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Built between 1844 and 1849 this mansion was the dream house of Elias Baker and very nearly led to his financial ruin.
In 1836 he and his cousin bought the nearby Alleghany Furnace for smelting iron. In 1844 he bought out his cousin’s share.
The house was built at a cost $15,000 ($500,000 in 2019 dollars) and with the falling price of iron very nearly bankrupted Baker.
It is built in the Greek Revival style with 6 pillars at the front.
He lived in the house for 15 years: passing away in 1864. His wife, Hettie, remained a widow – living in the house – until she died in 1900.
Their remaining son and daughter – the eldest son had died in 1852 in steamboat boiler explosion and the youngest daughter from diphtheria when she was only 2 – remained in the house after their mother passed. Neither of them married and they remained in the house until their deaths.
The daughter, Anna, was the last to go as she passed in 1914. After her death the mansion remained empty until 1922 when the Blair County Historical Society was able to lease the it.
In 1941 the Society was able to outright buy the mansion and moved their headquarters into it.
In 2001 they began a major restoration and restored the outside of the building to it’s original grandeur.
In 2015 – upon finishing the double parlor – they completed the restoration of the interior.
Today, the mansion functions both as a museum as well as the Historical Society’s head office.
The Baker Mansion is considered one of the most paranormally active houses in America.
Anna Baker (see above) fell in love with one of her father’s workmen. Knowing her father would never approve she kept the relationship hidden.
Anna is said to have been a very beautiful woman.
Their affair was kept hidden until he proposed to her.
Filled with happiness Anna finally told her family. This being the 19th century her rich father absolutely forbid his daughter marrying below her station. Her father fired the man and chased him away.
Anna was heartbroken and swore to never marry, and she never did.
When her father died, she tracked the man down, but he had married someone else.
Anna’s behavior got stranger and stranger and she confined herself to the mansion with only her brother and staff for company. Maids would often find her alone in her room dancing to her music box in a white gown.
She died in 1914 unmarried and the last of her father’s line.
When the mansion was converted into a museum a wedding dress worn by another iron heiress – Elizabeth Bell – was placed in a glass case in the Bell room. Sealed away and untouchable the dress will occasionally twitch at the bottom as if a breath of air passes through it.
It has also been seen moving swaying so violently people fear the glass around it might shatter. What is truly chilling is these violent movements usually only occur on the nights of full moons and on Halloween.
Perhaps placing a wedding dress in Anna’s home rubs salts into her eternal wounds and mocks the destruction of her only dream.
Update: the wedding dress is no longer on display as it was suffering damage from light and air.
A sad and lost woman in a white gown is often seen looking out of the window of Anna’s bedroom when the house is empty of the living.
While inside the house the apparition of Anna is usually seen in the second floor bedrooms and the double parlor.
The ghost of a Civil War era soldier is seen in the basement. His apparition has been seen standing at the bottom of the basement stairs glaring up at anyone near the top of the stairs.
What is described as a dark presence is often seen and felt on the stairway to the second floor.
Anna’s father, Elias, is also seen and felt throughout the house still standing guard over his dream mansion.
Other Activity: light anomalies, disembodied voices, unexplained images in mirrors and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
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The Hotel Bethlehem that stands today was built in 1922 but the land it stands on has a long history in the city of Bethlehem.
In 1741 a group of Moravian Missionaries built a log cabin here they called the First House of Bethlehem with the intention of building up the town and converting the German farmers in the area. Within 20 years they had built more than 50 buildings in the town.
The log cabin they originally built was replaced with a General Store in 1794.
The general store was gradually built up until in 1820 it changed it’s name to the Golden Eagle Hotel which it would remain until 1919. Many famous guests stayed at the Golden Eagle including Mark Twain and the 18th US President Ulysses S Grant.
In 1921 Charles M Schwab, President of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, decided to built a new modern hotel with his fire-proof I-beams.
The Golden Eagle – which was last used to house soldiers convalescing from World War I – was demolished so the new hotel could be built.
When the new modern hotel was opened in 1922 a number of famous people came to visit it including Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford; even Winston Churchill – a close friend of Schwab’s – came and stayed.
President Eisenhower stayed here while mediating the Bethlehem Steel Strike in the 1950’s. Soon-to-be President Kennedy stayed in a suite here running for the White House in 1960.
The hotel is now a popular vacation spot and has a Hall of History in it’s lower lobby with pictures and objects from it’s long and distinguished past.
The hotel is very open to their hauntings and ghosts.
