Freedom's Corner Haunts & History
The legends, lore, and ghost tales of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton & Philadelphia counties.
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DOCTOR WEIR'S HOUSE CALL (Philadelphia) During the 1800's, a Dr. Weir was toasting himself in front of his fireplace on a snowy winter's day when a knock sounded. He answered the door, and a little teary-eyed girl pleaded with him to hurry out and see her mama, who was terribly sick. Of course, the good doc did, after trying to pawn the girl off on another medico. He went through the storm to the house with the girl, went upstairs, and found a lady suffering from a serious bout of pneumonia. Doc Weir worked his sawbone magic on her, and said "Thank God your daughter fetched me. You might have died if you let this go another evening." The woman paled and pointed to the closet, where the little girl's outfit neatly hung, dry as a bone. "My daughter died a month ago" said the mother. (From Phillylist's "Philadelphia Weirdness" March 23, 2008)
DOG KENNEL ROAD (Rose Tree Park, Delaware County) Dog Kennel Road is the local nickname for Crums Creek Lane, the address of the Bryn Mawr Kennel Club. Area lore says that a girl died on the Crum Creek Bridge, by Paxton Hollow Road, and if you go there after midnight, you can see her spirit (or mist, or orb) forlornly sitting on the side of the bridge. Ghosts of Delaware County
DREIBELBIS STATION BRIDGE (Lenhartsville, Berks County) Along the back roads is a covered
bridge, the Dreibelbis Station Bridge (named for a long-gone RR stop on
its east side). It's a 172-foot-long arch truss spanning Maiden Creek,
and still is a functioning bridge. The DSB was erected in 1869 (the
builder is unknown, tho it was named for the Dreibelbis farm) and as one
of five surviving covered bridges in the county, it was added to the
National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1981 after
undergoing a major rehab in 1968. And it's got a little more than that designation going for it; it's also got some haunted history. The
story goes that on a wintry night in the mid 19th century, a man was
dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh (more or less). A
fresh snow gave him a fast track, when whoops - he approached the
bridge, which being covered didn't have a nice white snowpack for his
sled's runners. He hit the dry wooden floor of the
bridge at full throttle, virtually stopping the sleigh in its tracks.
The horse reared in surprise, the owner was thrown out of the sleigh,
and during the uproar got his head wrapped between the reins, garotte
style. The horse bolted, and the leather straps snapped through the
driver's neck, severing his head. Since then, it's
been said that if you visit the bridge late on a winter's night, you can
see the headless driver stumbling about the span, looking for his
noggin. Outta The Way
DREXEL UNIVERSITY (University Center, Philadelphia) Philadelphia financier and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel established the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry in 1891. Originally a non-degree-granting institution, Drexel began awarding the bachelor of science degree in 1914, when its 18 departments were organized into four schools. In 1927, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania granted Drexel the privilege to confer the master of science degree, and in 1965, the doctor of philosophy degree. And Martha still loves the place. Martha is the ghost that haunts the 116-year-old Victorian Gothic Ross Commons. She was the fourth floor house mom back when the building was the Childhood Center, and it's said you can still see her walking the steps during the evening in her white nightgown, keeping her eye on the building and its students. Thanks to LC and Yahoo for this tale. Another favorite haunt, the bronze Waterboy statue in the Main atrium isn't spooked out, but is the site of a long tradition at Drexel. Every year during exams, students rub his big toe for luck. The Waterboy has acquired a nice brown patina over the years, but its lucky toe shines as brightly as the day it was cast.
