Erie/I-80 Haunts & History

 The legends, lore, and ghost tales of Cameron, Clarion, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, McKean, Mercer, Venango, & Warren counties. 


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Haunts & History

EAGLE HOTEL (Waterford, Erie County) The Eagle Hotel is a two-story, Georgian style structure built in 1826 by Thomas King out of locally quarried stone. It served once as a stagecoach office for trips between Waterford and Pittsburgh. Despite two fires, the exterior is much as it was when King built it. Owned by the Fort LeBeouf Historical Society, it's a restaurant today. The star spook is crazy chambermaid Mathilda.  She worked there in 1845, and was thought responsible for setting the hotel ablaze.  Many employees claim to have heard her footsteps from the empty second floor and felt an icy chill as she passes.  Matilda also gets the blame for opening and slamming cupboard doors in the kitchen.  It's also been alleged that you can hear your name being called when no one else is there, and the sound of a baby crying. The Eagle Hotel is part of Stephanie Wincik's More Ghosts Of Erie County. The Shadowlands

EARLEYVILLE CEMETERY (Fox Twp., Elk County) Earlyville (somewhere over time the second “e” was dropped from the name) dates back to 1865. The cemetery is all that's left of the small town. It's said that at 9:30 in the morning, you can sometimes see a purple and red haze drifting over the cemetery at the wooded end. The mist is accompanied by a little boy's voice, singing. The Shadowlands

EDINBORO UNIVERSITY (Edinboro, Erie County) The school was founded in 1857 as the Edinboro Academy for Teachers, and remained a teacher's institute until 1982 when it attained university status.  They have nearly 8,000 students spread out over 585 acres, and are a little slice of Scotland in the new land.  Their teams are the Fighting Scots, they have a pipe band (bagpipes and drums) and host a three day Scottish games contest.  Watch out for those flying tabors and burly bearded men in skirts!  They're scarier than the spooks.

  • Diebold Center For The Performing Arts: One of the older buildings on campus, the structure was erected in 1906. It's served many purposes, from gymnasium to student union, and now hosts local and university stage productions and programs. It's spook is supposed to be Dr. Dorothy, a former professor who ran the drama department. Her story, according to one of our readers, is: "Her badly decomposed body was found in her home, and the cause of her death was never determined. Some students were convinced that she was reincarnated as a particularly hideous stray cat that appeared on campus right after her death. Some of us called the cat, 'D.C' after Dr. Clifford's nickname; others called the cat "Thing of Evil.'" Her spook liked to fiddle with the Center's speaker volume, until someone hung a rosary on the control button. Her footsteps can be heard on the back stairs and around the stage area. Actors have reported seeing a face floating through the audience during sold out performances, as if looking for a seat. They haven't had any more trouble from Dorothy ever since the cast put out an extra chair with a program on it for her before the show. The building today serves as a classroom, lecture, and conference facility, and houses the Intergenerational Center. There's no word on how Dorothy amuses herself now as she tries to while away eternity
  • Lawrence Towers: One of the more recent dorms put up at Edinboro, the twin towers were built in 1974. The story goes that a music major committed suicide in Room 517 of Tower A. You can feel her presence in the halls, and on some nights, you can hear her softly singing.  One of our readers said that the elevator often stops at the fifth floor no matter what button you push, just like the tale from Pitt's Student Union.
  • Loveland Hall: Built in 1931, Loveland Hall became a fine arts showcase in 1965.  Sarah dropped us a line and reports: "Images of a man have been seen in the windows in the stairwells, but when you turn around no one is there.  Similar experiences have happened in the student gallery among the works hung there. Objects move around, and music, voices, and footsteps are heard when no one is there."
  • Reeder Hall: Reeder Hall was built as a dorm in 1908 until it was closed in 1972. It sat empty until 1986, when it was renovated as an administrative building. During that time, it's said that the cellar was used to hold seances and was also co-opted by a coven to celebrate occult rites. The basement is supposed to very cold, and the lights will turn themselves off. It sounds like every old cellar we've ever been in (except for the seances & witches part.)
  • Rose Hall: In the early 1980's a RA was reputed to have commited suicide by lighting a gas grill and sealing his room.  It's said to that the victim's spirit remains behind as a poltergeist prankster, creating eerie noises and rearranging objects.  Doesn't sound all that threatening, but at least one RA moved out of his Rose Hall room because he couldn't take the disturbances any longer.  ("Haunted Halls," Elizabeth Tucker, 2007)
  • Shafer Hall: The male dorm was built in 1968, and was demolished in 2007, to be replaced by suites.  Sarah wrote in and said it "...used to have the sounds of someone running down the hallway at night when no one would be in the hall. It was common to see everyone poking their head out the door to see who was making all the noise." We wonder where the ghostie raises its racket now?

