Wishing Rock Roller Rink. I am also a friend of the Kamsche family and knew Karen, Tate, George and Jeannie very well. Karen's disappearance remains a mystery, but the family suspects foul play. hope that she is found one day, though I doubt it. She has never been seen by anyone since the evening she left her grandmother's home. She was a child that was on the verge of becoming a problem child. Her grandmother never got over it.

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