DUFFY'S CUT (Malvern, Chester County) In 1832, 57 Irish immigrant gandy dancers from Donegal succumbed to cholera while working on Duffy's Cut. The epidemic claimed 900 lives in the Delaware Valley before it subsided and caused widespread panic in the area. The Irish, being despised immigrants and Catholic to boot, were left to their own devices by the citizens, receiving what little aid the Sisters of Charity from Philadelphia and the village blacksmith could provide to them. There was no cure at the time - either you fought it off or you died. The death rate for the dreaded disease at that time was somewhere around 50%. It was 100% for the Irishmen. Some suspect that the workers that survived were murdered by area vigilantes to keep the disease from spreading (though just the fact they were Irish would have sufficed.) They were buried in a mass grave along with some of the nuns who died trying to save them by the smitty. The prejudice of the times was so great that the sisters that survived couldn't even hire a coach back home. They had to walk back to Philadelphia. The relatives of the dead men in Ireland were never notified of their deaths. For many years, the area was shunned by the locals who were frightened off by the alleged glowing apparitions of the dead Irish workers. One old timer said their ghosts were "...green and blue fire." Spooks were reported dancing in the nearby woods. The owners of homes recently built around the area have said that spirits peer into their windows. The supposed plot of their mass grave was fenced off by a group of old railroaders who knew of the legend, and they maintained it as best they could. But researchers looking over old files now believe that the graveyard was in the wrong location. Even worse, they think that ever since the 1880s a train line has rumbled over their final resting place. An Immaculata College professor, Dr. Watson, who's doing research on Duffy's Cut believes he and a friend saw three of the fiery Irish spirits on the campus lawn. It was on Ember night, when the ghosts of the dead are supposed to roam the earth according to Irish lore. In another sighting, the restless Irishmen caused a bit of havoc in the college library during an exhibit of Duffy's Cut memorabilia. The teacher says that they're not trying to scare anyone but reaching out for help to get their bones properly buried after almost two centuries. As you may imagine, he's trying his best to lay their spirits to rest. And their souls may be finally be satisfied. In late March of 2009, Dr. Watson and his team found some bones buried in a hillside that they believe belong to the starcrossed railroaders. They hope to ID them through DNA testing and return the remains to the Old Sod for burial and closure of a long open wound. The story's told in The Ghosts of Duffy's Cut: The Irish Who Died Building America's Most Dangerous Stretch of Railroad by William Watson, J. Francis Watson, John Ahtes and Earl Schandelmeier. (Norristown Times-Herald "Legendary Ghosts of Irish Railroad Workers Prompt Professor's Investigation," August 25, 2003)
DURANGO'S SALOON (Boyertown, Berks County) For decades from the turn of the twentieth century, the Durango was known as the Mansion House Hotel. And it was just a block from the greatest disaster in Boyertown history, the Rhoads Opera House fire of 1908 that killed 170 people. The bodies were stacked in the cellar of the hotel, and it's thought some of the souls lost that night still remain. Invisible hands brush against the staff's hair, workers are sometimes trapped in the meat locker when the door is shut on them, cases of beer are toppled, voices that say things like "Rescue Me" and "Die" were caught on EVP, and mists and shadows have been seen. They may not all be from the fire; there have also been suicides and other deaths from the hotel days, and relatives of the family-run business, like Aunt Dottie, may still be lending a hand. The Northampton County Paranormal investigated and came away with positive results. (The Morning Call "The Haunted Bar: Ghost Living In Boyertown Bar?" October 19, 2012)
