Freedom's Corner Haunts & History

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

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PHILADELPHIA CANOE CLUB  (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia) The PCC's clubhouse is an old 17th century mill flush on banks of the Wissahickon Creek before it empties into the Schuylkill River, and it comes with more than oars and shells.  It included poltergeist activity such as lights flickering on and off and kitchen utensils moving and operating by themselves.  It even has a mirror that never collects a speck of dust, which makes the cleaning lady happy. The spook in the building is the shy daughter of the old miller.  She's been both sensed and seen in what was once her upstairs bedroom, surrounded by her beloved watchdogs.  It's said she was a recluse, and with a pack of ghost hounds around to protect her, she's likely to stay alone forever. The Shadowlands

THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT (US Navy Yard, Philadelphia)  We've all seen the movie.  The tale that it was based on allegedly happened in 1943, when the Navy did some electronic tinkering with the USS Eldridge and ended up teleporting it to Norfolk and frying the crew.  So what really happened?  Well, first the USS Eldridge wasn't involved.  It never docked in Philly.  But an experiment was tried on the USS Engstrom.  The British used an electronic cloaking device that was supposed to make a ship undetectable to magnetic torpedoes and mines.  The Americans were trying a degaussing system, like you use on your PC, to achieve the same effect.  And the technique does work against magnetically controlled devices.  It's still used today, though it doesn't deflect light or sound.  The procedure doesn't affect the crew at all.  And how did they show up so quickly in Norfolk?  Easy - they sailed the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.  It took less than a day.  The route was hush-hush then to prevent the Germans from targeting it, and it was only open to naval vessels.  For more details, click on the Wikipedia article link.  Interestingly, three great science fiction authors - Isaac Azimov, Robert Heinlein, & L. Sprague deCamp - were supposed to be working at the shipyard at the time of the Philadelphia Experiment.  Maybe they came up with the Navy's cover story. 

PHILADELPHIA HISTORIC SOCIETY LIBRARY (Locust Street, Philadelphia) Ghostly typing heard from the third floor of the Society is attributed to the spirit of Albert Edmunds, a cataloger that can't seem to get enough of his job.  There's also been reports of voices and footsteps being heard when no one is around, shadowy figures seen roaming about the circa 1824 building, and a labeling machine that runs itself - unplugged. I Love Libraries 

THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART  (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia) The Museum debuted in 1876 as part of the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia and became permanent the following year.  It was built up over the years, many times from disassembled rooms that were reconstructed in the museum.  One room in particular is known for strange occurrences, the Elizabethan Room.  This room was rebuilt from the Fifth Avenue townhouse of an elderly recluse who apparently didn't approve of the change of address.  In one well known incident, a German tourist was slapped in the face by an unseen spirit.   Security cameras caught her reacting to the slap and even swinging back - but no one else was in the room.  No wonder the ghostly granny was a recluse! Ezine

PHILADELPHIA STATE HOSPITAL (Byberry, Philadelphia) The locals called it Byberry Hospital, and it was a massive mental institution that served the area from 1906-1990.  It was left abandoned then until 2006 when it was finally razed.  A housing development is slated to replace it.  Byberrys' buildings were stripped, burned, and covered with graffiti up until the demolition.  Vagrants, homeless folk, midnight plumbers, teens and the merely curious or adventurous roamed its' campus during those years.  It was the site of alleged devil worship, and the satanists were rumored to have booby-trapped the huge catacomb/sewer system underneath the hospital.  Urban legends tell of people who fell through the floor into the tunnels, never to come out again.  One story claims that an inmate who hid during the move out of the facility took up residence in the catacombs, and was spotted running through them with a machete.  Dead animals used in satanic rituals were found on the grounds.  The buildings themselves were supposed to be haunted by the ghosts of patients who had been mistreated while in Byberry, and it is said you can still hear ghastly screams coming from the basement.  Hopefully all the evil associated with the place will disperse once the homes start to go up.  Otherwise, there goes the neighborhood. The Shadowlands 

PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY (East Falls, Philadelphia) Philadelphia University was founded in 1884 as the Philadelphia Textile School, established to educate America’s textile workers and managers.  The School continued to grow, and in 1961, changed its name to Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science, becoming Philadelphia University on July 13, 1999. And as anybody from Philly knows, you can't stay in one place that long without picking up a spook or two.