Edinboro University Campus Tour 

(Unless noted, all references for Edinboro are taken from The Shadowlands )

ERIE CEMETERY (Erie, Erie County) This place should be called the Eerie Cemetery. It's got a couple of famous crypts. The most well known may be the Vampire Crypt, otherwise known as the Brown vault. It's blackened, there are no names on it, bodies have been shuffled back and forth from it, and the topper is the vampire markings adorning it. Holy Bram Stoker! But Jibril Ammon has figured it all out. Another Erie Cemetery crypt that sets the tongues wagging is Scott's Mausoleum. Scott was known as the “Coal King.” Later he diversified and became the “Railroad King.” He was also twice mayor of Erie and an advisor to President Grover Cleveland. His vault, though, was desecrated almost as soon as he was laid to rest in 1891 and rumors of strange occurrences taking place there abounded. But his haunting was easy to solve, although it took awhile. The weird happenings occurring at this site weren't the work of spooks. Instead, it was the result of blackmailers trying to shake some money loose from Scott's son-in-law Charles Strong. They abused the mausoleum and generally raised havoc to drive home their point. The Federal Court in Erie took a dim view of their efforts and put them away in 1911. One that's tougher to explain is the Witches Circle. There's said to be a group of headstones formed in a circle, some burnt black. It's alleged that the scorch marks are the result of Satan's hellfire from when Old Scratch came to claim his Erie coven (the cemetery director blames acid rain.) Also be on the watch for a big black dog that thankfully disappears before it sinks its' fangs into you, and for footsteps behind you, especially when no one else is present. The Shadowlands  

EVERGREEN TAVERN (Edinboro, Erie County) The tavern is over a century old, and was being operated as the Hotel Evergreen. There are allegedly several spooks there, the most famous being the playful Worthington, a former employee from the turn of the century who haunts the upstairs rooms. There are also supposed to be other unknown ghosts in the tavern. The information was provided by the Edinboro student newspaper The Spectator from the 1990s, but it's not archived on-line.  And sadly, we'll never be able to check the Evergreen out personally - it burned down in April, 2008.  Another haunt gone. The Shadowlands

FOURTH AVENUE CONDUCTOR'S HOUSE (St. Mary's, Elk County) It's said that back in the early years of St. Mary's, which was founded in 1842, railroad tracks ran where there's now a creek. A train conductor's house sat beside the line, and a train jumped the tracks, plowed into the home, killing the conductor's entire family. It was rebuilt, only to burn to the ground. If you walk past this site at night, you can reportedly hear the train and the sounds of the conductor's family talking. It's also said that you can sense being watched from the creek, where the tracks used to run, perhaps by the bereaved conductor. The Shadowlands 

THE GHOST BRIDE OF NINETEENTH STREET (Erie, Erie County) After a Halloween party at one of the local bistros, a young couple left in the wee hours with their friends.  One couple was dressed as bride and groom for the party, as they were to be married within the year.  The club was located on Nineteenth Street, near the RR tracks, that the group had to cross to get to their cars.  As they approached, a slow moving train rolled by, and the groom hopped aboard, held out his hand, and told his bride to join him.  Tired and slightly tipsy, she jumped, but not quite high enough.  The train caught her gown and dragged her under its wheels, killing her.  The bride has been seen walking down Nineteenth Street since, her ghost being reported by people as diverse as passing drivers and local police.  She's described as being slightly out of focus, still in her wedding outfit, and disappearing as people approach.  The Paranormal Pastor

GIBSON HOUSE (Greenville, Mercer County) This Gibson house was built in the late 1800s by merchant Thomas Gibson, and all but one of the family members that lived in the house died there, including one son who accidentally shot himself while cleaning a rifle. For an added dash of karma, the house later was used as a funeral parlor. Paranormal activity reported has been phenomena like voices (caught on EVP), orbs and shadow figures. The Oakmont Paranormal Society found an entity that didn't want the investigators on the top floor, while the Steel City Paranormal gang was unable determine if the mansion was spooked or not.

