GETTYSBURG COLLEGE (Gettysburg, Adams County) Founded as Pennsylvania College in 1832, it was a sister institution to the Lutheran Theological Seminary. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the school's Pennsylvania Hall was used by both sides as a field hospital and communications outpost as the tides of the battle ebbed and flowed. The school even had its' own troops, the 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Militia Regiment. They actually got into combat with light casualties, although over 100 of the students were taken prisoner. No wonder their team nickname is the Bullets. It became Gettysburg College in 1921. Dwight David Eisenhower was heavily involved with the institution and even had an office there that still bears his name. Some of the spooky occurrences on campus have been shown on the Travel Channel, the History Channel, and NBC's Unsolved Mysteries.
- Brua Hall: This is the home of the Performing Arts department and Kline Theatre, once the college Chapel. It's haunted by the spook of an older Civil War officer called the General. He's been seen in the catwalks and backstage, and enjoys playing pranks with the props and costumes. He also likes watching the performances, and has his own center stage seat that depresses when he sits in it and pops back up when he leaves. The student actors make sure it's always empty, just in case the General wants to catch the show. The Shadowlands
- Glatfelter Hall: The legend goes that a young couple climbed the bell tower of Glatfelter in a suicide pact. The girl jumped, but the guy changed his mind. Her spook has since been seen on the bell tower, but only by males. It seems she's trying to lure a fellow to jump for her, to replace her cowardly beau and join her in the afterlife. The 1887 structure is the computer science center now, so GC techies, beware if you hear her siren call. The Shadowlands
- Pennsylvania Hall (Old Dorm): Built in 1837, this is the oldest building on campus. The rebs used it as a command post during the Battle of Gettysburg, and its' said that the spooks of three Confederate sentries can still be seen in the building's cupola. It was also used as a hospital. The Old Dorm's most famous story, as related by Mark Nesbitt in Ghosts of Gettysburg, involves two administrators on the elevator. Passing the intended stop, it went down to the basement, where the doors opened to an operating Civil War hospital. The women were terrified watching the doctors at work, performing meatball surgery on their patients - and watching the pile of amputated limbs stacked up in the corner grow. The scene was completely silent, but when one of the blood soaked doctors approached them, they hit every button on the elevator and escaped. The spook doc probably thought they were a couple of nurses coming to help him, but they weren't about to stick around to find out, just in case he was looking for a ticket out of the OR. The women found a guard and went back downstairs, suspecting a student prank, but the basement was empty except for some boxes when they arrived. It's never been experienced again, but if it happened once... Prairie Ghosts
- Red House: This off campus apartment house is generally occupied by women attending GC. It's said that the grave of a Civil War era girl is in the backyard, and she haunts the house. You can tell she's around when you smell her lilac perfume in the home or when she pulls one of her poltergeist tricks like moving things around or breaking dishes. The Shadowlands
- Stevens Hall: There's one very well know ghost haunting this Hall, opened in 1868. It's the Blue Boy. The story goes that an orphan fled from the Homestead (see Children of the Battlefield) and was given shelter by a couple of girls at the Pennsylvania College in their dorm room. The house mother knocked on the door, and the girls hid the boy outside on a window ledge because he would surely be returned to the orphanage if found. The weather was frigid, and the house mother stayed and chatted for an hour. She finally left, but when the girls went to get the child, he was gone. He had wandered off and left nothing behind but footprints in the snow. We don't know exactly what happened to the poor lad, but ever since girls staying in that room have been visited by his spook. It has frozen blue lips. He's also been seen peering into Steven's windows. As for his window, it's known to fly open whenever there's a winter storm - even when it's locked. Once a girl saw him, shook her head at the sight, and when she looked again, he was gone. But the words "Help Me" were written in reverse on the icy pane. This is another tale made famous by Mark Nesbitt in Ghosts of Gettysburg. There's a lady ghost that's been spotted roaming the halls of Stevens, but we don't have her story. There are also tales of whispers coming from the attic and the spirit of a young girl that looks at herself in the dorm mirrors. You can see her reflection, but not her. (Reported by WUSA-9 October 15, 2006)
- Stine Lake: OK, nothing spooky here, just a bit of GC lore. Before the Musselman Library was built, the quad outside of its' present location would flood whenever it rained and turn into a gooey, muddy bog. The quad picked up the nickname Stine Lake, and its' still called that today, much to the consternation of frosh and visitors looking for a campus pond. In actuality, the quad's been high and dry since the late 1970s when the drainage was unclogged and updated. It's also the center for many campus April Fool pranks. Wikipedia
- Theta Chi House: The urban legend here is that a previous owner of the house hung himself in the basement. If you're unfortunate enough to see his ghost hanging, you or someone close to you will run into bad luck. The fraternity must have run out of luck - the Theta Chi's are no longer on campus. Maybe everyone was in the basement at a kegger and the ghost appeared. The Shadowlands