  • Fortress Hall: This was formerly a classroom for Ravenhill Academy (see below) and is now a woman's dorm.  It hosts a variety of poltergeist-type activity: objects being moved, windows opening and shutting on their own, and touchings in the form of taps on the shoulder when no one else is nearby.  There have also been many orb pictures taken inside the Fortress.
  • Ravenhill Mansion: Ravenhill Mansion was built in 1802, bequeathed to the Catholic Diocese in 1910, and opened as the  Ravenhill Academy by the Religious of the Assumption, an order of nuns.  It became Philly U. property in 1982 and the historic house is today used for offices.  The tale goes that a nun was impregnated by a priest, and shamed by her act, hung herself in the attic.  Natch, the attic has been closed off for years - the spooky sister's sightings date back to Ravenhill Academy days - but people have seen lights flitting about in it.  More eerily, it's said you can sometimes catch sight of the sister, too, especially if you perch on the hill opposite Ravenhill at daybreak.   

Refrences from The Text Newsletter "History and Haunting of Ravenhill Mansion and Fortress Hall," October 27, 2006.

Take the tour of Philadelphia University

PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS (Philadelphia) Since 1876, under a variety of names (Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, Philadelphia Museum School of Art, Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, and Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts), UArts has nurtured Philly's creative community.  And thanks to an alumnae, Amber Lashway, now we know that its creativity isn't just limited to the performing arts, but interacts with the occult arts, too.

  • Furness Hall: A former asylum, the foreboding castle-like red brick dorm on Broad Street is said to be the site of the suicide of a student who hung himself.  Since then, there have been reports of voiceless whisperings in the building, the sound of footsteps, the sense of being watched, feelings of sadness, and touchings - once actually reported as a punch to the puss!  The girl that was smacked by the invisible entity called security, who allegedly told her they wouldn't enter the room at night, and only in pairs during the day.  She was moved to another room the next morning.
  • Merriam Theatre Building: A Lady in White ghost is claimed to spook the 90 year-old Merriam Theatre.  She's said to appear only when the theatre is almost empty, and she's seen either in the highest seats or sometimes behind the stage.
  • Spruce Hall:  It's supposed to be home to poltergeist activity, like items disappearing only to return sometimes months later, and occasional computer strangeness (ghosts love electronics).  It's also the haunts of a dark-haired lady apparition, described as a smallish woman or perhaps a girl dressed in a white sundress.  Those who have seen her say she's not a frightening vision, but does have a "weird aura" about her, giving off vibes of great sadness and loneliness.

Take the tour of Philadelphia's University of the Arts.

PHILADELPHIA ZOO (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia) Hey, Simon and Garfunkle knew it was all happening at the Zoo.  Now, thanks to SyFy TV and the Ghost Hunters, we know it's the Philly Zoo that they were talkin' about.  America's First Zoo opened on July 1, 1874, after a long delay brought on by the Civil War; its charter was approved in 1859. And, of course, it was rumored to be built on a Native American burial ground.  The zoo staff has reported a wide range of ghostly activity over the years, including flickering lights, several claims of partial and full-bodied apparitions along with black shadow-forms roaming the zoo's buildings paths.  That was plenty enough to tempt the TAPS team.  First they checked out the Solitude House, which was built by John Penn, the grandson of city founder William Penn, in 1784.  It's housed reptile exhibits, and is honeycombed by an underground tunnel system, which doesn't sound like all that great a combination to us.  Prior reports from the Solitude included sightings in the attic, a door that locks itself, disembodied footsteps on the stairs and voice in the basement.  The Ghost Hunters heard music and voices while in the tunnels and footsteps coming from above.  One member had her hair fondled (or brushed by a spider web or dust bunny; take your pick) and the team heard the disembodied voice of a man, along with humming in the basement and a door slamming upstairs. Then it was off to the Penrose Building, which formerly functioned as a research laboratory and vet hospital.  Its phenomena included claims of lights going off and on by themselves and a woman seen in the library window.  The best the GH could come up with was a cold spot. The Shelly Building houses offices and classrooms, and featured reports of a face peering through a plexiglass window in the lobby and the sounds of doors opening and closing.  The paranormal explorers couldn't get a face to pop up, but did hear some banging and a slamming door.  The Treehouse is the only remaining one-time animal pen, but after a long renovation is now used as a children’s exhibit hall.  It's claimed to host an apparition and some visitors have reported uneasiness and the sound of disembodied footsteps.  The TAPS team got a sort of knock-knock response from an unidentified entity. The verdict?  Enough interesting stuff to keep the tales alive, but nothing conclusive.  It would be nice if the Zoo could put a name to its spooks; each place that was checked out has an apparition; is it the shadow of John Penn, an old lion tamer, a long-time docent or a Delaware looking for some peace?  And oddly, there are no animal spirits haunting the grounds, not that the critters would have much reason to stick around.  If you want to visit unencumbered by an obligation to feed the monkeys, there are several sweet Halloween tours of the Zoo.  Spirits Walk With Me

