Freedom's Corner Haunts & History

Page -1-

The legends, lore & ghost tales of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, & Philadelphia counties.   

If you have comments or stories to share, please contact us at Haunts & History 

Visit us at our blog Pennsylvania Haunts & History


 

Hi. Welcome to the Freedom's Corner Haunts & History pages. We hope you enjoy the legends, lore and spook stories of the Greater Philly region.

We believe every ghost tale has a rich history of people, places, events and psychology behind it. We tried to dig up some of this history and link it so you could share in the colorful tradition of Pennsylvania's southeast corner and its' colonial heritage.

We linked the primary source, too. All the sources deserve huge credit for running down the tales and preserving them. We didn't link the newspapers and periodicals (we did cite them), which are a treasure trove of tales. They tend to get archived, put on pay per view or just zapped after awhile, so we don't consider the links too reliable. There's also many books available in both haunted and historic genres.

One last word of advice to wanna-be ghost hunters. Many of the places in these pages are public, but many are privately owned. Always get the owner's permission before you visit someone's property. They deserve their privacy, and a midnight encounter with the police or a loose Rotweiler is scarier than any spook.

Here's some of the sites that offer a grand selection of the many tales of Freedom's Corner:

The Shadowlands

BBH Productionz

City Lights Paranormal

Delaware Co. Paranormal Research

Digestezine - Haunted Philly

Haunted Sites

Northvegr 

Pennsylvania Researchers

Philly Burbs

Philadelphia: About

Freedom's Corner contents

Page 1) Aaron Burr House - Bucksville House

Page 2) Cabrini College - Devil's Hole

Page 3) Doctor Weir's House Call - Funk Mill Road

Page 4) Gallagher's Gift Shop - Haycock Mountain

Page 5) Heilbron Mansion - The Inn Philadelphia

Page 6) Jarrettown Inn - Loudoun Mansion

Page 7) Magnolia's Vineyard - Mutter Museum

Page 8) Newburg Inn  - Phantom Drummer

Page 9) Philadelphia Canoe Club - Betsy Ross House

Page 10) The Sacred Oak - Twin Tunnels

Page 11) Unneighborly Neighbors - Ye Olde Temperance House

Home) Pennsylvania H&H

              PHILLY BOOKS

  • Berks the Bizarre (Charles Adams III)
  • Brandywine Valley Ghosts (Laurie Hull)
  • Bucks County Ghost Stories (Charles Adams III)
  • Ghosts in the Valley (Adi-Kent Jeffrey)
  • Ghosts in the ‘Ville (Jeffrey Wingo)
  • The Ghosts of Duffy’s Cut (William Watson, J. Francis Watson, John Ahtes, Earl Schandelmeier)
  • Ghosts of Valley Forge & Phoenixville (Dinah Roseberry)
  • Ghosts of West Chester (Mark Sarro)
  • Ghost Stories of Berks County (Charles Adams III)
  • Ghost Stories of Berks County book 2 (Charles Adams III)
  • Ghost Stories of Berks County book 3 (Charles Adams III)
  • Ghost Stories of Chester County (Charles Adams III)
  • Ghost Stories of Philadelphia, PA (Tim Reeser)
  • Ghost Stories of the Delaware Valley (Charles Adams III)
  • Ghost Stories of the Lehigh Valley (Charles Adams III, David Siebold)
  • Haunted Berks County (Charles Adams III)
  • Haunted New Hope (Lynda Lee Macken)
  • In Search of Ghosts; Haunted Places in the Delaware Valley (Elizabeth Hoffman)
  • Montgomery County Ghost Stories (Charles Adams III)
  • More Ghosts in the Valley (Adi-Kent Jeffrey)
  • More Ghosts in the ‘Ville (Jeffrey Wargo)
  • Night Stalks the Mansion (Constance Westbie, Harold Cameron)
  • Philadelphia Ghost Stories (Charles Adams III)


 





AARON BURR'S GHOST (New Hope, Bucks County) After plugging Alexander Hamilton in their famous 1804 duel, Aaron Burr needed a place to lay low.  He galloped up Old York Road and stopped at New Hope, in a home known today as The Aaron Burr House, a B&B.  The current house is built on the foundations of the home Burr stayed in, but we guess the new digs are fine with him.  His spirit is still seen roaming the halls of his former hideout.  If you feel his steely glare and a tug on your clothes, you're advised to say "Mr. Burr, please let me leave," according to Dan Asfar in his book Ghost Stories of Pennsylvania.
(Bucks County Courier Times "A Haunting We Will Go," September 20, 2007) 