GETTYSBURG INN (Gettysburg, Adams County) The Gettysburg Inn is part of the the Dobbin House & Springhouse Tavern complex. But it has enough spooks to merit its own listing. The best known is the maid that never left, dressed in an apron with a white crocheted cap, who dusts in the hall at all hours, and sometimes shows up unexpectedly in your room while you're still in the sack to perform her duties. The other spooks most often reported are the sharpshooting snipers in the attic. They cause a thump from the ceiling as they tamp their load of gunpowder into their rifle, preparing for their next victim. Helium
GETTYSBURG NATIONAL CEMETERY (Gettysburg, Adams County) The cemetery was dedicated on November 19, 1863 when Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address. It holds over 6,000 bodies, half of which are from the Civil War. It took 7 years for the Confederate remains to be transferred to home soil from their battleground plots. So it's no surprise that the most often reported sighting is of three rebel spooks who approach visitors and drop as if they're shot. Some people believe they died during the fighting at Cemetery Hill, part of which is the site of the current graveyard, while others think they were bodies left behind during the transfer. The haunting starts before you even reach the cemetery proper, at the Cemetery Lodge, found at the entrance of the graveyard by the intersection of Emmitsburg Road and Baltimore Pike. The building stored all the unclaimed personal belongings of the soldiers killed during the Battle of Gettysburg for decades. People report hearing footsteps on the stairs, supposedly from entities upset that their belongings were held there instead of being sent home according to some, and from a lone sentry patrolling the gatehouse according to others. The cries of babies can be heard outside the structure; there's no reason known for that particular phenomena. Once you arrive at the graveyard proper, it's said that ghostly footsteps follow some visitors around the cemetery. Many people have seen soldier's spirits roaming the grounds, along with floating orbs and unexplained sounds. Haunted Houses adds that you can often hear the sound of phantom Civil War band music being played in the woods of Cemetery Hill by the Pennsylvania Monument. A column of blue light has been reported coming from nearby Cemetery Ridge. They also tell of the haunting by Captain William Miller. He was buried at the cemetery, but his stone didn't mention that he had been awarded the Medal of Honor, and his spirit roamed his grave site in dismay at the oversight for years. A psychic contacted him and found out about the omission. After it was belatedly added to his marker, Miller rested peacefully ever after. Grave Addiction
GETTYSBURG PHANTOM ODORS (Gettysburg, Adams County) After the ghastly three day Battle of Gettysburg, the stench of death was everywhere in the small burg. In order to walk outside without being overwhelmed by the odor, the town's women covered their faces with hankies soaked in peppermint, vanilla, or lilac extract to mask the smell. It's said that you can still sometimes catch a whiff of the hankies' scent when you walk through town, especially on Baltimore Street. Haunted Houses
THE GREEN GABLES HOTEL (Lewistown, Mifflin County) The Gables was built in 1931, as a restaurant and hotel with a popular ballroom. It hasn't been around all that long, but long enough to pick up a spook or two - well, actually 4, if the current count is right. One was spotted by spookhunter extraordinaire, LC. The most famous of the Gable ghosts is the kitchen's lady poltergeist, who enjoys rattling the pots and pans, and moving things, including the furniture, all over the God's Green Gables. She's most often spotted in the kitchen hallway and walk-in freezer. There's a ghost reported in the parking lot and second floor of a skinny black man, named George by the staff. There's also a boy-and-girl set of spooks spotted in what was once the main lobby of the hotel. Another phenomena is the traveling banquet cart, which pops up everywhere except where it's supposed be. Strange USA
GYPSY WILD HOUSE (Huntington, Huntington County) Gypsy Wild was the nom de plume for an early nineteenth century writer, who we think was Linda (or Melinda) Marguerite Sangrée (aka Linda Allen; Lynn Allen; Gypsy Wild; 1847 - 1929). Whatever name she chose in the afterlife, it's said that she and a couple of buddies are still haunting her old home. Michele posted in Ghost Village that the house is occupied by the shades of Gypsy, a young male, a gruff-sounding older man, a kid named Jacob, and a ghost kitty. They like hanging out mostly during the day, and carry on conversations with the family that lives there. Ghost Village
HAUNTED GRANARY (Lemont, Centre County) Lemont's granary was built in 1885 and has been central to the town ever since. It holds an annual Haunted Granary festival every year to raise money to help restore the historic structure. And it's not hard to sell a spooky experience at the old grain elevator - it's said to be haunted by an adventurous 11 year old boy. He was exploring inside the granary when a load of grain came pouring down and he was crushed to death. His body wasn't found for months, and it was just a skeleton by then - the rats had eaten the rest of him. So if you get to take that tour and happen to see a bony young spook peeking around the corner... Lemont Granary
HEADLESS BRAKEMAN OF PENN'S CREEK (Spring Mills, Snyder County) If you're walking the RR tracks running along Penn's Creek by Spring Mills, don't stop if you see a lantern approaching. Local lore has it that its carrier will be headless. Per legend, the headless figure was a switch operator who noticed a train roaring down
the tracks. It was ahead of schedule, and he ran to the tracks and tried to throw the switch but was too slow; the train plowed into him and he was decapitated. Now, his ghostly figure can
be seen gliding along the tracks around the spot where he was killed, still hunting for his lost head. The story is told in Jeffrey Frazier's "Tales From Along The Tracks."