GIBSON HOUSE (Jamestown, Mercer County) Dr. William Gibson, a physician, entrepreneur and world traveler, built his Italianate-Victorian style residential mansion in 1856 (he also had the good sense to get in on the ground floor when the P&LE RR was established.) Recently known as the Mark Twain Manor (Twain and Gibson were tight), it has also served stints as a restaurant, bar and public library. The Jamestown Future Foundation now owns the Gibson House, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has a hidden room that was used by the Underground Railway, and was supposed to have tunnels connecting the home to the carriage house and the nearby Shenango River. There are supposedly many tales of ghosts who haunt these rooms; it's tough to find a place on the Underground RR that doesn't have a tormented spirit or three. Its best known spook, though, is a woman named Victoria. She was to be married in the Gibson House, but on her way to the manor, a terrible storm erupted. Thunder spooked her horses, and her carriage overturned, killing her before she could wed. It's said that during stormy nights, eerie things happen in the Gibson House. The lore claims that the scent of lavender is a sign that Victoria is present.  Waymarking

GOBLIN SCARECROW (statewide) This a rural legend, and ranges across the state.  Starting from about the mid-1950s, there have been reports of a devilish scarecrow terrorizing the country communities.  He has the head of a jack-o-lantern, and his body is filled with beetles and worms instead of straw.  The demon has chased hunters with a banshee howl, went after a hiker with a scythe, and even tried to bite other victims.  The hunters put a bullet through it, but all it did was ooze insects from the wound and kept on comin'.  Once, it just stood and screamed at one unfortunate.  According to JonathanMaberry, who posted this tale on Ghost Droppings, the satanic scarecrow has been seen in Berks, Bucks, Cambria, Elk, McKean, Northumberland, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga, Union, and Westmoreland counties.  We hope it's at least scaring crows while it's on its journey.

GRAVITY HILL (Brandy Camp, Elk County) This is a gravity hill with a twist.  Just of Route 219, you'll get your push uphill here from a phantom horse, whose hooves can be heard clopping as he drags your car along.  This is from Matt Lake's Weird PennsylvaniaStrange USA

GROVE CITY COLLEGE (Grove City, Mercer County) Grove City College was founded as a Christian institution in 1876 and has stayed true to its' roots ever since.  It just goes to show that even the good get ghosts.

  • Gwendolyn: It's said that she died in the 1970s as a result of a fall from the catwalks above the old auditorium, and was seen mostly in the costume room. Gwendolyn allegedly made the switch from her haunts in the old theater to the new J. Howard Pew Fine Arts Center, built in 1976, by hitching a ride along with the costumes. Numerous sightings of her have been reported, and attempts to exorcise her have failed. The theater students attribute anything that goes wrong with one of their productions to Gwendolyn, so she's pretty handy in that sense. It's easier on the ego to blame a ghost than yourself if the show bombs.  The Shadowlands
  • Lily Room: Called the Lily Room because of its' fragrance, this Pew Hall room is the center of GC ghost lore. The closet of The Lily Room is reportedly the site of a young girl's suicide. The room was closed for nearly fifteen years, but when it was opened later, the smell of lilies, the girl's perfume, still lingered. There have been numerous sightings of the girl wandering the lower floors of dorms and crying has been heard from her sealed room. Another version of this story exists in which the young girl was possessed by a demon spirit that caused her to commit suicide. Though an exorcism was attempted on the room, the demonic presence was too powerful to be subdued, so the room was sealed to confine the demon. Now it is said that the girl can be seen walking the hallways at night. Scratching and other strange noises from within the locked room have been reported as well.   (The Penn “Hauntings Close To Home,” October 31, 2005)
Grove City College campus tour.