DUTCH COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE (Telford, Montgomery County) This place has an interesting history. It started up in 1953 in a former auction house that was rented from the next door hotel owner. He wouldn't put in concession stands or even a bathroom, hoping to lure the playhouse audience to his hotel dining room. After some successful fundraising, the site finally become the property of the acting group in the 1990s. (The old owner caved in and put in bathrooms in 1973. In a bit of irony, the acting group later bought his old hotel.) There are several reports of spooks in the house. There are supposed to be dancing shapes between the false ceiling and the roof. There's nothing like a ghostly chorus line to drum up business. People have sensed being followed and jostled by unseen presences. There are also cold spots and poltergeist activity, like fooling with the stage and house lights. Once show business gets in your blood, there's no leaving it. Arts-Info
EAST CHELTENHAM FREE LIBRARY (Cheltenham, Montgomery County) When the East Cheltenham library moved into the 200 year old James Houldin house in 1957, they didn't know they were gaining a ghost. As spooks go, this was one friendly spirit, accompanied by the smell of brewing coffee at 4:30 PM and a whole array of yummy cooking odors around closing time. The ghost was never seen, but made people aware of its' presence by sniffing sounds, even holding little sniffly conversations with the staff. The kitchen ghost was left to its' own devices in 1978 when the library moved to newer digs at the Rowland Community Center. We don't know what became of the Mouldin House, but we hope the ghost is still cooking and sniffing away to an appreciative audience. I Love Libraries
EASTERN STATE HOSPITAL (Bensalem, Bucks County) The old mental hospital's staff was suspected of brutality and perhaps even the murder of its' charges. It's said that if you enter a patient's room, sometimes the door will shut and lock you in. A ghostly male figure may follow you down the hall. The mortuary is frigid with an icy wind blasting through it. The fourth floor is supposed to be the psychic hot spot of the place. Eastern State has been vacant since 1996, and its' last vestiges were razed in 2005 to put the finishing touches on the Horizon Center, an office and retail park. The old Eastern site is supposed to be under the new Strayer University building. There have been no reports of the spooks haunting Strayer in an effort to earn their degree. Maybe books scare them. The Shadowlands
EASTERN STATE PENITENTIARY (Fairmount, Philadelphia) Built in 1829 in a spooky Gothic style with 30' walls, many consider Eastern State in Philly to be the first true penitentiary ever constructed. Oddly, it was built as part of a Quaker inspired penal reformation to help rehab prisoners. It didn't seem to meet with much success with the 80,000 felons that occupied its' cells at one time or another, including hard core crooks like Slick Willie Sutton, who died there in a tunnel cave-in during an escape try, and Scarface Al Capone. Prisoners at Eastern State had a toilet, table, bunk and Bible in their cells, in which they were locked all but one hour a day. When the inmates did leave their cells, a black hood would be placed over their head so they could not see any other prisoners as they went through the halls of the prison. Interaction and any form of communication between inmates was forbidden. Inmates lived a life of monastic solitude and would only get a glimpse of sunlight, known as "The Eye of God," which came through a slit in the prison ceiling. After being shut down in 1971, it's now operated as a ghoulish museum of sorts by the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Society as a National Historic Landmark. The facility has been kept in "preserved ruin," meaning that no significant attempts have been made for renovations or upkeep. Guests are asked to sign a liability waiver and several sections remain closed to the public. It has a great Halloween tour called Terror Behind the Walls. The prison's a must on the list of every ghost hunting organization in the region and been featured in many books, articles, and on TV. That's because the prison is still run by the inmates. As early as the 1940's employees and prisoners alike began reporting unusual activity within the prison's walls. Visitors have reported hearing footsteps in the long, dark corridors and wails that come from from empty cells. One ghosthunter, on the stairs that lead to a catwalk, was shooting some photos when a voice from nowhere said, "You don't have to take a damn picture." Just moments later, the same voice added "I'm lonely..."