HERO OF GETTYSBURG (Gettysburg, Adams County) This is a bit of lore and spook story rolled into one. John Burns, 69 years old, Gettysburg's former constable and a vet of the War of 1812, watched the Union troops marching past his house on July 1, 1863. He grabbed his trusty musket and ran outside to see if anyone could use an extra gun. The 7th Wisconsin, part of the famed Iron Brigade, was going by, and they signed him up (although they made him take the musket back home and issued him a rifle.) Marching in a high hat and a swallow tailed coat, Burns got into combat that day. The Iron Brigade clashed with the rebels at McPherson's Ridge, and the old-timer ended up shot three times. He was left wounded on the field. His civilian outfit saved him. He convinced the rebs that he was an innocent bystander caught up in the battle (even though he claimed to have killed three Confederates after his escape), and they let him be. A neighbor carried him home the next day, where his wife (probably after a good tongue lashing) nursed him back to health. When Abe Lincoln visited Gettysburg to deliver his address, he made a point to meet the patriotic Burns, who he called "The Hero of Gettysburg." The ghost tale? When he was 75, Burns revisited McPherson's Ridge. While walking in the woods, the spook of a rebel soldier jumped out at him and threatened him with his rifle. Maybe it was one of the soldiers he claimed to have shot or maybe one of the group that let him go. Either way, he never went back to McPherson's farm again.
THE HERR TAVERN (Gettysburg, Adams County) Herr's Tavern started in 1815 as the Sweeney Tavern. One of its' early guests may have been Davy "Robber" Lewis, the Robin Hood of the East. In 1828 it became Herr's Tavern. Frederick Herr was quite a character. He supposedly ran a cathouse upstairs, a counterfeiting press in the basement and still used the Tavern as a stop on the Underground Railroad. He was alive to see the Confederates use his place for a field hospital. It was behind reb lines for the duration of the battle. The building changed hands and business during the years, becoming a dairy farm by the early 1900s. It was resurrected as Herr's Tavern once again in 1977. It's a good thing, too - it's spooks were getting bored haunting the Guernsey cattle. There are the normal staff poltergeist phenomena - forks stuck in the floor and the sounds of pots, pans, dishes and glasses shattering among other things. The electronics sometimes go haywire. Once the owner and his bud were closing up for the night when they heard the door open and footsteps go down the bar - even though the door was locked. They were even more surprised when they heard a disembodied voice ask for a beer - twice. One of the waitresses saw a man at the bar. When she went to take his order, he disappeared. They attribute these sightings to thirsty Civil War spooks. Footsteps have been heard going down the hall and turning the doorknobs. People have reported seeing a mother and baby looking out a window and on the stairs. They've heard a crying baby and a soft lullaby. Some think it's Suzanne Herr, Frederick's wife, while others think that it's a woman that came to check on her husband when it was a field hospital. We think we'll stick to downing our beers at the local club. Now it's the Inn at Herr's Ridge, a B&B. Herr's History & Hauntings
THE HOOD HOME (Spangler's Spring, Adams County) Mrs. Hood noticed a ghostly image at the top of the steps that would roam through the house, and she told her husband. This occurred off and on for a year or so, and they decided to get a psychic to come in and find out what was happening. The husband thought it was the Lady in White from Spangler's Spring, but the psychic, Karyol Kirkpatrick, felt otherwise. She told them the house had been a field hospital during the battle of Gettysburg, and that the spook was a nun that had served as a nurse. The Hoods and the good sister seem to be coexisting just fine now that they've been introduced. The Cold Spot
HOTEL EDISON (Sunbury, Northumberland County) The Hotel Edison started out in 1871 as the City Hotel, but had a pretty good reason to switch its name. In 1883, Thomas Edison built a little coal-powered generator and wired up the hotel, and it became the first building in the world to have electricity. Although Thomas Alva accepted the name change, he didn't stick around to spook the joint - but enough others did. "Ramona" hung herself on the fourth floor, and still haunts her room. She's said to be cranky - little wonder, that - and will only allow the owners to clean her room. There are also a nasty goblin in the basement and some spirit children running around. In fact, one is in a photo in the hotel lobby - he's the one you can see through. (The Daily Item "Room For Ghosts At Sunbury Hotel" October 31, 2007)