ABINGTON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (Abington, Mongomery County) The original church was a log structure built in 1719 in the middle of the "Burying Grounds" as the cemetery was called then.  It's said that the spirit of a small child who was disturbed by the construction - maybe its' grave was relocated during the work - has been spotted in the church windows at night.  It's also been seen in the church by praying members of the congregation.  The church has been rebuilt in 1793, again in 1833, and in 1896 after a fire destroyed the previous building. The Shadowlands 

ACADEMY OF MUSIC (Broad Street, Philadelphia) The Academy is the oldest continuously operating opera house in America and is known as "The Grand Old Lady of Broad Street."  It opened on February 25, 1857 to the arias of Il Trovatore.  One opera buff who can't get enough is the Man in Black, who lurks behind the final row of seats of the upper balcony.  He can reportedly be seen during the show, but disappears whenever the lights go on at intermission.  There's also the "empty seat" phenomena.  Opera fans, usually women, have seen a vacant seat beside them depress, as if someone's sitting in it, followed by creaks as the spook moves around and gets comfortable, sometimes followed by a pinch or tug on the hair from its' unseen occupant.  So be a gentleman when you take your sweetie to see the show and make sure you sit beside the empty seat.  That way, she'll know all the attention is from you. Del Co Ghosts 

ALBRIGHT COLLEGE (Reading, Berks County) Albright is located on 118 acres at the foot of Mt. Penn, and started out in 1856 as the Union Seminary.  It became Albright Collegiate Institute in 1895.  After a series of mergers, it's been Albright College since 1898.  The liberal arts school was named after Evangelical preacher Jacob Albright and sports a pair of suicidal spooks. 

  • Selwyn Hall: Selwyn, now the administrative offices and home to quite a few other programs, was once a residential hall.  It's also alleged to be the home to a girl's ghost.  She committed suicide there after being rejected by a sorority.
  • Smith Hall: It 's said that you can hear the footsteps of a girl that killed herself on the first floor of the dorm.  An investigator used dowsing rods in an effort to confirm the story, and the rods led straight to the student's former room.

References from The Shadowlands

ALLEN LANE'S HEADLESS SOLDIER (Philadelphia) The apparition of a Revolutionary War soldier galloping down the street on foggy nights has been reported several times. He's easy to spot, carrying his reins in one hand and his head in the other. Metro Blogs 

AMC NESHAMINY 24 THEATER (Bensalem, Bucks County) Hey, when a place leaves one site (the current Modell's) with a ghostly usher and moves to another, well you just know  that there's trouble ahead.  The 1998 multiplex in Neshaminy Mall, voted many times the best theater in the county, has a lot of non paying customers in the building.  There are a couple of kids, an older shade dressed like a butler from the movies, and an Indian brave (it's rumored, though not confirmed, that it was built on an old Native American burial grounds.)  It also has cold spots and shadow people.  Hey, no wonder it's the people's choice - movies with live entertainment!  This tale was contributed by one of the Mall regulars.

ANDALUSIA COLLEGE (Cornwells, Bucks County)  Dr. William Chapman ran a school for boys in the early 1800's in a building that was the predecessor to Andulasia College in Bensalem.  He did a good job with his students, but not so well with his missus.  She took a lover - some tales say it was a Spanish vagabond, others say a student - and had an affair, finally deciding in 1831 that three was a crowd.  So they poisoned the doc with arsenic.  They might have gotten away with it, too, except they poured the poison on the dirt outside and the ducks got into it. They starting dying, which led into an investigation.  It's a sign of the times that a person could suddenly croak without question, but when fowl play was suspected...  At any rate, the guy was hung, although Mrs. Bowman finangled her way out of the mess.  The building eventually became a boarding house, and here's where the ghost story begins.  A lawyer named Horace W. Eshback was sleeping when a glow woke him up.  To his dismay, he saw a head and torso - no legs - with a white mantle wrapped around it floating by his bed.  In a bit of a panic, he said "What do you want?" to the spook.  Wrong question.  It's response was to punch him in the mouth and then explode!  It's ghostly remains dissipated through the ceiling.  Must have been quite a wallop.  The glow gradually diminished, and Eshback woke up with a fat lip.  The wooden structure is long gone now, as is its pugnacious phantom, replaced by St. Charles Borromeo Church.  Read all about the eerie encounter in the December 4, 1886 NY Times 

ANNA MIA'S RESTAURANT (Bethlehem, Northampton County) Employees of the Italian eatery on W. Fourth Street report hearing footsteps and voices in the downstairs dining room when the place is empty.  They can also hear music playing from an unknown source, and objects have been moved and wall hangings fall for no reason.  The owners aren't concerned.  They think the ghost is a friendly spirit and adds some spice to the establishment.  Though unseen, it's suspected the spook is a leftover from Anna's previous building occupant - Cantelmi's Funeral Home. Suite 101