Cell Block 6 has reported sightings of shadowy forms gliding against the wall and gliding in and out of cells, and Cell Block 13 also has reports of shadow people. Cell Block 12 features the echoes of voices laughing hysterically. It also holds the spook of the Soap Lady, a female dressed in white that appears in the shower area. The TAPS team found a shadowy spirit dressed in a dark cloak and light trousers floating around the cellblock, too. In Cell Block 4, a locksmith was surrounded by floating apparitions crying out to him. In the older cellblocks, a featureless dark figure has been reported many times, standing deathly still and watching the visitors. He disappears if you get too close to him. He's supposedly the most widely reported spirit in the building. A voice has been reported from the prison greenhouse, saying "hello" to visitors. Death Row has also been the scene of eerie encounters with the same shadowy figures seen by others throughout the prison. The spook of a mobster that Al Capone ordered gunned down on St. Valentine's Day, Jimmy Clark (Bugs Moran's brother-in-law), is said to have followed him to Eastern. Capone could be heard screaming in his cell at night for "Jimmy" to leave him alone. Clark's ghost followed him when he was released, too, and Capone's bodyguards at his HQ, Chicago's Lexington Hotel, would often hear the same cry for "Jimmy" to go away. He went so far as to call a psychic, Alice Britt, to get rid of Clark’s angry spirit. The ensuing seance didn't work. Hymie Cornish, Capone’s aide, also saw the ghost. He entered Capone’s apartment and spotted a tall man standing near the window. He demanded to know the man’s name but the shadowy figure stepped behind a curtain. Cornish called two bodyguards but a search of the room found no one there but Capone, who insisted the vision had been Clark. Years later, Capone would say that Jimmy Clark followed him to the grave. The image of a former turnkey who had his throat slashed by an inmate has been seen, as have maids in white dresses (We're not sure how they got there. We didn't think the prisoners had room service.) The wraith of a guard in the watch tower has been spotted, and the sounds of a barking dog have been heard there. Most of this paranormal activity started after the deserted prison became a public attraction. ESPHS manager Devon Gillian believes it's because all the visitors have disturbed the prison's many spirits, who are upset over the change in jailhouse routine. One thing's for sure. When you did your stretch at Eastern, you weren't doing easy time. And forget about parole, even in the afterlife. Once they slammed the iron doors behind you, you weren't going anywhere - ever. Troy Taylor - Prairieghosts
EASTERN UNIVERSITY (St. David's, Montgomery County) The campus was built on the estate of Charles Walton, a leather manufacturer, who called the property Walmarthon. Eastern bought the Walmarthon estate in 1950, lock, stock and spooks.
- Campus Grounds: There have been several reported sightings of figures dressed in black that disappear after they're seen. Some students say they've seen a spectral foot floating by, appearing as a large white blob. No one's ever seen the rest of the spirit, just the foot. The spirit of a young girl roams the dorms, accompanied by a cold breeze you can feel rushing down the halls. Sometimes if you answer a knock at your door, the child or a group of children run in, dance around the room, and leave. Some think the little sprite is Charles Walton's daughter Suzanne, who died when she was 7. But she wasn't born at Walmarthon, didn't die there, and in fact spent little time there. So the spook's identity is up for grabs. The Shadowlands There have also been reports of misty figures dressed in black that disappear in front of your eyes. Strange Happenings
- Doane Hall: A girl was supposed to have hung herself in her second floor dorm room. It's said that if you place a chair in the room and shut the lights and the door that you'll hear the chair fall and the death rattle of the girl. Another girl hung herself in the third floor bathroom. It's alleged that you can sometimes see feet dangling just beneath the bathroom stall doors. The Shadowlands
- Walton Hall: It's reported that a girl hung herself in her third floor room in the 1970s. The room is supposedly sealed to this day, but you can occasionally spot lights and hear shuffling footsteps, whimpering and crying coming from the closed room. Walton is now the student activity center. The Shadowlands
- Willow Lake: The ghost of a middle aged man has been spotted walking along the edge of Willow Lake. The campus lore is that this is the spirit of Charles Walton, unwilling to leave his beloved estate. Del Co Ghosts