HOTEL MILTON (Milton, Northumberland County) The three-story Hotel Milton was built in 1900, and served as a boarding house and later, a social club. Visitors have reported seeing figures roam its halls, and heard doors slam, seen lights flicker, and feel icy cold spots and the sense of being followed. It's for sale now, so if you have $500,000 or so to sink into a spookhouse, well, this haunted old hotel is calling your name. The Shadowlands
THE HUMMELBAUGH HOUSE (Gettysburgh, Adams County) Confederate General William Barksdale breathed his last in this house after being wounded on Seminary Ridge. The last time he was seen alive, he was lying in the house being spoon fed water by a young boy. Barksdale kept calling for more water, again and again. It's said that on some evenings you can still hear his voice calling out. But the star spook of this place isn't the General, but his pooch. Mrs. Barksdale made the trip from Mississippi to claim her husband's body and brought along his favorite hunting hound. The body was disinterred and readied for the trip back home, but the dog wouldn't leave his master's grave no matter how much Mrs. Barksdale tried. She finally left, both touched and saddened by the hound's loyalty. It wouldn't leave Barksdale's grave, lying beside it and occasionally letting loose with a great howl. The locals tried to feed and water the dog, but it refused all efforts to care for it and eventually died, still beside its' master. It's said that every July 2nd, on the anniversary of Barksdale's death, that the night is rent by mournful howling. Why did the dog stay? Some think perhaps Barksdale's spirit stayed at the Hummelbaugh House. Some think that the dog knew this was the final place his master drew breath. But others wonder if the decomposed body that Mrs. Barksdale took home was really the General... Prairie Ghosts
HUNT HALL (Lewisburg, Union County) Hunt Hall is a dorm for Bucknell University's sororities, and originally built in 1928. And fittingly, it's haunted by a spook named Angela. Local lore has it that she lived in Hunt and met her end accidentally, maybe in a buggy wreck. She hangs out on the third and fourth floors, and is most often spotted in a green or red raincoat. Like any lady, she likes her clothes, and is known for trying on the dresses the girls leave hanging in their dorm room, and has been seen walking around in her new outfits. You can tell when Angela is around by a cold presence, although she's never harmed a fly and is considered a friendly apparition. And that's the best kind. Legend of Hunt Hall
INN AT EDGEWATER ACRES (Alexandria, Huntington County) The Inn at Edgewater Acres sitting by the Juniata River, dates back to 1762, and its main lodge was part of John Penn's estate. With all that history behind it - after all, the Inn property is older than our nation - who knows what spooks lurk? It has a couple of everyday phenomena, like rearranged cutlery and disembodied footsteps, along with voices of a couple on the second floor and of a female by the main fireplace. The owners have caught glimpses of shadow figures flitting along the building. Most of the events happen in the heart of the Inn, which was originally a two room cabin. It was investigated by City Lights Paranormal, who captured EVPs, heard legible voices, and caught sight of an apparition. City Lights Paranormal
IVERSON'S PITS/FORNEY FARM (Gettysburg, Adams County) General Alfred Iverson ordered his North Carolina troops to advance in the battle of Oak Hill without the benefit of scouts or reserves. He was to pay dearly when they were cut down in an ambush sprung by the Yankees. He lost over 500 men in 15 minutes. The bodies were pushed into shallow trenches - Iverson's Pits - and left undisturbed until the 1870's when they were reclaimed. But early on, the field workers of Forney's Farm would go no where near the pits. The Dutch farmers reported a mist that arose over the field every afternoon that they attributed to the fallen troops, and the ghosts of the men that had been buried there frightened them too much to work. To this day, investigators come away with orb pictures. Were some of the bodies left behind, or are the spooks just unable to free themselves from their sudden, violent end? Either way, this is supposed to be one of the most active paranormal spots of Gettysburg. PIRA
DANIEL LADY FARM (Straban Twp., Adams County) The farmhouse was used by the Confederates as a HQ and field hospital during the battle of Gettysburg. It's said that the ghost of General Ewell, who plotted strategy there with Generals Early and Johnson, still haunts the house. The spooks of the rebel dead are also reported roaming the fields. This is a popular media spot, and it's spirits have been investigated by the radio show Ghost Chronicles, TV programs Civil War Conflict on the History Channel and Ghosts of Gettysburg on the Travel Channel along with being featured in a documentary called Gettysburg, The Boys In The Blue And Gray. Travel Channel