PHOENIXVILLE LIBRARY (Phoenixville, Chester County) Like many libraries, the 1908 Phoenixville Library was established by a $25,000 grant given by Andrew Carnegie, the Johnny Appleseed of libraries.  Like many libraries, Phoenixville's is haunted.  Staff and visitors have reportedly spotted an elderly gent and his dog who play little tricks like clearing the books off the shelves when he's cranky.  We also have a lady in the attic, who is seen wearing in a bustle dress and high hat.  The Chester County Paranormal Research Society came in to investigate, and found cold spots while capturing orbs with their camera.  The results?  They think the place has spooks, but they're harmless. (NBC - Channel 10 Report "'Ghostbusters' Say Local Library Is Haunted," August 16, 2006)

PHYSICK HOUSE (Society Hill, Philadelphia) Dr. Philip Syng Physick was a medical innovator known as the "Father of American Surgery."  The good doctor wasn't such a good family man, though, blunt in nature and completely dedicated to his craft. He ended a fifteen-year marriage to Elizabeth Emler that produced seven children, and Elizabeth died shortly thereafter. Some think it was from an opium overdose that Dr. Physick had prescribed for her nerves; others submit it was because a beloved tree in the yard that she used to spend hours meditating under was chopped down. For years, her spirit was regularly seen by the tree's former spot, weeping. Later, she would show on special occasions such as anniversaries, building renovations, etc. If you want to catch a glimpse of her, the house is now a museum located at 321 S. Fourth Street. A Haunting At The Physick House

PICKETT HOUSE (New Hope, Bucks County) Famous artist Joseph Pickett once was the town grocer and butcher, and operated a shop on Mechanic Street.  The business was downstairs and his apartment on the second floor.  That's where his ghost was first sighted, by a mother and her child that were living there at the time.  They thought he was breaking into the place until the son spotted his picture one day.  Ever since, there has been an explosion of Pickett sightings.  He's been seen walking on the towpath of the canal, strolling down Mechanic Street to visit his cousin's house, and in the backyard field, painting.  Of course, his spook still haunts the old house.  Besides being seen in his former bedroom, he's been known to move art, unplug cords, knock on doors and keep his own bedroom door open.  His footsteps have been heard going up and down stairs that no longer exist.  He's also been seen in the Wedgwood Inn.  Pickett died in 1918, and his artwork didn't become popular until the 1930s.  He's probably enjoying the attention he's getting today that he missed during his life.  His store has hosted a wide variety of tenants and business over the last century; we're not sure who's in the building today. Del Co Ghosts 

PINEVILLE TAVERN (Pineville, Bucks County) The Pineville Tavern began as an Inn in 1742, and was a gathering spot for the locals from the start; besides being a popular hang-out, they even had the town auctions run from the front porch.  It's a restaurant now, and still has an old lodger haunting its halls.  A psychic said the spirit is a burly guy, lugging a load around the Tavern.  He's never been seen, but he's felt - and even gets the blame for setting off the fire alarm.  The Pineville's story is told in Bucks County Ghost Stories by Charles J. Adams III. 