GUDGEONVILLE BRIDGE (Girard, Erie County) The Gudgeonville Covered Bridge doesn't look like much now, lopsided, vandalized, and covered in graffiti. But it's got a grand history behind it. It was built across Elk Creek in 1868, supposedly on the foundations of the old Erie Extension Canal. After a fire, it was rebuilt in the 1870s, and still stands. There are several tales connected to the bridge. One, dating back to 1900, says that you can sometimes hear the sound of thundering hooves approaching, then crossing the planks of the bridge. A black stallion with glowing red eyes is seen carrying a horseman to his destination before vanishing into the air. And the horse better know where its going – its' rider is headless! Another story involves a young girl that fell to her death sometime in the 1940s or 50s while playing on the shale cliffs (known locally as the Devil's Backbone) by the bridge. She's alleged to walk the bridge on moonless nights and the anniversary of her death. Sometimes you can watch her relive the plunge to her death off of the cliff. But the Gudgeonville legend is based on a poor donkey that wouldn't cross the bridge. In the mid 1800s, a man named Obadiah Will of Kentucky was delivering a mule to a man in Meadville. As he was crossing the bridge, a couple of barges carrying Dan Rice's Circus from Girard were floating down the canal, a calliope playing on one of them. At this point, different versions pop up. One says that when the music reached the donkey's ears, it was frightened literally to death. The creature dropped dead of a heart attack right on the bridge. The mule's name was Gudgeon. In another tale, the donkey froze when it heard the music and wouldn't budge off of the bridge. In frustration, Will either found a stick and beat Gudgeon to death, or grabbed a wagon part known as a gudgeon and hit the nameless donkey with the same end result. (Some spoilsports think the name came about because the small fish in the creek were locally known as gudgeons, but we'll ignore them.) In a final bit of irony, the calliope was supposed to be playing “My Old Kentucky Home.” Anyway, the donkey was buried on the west bank of the creek, and Will painted “Gudgeonville” (which doesn't exist as a town) on both entrances to the bridge. He also sued the circus with unknown results. Apparently Dan Rice, the circus owner and a fairly famous entertainer of the era, felt badly enough to write up the tale in the form of an eulogy. (We ran across several references to it, but we can't find the eulogy itself.) The donkey never did leave the bridge. It's said you can still hear its' steady hoofbeat and braying on some nights. The place is popular among spook chasers. It was investigated by the Ghost & Hauntings Research Society and the Erie County Ghost Hunters Society among others.  Sadly, it was torched by arsonists in 2008, with considerable damage done.  The bridge was taken down, and PennDOT wouldn't allow even a duplicate to be built, saying it didn't meet modern standards.  So that's the end of the story for the Gudgeonville Bridge; no word on how its spirits have taken to their new surroundings.

HADLEY CEMETERY (Perry Twp., Mercer County) The chief haunt of this graveyard is a young woman that died in a car crash on her wedding day.  She was preggers, to boot.  Her spirit spooks the boneyard, and at least one person who snapped some shots not only got her in her white dress, but also the floating face of a little girl, which may be her unborn daughter.  Strange USA 

DOC HAGGERTY (Pleasantville, Venango County) During the heyday of the oil boom, there was a stretch of road called the Oil Creek Highway. It ran from Oil City up along Oil Creek through Petroleum Centre and then either on toward Titusville or Pleasantville.  At the time it was described as being, "Wholly unclassable, Almost impassable, and Scarcely jackassable."  The road was frequented by the Nitro-glycerine shooters. These were men who drove around from magazine to well in buckboard wagons carrying square 3 to 5 gallons cans of nitro in felt lined boxes.  In the back of the wagon, they carried several torpedoes which when filled with nitro would be lowered down an oil well and then set off in order to increase production.  On December of 1888, one "Doc" Haggerty was making the run to the Pleasantville magazine with a wagon filled with fourteen-hundred pounds of nitro. The last person to ever see any part of him spotted him twenty minutes before a furious explosion was heard to echo up and down the valley. Bits of horse and wagon were found, but not one atom of Haggerty was ever seen on this Earth again. He disappeared so completely that the insurance company which held a five-thousand dollar policy in his name wouldn't pay up on the grounds that since no remains of the alleged dead man could be produced, he might well be alive.  Finally, experts were found to confirm the belief that the explosion was sufficient to cremate the body instantaneously, bones, clothes, boots and all.  It's said that on certain December days, when everything is just right, you can still hear that explosion echoing through the valley, and every now and again someone will come forward to claim that they saw a horse drawn wagon going slowly down the old road with a full load in the back and a man wearing the clothes of an older time.  Doc Haggerty is determined to deliver that load.  PA Legends