LEGEND OF MT. NITTANY (Centre County) There are a couple of versions of this story. It starts with Princess Nit-a-nee and her warrior boyfriend. One tale has the brave being rejected by Nit-a-nee's dad. She threw a fit and died in her grief. In another, the warrior dies in battle and she mourns over his grave to her death. Both burial spots were in a valley between the Tussey and Bald Eagle ridges, and a mountain rises at the spot of the grave, shielding the valley from the harsh gales that had once roared through it. Nit-a-nee is considered the protector of the glen. The tale was adopted by the Penn State Lion Paw club, and has served well both as a college tale and to rally preservationists protecting its' green space. This much is known - the mountain was called Nit-a-nee by the Algonquins when the settlers arrived, and is shown on a 1770 map. As for the legend? Well, that comes from regional folklorist Henry Shoemaker's book Popularizing Pennsylvania, published in 1903. He originally said that he got the tale from an old Seneca named Isaac Steele. He later admitted Steele was a figment of his imagination. Still, Princess Nittany is too good a legend to pass on. (See Penn's Cave.) Wikipedia
LITTLE ROUND TOP (Gettysburg, Adams County) This is one site where phantom formations are allegedly seen marching. One regularly reported apparition here is the headless horseman, an unlucky officer that lost his head in all likelihood to a cannonball. He's still there, rallying his troops up the hill. One well know tale from here is from a group of foreign dignitaries who visited the battle scene. When they returned, they complimented the rangers on the life-like reenactment of the battle they saw. But there was no reenactment that day - they apparently had been treated to a replay of the real thing. The most famous story from here is from the end of a battle reenactment. The actors, still in blue uniforms, were taking a break when an old man, dressed as a Union private, filthy and smelling of sulphur, walked over to them. He said "Rough one today, eh, boys?" as he handed out some musket rounds. The old trooper then turned and just vanished. They had the musket balls checked - and they were authenticated as 130 years old. (Also see Washington's Bayonet Charge.) Suite 101
LOWER HOUSE (Gettysburg, Adams County) John Lower built a 25-room Queen Anne style home on Carlisle Street in 1895. Today, the first floor is a private residence and the second is let out to girls from Gettysburg College. The coeds heard strange noises, footsteps and voices, and suffered through some odd occurences, like having their personal stuff rearranged, doors lock and unlock, and electronics with a mind of their own. One night, a girl heard footsteps going down the hall. There was no one there, and even more eerily, the steps stopped at an open door, which then shut behind them. They once heard a crash, as if someone fell down the stairs, but when they investigated, the steps were empty. A little girl, passing the house, told her mom she could see a young woman through the window, dressed in turn of the century clothes with her hair in a tight bun. She was beating a rug! Later, a workman was digging around in the basement and found a tombstone. It read simply "Joanna Craig," the same name that came up during a Ouija session trying to contact the resident spirit. Adding two and two together, it seems the Carlisle Street spook is the shade of a servant girl, Joanna, who died in a fall down the steps and never left her place of employment, still looking out for her bosses. She may not be alone. Psychic Karyol Kirkpatrick saw the ghost of a cavalryman, complete with saber, in the house. John Lower was a Civil War veteran who had fought at Gettysburg - with the 21st Pennsylvania Cavalry. This story is part of Ghosts of Gettysburg IV, by Mark Nesbitt.
JAMES MCLEARY (Gettysburg, Adams County) James McLeary was a Union trooper fighting at East Cemetery Ridge on July 3. He met his maker when a reb cannonball killed him, mangling his legs and sending his hand flying through the air. As fate would have it, the hand landed on one of the artillery lunettes, the earthen wall built in front of the artillery to protect the crew from musketry. It's said that on some foggy summer nights, McLeary's solitary figure can be seen floating among the preserved lunettes, looking for his hand. He's buried just a few hundred yards away from the scene of his death at Evergreen Cemetery. This is one of the tales you'll hear on the Ghosts of Gettysburg Walking Tour.