POE HOUSE (Spring Garden, Philadelphia) Edgar Allan and his wife Virginia lived here in 1843-44.  The house is now run by the National Park Service under the moniker "Edgar Allan Poe Historic Site."  It's a Poe museum, and the master of the macabre left a couple of spirit friends behind.  One is the woman that sits in the reading room.  And people that pass by Virginia's room often hear screams; it was in this house that she first had the symptoms of consumption, which would claim her in 1847.  Some say that they've felt Poe, though that's never been confirmed. (The Temple News "Do Author's Accounts Haunt Spring Garden?" October 17, 2006)

POTTSTOWN PIG TREE (Pottstown, Montgomery County) There's a well-known tree in Pottstown that has roots that are shaped like a grotesque pig's head; it even has holes where the eyes should be.  It's said that if you can snatch a personal item from someone you dislike and place it between the eyes of the pig, whatever curse you put on that person will come true.  One caveat; if the sun shines through the "pig eyes," your wish will be granted.  But if it doesn't, then it's you that will be cursed.  Voodoo with a twist...  Creepy PA

POWEL HOUSE (Society Hill, Philadelphia) The Powel House was built by Charles Stedman in 1765, and the future "Patriot Mayor" of Philadelphia, Samuel Powel, bought it four years later as Stedman was taking his first steps down the road to debtor's prison.  Powel and his wife Elizabeth were great entertainers of the era, hosting A-List parties.  Some of his guests enjoyed the soirees so much that they decided to keep on partying - forever.  Historian Edwin Courant Moore identified the first group of spooks in 1964, when he claimed to see the Marquis de Lafayette and several Continental Army officers climbing the Powel stairway.  His wife saw an even more startling apparition.  She spotted the ghost of a beautiful young woman in the drawing room.  The spirit was dressed in a striking lavender and beige gown.  She was smiling and fanning herself when she stamped her foot twice and disappeared.   Mrs. Moore wasn't sure who the spook was until she looked for a colonial period gown to wear to a costume ball.  The gown she found was identical to the one her ghost had on.  It had belonged to Peggy Shippen (Mrs. Benedict Arnold) and she had last worn it while attending a ball at the Powel House!  Several other folks have reported seeing the same spirit at various places around the home.  Benedict Arnold's spook has also been reported being seen at the Powel's place.  We guess Jolly Old England wasn't as much fun for the Arnold's as they had hoped. Del Co Ghosts

ARCHBISHOP PRENDERGAST HIGH SCHOOL (Drexel Hill, Delaware County) The school is built on some pretty pricey ground.  It's home was originally owned by Christopher Fallon, who built the Runnymede Mansion on the site in 1850.  In 1882 Colonel Anthony Drexel bought it.  They called his site Drexel Hill, and that's the name that stuck to the neighborhood.  It burned down in 1902, and the diocese ended up with the property, building St. Nicholas' orphanage there, opening in 1920.  The orphanage was empty by 1952, and in 1956 Archbishop Prendergast High was established.  Called Prendie, the school is haunted by some spooks from St. Nicholas.  There are a couple of unconverted rooms left from the orphanage that are used for storage upstairs.  In them are a rocker that rocks with no one in it and furniture that shifts position.  There are also reports of two children seen late at night running through the halls, yelling and fighting.  The story is that one orphan murdered the other, and the murderer also died accidentally in the building.  There have also been reports of a gaggle of little girls heard giggling upstairs, and one of them, named Lily, has been said to follow one particular teacher.  Another tale is of an old orphanage teacher, a Sisters of Charity nun who hung herself in the bell tower.  The spire was supposedly sealed off, but the sister still haunts it.  A light will glow on and off in the tower, and the bell will start ringing for no apparent reason.  It's said that you can sometimes see the nun looking down at students at night from the tower. The Shadowlands 