HARTHEGIG RUN LEGEND (East Lackawannock Twp., Mercer County) Harthegig, son-in-law of the old chief Petty, was well known to Mercer's Pew family. He was big & ugly with a disposition to match, and a nasty drunk, to boot . On one occasion a soused Harthegig, accompanied by two other Indians, stopped by the Pew cabin. Samuel, one of the Pew boys, was warming himself by the hearth. Harthegig walked up to him, grabbed him by the hair, and announced "I will scalp you." Others in the cabin grabbed him and threw Harthegig and his buds out of the house. The next morning, a neighbor named Jeffers who witnessed the incident passed the Pew place, with his gun on his shoulder. Seeing young Samuel in the yard, he asked if Harthegig was about. Told that he had just passed by, the settler just nodded and headed up the path Harthegig had taken. Harthegig was never seen again, and his disappearance was shrouded in mystery. Nine years later a large skeleton was discovered near Yankee Ridge.   The mystery was solved, and the area's been called Harthegig's Run ever since.  That legend was taken from the Pew Family Page, from the middle of the page. There's also an alternate tale offered by Web TV (scroll 2/3 of the way down) that's a bit spookier.

HAYWOOD CEMETERY (Shenango Twp., Mercer County) The legend was that once, twenty people were hung in a small house on the West Middlesex cemetery property.  When the bodies were discovered, the townfolk saw a little girl looking through the window at the grisly scene.  She disappeared, and as they entered the building, they saw her small body swinging from a noose, along with the other victims.   It's said that if you drive up to the house and turn off your headlights, wait two minutes and turn them back on, she'll appear.  Strange USA

HENRY (Erie, Erie County) It's said that in the 1970s Henry, a Penn State Behrend student, lived in the 3rd floor of Niagara Hall's west wing. One frigid winter night, the cold was getting to Henry. The heater wouldn't work and the door was stuck. He began to freeze. Screaming, he hugged the heater, trying to make the obstinate thing work. He couldn't, and the next morning his roomie found Henry's frozen body, still hanging on to the heater. People who have since had the luck to draw Henry's old room say that some nights you can still hear him scream and shake the heater that wouldn't work. All we can say about this tale is Henry must have been incredibly thin blooded.  And just how did his roommate get the door to open when Henry couldn't? The Shadowlands

HOGBACK ROAD (Hermitage, Mercer County) It's said that a family of early settlers was killed here in the 1700s, under the bridge. A Hogback Road Bridge does still exist, running over Hogback Run, but whether this is the exact site or not, we can't say. You can hear rustling in the bushes and a mournful cry in the distance. It's alleged that you can see the mother of the family still searching the underbrush, carrying a candle or lantern. Another tale of the road says that there were several Indian encampments in the hills. You can reportedly see orbs floating over the hills and feel spirits rush pass you during a full Hunter's Moon. You may even be able to see the spirit of a young warrior standing on top of a hill. This area is closer to West Middlesex. The Shadowlands

HOTEL CONNEAUT (Conneaut Lake Park, Crawford County) The Hotel Conneaut, dating back to 1903, has 150 rooms, old time ambiance, and some long-time guests who checked in but never checked out. The most famous apparition is Bride Elizabeth. Her and her guy were honeymooning at the Hotel on April 27, 1943, when a terrible fire occurred.  Lightning struck the hotel's wooden roof during a thunderstorm, and it burst into flame. Legend has it that her hubby, thinking Elizabeth had already escaped, fled the building to find her.  But Elizabeth was still inside the hotel desperately searching for her husband and quickly became trapped by the flames and perished. (or maybe she looking for the fire escape at the end of the hall. She hasn't told us yet.) They were in room 321, and she's said to mainly wander in the hallway of third floor, still in her wedding gown, trailing a phantom scent of jasmine while softly sobbing. Elizabeth doesn't limit herself, though - she's been reported all over the hotel and even in the adjoining amusement park. Whispered voices have been heard all over the building, allegedly the otherworldly remnants of the last conversation between Elizabeth and her husband. She's become so famous that the hotel restaurant/bar is called Elizabeth's Dining Room & Spirit Lounge in her honor (heck, she's even mentioned in Wikipedia!), and her "ghost book" is prominent in the hotel lobby. But she shares the space with a bevy of spooks. There's a story regarding an old chef who dismembered a butcher in the kitchen. A spectral couple can be seen dancing in the first floor Grand Ballroom. A Union soldier has been spotted in a tree on the Hotel lot.  The spirit of a former hotel employee, John, may join you in the lobby. There's the tale of little Angelina, a child who legend claims died long ago when her tricycle either tumbled down a flight of stairs or off the hotel balcony. She now rides her trike on the porch of the Hotel, crashing into people. There is also lore with tales of Indian spirits, the lost boy Michael still looking for his parents and a child wandering the back stairwell. The Ghost & Hauntings Research Society investigated the place with some decidedly mixed results. A&E's "Paranormal State" also shot a show from the Hotel. All these tales and more are chronicled in The Ghosts Of Hotel Conneaut And Conneaut Lake Park by Carrie Andra Pavlik. 