MILLHEIM HOTEL (Millheim, Centre County) This historic inn was founded in 1794 as the Black Hotel, became a private residence between 1842-64, reopened as the National Hotel and became the Millheim Hotel in 1941. It was a stop between Washington and Buffalo back in the day, and its' spook is the result of one of its' visitors, President Millard Fillmore of Buffalo. It's said that he had a hot and heavy relationship with a Millheim girl and she ended up in a family way in his pre-presidential days. The result? Fillmore never returned to Millheim, the cad, and the broken hearted ghost of his paramour still roams the hotel awaiting his return. Now she's mostly known for poltergeist phenomena like slamming doors and the such. (The Collegian "Uncovering Spooky Spots," October 31, 2006)
MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY (Milton, Northumberland County) The library moved into the Milton National Bank Building in 1932, and that old part of the library is where its' spook is found. There are reports of footsteps, cold spots and a sense of being watched that keeps current librarians on their toes, especially when working the book stacks alone at night. It's thought that the ghost of a former librarian that died at a fairly young age is still coming to work, making sure the current staff is on top of the job. He sure keeps them looking over their shoulders. The Shadowlands
MOUNTAIN POE VALLEY (DECKER VALLEY) CEMETERY (Gregg Township, Centre County) Located near Potter's Mills, visitors have reported strange noises and misty orbs filling the graveyard. The star haunt is the apparition of man seen wearing an old-fashioned outfit. Norman - Yahoo Weird PA
MUSEUM OF SPIRITUAL INVESTIGATIONS (Gettysburg, Adams County) Pretty handy for a paranormal history group to work out of a haunted house, but that's just what this non-profit does. The museum exhibits the tools and history of the paranormal trade in a building that dates itself to a log cabin and was used as a field hospital during the Civil War battle and the Spanish-American War. It's regularly investigated, both as a matter of professional curiosity and training. It's perfect for ghost hunters practicing their craft, with sightings of a female apparition in the first floor bathroom, quick flashes of shadow figures and reports of phantom voices and footsteps. Examiner
NORTHUMBERLAND WEREWOLF (Northumberland County) This tale dates back to 1899. A secretive Northumberland County recluse was rumored to be a werewolf by the locals. Worse, he was smitten by 12 year old May Paul who used to watch her family's flock of sheep. He never did anything untoward to the girl, but would watch her tending her flock from the woods. One side benefit of having a werewolf take a liking to the family was that unlike the other herds, the Paul's never suffered from wolf attacks. We guess the predators knew who the alpha wolf was and didn't want to cross him. There was a bounty on the critters, and one night a hunter caught sight of a wolf's glowing eyes and shot it. He couldn't find the body in the dark, so he returned when the sun rose to track his kill. He followed the trail of blood through the woods. It ended at the hermit's body. Teen Witch
ODD FELLOWS CEMETERY (Broad Top City, Huntingdon County) The most famous legend here is the monument of country singer Elton Britt. It glows at night and yodels, just like it's honoree. There's also supposed to be small ghostly pooch named named Binks that roams the nearby woods. The Saxton tourist site mentions a headless horseman that also haunts the grounds. The Shadowlands
OLD GUS (Gettysburg, Adams County) Old Gus has been haunting the old Adams County Jail site for the past century. No one's sure who Gus is - he may be an old inmate, a former guard, or maybe a soldier that occupied the building during the Civil War battle. He had his heyday back in the 1950s when the structure was a library building (it's now the Police Station/Government Offices on 59 E. High Street.) Gus used to appear to the visitors, but was more known for his poltergeist tricks - sweeping books off shelves, playing with the lights, and moving things around. He's also associated with the aroma of cooking. But he was a friendly sort of ghost. If his antics were bothering you too much, a simple "Gus, not now!" would quiet him down. The police and government guys haven't said if Gus is still around, but it's claimed that when the offices are empty at night, someone is still playing with the lights upstairs... Gettysburg Ghost Stories
THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE (Gettysburg, Adams County) In Civil War days, there was a schoolhouse on High Street (it's home to a business now.) Mrs. Hall taught there, and her and her two boys lived upstairs. After school, she'd let the kids out to play, with the warning "Be careful and be home before it's dark." One day, just one son returned. He told her that his brother had grabbed an unexploded shell. It blew up and killed him. As it was shortly after the battle, the body was quickly buried in an unmarked grave, along with the soldiers. Well, Mrs. Hall couldn't believe it. Every evening until she died, she lit a candle in the attic window to guide her son back home. After she died, no matter what use the building was put to, a candle burned in that window every night through the years without fail. Until recently, that is. The rain and weather exposed an old grave, and the bones of a young boy were discovered. Legend has it that the remains were of Mrs. Hall's son, finally found after all these years. And now that he's home, there's no more need for the candle. This tale was told by Steve Anderson at The Old Schoolhouse
THE PEACH ORCHARD (Gettysburg, Adams County) The peaceful apple and peach orchards of Joe Sherfly was as serene as site as you can possibly imagine. But during the battle of Gettysburg, it became a scene of chaos and bloodshed as Confederate troops overran the Union artillery positions there. It's said that you can see and hear the ghosts of the soldiers fighting among the trees to this day. Prairie Ghosts
PENNEYS (Swatora Twp., Dauphin County) Another odd mall haunting. The roof of the Harrisburg Mall shop has a spirit that looks down at the lot, and another that peeks through the glass doors. One figure is supposed to be the shade of a suicide; the other a guy that died of natural causes. Security claims there are strange noises, cold spots, gentle breezes akin to being breathed on, and a sense of being watched when they make their rounds. Penney's left years ago; Boscov's took the space, and they left, too. The tale was passed on a Ghost Village board.