EASTON LIBRARY (Easton, Northampton County) Andrew Carnegie offered to chip in $50,000 for a library building at the turn of the century if Easton would provide the land. They selected an old, deserted cemetery. Most of the bodies were relocated. Those that weren't were interred in a common vault underneath the parking lot. Geez, not very respectful of the dead in Easton, are they? Only two people got their own graves - William Parsons, a surveyor who laid out much of Easton, and Elizabeth "Mammy" Morgan, a popular Quaker innkeeper. The second floor of the library seems to be a hotspot, with file drawers that unlock and open and doors that open and shut. Once a librarian felt something playing with her hair. Whether it was a ghost or a cobweb makes no difference. Both are spooky enough for us. The spirit of Mammy has allegedly been spotted roaming the rooms. Others report seeing phantom lights in the graveyard area. We think we'll wait for the bookmobile to drive by rather than visit the Easton library, thank you. Charles Adams and David Seibold dedicated a chapter of Ghosts Of The Lehigh Valley to the library. Suite 101
EMILY'S PUB (Beckersville, Berks County) Beginning as the Beckersville Hotel in 1827, this establishment has gone by many names over the years - J.R. Seifert Hotel, Martha's Vineyard, The Post Office Inn, and finally becoming Emily's in 1997. Why Emily? To honor the ghost there, that's why. The legend is that a young girl named Emily lost her life in a fire there many years ago. Her giggles, laughter, and footsteps have echoed through the Inn ever since, documented by generations of employees. She particularly likes to hang out in the dining room and the staircase. Emily's Pub
EVANSBURG INN (Collegeville, Montgomery County) The Inn has been a farmhouse, stage coach stop, restaurant and military infirmary during its' time. It was also built on an Indian burial grounds. Two spooks have been supposedly seen there. One is a Native American, roused from the Happy Hunting Grounds when the burial grounds were disturbed. The other is a wounded soldier, apparently still hoping the infirmary can cure what ails him. Del Co Ghost
FAIR ACRES GERIATRIC CENTER (Lima, Delaware County) Fair Acres is an assisted care home run by Delaware County and has 900 patients under its' wing. It moved to Lima from Media in 1857 when it bought the Pennell Farm. Fair Acre Farms use to house entire families, but turned its' focus to elder care in 1967 and became the Geriatric Center. And boy, do they have a special elderly patient to care for in Building 4. Now an office building, it used to be a barracks-like hospital ward. Several people over the years have seen an elderly woman's spook walking the halls of the building. She has long straight gray hair and wears a standard issue hospital gown. She's never spoken to anyone that's seen her, and responds to those who speak to her by turning and walking out of the building - through the wall. Oldsters can be so cantankerous. The Shadowlands
FAIRMOUNT PARK SPOOK (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia) One day, as a couple were sitting in the living room, an apparition of a lady dressed in a turn of the century outfit came walking down the steps. She wasn't the only spirit haunting the home, a former bordello, either. Another time, the lady of the house looked in the bathroom mirror, and much to her surprise, the image looking back wasn't hers. It was the full figure of a 19-ish girl, a blonde with a split lip and a pair of black eyes. She reached pleadingly through the mirror and said "Get out while you can." She did. This tale was related by good bud LC, who has a treasure trove of Philly spook stories.
FAIRVIEW CEMETERY (Colebrookdale Twp., Berks County) Many of the ashes and remains of the 170 people killed in the Rhoads Opera House disaster of 1908 are buried in a common grave in Fairview Cemetery. While they seem at peace with the old opera house after it was demolished, they're anything but at rest here. Their cries and moans can still be heard today. The spirits of the victims of the Rhoads fire raise such a ruckus that the police have been called to investigate. But there's not much they can do to quiet them down... Pennsylvania Researchers