PRINTZ HALL'S LAST REVEL (Chester, Chester County) This is an 18th century legend of the last dance at Printz Hall.  Peter Matthews accepted a bar bet that he couldn't last the night in old Printz Hall, a seedy mansion that had seen its' better days, offered by its' owner, no less.  He jumped on the chance to make an easy buck, and with his fiddle and a blanket, he made his way to the Hall.  Not having a God-fearing bone in his body, he quickly fell asleep.  His peaceful slumber wouldn't last long.  The old wooden door creaked open, the heavy tread of booted footsteps climbed the stairs, and a dark figure in a cloak with a sword and corset burst in on him.   The spook introduced himself as Peter Printz, the long dead Swedish governor that had originally built the house, and said he was there for his annual revel.  He told Matthews to fetch his fiddle and play.  Printz's deal was that if Matthews played his fiddle well and kept his mouth shut all night, his reward would be a bag of gold.  They went into the Great Hall, no longer shabby and dusty but shining with a roaring fire and filled with partying ghosts decked out in all their finery.  Matthews played as if his life depended on it, and he apparently pleased his host.  Printz gave Matthews a bag of gold coins as his reward as the guests slipped back into the netherworld.  Forgetting the agreement, Matthews grinned and said "Thank you, Governor Printz."  Then he heard a peal of demonic laughter, and he blacked out.  A friend of his from the tavern went to check on him in the morning, and found Matthews senseless on the floor, his prized fiddle smashed into splinters.  Matthews checked his booty bag, and found it full of dust instead of gold.  They fled the building, and just in time.  It burned to the ground that night.  Matthews told his friends at the bar (he was buying, we suppose, having at least won the tavern wager) that he knew where the fire came from - the depths of hell.  This tale is told in Myths and Legends of our Own Land by Charles Skinner. Myths and Legends

PUBLIC SCHOOL BUILDING (Kutztown, Berks County) Now a museum, the School Building was built in 1892 and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.  It's being run by the Kutztown Area Historical Society. The big ol' building, still being renovated, is known for its library of local lore and its very own ghost, the apparition of a young lady that several people have claimed to see through one of the school's windows.  The Shadowlands 

RADNOR HOTEL (St. Davids, Delaware County) The ghost in Room 309 of the Radnor Hotel is a real comedienne, although her victims may not think she's so funny.  She likes to hover on the ceiling of the room so she's the first sight a startled traveler will see when waking up.  Then she slithers down the wall, through the door, and floats down the hall until she disappears.  Guests have seen her in the hallway in the early morning hours, and eerie noises have been heard coming from the room when it's vacant. (Main Line Times "Haunted History: The Ghosts And Witches Of The Main Line," October 24, 2007) 

READING CENTRAL CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL (Reading, Berks County) The current Reading Central Catholic was once one of cough drop king William Luden's mansions.  Luden's son was supposed to have committed suicide in the building, hanging himself in a stairwell.  The staircase has since been removed, and the only way you can spot the hidden shaft is by the difference in color of the wall paneling on the third floor hallway.  A dark apparition has been seen on the school grounds and in the building.  It's also alleged that you can hear Mrs. Luden playing the piano from a room that doesn't have a piano in it.  Another son makes himself known by the rattle of chains.  He was supposedly chained in the attic.  We're sticking to Smith Brothers, thank you.  The Shadowlands 

READING CITY HALL (Reading, Berks County) Although many disgruntled citizens have passed through this building, its' ghosts predate its' government days.  The City Hall was renovated from the old Reading Boys High School building, and that seems to be where the ghosts come from.  There's the usual poltergeist activity - disembodied footsteps, slamming doors, etc.  But here's a couple of spooks that have been reported, too.  One is a woman that's been seen peeking through a door window.  There's also a man in a gray suit that's been spotted on the second floor.  They better watch out that they don't get ticketed for haunting without a license.  Pennsylvania Researchers

RED MILL MUSEUM (Allen Twp., Northampton County) The Red Mill operated from 1810-1928, and is now a museum telling the history of the Clinton area. Visitors have reported unexplained occurrences of being tapped, pushed, having their hair pulled, clothes pulled on or being hit by a rock. Voice recordings have picked up the words “Get out!” on occasion. Others have a woman ringing her hands at the Tenant House and felt the presence of the Mill Supervisor still watching as they move through the Mill. Staff members see the supervisor when the mill is in the midst of a building or renovation project. A man on the third floor, in period clothing and a black hat, silently appears. Tourists report seeing a grumpy lady in white, on the fourth floor. A young girl, perhaps one of the owners little daughter, has been seen and heard on the property. "Ghost Hunters" from the SyFy Channel filmed a segment at the Red Mill in 2008, and heard footsteps and got their pant legs tugged on for their trouble. (Hunterdon County Democrat "Ghostly Encounters At the Red Mill In Clinton?" August 26, 2010)