There are 3 famous ghosts and one very haunted room in the hotel:
May Yohe: who danced and sang in the hotel lobby. She is said to be responsible for the lobby piano playing on it’s own; some even say she can be heard singing as she plays with the keys of the piano. She is usually seen both in the lobby and third floor exercise room.
Mrs Brong was a landlord in the Golden Eagle hotel with her husband. They weren’t employed for long as Mr Brong was a bit of a drunk and Mrs Brong greeted guests with no shoes or stockings; which was very shocking in the 19th century.
An apparition of a woman in Victorian attire but no shoes or stockings is seen by both staff and guests in the kitchen and dining room. Who could it be but Mrs Brong?
Francis “Daddy” Thomas who had a reputation as caring, respectful man but also was utterly fearless – apparently he rode a horse over thin ice and broke through but he survived – is said to haunt the boiler room in the hotel.
The famous Room 932 is the hotel’s recognized “haunted room”. Its also one of their most booked rooms.
According to the hotel itself one couple was woken up by a man at the foot of their bed asking why they were in his room. When they turned on the light the room was empty.
Numerous photos have been taken in the room showing unexplained light anomalies.
There are reports of: the bathroom wallpaper turning pink - which is a very unique phenomena; lights flashing and turning on and off on their own; papers standing up or flying off desks and numerous captured EVP’s.
Quite possibly the most famous house in all of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is known by many as the Jennie Wade House & is considered a must-see when visiting the town.
The “Jennie Wade House” is situated just a stone’s throw away from East Cemetery Hill, a spot that saw extensive fighting throughout the Battle of Gettysburg, & just a few feet from where the armies divided the town. For many years, I have been intrigued by this story, as have many others, but I’m not entirely convinced it’s the right story. (DISCLAIMER: All of the details remain open to speculation & your own interpretation, there are several different versions of this story & none of us were actually there when the event unfolded. This is my research & my personal interpretation/belief)
The house was built in 1842 as a divided, two-family home, the south (right) side of the house was owned by a woman named Catherine McClain, & the north (left) side was owned by “Jennie’s” brother-in-law, John Louis McClellan. The house was originally called the McClellan house prior to “Jennie’s” death & she never actually lived there until the battle grew too close to her home & she came to stay with her sister, Georgeanna.
When the battle came into town, both families remained in their respective homes, going about life as best they could with a war raging quite literally in their backyard. However, on the morning of July 2, 1863, an artillery shell hit the house, but didn’t explode, leaving a hole in the wall that divided the two homes. This would later play a role in removing ‘Jennie’s’ body after she was killed.
The story goes that the morning of July 3, 1863, while ‘Jennie’ and her sister were preparing bread for the Union soldiers, a Confederate bullet penetrated two doors & struck ‘Ginnie’ in the back, killing her instantly. The story continues by saying that Union soldiers helped carry her body down to the cellar where she & her family waited out the rest of the battle in the July heat.
“Jennie” was born Mary Virginia Wade on May 21, 1843, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Mary Ann Filby, & James Wade, Sr. While digging through several of the exact same stories & articles, I eventually found information that I don’t think has ever been talked about, so let’s.
“Jennie” was often thought to be a “copper head” or southern sympathizer, but this rumor could be attributed to the fact that her father, James was born in Virginia. It could also be attributed to the speculation that she, Jack Skelly, & a boy named Wesley Culp were childhood best friends. Before the war, Wesley moved to Virginia with his boss & joined the Confederate Army when Virginia seceded. There’s some speculation that she was actually in love with Wesley, not Jack. (which, quite honestly wouldn’t surprise me, but who knows.)
Going back now to her father, in 1839, James was charged with “committing fornication by force & fathering a child out of wedlock”, on this charge he was found not guilty by the Adams County Court, however, this wasn’t his first run in with such behavior. He was accused of arson, charged with assault three times & found guilty twice & sent to prison for larceny. That was, until 1852 when “Jennie’s” mother, Mary petitioned to have James found insane. He was sent to the Adams County Almshouse & remained there until his death in 1872. It was said that the family raised the said child as “Jennie’s” older brother, but I’ve only been able to find three brothers in her family tree, from credible sources, & they are three, seven & twelve years younger than “Jennie”. Her only older siblings are two sisters, Georgeanna, “Georgia” (who lived in the house where “Jennie” was killed) & Martha.
After “Jennie’s” death, not everyone was thrilled with a monument being erected for “Sweet Jennie Wade”. A War of 1812 veteran & Union soldier, John Burns made his feelings for her very clear in a writing to a local newspaper after the battle, “I knew Miss Wade very well. The less said about her the better. The story about her loyalty, her being killed while serving Union soldiers, etc., is all fiction, got up by some sensation correspondent. The only fact in the whole story is that she was killed during the battle in her house by a stray bullet.... I could call her a she-rebel.”