JOHN JEFFERSON HOUSE (Warren, Warren County) Built in the late 1800s, the Jefferson House is now a real estate office. It's said to have a ghost roaming the third floor. The Shadowlands

KANE MANOR & COUNTRY INN (Kane, McKean County)  Kane Manor was built for General Thomas and Dr. Elizabeth Kane, the general being the founder of the town, as a replacement for his original homestead that burned down in 1896. Thomas didn't survive to see its' completion, but Elizabeth did, naming it “Anoatok”, or wind loved spot. We don't know how many of the family artifacts, if any, remain in the Inn. There was an auction of its antiques in 2003, although a B&B still operates there, at last report.  But there are said to still be some family haunting the halls.  The star spook is the general's grandson Elisha Kane, named after Thomas' arctic explorer brother and nicknamed Sash, who died after a long (how about thirteen years?) bout of malaria in the Manor.  He claimed that the Kane Manor would always be his and no one else's, and that he'd walk the halls and floors after his death. Some see Sash's shadow in the Yellow Room. He haunts the kitchen, shaking pot and pans and tossing things.  Another report is that of the sound of an infant crying in the room above the office, where according to legend a baby that died in childbirth was delivered. Finally, there are stories of a recurring bloodstain in the building, reputedly from a painter who fell to his death working on the Manor in the 1920s.  (The Kane Manor tales were provided thanks to readers)

KEPLER HOTEL (Meadville, Crawford County) SW Kepler opened the Kepler House in 1890, and ran it for 40 years.  It eventually closed in 1950, and now it's a retail/condo set-up.   It's greatest claim to fame is that it was a stopover for Will Gable, Clark's dad, a wildcatter that met his wife Addie through her sisters, who knew him from working at the hotel.  Oh, and it was haunted, or so the locals say.  As it was shut down sixty years ago, we haven't been able to track down any specific spook tales.  So if anyone from Meadville knows the haunted history, give us a yell, and we'll post it it before it becomes forgotten lore.  

KINZUA'S CASH (Kushequa, McKean County) The legend says that a man robbed an Emporium bank of $40,000 in the 1890s. He thought he'd lose his pursuers in the woodlands of McKean County. He was right. Unfortunately, he also got himself lost in a rainstorm during the process. He staggered some time later into the village of Hazel Hurst, near Smethport.  He was delirious and told the locals that he buried his cash northeast of Kushequa, within sight of the Kinzua Viaduct. The robber drifted in and out of consciousness before dying, proving once again that crime doesn't pay. The money has never been found. Robber's Loot Hidden Near Kinzua Bridge - Pete Bennett

KINZUA DAM (Allegheny National Forest, Warren County) JFK dissed the Seneca nation when he authorized the building of this dam in 1960; it flooded land that had been granted to Chief Cornplanter by William Penn and washed over a Native American graveyard.  The bones were transferred to another site, but just moving them was sacrilege to the Senecas.  And hey, you know what happens when you screw around with a burial grounds.  Yep, an Indian maiden has been spotted floating over Lake Perfidy, the nickname the Indians gave the Allegheny Reservoir that the dam formed.  Some Seneca think she's a tribal spirit bemoaning the loss of the burial ground, while others believe that she herself was buried there and is protesting her fate.  Added into the mix is every kind of paranormal tale you can find, from a huge snake-like critter in the lake and shark-sized catfish to Big Foot sightings and UFO encounters.  Dang, don't know if we should take a fishing rod, video cam, or bazooka there!  Pastor Swope

KIRKPATRICK'S GARAGE (East Brady, Clarion County) Ron Kirkpatrick bought the old Quaker State/Atlantic service station on Third Avenue to open his own garage, little dreaming that the shop came with its own workforce. The garage is home to three full-bodied apparitions:a man in a long black duster, an older gent in coveralls and a man with a burnt and disfigured face. Several unexplained events happened in the shop, with items being moved out of place, the radio and lights being turned on and off, and the security system triggering randomly; the security system frequently picks up paranormal anomalies, including orbs, mists and light rods. It's possible that the apparitions and activity are related to a pair of workmen deaths that occurred in the shop prior to Kirkpatrick's purchase. Pittsburgh Tribune Review "Haunted Garage" by Brad Peterson October 31, 2013.