RED ROSE INN (West Grove, Chester County) The Red Rose Inn was built in 1740, on an Indian trail used by both the Lenni-Lenape and the settlers (now the Baltimore Pike) in an area known as "No Man's Land." The property was part of William Penn's grant. It grew rapidly, and many of its' buildings still date back to 1827 or before. The Red Rose's basement bar area has been victimized by poltergeist activity such as objects being moved, electronics being played with, and a shattered mirror, blamed on Indian Joe (see below). The customers and staff have seen several older spirits there, too, mostly women but also one particularly noticeable old man. He's hard to miss in his loud plaid jacket. They're shy spooks, and disappear in a flash when approached. The headliner spirits are Emily and Joe. Emily is a young girl that Joe, a Native American, was accused of killing. The locals hung him, only to discover he was innocent. Oooops! They found the real killer wandering in the woods, drunk. They buried poor Joe in the cellar wall, wrapped in a white sheet, so that there wouldn't be a grave outside to remind them of their rush to judgement. His spirit still inhabits the Inn, roaming the rooms, supposedly looking for a way out. But Emily is the most visible ghost. She's been seen on the steps and the main floor, wearing a fancy dress and carrying a doll, still living out her childhood that was so despicably ended. There's also one other quirk about the Inn. It's called the Red Rose because of its' rental agreement with the original Penn family, which came about when William Penn spent a night there and paid his tab with a single red rose. The annual rent is, to this day, is one red rose, and the deal dates back to the original deed. This old rite went dormant for awhile, but was revived in 1937. Almost every year since, a direct descendant of Penn receives a rose from the Inn's owners in a public ceremony in Philadelphia on the Saturday after Labor Day. The bad news is that last we looked, the building was up for sale. The good news is that if you're looking for an inn with a history... Del Co Ghosts 

RESURRECTION CEMETERY (Allentown, Lehigh County) Yes, we have another cousin of Chicago's Resurrection Mary right here in Allentown.  The legend says that in the 1940s a young lady that lived across Krock's Road from the Catholic cemetery succumbed to TB, and was buried at Resurrection in a white party gown.  It's been said that many motorists have picked up a girl walking on the side of the road since then, dressed in white and almost glowing.  She asks for a ride home because she's lost, and gives the destination as Krock's Road.  Once the car passes the cemetery, she disappears.  Some think this is just a case of crossing wires with the original Resurrection Mary because of the shared cemetery names, but we think there's always room for a local legend.  Haunted Places 

RHOADS OPERA HOUSE (Boyertown, Berks County) In 1908, the Rhoads Opera House caught fire when a kerosene lamp was knocked over.  That little accident cost 170 lives.  Besides the people at the performance, a church group was on the second floor for an event, and entire families died in the inferno.  The owner, a Dr. Rhoads, had only reluctantly built fire escapes under government pressure, and put them outside the windows, requiring a three foot leap from the sill to reach them.  Most people couldn't even find them.  Afterwards, the screams of ghostly voices could be heard coming from the burned out remnants of the building.  A neighbor claimed her home was overrun by ghosts from the fiery disaster.  One elderly gent had to be taken away from the site.  He said his wife's spirit told him to meet her there.  The Pennsylvania Legislature was spurred into action after the inferno and passed a raft of new safety laws.  A new building was rebuilt over the ashes of the old, and the spirits seem at peace now.  That's not so at Fairview Cemetery, though.  Del Co Ghosts 

RIEGELSVILLE HAUNTS (Riegelsville, Bucks County) For a small town, Riegelsville sure has its' share of spooks.  Author Jeff Wargo thinks it's because the European settlers desecrated sacred Indian grounds, even using the uncovered skulls to mark farm boundaries and unleashing all kinds of psychic energy.  First, we can visit the Riegelsville Inn.  During the flood of 2005, the VFD got a call from there from a man in Room 10 who told them "I want to get out." They sped to the scene, only to find the owner, who told them everyone was out, and no one was in #10 anyway.  No one living, anyway.  Others have seen a soaked, shivering little girl appear there.  She sadly tells them "I drowned in the river" and disappears.  Then there is the old tenement, dated to the turn of the century, that a young couple bought and renovated.  They removed a wheeless baby carriage they found in the attic.  Bad move.  A spirit visited the wife during the work and scolded her for moving it.  When they finished fixing up the house, they wisely returned the carriage to its' storage place.  The ghost quit bothering them, happy to have the house back in order.  Finally, the Riegelsville VFD has a ghost of its' own, Howie Purcell.  He loved the fire hall so much that his spook still hangs around, and even gives orders over the PA system!  The tales were told by Jeff Wargo in Ghosts in the 'Ville  (Delaware Valley Times, "Reverend Deals With Another Kind of Hereafter," September 13, 2007)  