ANNE'S ROCK (Colwyn, Delaware County) Anne was an Indian princess who fell in love with an Englishman according to legend.  Her father figured it was bad enough the white man was taking the tribal land without also taking its' women and refused to allow her to marry him.  Anne went out in a storm, and perhaps while trying to get the native spirits on her side, was hit by a bolt of lightening and died.  We guess they agreed with her dad.  It's said that when you get to the rock that her silhouette has been permanently burned into the stone.  You know you're there when you can smell native herbs in the air. Anne is supposed to be riled by people disturbing her rest. As you pass the Rock, your throat will begin to tighten as if you're being choked by icy hands, and you'll leave with rashes, scratches and maybe even a bruise on your neck. The Shadowlands 

APE BOY OF TINICUM MARSH (Philadelphia/Delaware Counties)  Back in the day before political correctness was a given, there was a red-haired youngster, gangling and not very good looking, that the local kids teased mercilessly.  Well, he snapped, and fled his tormentors straight into the Delaware's Tinicum Swamps by the Commodore Barrie Bridge, never to be seen again.  Or has he?  It's been said that folk hiking through what's now called the John Heinz Wildlife Preserve at Tinicum have spotted a half-human, ape-like creature loping through the swamp, with dirty, matted red fur.  Our boy?  The story made Matt Lake's Weird Pennsylvania.  Legends of Pennsylvania

ARCADIA UNIVERSITY GREY TOWER (Glenside, Montgomery County) Arcadia started out on the other side of the state as Beaver College in Beaver, Pa.. It became landlocked and moved lock, stock and barrel to Jenkinstown, and soon after to the Glenside estate of William Welsh Harrison, sugar magnate, where they've stayed put since 1928.  In 2000, they dropped the name Beaver College (Apparently they were tired of the snide remarks.  David Letterman poked fun at them on national TV, and some web sites filtered out the college's name as sexually explicit) and became Arcadia University.  The most striking landmark on the campus is the Grey Tower, built in the mid 1890s and copied to a degree from the English Alnwick castle.  It's named for the grey stone used to build it that was quarried in nearby Chestnut Hill.  That's where the ghosts are.  It's said that if you dance in the Mirror Room with your true love, you'll be joined by a spectral couple twirling on the floor.   Another legend has the spirit of a young girl haunting the staircase where she died.  She accidentally caught her scarf on a banister and choked herself to death. Wikipedia adds that a popular tale among students is that Mrs. Harrison, upon discovering that her husband was having an affair (one of many, if the stories are true), took the amorous servant into a room in one of the towers and beat her to death. To this day her blood stains cannot be removed from the floor. In one of the third-floor bedrooms, a mirror above the fireplace mantle had to be replaced because of a large crack. Yet, every time it's replaced, it cracks again soon after. News USA  

AVENIDA/CRESHEIM COTTAGE CAFE (Philadelphia): In the Mt. Airy section, Cresheim Cottage was built in 1683, the first home erected on Germantown Avenue, and has been the home ofto many generations of Philadelphians. Through the years, a young female ghost in pink Victorian clothing with a satin bow and tight, dark corkscrew curls has been seen; the owners call her Emily. An attic door mysteriously opens and shuts and unexplained thumps in the halls spooked contractors when they were renovating the building several years ago. You can request to be seated in Emily's room; who knows she may just join you for a bite. The Cafe went out of business, but Avenida took the building over in 2009, Emily and all. Examiner: "Real Ghost Sightings" by Wendy Sheppard.

BAKE OVEN KNOB SHELTER (Lehigh County) The Bake Oven Knob Shelter can best be described as a log version of a bus shelter.  It's meant to provide a sleepover spot for a few campers as they hike the Appalachian Trail.  Very weird things happen around there.  One group saw an indescribable "it" 500 feet away from the shelter coming up Kittatinny Ridge in the middle of the night (see Hawk Mountain.)  It frightened them so much that they rolled up their sleeping bags and headed up the trail right then and there.  The creature predates Europeans, having been recorded by the local Indians.  There are odd noises, the sound of whispering voices, and the woods go from light to darkness in the matter of a few feet.  It's also said to be haunted by the ghost of a hiker who died there when he fell from the rock ledge. The Shadowlands 