PENN'S CAVE (Centre Hall, Centre County) This is the only all-water park in America and now runs underground motorboat tours for the public. But in the early 1700s, Penn's Cave wasn't a tourist trap but a water filled cavern, with only one way in and out. Back then a Frenchman named Malachi Boyer fell in love with an Indian princess known as Nit-a-nee. Her father, Chief O-Ko-Cho, disapproved of the match and told Malachi to move on. He did, one April night - and took Nit-a-nee with him. They eloped. The pair didn't get far before the chief's sons ran them down. Malachi's punishment, as doled out by O-Ko-cho, was death by cave. They tossed him in the watery cavern and posted guards at the entrance so he couldn't escape. After swimming around looking for a way out, he gave up and crawled exhausted on a ledge. He died there, and the Indians found his body. They weighed it down with stones and tossed it in the cave's deepest waters. It's said that on quiet summer evenings that the sound of "Nit-a-nee, Nit-a-nee" can be heard echoing through the cavern as Malachi cries out for his true love. This legend was first written by folklorist Henry Shoemaker in his 1903 book Popularizing Pennsylvania. He said the tale was passed on to him by an old Seneca, but later admitted that the Indian didn't exist. But some say they've heard voices and seen shadow figures flash by; some even have their mists on film. So is it legend or balderdash? Only Malachi knows for sure, and he ain't telling. (See Legend of Mt. Nittany.) Pennsylvania Hauntings
PENN'S CREEK MASSACRE (Selinsgrove, Snyder County) The Penn's Creek Massacre occurred on October 16th, 1755, along the banks of Penns
Creek, when fourteen German settlers were murdered brutally and eleven more taken captive. It was the immediate aftermath of Braddock's defeat, with the French and their Indian allies storming into central PA behind the retreating Brits and Colonials. Disfigured and dismembered apparitions have been seen in the area, poltergeist
activity has been reported, and the tortured screams of the victims are still heard filling the air. An impish creature with red eyes is part of the lore, as well as black dog
apparitions and other supernatural creatures. There are also Indian
burial mounds throughout the surrounding area, so they may be part of the haunted mix cursing Penn's Creek, too. Ghosts of Central Pennsylvania
PENN STATE (State College, Centre County) Penn State was founded in 1863 as the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and in 1882 school president George Atherton introduced engineering to the offerings and Penn State took off. By then, the school had become the Pennsylvania State College. It became a university in 1953, and now has tens of thousands of students on its' 24 statewide campuses. It's most famous ghost can be seen roaming the sidelines every Saturday on the football field...ooops, our bad. That's not an old apparition, that's Joe Paterno. But rest assured the school boasts of many other reported spooks roaming the campus.
- Atherton Hall: Named in honor of Frances Atherton, the hall opened in the 1930s as a girl's dorm and now houses scholars and international students. It has a trio of reported spooks roaming its' halls. One of them is "Gumshoes", a former house mother. Students can still hear the distinctive creaking of her shoes as she paces the halls, keeping an eagle eye on her girls. Another is Frances herself, whose spirit has been spotted floating along the halls late at night. She must make a quick run to the hall whenever she takes a break from haunting Old Botany. The last is Rachel Taylor, a coed that was murdered in nearby Lemont in 1940. It's said that she returns to her old room at Atherton, and you can hear her playing jacks in the room below. A psychic explained by saying after her brutal murder, she regressed back to her childhood. (The Daily Collegian "Ghosts Haunt Atherton Hall," December 8, 1997)
- Beam Business Administration Building: Built in 1975, the old dorm was converted into business offices. Campus legend has it that the dorm was shut down because of poltergeist activity coming from a second floor loo. A man supposedly hung himself in there from an overhead pipe and his spook has been raising havoc since. Now that it's become offices, the ghostie has reportedly been behaving himself. But the pipe is still there...
- Brumbaugh Hall: This is a collegiate urban legend brought about by psychic Jeanne Dixon. She once predicted that there would be a mass murder in the tallest female dorm of an eastern university (she later denied she meant PSU) and since then upperclassmen have spooked the frosh by telling them of a rumored midnight visit on Halloween by an ax murderer in Brumbaugh. Urban legend or not, it's said many freshmen decide to spend Halloween night anywhere but at Brumbaugh.