THE KNICKERBOCKER COMPLEX (Linesville, Crawford County) Originally the Arnold House and later the Old Arlington Hotel, this building was started in 1876 and finally dedicated in 1882. The restored Knickerbocker now houses a restaurant, offices, and an art gallery. The staff and owners have reported the sound of running on the steps and the feeling of people rushing by – well, actually, through – you, a clock that hovered in the air for a few seconds before crashing into a wall, a door that once led to the Opera House that has scratching and rattling sounds coming from outside of it...well, you get the picture. Not only are there poltergeist activities, but some ghosts have been allegedly sighted, too. A former owner was seen walking through the main area. A small boy was sighted coming out of a third floor room and running down the hall, only to disappear. There's a middle-aged man with a long beard, dressed in work clothes and covered in coal dust, haunting the basement. A young girl roams the kitchen.  A man's spook was spotted in an upstairs bedroom.  A shadow person was seen on the third floor.  A psychic team investigated the strange stuff going on here. They left convinced that there were plenty of spooks in the house.  Northwest Pennsylvania Hauntings

THE LOST CAVE OF SILVER (Forest/Warren Counties) The story goes that in the late 1700's, a settler named Hill got lost in what's now the Allegheny National Forest.  He took shelter in a cave. When he lit a torch, he saw the cave was shot through with veins of silver.  The floor had a pit that was filled with pure silver ore.  But alas for Hill, when he finally found his way home, he couldn't retrace his steps back to the cave.  His story was backed up by an Indian trader.  He sold liquor to the Indians and got furs and silver in return.  He asked the natives about the silver, and they blindfolded him and took him to a cave that was just like the one Hill described.  He could never find it again, either.  Hill and the trader were based to the west of Tionesta.  Pure silver was found in the Indian burial grounds by Irvine, 15 miles upstream.  Somewhere in that stretch of forest lies a mine of solid silver, waiting patiently for someone to discover its' riches again. Silver Mine - BBC

THE LOST GOLD INGOTS (Route 55, Elk County) This legend of lost gold dates back to the Civil War. A young Yankee lieutenant was leading a wagon of supplies to Washington from Wheeling, accompanied by 8 cavalrymen and a guide. He was to go through northern PA so that he wouldn't run across any rebel raiders. Lee was heading towards Gettysburg, and the cargo wasn't to fall into his hands. A false bottom in the wagon held 26 fifty pound ingots of gold. The group made it to St. Mary's without a hitch – and then disappeared into the forests of Elk/Cameron county, just 20 miles short of their goal of Driftwood and the Susquehanna River, where they could float the load down to Harrisburg. A month later, the civilian guide, Connors, staggered back into St. Mary's. He told the townspeople that the wagon was lost and everyone but he was dead. He got the sympathy of the people, but not the Army. He told the military questioners that the lieutenant had died of fever and was buried, then of a terrific fight, and then...his memory failed. The Army put the Pinkertons on the case, and they swarmed over the forested hills. Eventually, the dead mules were found, and a couple of years later, the skeletons of the guards were discovered. They had made it to Dent's Run, close, but not close enough, to Driftwood. The Army drafted Connors into its' service, and transferred him to a western outpost. He was going to be a lifer. The Army told him he would never be discharged unless his memory improved. When he was drunk, a fairly common occurrence for him, he would tell everyone he knew the whole story and would lead them to the gold. But when he sobered up, he couldn't even find Elk County on a map. Recently, a message from the battle was found. It mentions the year 1863, and a two hour fight near a big rock. It ends with “they see me...” There are several theories. Maybe they were ambushed by Copperheads, anti-war fanatics of the era, or robbers found them. Some suggest Connors set up the whole thing and was double-crossed. But many people believe that no matter what happened, there's $1,500,000 worth of gold still hidden the mountain wilderness, waiting to be found. The Lost Gold Ingots - Francis X. Scully

LOST TREASURE LEGENDS (Elk/McKean Counties) This is sort of an oddity, but if we worked our protractor right, there are four lost treasure legends placed within a 50-mile radius of Emporium. So grab your metal detector and shovel and see if you can strike it rich by digging up Blackbeard's Silver, Cole's Gold, Kinzua's Cash, or The Lost Gold Ingots. Hey, a treasure hunt is lots more fun than the lottery, and the odds are about the same, too.