BALEROY MANSION (Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia) The mansion was built in 1911 and is considered to be one of the most haunted houses in America. It's last owner was George Meade Easby, a direct descendant of Civil War general George Meade. We believe it's been a museum since 2005. The home is famous for its' antiques, some of which date back to ownership by Napoleon. But reportedly not all of the building's antiques are of this world.  Easby believed that the spirits of the English poet John Milton and Napoleon’s field marshal, Michel Ney, were in his house because they wanted to be close to their possessions. And there's Thomas Jefferson's ghost who's still spotted loitering by the grandfather clock in the dining room. The spirit of a monk in a brown robe and cowl haunts a second floor bedroom.  There's also the grouchy Old Lady spook who goes after visitors with her cane on the second floor hallway. Phantom cars can be heard pulling into the driveway. Easby's brother, Steve, is an interesting tale by himself.   When George was 6 and his brother Steve 5, they looked into the estate's fountain in the courtyard. George's reflection came back perfectly, but Steve's came back as a skeleton. There's also a tale that Steve looked into a mirror, and instead of his face he saw the reflection of a skull. Bad omens? You betcha. Steve died when he was 11. His ghost has been seen throughout the house and looking out a second floor window. His portrait on the stairway has been know to fly through the air. George (also called Meade) claimed he saw his uncle’s and mother’s ghosts, sensed Steven’s presence and often heard phantom knocks and footsteps. But the highlight of the ghostly legends belongs to the "Chair of Death." The wing-backed, blue-upholstered chair in the study looks comfy enough, but it's said that the last four people to plop down in it have died shortly thereafter. A blue mist has been seen and photographed at the entrance to the study that's believed to be the spirit of Amelia, and she tempts people to rest in the chair. The first known victim was curator Paul Kimmons. He felt Amelia was stalking him, and he died a month after sitting in the Chair of Death. His spook has also been spotted roaming the mansion.  Good luck researching the actual history of the home. The first ten pages we got on Google under "Baleroy Mansion" all referenced it's ghostly legends. We've left this tale uncited since there are so many good sources on the net. 

BARNE'S GHOST (Merion, Montgomery County) The Barnes Foundation art museum is in the old residence of its' benefactor, Dr. Alfred Barnes.  The good doctor's ghost has been spotted roaming the gallery as a shadowy bearded figure floating among the impressionist and African artworks.  We can only guess that he really enjoyed his collection.  The Foundation wants to move the museum to downtown Philly.  There's no word on whether or not Barnes will make the move with it.  About Philadelphia

ADALINE BAVER'S GHOST (Mohrsburg, Berks County) Adeline Baver was a beautiful young girl, maybe too good looking for her own good.  On October 4th, 1857, she was returning home from a party in Leesport...and never made it back.  Her body was found near Irish Creek, with her throat slit.  Several men were rounded up and questioned, but no one was ever charged with the slaying.  Baver is buried in the Belleman’s Church Cemetery.  But rest assured she is not resting in peace.  Her ghost was first seen in 1878 just north of Mohrsville, where she was murdered. From that time on, numerous individuals have reported seeing her apparition.   In fact, some tales say there are two spooks, one being the spirit of her killer, who may have evaded earthly law but is paying the price in the afterworld. They are usually seen on the river corridor near Mohrsville, or on Belleman's Church Road, on the way to her grave site.  Charles Adams III wrote about her in the Reading Eagle.

BEECHWOOD CEMETERY (Bensalem, Bucks County)  The Beechwood Cemetery is a huge graveyard with tombstones dating back to the late 1800s. Neighbors have claimed for years to have spotted spooks roaming the grounds. Among the apparitions is a Lady in White (what self respecting cemetery doesn't have one?), an oval shaped black blob and orbs of all varieties and shapes.  Deep moans have also been heard emanating from the woods.  The boneyard has been investigated a couple of times, primarily by the PGHA.

BEETHOVEN WALDHEIM CLUB (Hellertown, Northampton County) This singing and social society has a ghost in the hall.  Seen as a black shadow, the spook is most often spotted floating about in the lounge, kitchen, and bar.  The staff has named it's ghost (what else?) Beethoven. Haunted Sites

BELLEVUE-STRATFORD HOTEL (Broad Street, Philadelphia) This "Grande Dame of Broad Street," opened in 1904 by George Boldt, was the home away from home for the biggest names of the early 20th century.  It's hosted everyone from presidents to entertainers in its' heyday.  In fact, Bram Stoker was supposed to have written Dracula while holed up in one of its' rooms.  Many of the famous guests reportedly have never checked out and could be seen haunting the halls of the hotel.  One girl reported the ghost of a man dressed in a tux in her room.  Some speculate it was the original hotel owner, but many of the guests were dressed to the nines there, so his ID is still iffy.  The most famous spook, though, was bellhop Lafferty that carried your bags and then disappeared.  Guess he didn't need the tip money.  The ghosts, like the hotel, are history now.  The 1976 bout of Legionnaire's Disease that spread in the Bellevue-Stratford rooms put an end to it.  It was sold in 1978, sat empty for a decade, and then became the commercial Bellevue building in 1988.  In 1996 the Park Hyatt at Bellevue added a 7-story hotel to its' old bones. Most of the information was taken from the now-defunct web site Bellevue Stories.

