Bethlehem Academy

7051 St John Road, Elizabethtown, KY

(270) 401-9894

Status: Former Residence; Former Girl’s Boarding School; Heritage Building

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The building was originally built in 1818 by John Helm who would later serve 2 terms as the Governor of Kentucky. In some stories relating to the history of this building Helm sold it to another man before it was sold to the Catholic Church.

Either way, the Sisters of Loretto opened the Bethlehem Academy just after Christmas in 1830. The girls lived on site and worked the farm that once existed on the property as well as their lessons.

The Sisters closed the school in 1959.

The former school has had many owners since then including an artist who painted murals on the walls of the building and those planning to turn it into either a bed & breakfast or subdivided into apartments.

It was bed and breakfast for a while.

The current owner, Vincent Thompson, bought the property in 2014 at auction.

Previous to the Covid pandemic he ran historical tours and his wife ran paranormal tours in the building. The tours were suspended during the pandemic.

Despite Goggle insisting this site is permanently closed the historical tours are available again either through the phone number above or the Facebook page link above. Tours are run through Cindy Scarcelli the site co-ordinator.

There is also an article saying the property was put up for sale in 2021. Conflicting information on the internet; who would have guessed.


Paranormal Activity

A woman who sent to the school for daring to fall in love with a boy below her station. She hung herself from the second floor balcony.

A servant boy is said to have died from illness in the building.

And – the only story that can be verified – a nun was crushed by an ox.

Other stories include 3 nuns being murdered on site and a suicide pact between 2 nuns due to hiding the horrible hidden secrets of the school.

This location is very active during the daylight hours but there is certain activity that is said to only happen at night including: empathic sensations of sadness, despair and misery and – this sounds very urban legend-ish – the doors and windows opening and closing themselves repeatedly as well as the lights turning on and off over and over.

The apparition of a nun – said to be transparent with black eyes – is seen looking out of the windows as well as wandering the grounds. Some reports say her eyes will enlarge becoming dark holes.

Chairs have been reported as moving across rooms with no visible reason.

Small objects like keys disappearing and the reappearing in different places. Some objects have reappeared in places deemed impossible.

Other reported activity: shadow figures; disembodied voices; phantom sounds of children crying; light anomalies; sounds of large items being moved in a room yet nothing had changed when the room was opened; electrical disturbances; objects moving on their own and feelings of being watched and not being wanted.