63 FERRY STREET (New Hope, Bucks County) The story goes that a young girl, the daughter of a mill foreman, fell in love with a laborer. The match was doomed, because the dad would never allow his daughter to marry a common worker. She became pregnant - guess she followed her heart instead of dad's advice - and her father kept her locked in the house and sent the boy away. One night, screams were heard from the house, followed by a baby crying. The pair disappeared after that night. The neighbors were talking about it afterwards, and one swore she saw the father walking to the outhouse with a small bundle she suspected was the infant, but nothing was ever found to substantiate that story. People say they still hear the wails of a child when they walk down Ferry Street. Some even claim to see the baby's mother, a glowing figure in search of her child. Adding credence to the tale, it's said that when there was some construction going on in the 1960s that the skeleton of a newborn child was uncovered back where the outhouses were once located. Del Co Ghost
THE FIVE LOCKS (Tilden Twp., Berks County) A young woman's ghost has been reportedly seen floating above the Schuylkill Canal or strolling along its' towpath. The spook shows up at midnight when there's a full moon, and starts out as a mist over the canal that eventually forms into a woman. She seems to be looking for something, or maybe someone. She's said to be the spirit of a girl who drowned in the canal. It's still debated whether she took the leap voluntarily or was shoved into the waters. We don't know, and she ain't talking. Del Co Ghost
FONTHILL MANSION (Doylestown, Bucks County) Henry Mercer, an archaeologist and writer of Gothic novels, built this masonry castle in 1910 without blueprints and from the inside out. It has 44 rooms, all differently shaped, 32 stairways, and numerous dead ends. Still, the mansion was featured on the TV series America's Castles, so go figure. The Fonthill is an art museum today. It's resident spook is a maid who apparently loved the oddball home. She's been spotted dusting in the parlor and making the beds upstairs. She's even shooed away a couple of late night visitors. Who says good help is hard to keep? Philly Burbs
FOREST HILLS CEMETERY (Philadelphia) The spirit of a man dressed in a top hat and tux, nicknamed Abe by the PIRA investigator that saw him, has been reported in the cemetery. He disappears behind a tombstone that has his wedding picture on it. He remains unidentified, as his wife is still alive. Other investigators have spotted a slender, tall spook in a long coat and dark suit roaming the grounds. They also report a tree that will sometimes envelop you in a windstorm if you approach too near it, and a monument of Jesus that has a blue aura around it. PGHA
FORT MIFFLIN (Philadelphia) "The Fort That Saved America" got it's first taste of action in 1777 after Washington's defeat at Brandywine. He had to put distance between his Army and the redcoats and at the same time delay the British supply fleet at the mouth of the Delaware River. He sent 400 soldiers to Fort Mifflin, an unfinished British fortification, to hold off 2,000 redcoats and 200 ships. They did both. Halting General Howe's troops for a month allowed Washington to get to Valley Forge and kept the fleet at sea. It's said that the human cost was over 275 men killed in the fort during that month. The fort was later used as a prison for both Union and Confederate prisoners during the Civil War, and eventually closed in the 1960s. It's operated as a tourist attraction today. And there are plenty of spirits left in the old fort, enough to attract a crowd (or form one). The most famous may be the Screaming Woman in the Officer Quarters. She was thought to be Elizabeth Pratt, who was alleged to be an officer's wife who had become estranged from her daughter when she ran off with an enlisted man. The daughter died of typhoid fever before they could reconcile, and the distraught mother hung herself. But Tony Selletti in Fort Mifflin: A Paranormal History found that Elizabeth Pratt never lived in the area of the Officer's Quarters, but was housed with the officer's families on the grounds now occupied by the artillery shed, another area of ghostly activity. Elizabeth Bunker is now thought to be the woman; more on that as it comes out. Whoever is yelling is doing a good job; her screams have been loud enough that the police have been called out on occasion to investigate. The Man With No Face is thought to be Billy Howe, a prisoner that was hung for murder. He's spotted in the Casements, the prison cells of the fort, where he's usually seen wearing a hat and patching his clothes. His face is a black void. Often other soldiers and voices are also reported from the dungeon. One regular is a soldier that is seen warming himself over a fire. Jacob Sauer, the blacksmith, is another popular spook. He's often seen in the smitty's shop, and the back doors he liked to keep open while working are still difficult to keep shut today. The Uniformed Guide, dressed in either a Civil War or Revolutionary war outfit (the versions differ) has taken tourists through the powder magazine. But there wasn't any guide on duty, at least of the flesh and blood variety. There's also the Lamplighter, allegedly the ghost of Joseph Adkins. Other ghosts include Edward, a poltergeist that likes to pull drawers open, and the Captain, who's been seen on the grounds apparently intent on inspecting the troops. Once you're stationed at Fort Mifflin, it seems like you never get relieved. Dave Juliano