BELMONT MANSION (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia) The Belmont Mansion was built in the mid 1700s and has a rich history dating back to Revolutionary War days up until the Underground RR (and no, it wasn't part of the Belmont Race Track, which is in NY.)  It was taken over by the city in 1869 and is now an Underground RR Museum run by the American Women's Heritage Society. It seems appropriate that its' spook is a young woman's spirit that's been seen on the stairway dressed in a dark outfit.  It's thought she's a reminder of the days when Belmont was a bordello.  Pennsylvania Researchers 

THE BIRD OF HAPPY OMEN (Montgomery County) This is an oddly named legend from the 1800s.  It was said that a snow white dove would visit the sick at night, presaging their imminent death and speedy departure to the Promised Land.  We guess life was tough in those days.  Most modern observers believe that the folks actually saw a white snow owl.  It hunts at night, and would be attracted to a window light.  But then again, their home is in the far north.  Maybe the Spirit in the Sky gives them different marching orders when one of His is ready to come home.  The legend was related in Bean's 1884 History of Montgomery County. Rootsweb 

BLACK BASS HOTEL (Lumberville, Bucks County) This hotel has been serving wayfarers since the 1740s along the banks of the Delaware River.  There are supposed to be several spooks roaming its' halls.  The best known pair are Old Hans and the Woman in White.  The Woman in White (ladies first) has been spotted gliding along the hotel hallways.  She's also been seen in a guest room where she's sitting with a pearl handled revolver resting in her lap.  Old Hans was a former innkeeper who was allegedly stabbed to death in a fight with some immigrant canal workers.  His blood stains from that fateful night still sometimes pool up on the barroom floor.  The Empire Room is also supposed to be haunted, and the staff reportedly avoids it as much as possible. Unsolved Mysteries 

BLACK HORSE INN/STEMIES (Easton, Northampton County) The Black Horse was founded in 1782, but it's not haunted by an old spirit. On July 22, 1928, a mobster locals call "Johnny the Wop" Farrara (Saverio Damiano) got whacked there when his back was turned, talking on the phone. He tumbled down the steps leading to the mens' room, landed on his head and died in a pool of blood. Johnny has turned from a mafioso into a poltergeist, touching people, fooling with the clocks, and hiding things. He's a playful wise guy. His haunts are under new ownership, though. The restaurant has been Stemies, named after owner Al Stempo, since 2002, and they've collected Johnny's exploits and have them sitting in the lobby for all to share. The Ghost Stories of the Lehigh Valley by Charles Adams III & David Seibold includes Johnny. 

BLACK HORSE INN (Flourtown, Montgomery County) The Black Horse Inn was originally built by Abraham Wakerly in 1744 to serve the thriving wagon and stage trade that came along the Bethlehem Pike.  George Washington and his troops used it for a layover on their road to Valley Forge.  The Black Horse has been abandoned for years.  It's being restored by a local historical group that hopes to reopen it shortly.  If you go into the old Inn, it's supposed to be like walking into a freezer.  It's said that you can hear footsteps trailing you and voices talking in the old bar room.  Psychic investigators have allegedly taken snapshots of a young girl in a 1930s outfit sitting on a second floor bed and a man standing in the doorway, along with many orbs. The Shadowlands 