- Ghost Walk: This tree lined path once led to the doors of the Old Botany Building. It's said that a student was caught in a sudden blizzard and froze to death in the 1860s on the walk, and his spirit since has been reportedly seen on the walk by students. The Ghost Walk is now gone. It's site was used to build the Burrowes Building. His spook hasn't been seen since now that it's presumably warm and toasty inside the new building.
- Keller Building: There were reports of activity here in the 1990s, when a student left his room screaming because of a presence in his bed. When he returned with the RA, the door had locked, and the sounds of a poltergeist ransacking the room could be heard through the door. This may be related to a student that committed suicide there. The Shadowlands
- Old Botany Building: The spook of Frances Atherton, wife of old president George Atherton, is said to keep an eye on him from the attic of Old Botany, built in 1909. She's supposedly been sighted looking out the attic's front window towards Schwab Auditorium, where George's grave is located. She's also been reported to be seen swaying in her rocker, tending to her knitting. The lights have been seen going on and off in the locked room, footsteps have been heard, and electrical devices malfunction. Once the staff posed for a picture in front of Old Botany. When it was developed, a stranger was seen looking out the upstairs window of the supposedly empty building. The building was investigated on A&E's Paranormal State series with the Penn State Paranormal Research Society in early 2007.
- Old Coaly: Old Coaly was one of the pack mules used when Penn State was being built in the 1850s. When he died he was the last of the original mule team, and his skeleton was put on exhibit at Old Main. A fire there caused the university to store him in the cellar of Watts Hall, a dorm. He was later put back on display at the Agricultural Building in the 1960s, and Old Coaly apparently didn't like being moved again. It's said that you could hear his braying coming from the basement, and he was even was spotted standing outside the storage area and on the first floor. Current Watt's RAs and residents haven't heard Old Coaly lately. Now that's he's been in one place for awhile and had a campus eatery named after him, he may be satisfied with his lot. But we all know how stubborn a mule can be, and they did move him from the Agriculture Building to the HUB Robeson Center...
- Pattee Library: The basement stacks at Pattee are alleged to be haunted by the ghost of Betsy Aardsma, who was murdered there in 1969. The crime was never solved. People have a sense of presence there, things get moved around, and one claimed to feel someone grab her neck. Those that have seen her say that she has a sad smile and wears a red, floral print dress with a white sweater - and her feet don't quite touch the ground. Other phenomena have been reported that aren't thought to be of Betsy's doings. Screams have been heard from the subbasement and shadowy female forms & glowing red eyes have been seen in the library. The spooks have reportedly either disappeared into a mist or exited by walking through Pattee's walls. Pattee puts the boo back in books!
- Pollock Laptop Library: There are reports of a spirit roaming the East Side study area, and a grumbling voice has been heard in the Pollock Library, dedicated in 1999. The Shadowlands
- Runkle Hall: Runkle Hall, a dorm built in 1957, has almost as many spooks as residents. The third floor is especially active, with lots of poltergeist activity. One girl had her TV constantly switching to an all Spanish channel among other things like locking and unlocking doors, flickering lights, electronics that turn on and off and objects being thrown off of the walls. They broke out the ouija board, and sure enough - the answers were spelled out in Spanish, and the board told them they shared their room with 11 spirits, the first example of Hispanic ghosts in the state that we're aware of. The study lounge is called the "ghost room" because of the loud bangs, rearranged furniture, opening, closing, and self-locking doors and other phenomena. One student saw an old lady's spook sitting in her rocker at the end of the hall.
- Scwab Auditorium: Former president George Atherton is buried just outside the auditorium, and his spook is supposedly inside. He's thought to be a friendly ghost, watching over the collegiate actors and occasionally moving the curtains. Reportedly his spirit has both been seen and heard. Charles Schwab, who donated a large chunk of the money used to build the auditorium in 1903, is said to be the ghost that watches performances from the seats. A seat will go down, as if someone's sitting in it, and later rise when it leaves. The actors are convinced that it's "Schwaboo the Ghost" watching the show. Other apparitions have been reported from the hall. One of them was wearing a Revolutionary War uniform, and he watches the auditorium from the balcony. Another pair were that of an adult and child floating above the stage. Yet another is a spirit that's felt rather than seen - the presence of a girl that fell to her death from the balcony. Poltergeist activity is said to take place in the attic. Who needs a show?
References taken from The Daily Collegian "Haunted Penn State Legends Include Haunting Tales Of Partee Stacks, Old Botany And Schwab," October 30, 2003 & "The Ghosts That Haunt Us," October 30, 1998 plus additional sources as noted.