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Friday, December 9, 2022

The Haunted Houses Designed to Scare Spooks | Atlas Obscura

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The wooden structure resembled a child’s drawing: a squat rectangle with a pitched roof and a gloomy window on either side of the central door. It was on the outskirts of a forest clearing, surrounded by tall hardwood trees. This “haunted mansion” was built on the western slope of Catoctin Mountain, 50 miles northwest of Baltimore, to evaluate the willingness of participants to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and spy on the Axis troops during World War II. The OSS, the nation’s first unified intelligence agency, would equip spies for dangerous operations beyond enemy territory, according to “Wild” Bill Donovan, a decorated World War I warrior, lawyer, and politician with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ear. According to Albion, the civilian-run group, which was founded by presidential decree in June 1942 and is regarded as the forerunner of today’s CIA, recruited “unconventional soldiers.”


Source: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/oss-training-house-of-horrors


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