BLUE BALL TAVERN (Paoli, Chester County) The star of this spook tale is scoundrel innkeeper, Prissy RobinsonThe Inn was named the Halfway House when it opened in 1735 on the old Lancaster Road but it was popularly called the Blue Ball because of a pole outside the tavern that had a blue ball that would be raised or lowered to indicate if the hotel was full or not (not what you thought, was it?  Clean up that mind!)  It became the King of Prussia in 1752, and five years later a new owner gave in and officially called it the Blue Ball.  Priscella Robinson took over the reins about 1800.  For starters, Prissy was married three times, and every one of the hubbies disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The Tavern apparently drew a low life sort of crowd, Prissy's kind of people.  Brawls were their favorite form of entertainment. There were many tales of salesman and vendors disappearing after an overnight stay at her Blue Ball.  The stories must have had some truth to them.  Several bodies were found buried under the Tavern orchard in 1877.  After the tavern was sold in 1894, men renovating the basement found six skeletons buried there.  Another was found buried under a tree.  Apparently the first gang of diggers missed that one.  No one knows if Prissy killed them or they were just nameless victims of the many fights that broke out at the Blue Ball, although it's suspected that three of the bodies in the basement were those of her former husbands.  Too bad there wasn't any CSI - Chester on the job back in the day.  Prissy herself died in 1879 at the age of 100, proving again that the good die young.  The first hauntings of the Blue Ball were publicly reported in 1939, but the stories dated back to when Prissy still ran the show.  There is the sighting of a man's specter who hung himself in a field just outside the Blue Ball.  You can see him sometimes under a full moon.  Across from the Inn, there's a phantom cabin.  Sometimes you can see it; sometimes not.  It was an old servants shack - and was torn down in 1855!  There are reports of bureau drawers sliding open by themselves.  Harmless poltergeist activity?  Nope.  It's supposed to be the ghost of Prissy looking for clean clothes to replace the bloody ones she had on.  At last check, the building still stands, but it's a private residence now, so spook hunters should give it a wide berth. This Haunted Place 

BLUE HORSE RESTAURANT (Blue Bell, Montgomery County) Actually, the Blue Horse isn't haunted.  It's the stretch of highway it's on that boasts a ghost.  Two, actually.  Legend says that the spooks of a mother and child have been seen crossing the busy Pennlyn-Blue Bell Pike by surprised motorists late at night.  We guess they didn't make it the first time. (Philadelphia Inquirer "Blue Horse Restaurant And Tavern," November 21, 2004)

BOLTON MANSION (Levittown, Bucks County) The 500 acre Pemberton estate dates back to 1683 (they named the property in memory of their English home in Bouton, Lancashire.  We guess with the accent it came out as Bolton.)  The Mansion was built in 1687.  The home itself is sort of a hodge-podge of design.  It was added to and modernized at least four times up to the 1860s.  It lasted as a working estate until 1938 when it was given to the University of Penn.  It quickly changed hands, going to U.S. Steel as a guest house ten years later and then to suburban innovator William Levitt in 1952.  He in turn gave it to Bristol Township, which used it as a municipal building until 1966.  It sat vacant for decades, and now it's a National Historic Landmark being renovated by the Bucks County Conservancy.  And it does have its' ghosts.  One spirit that roams the grounds is a lady in a long dress and cloak.  She's seen at night and is surrounded by a soft aura.  Another woman also walks the grounds, crying to herself as she searches the area.  A little girl has been spotted on the second floor of the Mansion running from window to window and peering out each one.  Patty Wilson in Haunted PA thinks the pair may be a separated mother and child looking for each other.  But the most famous ghosties are the rebel soldier and his girl.  It was said that the owner of the estate disowned his son for enlisting to fight for the South.  When the war ended, the son returned home.  But his father refused to forgive him.  Distraught, the young man hung himself from the second floor stairwell.  His body was found by his childhood sweetheart Mary, a house servant, who shot herself after making the gruesome discovery.  But this tragic tale seems to have a happy ending.  An investigator sensed some activity on the stairs and shot a series of photographs.  When the pictures developed, the image was of a soldier dressed in a Confederate uniform posing with a lady in a Civil War era dress at the top of the steps. It seems as if the pair that couldn't lay claim to home and happiness in life managed to do so in death. Phiily Burbs 

BOWERS HOTEL (Maxatawny Twp., Berks County) In 1820, Jonas Bower built the simple Washington House to serve the nearby Reading Railroad Station.  In the late 1880's, it was replaced by the Bower Hotel, which housed the quarrymen who commuted to work for the week on the train.  It's haunted by a female ghost, and she's appeared to the owner and sometimes will say hello to the Hotel guests.  WFMZ