A Union Colonel, David Hunter Strother said that the monument to her “reminded me of when I was a boy and would become sentimental about corn cobs!” It was even said that the Gettysburg locals weren’t exactly fond of the Wade family. Maybe it was because of her father’s supposed history, or maybe they had different reasons to believe otherwise.
The story of “Jennie’s” death is one that almost every Gettysburg buff has heard, but I don’t know what to believe anymore. There’s the story that she was killed by a Confederate bullet, but personally, this version has been laid to rest for me. In 2007, a package arrived at the Jennie Wade House, addressed to the then owner/manager. Inside the small parcel was a bullet, kept by a Union soldier who had found it in the casket containing Wade’s body. The soldier hadn’t actually removed the bullet, but a family member had removed it when examining the body before presenting his findings to Congress (presumably to determine if her mother could get a government pension for the death of her daughter).
The owner sent the bullet off to a Civil War relic dealer to have it identified. It came back as a .577 caliber Union minie ball that had lost its velocity. This bullet not only put an end to the controversy as to “who” killed “Jennie”, but it also provided evidence that she was hit twice. Once by a spent round, & one that proved fatal.
Over the years, claims of the house being haunted have surfaced. Including a “dark” energy that is felt in the basement, believed to be “Jennie’s” protective father. Other claims include footsteps, voices, apparitions, shadow figures, and other phenomena occurring inside the house. Even a local legend had spawned when the house opened its doors to tourism. It’s said that if a single woman places her ring finger in the bullet hole on the door, she will be engaged not long after.
Some visitors have even reported seeing “Jennie” wander around the surrounding battlefield, others have seen her wandering around the McClellan house, & some have even captured photos of who they believe is “Jennie’s” ghost.
I’ve had a personal experience without ever stepping inside the house, (yeah, I’ve not been inside yet), but the spirits there seem to know who I am. My friends, Steve & Dylan from Haunted Nights were there on an investigation, doing a livestream when they decided to do a digital recorder session. Dylan had asked if the spirits there remembered me, a response on Steve’s recorder repeated my name back to him, & Dylan’s recorder captured a voice saying, “I remember her.”
Could they know me, despite me only walking past the house a year ago? Or is it possible that the Civil War friends I’ve made in Gettysburg have mentioned me to those who still occupy the house 160 years later?"
Status: Historical Haunted Bridge; Execution Site
Photos Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie
This Town truss covered bridge was built in 1854 at a cost of $1,544 (just over $56,000 in 2023) to cross over Marsh Creek.
The I Corps and the III Corps of the Union Army crossed the bridge on July 1, 1863, heading towards Gettysburg. Four Days later the majority of the Confederate troops in the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of Colonel Robert E Lee crossed the bridge retreating from the Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg.
At least 3 Confederate soldiers were executed at the site. They had dressed as Union soldiers and were either attempting to desert or spy; either way they were caught and hung from the wooden trestles on the bridge.
In 1938 the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation designated the bridge as the State’s Most Historic Bridge.
By 1960 the bridge had deteriorated to a point where it was no longer usable. Rather than demolish it, the County banned vehicle traffic allowing only pedestrians to use it.
While the sun is set this location remains what it seems, an idyllic picturesque covered bridge over a peaceful stream.
However, when night falls the scene becomes one that has terrified even seasoned paranormal investigators.
Three dismembered heads have been seen floating on the bridge. The full body apparitions of the three soldiers are also seen and – in a few cases – photographed.
Many people have been tapped on the shoulder only to turn and find no one there.
The phantom smell of cigar smoke is often reported on and around the bridge as well as a feeling of being watched and/or followed.
The phantom sounds of both gun and cannon fire are frequently reported both here and in many locations in the Gettysburg area.
All Photos Courtesy of Melissa K
In 1910 the cottage of Mrs BF Jones was donated to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the story of the Cresson Sanatorium began.
In 1911 Andrew Carnegie – yes that Andrew Carnegie - sold 2 tracts of land surrounding the cottage to the Commonwealth for the bargain price of $1.
In 1913 the Cresson Sanatorium – called “The San” by both employees and staff – opens and the chapel is built.
The San was built for both individuals and entire families suffering from tuberculosis – the White Plague; The White Death – which was incurable and responsible for tens of thousands of deaths at the time. The San was designed more like a college campus than a hospital in order to help the patients acclimatize and not have to live out – in many cases their last – days in an institutional setting.
During the 1950’s the newly discovered antibiotic streptomycin began to be used on tuberculosis patients and for the first time the terrible disease was no longer a death sentence.