RINGING ROCKS (Upper Black Eddy, Bucks County) Near where George Washington made his Delaware River Crossing sits a field of rocks in the middle of woodlands.  The rock field is 10' deep and covers seven acres.  There's no vegetation growing in the area, except for some lichen.  Even odder, when you tap the rocks with a hammer, they ring like a bell.  Well, actually just a third of them ring, although all the rock is composed of the same stuff, diabase.  Some people have ascribed paranormal claims for the rocks, noting that animals (even insects) avoid them, nothing grows there, and compasses malfunction in the field, although scientists have explained these phenomena away.  But some interesting events have taken place there.  The Unmuseum tells of an 1890 performance when a brass band accompanied a Dr. Ott, who played the rocks.  They called it the world's first rock concert,*groan*.  And no one knows why most of the rocks are "dead", or non-ringing.  There are still many mysteries involved with the rocks, but they're scientific questions, not paranormal.  Ringing rocks have been found across the planet, and it's one legend that's absolutely true. The Unmuseum 

JOHN ROBERTS HOUSE  (North Wales, Bucks County) John Roberts was a wealthy Quaker that ran a grist mill in North Ardmore, Montgomery County.  But during the Revolution, his neighbors suspected him of being a Tory.  He often made trips to Philadelphia, even while the British controlled it.  His neighbors noticed that soon after his return, their farms would be raided by the redcoats.  They believed he was providing them with inside information as to which farms to pillage.  They also thought that he ground glass into the flour he was selling to the Continental Army, mockingly calling the place Ground Glass Mill.  On October 10, 1777, they raided his house.  Some joined in because of his suspected turncoat activities, and others so they could get their hands on a piece of his sizable property.  Roberts escaped, although one of his sons was shot and wounded.  The mob lynched an unfortunate farmhand named Fishburn, thinking he was Roberts.  The house remained abandoned until 1901, when it was restored as a private residence.  It's haunted by a spirit dressed in colonial garb.  Some think it's Roberts, still mad that he was slandered and libeled by his neighbors, while others believe it's Fishburn, the innocent victim.  BBC - Ground Glass Mill 

BETSY ROSS HOUSE (Arch Street, Philadelphia) The house where Betsy Ross was supposed to have sewn the first American flag was built in 1740.  It served as a business and residence for many families over the years.  Betsy lived there from 1773-1785.  Ross didn't have an easy life.  She was estranged from her family because she married John Ross, an Episcopalian, and her Quaker parents didn't accept the inter-denominational union.  He died in 1776 in that house from war wounds, as Betsy tried vainly to nurse him back to health. She outlived two other husbands and saw two infant daughters die.  So it should be no surprise that the mistress of the house is usually seen sitting at the foot of her basement bed crying.  The house held few fond memories for her.  She's even buried there.  Others think that she's bemoaning the fact that some people question if she actually sewed the original flag, the most memorable event of her hard life.  There's another spirit in the cellar, manifested by whispering and whimpering sounds.  Some think it's the spirit of Charles Weisberger, the founder of the Ross Memorial.  But most believe that it's the unfortunate ghost of an employee who was killed during a robbery at the Ross House that happened years ago.  Discovery - Haunted Travel 

ROXY THEATER (Northampton, Northampton County)  The Roxy opened as the Lyric in 1921.  It was renovated in 1933 and renamed Roxy, featuring movies and live shows.  It still offers both today.  Its ghost is a black shadow that's been seen in the back rows of the theater.  But there's more oddball stuff going on - the staff allegedly keeps a log of the paranormal happenings there.  But we don't know what's entered in it, sooo...  Coal Region Ghost Hunters


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