BOWMAN'S HILL TOWER (Solebury Twp., Bucks County)  Dr. John Bowman sailed with the British fleet to bring in Captain Kidd, but switched sides and became Kidd's personal sawbones.  When the Cap was captured, Bowman sailed up the Delaware to avoid his boss' fate.  He settled down in Newtown, about six miles from the hill.  When he died, he was buried on top of the hill, per his wishes, "…as that would be as near heaven as he ever expected to get."  As told by Charles Burr Todd in a brochure describing the historic areas along the Delaware, "…it is popularly believed that his unquiet ghost haunts the hill top, and that the shrieks, groans and gibbering which in certain conditions of the atmosphere reach the valley are his." Others told that if you put your ear to the ground next to Bowman's grave and ask "Bowman, what killed you?", you'll hear the reply, "Nothing."  Several stones believed to mark Bowman's grave are said to have once stood near the top of the hill, not far from a black oak tree, now also gone. Even the ground around the oak took on a mythic aura. In describing the mighty tree, Todd says, "There must be pyrotechnics up here in a thunder storm for the trees all about are blasted, torn, riven and barked by lightning bolts-as if heaven were trying to purify the earth to which the ashes of the wicked pirate had returned."A "massive oaken chest" was found among Dr. Bowman's possessions, but none of Captain Kidd's gold was found in it. Treasure hunters presumed Bowman buried the loot from his escapades with Kidd on top of the hill, and many have tried unsuccessfully to recover the treasure.  The site was also supposed to be a graveyard for Revolutionary War soldiers slaughtered by Hessian mercenaries.  The stones that cover the hillside are allegedly their old grave markers, and their shrieks and groans can still be heard to this day.  It's also reported, in Phillylist's Philadelphia Weirdness, that the nearby bridge (the Van Sant Covered Bridge, aka Crybaby Bridge) is haunted by several spooks, including a pregnant woman who jumped off of said bridge.  Legend says you can hear the cries of her child when you drive over the span. Bowman's Hill.  

BRANDYWINE RIVER GHOSTS (Chadds Ford, Delaware County) The ghosts of horses and soldiers along with the sounds of the Revolutionary War battle have reportedly been witnessed, along with unexplained mists and sounds coming from the battlefield cemetery. Taken from Daniel Barefoot's Spirits of '76: Ghost Stories of the American Revolution.

BRAVEHEART HIGHLAND PUB (Hellertown, Northampton County) The Braveheart Pub was once the Hellertown Hotel, and that's where its spooks originate.  It has a jukebox that starts up on its own, apparently played by a man seen in front of - who doesn't exist. A female has been seen wandering the restaurant who disappears into the wall.  No surprise; it ends up that what is now a wall was once a doorway, so she knows where she's going even if the rest of the bar doesn't.  The star spook is the Lady of the Evening, a murder victim from the bad ol' days.  She drifted into the first bedroom on the third floor - the room where her body was found many years ago. City Lights Paranormal

BRINTON LODGE (Douglassville, Berks County) The Brinton Lodge is a one room building dating back to the early 1700s.  Originally it was a tavern and roadhouse serving traffic from the Schulykill River Canal.  It eventually became a summer residence until Caleb Brinton bought it in 1927.  He turned it into a "gentlemens" club.  But in 1972, Hurricane Agnes roared past, badly damaging the building.  Without flood insurance, Brinton left his Lodge vacant and in shambles. The Covatta family restored it in the 1980s and began a restaurant there, and that's when the spooks began to pop up.  There's alleged to be at least five of them, led by ol' Caleb himself.  He's reportedly unhappy because his fine club is now open to the general public rather than being where the elite meet to eat.  He's described as roly-poly, and never fails to tip his bowler whenever a lady is present.  Another is Dapper Dan, the ladies man.  He's spotted most often on the second floor and has been to known to give the ladies a pinch or blow lovingly into their ears.  The Lady in White is next.  She's been seen in a second floor mirror and on the stairway in what appears to be a wedding gown.  She's a friendly spirit, and reportedly caught a pregnant waitress that tripped down the stairway once. There's also an older lady who haunts the third floor steps and is very protective of the upper living quarters. The final spirit is that of a mentally challenged girl who was kept in a small corner room on the third floor.  Psychics claim to have freed her soul from the building. It's thought that the older upstairs lady spook was a relative or nanny still watching over this girl. There's also a report of a hat that keeps reappearing on the fireplace mantel even after its' been put away. In its' latest reincarnation, the restaurant was the Fair's Wings of Wind, although it's up for sale now. Unexplainable 

BRISTOL CEMETERY (Croydon, Bucks County) The final resting place of many Civil War vets, this cemetery is gently haunted.  Investigators have reported hearing a young girl's voice call "Mama" and another had his shoelaces untied as he walked by a 13-year old's grave, one of the oldest teen tricks in existence. It's thought there are several spooks floating around the graveyard because of the many orb pictures taken at the site. But the researchers of PGHA noted the calm feeling one has there and considers the local spirits to be at peace.

BROAD AXE TAVERN (Ambler, Montgomery County) The Broad Axe Tavern, located on West Butler Pike, is the second-oldest tavern in the Unites States, established in 1681. Resident haunt Rachel was the daughter of one of the owners. She ran into the bathroom of the tavern to hide from some drunken men and was never seen again. Rachel’s spirit gets especially frisky when construction is happening at the tavern. She is said to push people down stairs and knock people over with a tray. There have also been reports of her being spotted in the third floor window by people passing by the tavern. CBS Philly: "Top Haunted Bars" by Joanne Apice.