MED STAT AMBULANCE STATION (Waterford, Erie County) Even though the company has gone out of business, its old barracks on Route 19 held some ghostly tales.  Along with the usual door knob rattlings and bodiless footsteps, one report is of the spirit of a lady that starts as green mist; she was one of the patients that didn't make it.  Another is of a bloody arm reaching out of a bucket used to clean an ambulance; it was thought to be an appearance of sorts of a victim of a motorcycle crash who had his limbs severed as a result of the accident.  Paranormal Examiner

MERCYHURST COLLEGE (Erie, Erie County)  Founded in 1926, Mercyhurst has become the second largest Mercy-operated Catholic college in America. Between its three campuses, enrollment has grown to a record 4,000 students, full-time faculty members number 168, the endowment has increased to more than $20 million and its budget to more than $80 million.  And it sports one spooky sister.

  • Christ the King Chapel: The sister of Old Main fame has been seen in the chapel, as has a blue orb by a statue of young Jesus (the chapel is joined to Old Main, a dorm now, but a convent back in the day). It's said that the good sister slipped the ring she got from her boyfriend on the icon's finger.  It stayed on His hand until the 50's, when a girl took it in an effort, it's alleged, to get her boyfriend to commit.  We'll never know if it would have worked; she died on the way to the tryst.  Another bit of lore is that if you touched the ring, you'd meet a tragic end within five years.  At any rate, Mercyhurst decided it would be good policy to not have its students killed off by cursed rings, and the piece of jewelry disappeared after that night.  Some say it reappears on its own occasionally to raise a little havoc, while others say it was buried and forgotten.  Others believe the sister is still haunting the Chapel, looking for her ring.
  • Egan Hall: This is the only haunting not related to the tragic nun.  Egan's lore is that there are certain rooms that you can't keep a mirror in; it'll will shatter.  It's also said that faces can be seen reflected back just before the mirror explodes. There's also unexplained lights that occasionally shine from Egan's attic, which has been boarded off from the Hall proper and has no access.  And hey, Egan Hall is connected to Old Main and the Chapel, too, and it's been claimed that people have seen the face of the suicidal sister in windows, she sometimes roams the halls, and that she plays poltergeist tricks on the students, turning things off and on.
  • Old Main Tower: Mercyhurst's first building was the Gothic Old Main, built by the Sisters of Mercy and completed in 1925. The tale is that during the WW2, when the Old Main was still used as a convent, one sister joined the order after she was told her fiance had been killed in combat. But he was just MIA, and he returned with a ring for her after the war. Having taken her vows, she couldn't marry him, and went mad. She was confined to the Old Main Tower to protect herself (and the other nuns too, we'd assume) . The sister eventually killed herself. The distraught nun is said to roam the halls of the building and has been seen on the Old Main Tower, where the students believe she keeps a benevolent eye on them. (The Sisters of Mercy owned Old Main outright until 1993, renting it to the College) and in Egan Hall.
  • Weber Hall: Many students who walk over the small green island in the middle of East Main Drive in front of Weber Hall swear that they immediately suffer bad luck. Is it local lore - or where the ghostly sister's ring was buried?
  • And hey, there are supposed to be other apparitions in habits on campus, too.  We've heard stories of the apparitions of old nuns gathered outside the Chapel, and other spirit sisters have been spotted in the Grotto. 

Take the Mercyhurst campus tour

(The sister's sad tale was written up by Stephanie Wincek in Ghosts of Erie County.   Most of the information here came from The Paranormal Pastor)

MILLER FARM CEMETERY (Oil Creek State Park, Venango County) This cemetery boasts of being haunted by a Lady in White, visitors report red lights and orbs, and it features a tombstone with a greenish glow.  There are even tales of small handprints covering cars that stop by.  Unfortunately, most of these events happen at night, when the park is closed and all callers are shooed away if the rangers spot them. Northwest Pennsylvania Hauntings


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