BEN FRANKLIN'S GHOST (Philadelphia) Ben Franklin's first venture into the realm of the undead was on the day he died in 1790, when there were multiple reports of Franklin sightings around the City of Brotherly Love. He's also been allegedly active in the American Philosophical Society's Library (he founded the APS.) Ben's been reported in the Library proper, once bowling over a cleaning lady in 1844 while toting an armful of books. His statue is out front, and it's been said that he's jumped off the pedestal, sometimes dancing down the street and other times heading to the nearest pub. Old Ben's also suspected of tossing pennies at people outside the Christ Church Burial Grounds, where he's interred. Maybe it's a subtle reminder of a "penny saved is a penny earned," or just payback for all the folk that toss pennies at his grave per local tradition. He's been seen at Independence Hall too, examining the documents he helped to write. Some folk have even claimed to see him napping on the steps of various historical buildings he frequented during his life. Haunting a town is a tiring business. Haunted Travel
FRED THE GHOST (Easton, Northampton County) The State Theatre has quite a history. The building started as a bank in 1873, then became a vaudeville house in 1910, and finally became the State Theatre in 1926. It was almost done in by the wrecker's ball in the 1980s, but was renovated and by 1990 was a first class venue once again. And it has a ghost in the hall, a homegrown one that it's very proud of. J. Fred Osterstock managed the Theatre from 1936 to 1965, and was known for his hard work and love of the building. He even lived in it for brief spells. And after his death, his ghost started showing up at the State Theatre in the 1970s. Maintenance workers would spy a man in the back of the theater, and call the police in to investigate. No one was ever found. Eventually someone spotted the apparition on stage, and added up two and two. It was Fred's spirit. Fred had seen the Theatre through its' hard times, and now he basks in its' newfound glory. The Theatre even named its' annual awards presentation the Freddy in his honor. To top it off, Fred has a chapter in Ghost Stories of the Lehigh Valley by Charles Adams III & David Seibold and was featured in a Travel Channel documentary that made a stop at the State Theatre. Fred's Ghost
FRIENDS HOSPITAL (Oxford Twp., Philadelphia) Originally called the Friends Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason - thankfully it was shortened to Friends Hospital at the turn of the century - it was the first mental asylum to treat patients humanely. The original building was put up in 1817, and was home to both the patients and the superintendent. The building is said to be haunted by the wife of a past superintendent who's been seen roaming the halls. A woman's laughter has been heard coming from the first floor in the middle of the night by guards. A guard's shoulder was once grabbed by unseen hands. Doors open and close when no one is around. Actually, all in all it's pretty calm in the paranormal realm for a mental institution. The Shadowlands
FRUITVILLE HOTEL (Schwenksville, Montgomery County) We can date the old hotel back to the early 1800's, but its spook is much more recent. The owner went to bed one night, and saw a pair of little boys walk into the bedroom, one sporting a ball cap. The saw her, turned, and left. She went downstairs to see who they belonged to - and found out they were part of the hotel! Seems the boy was the spirit of a child that drowned in a backyard pool in the 1960s, and was visiting with a buddy. He's hopefully crossed over by now; the hotel no longer exists. Ghosts of America
FUNK MILL ROAD (Franconia Twp., Montgomery County) The legend goes that in the sixties, a man was called while having a couple in a Hellerstown watering hole, telling him his home, with his wife and kid inside, was on fire. He jumped into the car to race home, but it was winter and he spun out on Funk Mill Road and crashed, killing himself. The story says that his family perished, too. Local lore claims that in the winter, you can sometimes see that car trying to make the turn, and going out of control and wrecking. The house itself is back in the woods, and is pretty well gutted. You can visit if you like derelict shacks, but no ghosts there - just on the road. The story was written up by Matt Lake in Weird Pennsylvania.