BRYN MAWR COLLEGE (Bryn Mawr, Montgomery College) The legend of Lillian's ghost is famous throughout the Bryn Mawr campus.  Lillian Vickers died in 1901 after becoming mentally unhinged at the thought that she had leprosy.  She had sought treatment for the disease in the preceding weeks, and there are two versions of her death.  The more popular one is that she was self-treating herself, taking a bath in either kerosene or alcohol.  She bumped a lantern, caught herself on fire, and leaped from a third floor Merion Hall balcony, perhaps in an effort to save herself, or perhaps trying to save her sisters from being trapped in a burning building.  She died in the arms of Carey Thomas (more on her later) on Merion Green.  The other has the suicidal Lillian setting herself on fire and eventually dying in the Bryn Mawr infirmary.  Her ghost haunts Merion Hall to this day.  It's said you can see her flaming spirit racing down the hall, screaming.  But seen more often in Merion Hall is the ghost of Carey Thomas, suffragette and early president of the College whose ashes were scattered around campus after her death. Her sightings merited mentioned in the introduction of her bio The Making of a Feminist(The Bi-College News "Legend Of Merion Ghost Continues To Haunt Bryn Mawr," February 1, 2001) 

STEPHEN BUCK AUDITORIUM (New Hope, Bucks County) Hey, all of New Hope is haunted, why not the high school too?  Buck's Auditorium is the student performance hall for New Hope - Solebury High kids.  There are reports of strange sounds coming from backstage, including breaking glass, and people have claimed to see shadowy figures roaming the room. The Shadowlands 

PEARL BUCK HOUSE (Hilltown, Bucks County) Although she was born in West Virginia and raised in China, Pearl Buck spent the second half of her life at Green Hills Farm, now a museum.  Pearl wrote many works there, including The Proud Heart.  She bought the 58-acre property in 1933 and stayed there until she died in 1973.  Her residence was originally built in 1825, although other structures were thought to date back to the Revolution.  There are supposed to be several spirits roaming the farm.  The best known of them is a woman dressed in a colonial outfit that's been seen in one of the bedrooms.  Buck was buried at Green Hills, but no one has seen her spook on the loose.  Pearl did reportedly delight in the fact that her home had spirits when she was alive, and supposedly even wrote a character into her 1954 book My Several Worlds called Devil Harry, a ghost that showed up for a stroll on her farm every Christmas Eve at midnight.  Haunted Pennsylvania  

BUCK'S COUNTY ALMSHOUSE (Doylestown, Bucks County)  The Bucks County Almshouse was in operation from 1810-1966 when it became the Neshaminy Manor, a county nursing home.  The Manor moved into nearby new digs in 1999, but several of the old buildings remain.  It's said that ghosts from the Almshouse can still be seen at their old haunts. The Shadowlands 

BUCK'S COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE (Newtown, Bucks County) BCCC came about this property in a sort of roundabout way.  Stella Tyler bequeathed her Indian Council Rock estate to Temple in 1963, but it was too far from the campus to be much good to them.  So they turned around and sold it to BCCC two years later.  The Tyler Mansion is now the president's and administrative offices.  Stella, a famous sculptress, has been seen several times haunting the halls of her beloved old home. The Shadowlands 

BUCKSVILLE HOUSE (Kintersville, Bucks County) The Bucksville House opened for business in 1795 and over the years has been a hotel, tavern, speakeasy, and private residence.  Now it's a B&B.  Several guests have checked in, but never checked out.  There's allegedly a man that paces between the fireplace and window of a guest room.  We have reports of a man in a string tie and black brimmed hat who's been seen at the foot of the bed in another room.  He's even been known to disrupt a chess game or two by altering the board.  A woman haunts one of the second floor bedrooms, where she was supposed to have died.  A little boy is supposed to be seen in the attic, and a mother and infant share that space with him. Some colonial-era maids are still spotted checking up on things. There are cold spots in the building, and things disappear, only to reappear at a different spot. Some customers have taken pictures, only to find ghostly images interposed after they're developed.  The Ghost Hunters Alliance of Philadelphia have found several hot spots and recorded voices while investigating the House. Go Philadelphia


Freedom's Corner Pages  -2-  -3-  -4-  -5-  -6-  -7-  -8-  -9-  -10-  -11- Home

Three Rivers   Conemaugh   Erie/I-80   

PA Dutch   Pocono    Gettysburg/Happy Valley