In 1956 the facility’s name changed to the Lawrence Flick State Hospital and treatment moved rapidly toward the treatment of the mentally ill.
In 1964 the name was changed yet again to the Cresson State School as the focus became developmentally challenged children.
In January of 1983 then Governor Dick Thornburgh issued an executive order transferring the facility to the Bureau of Corrections. They were given $20.6 million to renovate the facility into a medium security correctional facility. The prison opened in 1987.
Joseph Kallinger – the serial murder and rapist – died at the facility in 1996.
In January of 2013 it was announced the prison would be closed as it was outdated and the maintenance costs were too high. In June of that same year the facility was closed and put up for sale.
The facility is now used by a hydroponics company who grow hemp and other materials in hopes of creating a greener more sustainable future. The site also functions as a tourist attraction allowing access to many buildings and the tunnel system beneath.
Paranormal tours are available from time to time including overnight investigations. They are offered through Ghost Hunts USA.
Reported Activity: apparitions of patients, inmates and staff from all eras of the complex; shadow figures; disembodied voices; unexplained mists; light anomalies; unexplained sounds from loud bangs to knocks and a feeling of being watched all the time everywhere on the campus.
(Pennsylvania State Lunatic Asylum)
Surrounded by South Circle Drive and North Circle Drive
Status: Former Psychiatric Hospital; Partially Repurposed; Partially Abandoned; Private Property
The main “Kirkbride” building was constructed between 1848 and 1851 after an influx of $50,000 from the Commonwealth. It was the first public building to house the mentally ill in Pennsylvania and originally designed to hold 250 patients.
The dining rooms were removed from the main building and 2 more buildings – North and South Branch buildings – were added quickly to increase the number of patients. A 130 acre (53 hectare) farm was added to the campus providing self-sufficiency as well as work therapy for the patients.
The poor patients were charged $2.00 per week for care and between $3.00 to $10.00 a week for private care depending on the patient’s ability to pay.
As the 19th Century came to a close the hospital and State reached their goal of removing the mentally ill from the almhouses – poorhouses – and into the asylums.
As the 20th Century began – with the main building needing expensive repairs and upgrades – the hospital changed its name to Harrisburg State Hospital and adopted the Cottage Plan housing patients in many smaller buildings on a campus. The campus peaked at 1,000 acres (400 hectares) with over 70 buildings.
There was room for 2, 019 patients but at its top population the institute was caring for 2,441 with a further 440 on parole and off site. The campus was known as the “City on the Hill” became one of the city’s largest employers.
As the 1980’s – 90’s began the population of the hospital began to fall with the invention of the first anti-psychotic drugs and the beginnings of deinstitutionalization to group homes in the community. In 2006 the hospital was closed down completely.
Much of the former campus is now used by different government agencies with the entire campus up for sale. Apparently, Amazon almost reached a deal to buy it but the deal fell apart.
Entrance to the buildings – even the unused ones – is trespassing but tours have been given in the past. There were available on the hospital’s Facebook Page but the last one in June of 2021 was billed as the last one ever.
The movie "Girl Interrupted" was filmed here.
The underground tunnel system and former morgue are said to be the 2 most active sites on the former campus.
Apparitions of former staff and patients; shadow figures; disembodied voices and loud screams; phantom footsteps; phantom sounds including crying, laughing and loud bangs, doors opening and closing on their own; electrical disturbances; unexplained mists; light anomalies; objects moving on their own; objects appearing out of nowhere; lights turning on and off on their own; shadows that follow you in the tunnels; unexplained blood stains appearing and disappearing in the former morgue and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
Piney Fork Road
South Park Township, Pennsylvania 15129
Status: Abandoned Railway Tunnel; Salt Storage Area; Urban Legend
This tunnel is the subject of one of the Pittsburgh area’s most popular Urban Legends. As always be careful just dismissing any Urban Legend as there’s always some truth to it.
The Tunnel is used by Pittsburgh to store road salt.
In this case the truth concerning who the Green Man or “Charlie No Face” really is relatively easy to discover.
When he was 8 years old Raymond Robinson climbed a pole trying to get close to a bird’s nest. The pole was holding up the trolley lines with one carrying 2,000 volts and the other 22,000 volts.
Just a year earlier contact with these lines had killed another young boy.
Unfortunately, Raymond also touched the lines but – to the doctor’s surprise – he survived. However, the accident cost him his eyes, nose and his left arm.
Raymond spent the rest of his life living with relatives and only going out at night as his disfigurement would cause panic in the streets if he went out in daylight. After sunset he would take long walks down the highway feeling his way with his stick. He was hit a number of times by cars but lived until 1985.
So, you’re asking what does this have to do with a Green Man and a tunnel?
According to legend Raymond turned green because of the electricity – this doesn’t appear to be true – and legend says he lived in an abandoned house near the tunnel when he was older. Raymond actually spent his last days in the Beaver County Geriatric Center.
So why do an article about this location at all?
It could be a tulpa created by belief in the legend but there is no question there is paranormal activity at this location.
There are multiple reports of people seeing a misty green colored and human shaped form near or in the tunnel.
There are also reports of phantom footsteps and whispers; light anomalies and electrical disturbances.
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This article contains stories of adults and children unable to defend themselves being abused on all levels. Please exercise discretion in reading it.
Our goal is not to shock or disturb but rather to give reason for the high level of paranormal activity at this location.
In 1903 the State recognized that there were developmentally challenged people in asylums, poor houses and prisons who desperately needed an institution that was devoted to care for them. They wanted to create a facility with 2 branches: education and industrial or custodial and asylum.
Between 1903 and 1908 the first buildings were constructed. The first patient was admitted in 1908. Within 4 years the facility was overcrowded and put under pressure to house the criminally insane, orphans and criminals.
In 1913 the State formed a committee for the “care” of the feeble minded stating they were unfit for citizenship, posed a menace to the peace and were all potential criminals. They also labelled all classified as feeble minded should not mix with the general population and should be institutionalized – meaning their genes needed to be removed from the general population.
In 1916 they made sure women could not be housed with men to prevent any pregnancies. And you thought Eugenics was a Nazi invention.
Stripping the patients of citizenship also stripped them of their rights. And so, a downward spiral began.
Patients who “misbehaved” were strapped to their beds or drugged into a catatonic state. If a patient bit a staff member once they punished; if they did it twice, they taken to an on site dentist and all of their teeth were pulled out.
In 1968 a reporter from a Philadelphia TV station did a 5 part series exposing the truth of Pennhurst. It is said his cameraman immediately vomited after going into the first building; due to the stench and the horrors he saw.
To say the patients were being mistreated is a vast understatement.
In 1981 Time magazine did another expose revealing the facility was vastly overcrowded, under staffed, unsanitary and violent.
In 1983 the lawsuits began and 9 employees were indicted on charges of beating the patients and arranging them so they could assault one another. They were even accused of beating patients in wheel chairs.
The school would ultimately close in 1987 under a court order that was begun back in 1978. There were also numerous lawsuits at the time alleging physical, psychological and sexual abuse. The United States accused the school of violating both the eighth and fourteenth amendments of the US Constitution.
The site is now known as the Shame of Pennsylvania.
In the last year before full closure and until now the US Dept of Veteran Affairs took over part of the campus as a Veteran’s Center.
Thankfully due, in part, to the Veteran’s Center and the National Guard patroling this facility it did not suffer as much mistreatment and vandalism by humans as it's contemporaries did elsewhere.
In 2001 Pennhurst was declared one of the States most vulnerable historic properties and actions needed to be taken to save it.
In 2010 a “haunted house” attraction opened in the refurbished Administration Building. There has been some controversary with this, with accusations of not treating the facility’s past with enough respect.
IN 2016 some of the most damaged buildings were demolished. In 2017 the site was opened for historical tours and overnight paranormal investigations in the Mayflower Building.
In 2020 three more buildings were declared unsafe and demolished.
It is difficult to imagine any paranormal activity that has not be reported here.
Uncountable people died here and those alive suffered constant mistreatment that bordered on torture. At least 10,000 patients were housed here over the years.
It is unknown how many truly died on site but it is certainly not a small number.
Here is some of the activity that has been recorded by paranormal investigators:
Apparitions of former patients and staff – some of whom are visibly agitated.
Shadow figures – some of who have acted aggressively toward the living
Hundreds of hours of Class-A EVP has been recorded from the benign to the actively threatening. The ghosts have also responded to questions by the living
Disembodied voices and unexplained noises from scratching to excessively loud bangs
Touches, pokes and prods by unseen entities. Some investigators have been scratched, pushed or had their hair pulled.
Poltergeist activity including objects moving on their own, doors opening and closing on their own and objects being thrown at investigators
A truly dark entity in the Quaker Building
Empathic feelings so overwhelming people became physically ill or had to leave the property. Feelings of fear, terror, despondence, hopelessness, anger, hatred and more.
Feelings of being watched, not being wanted, being followed and not being alone
Light anomalies, unexplained mists, cold and warm spots, electrical disturbances