(WHTM) – Spooky season is upon us and for those who are not satisfied by the depictions of ghosts on TV or in books, these allegedly haunted places in Pennsylvania are gateways to experience those on the other side.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pa.
The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is known as “America’s Most Historic Prison” due to its long history of housing over 85,000 inmates, including “Scarface” Al Capone, dating back over 180 years. This site is likely haunted because of the many inhuman punishments used on the prisoners including the water bath which involved dunking prisoners in water and hanging them outside in the winter and the iron gag which sliced their tongues with every small movement of their mouth.
The now-crumbling Penitentiary has been featured on TV programs such as Ghost Adventures and is visited frequently by ghost hunters. Tales of the hauntings date back to the 1940s from inmates, guards, visitors, and others. Each cell houses its own paranormal history.
People have experienced hearing voices and cackling in cell 12, seen figures on the walls in cell six, and seen unnatural faces in cell four. Lots of visitors say they have seen the outline of a guard in a tower.
Centralia – Columbia County, Pa.
This abandoned ghost town features a perpetual underground fire that started in 1962 which makes steam rise from the ground, similar to depictions of hell, many cemeteries, a cracked highway and there isn’t a soul in site – living souls anyway.
There are some stories of ghosts, and even creatures, that haunt Centralia. One ghost is supposedly that of Alexander Rae, the town’s founder who was murdered in his buggy by a gang.
Pennhurst State School and Hospital – Spring City, Pa.
This mental asylum was home to thousands of children who were considered mentally disabled and were abandoned by their parents. Many immigrants, criminals, and orphans were also housed in the Pennshurst State School and Hospital.
All of them were tortured.
This “hell on Earth” as some people have called it welcomed its first patient in November 1908. It was eventually closed after a legal battle following a local news station exposing the horrible treatment inhabitants were forced to endure.
Now, many ghost hunters have explored the asylum to try and talk to the spirits who are supposedly trapped in the asylum. People have experienced slamming doors, unaccounted-for footsteps, voices, crying, and the sounds of vomiting. Children playing has also been heard.
There has specifically been the report of a little girl walking around Pennhurst looking confused.
To add to the dark history of this place, there have been reports that satanic worshippers have performed ceremonies at Pennhurst.
Hill View Manor – New Castle, Pa.
Hill View Manor was originally known as the Lawrence County Home for the Aged and was the home of mentally ill and elderly people who had nowhere else to go.
According to Visit PA, there is a tale of a spirit named “Jeffery” who is a little boy who still calls Hill View Manor home even after dying. According to legends, if you see a six or seven-year-old while visiting you will die shortly after. In-room 105, visitors have reported seeing Mary Virginia, a former patient. There are other various reports of voices, footsteps, being touched, slamming doors, things moving by themselves, and apparition sightings.
If you want to experience this yourself, Haunted Hill Manor allows public investigations, including overnight ones.
The Quality Inn at General Lee’s Headquarters – Gettysburg, Pa.
If you are looking for a supposedly haunted place to stay in Gettysburg, this Quality Inn is a great option. It served as General Lee’s headquarters when it was built in 1863 and has since been turned into a hotel.
There have been numerous reports from workers and hotel guests of paranormal activity such as the sound of gunshots hitting the building, the front door opening on its own, and lights being flicked on and off by themselves. One case includes a 75-pound laundry cart moving on its own.
Betsy Ross House – Philadelphia, Pa.
Betsy Ross, who made the first American flag, resided in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Her house is now host to many ghostly legends. Ross’ grave is at the house, and it is where Charles Weisgerber, who pained “The Birth of Our Nation” and who preserved Ross’ house, died.
According to Visit Philadelphia, visitors have seen and heard Ross crying in her home where her spirit supposedly remains after having to suffer from losing her husband, she was married three times, and the death of her children.
Fort Mifflin – Philadelphia, Pa.
Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia still stands after the British fired over 10,000 cannonballs at it during the Revolutionary War. About 350 American soldiers died in November 1777 during the bombardment. Later, during the Civil War thousands of soldiers died in a prison under the fort from starvation and diseases.
It was named one of the most haunted places in the world by the History Channel and the Travel Channel.
People have reported orbs, apparitions, and strange voices. There have even been reports of seeing soldiers cleaning guns and smelling a wood fire.
Many people have said they have seen the “Faceless Man” who walks the property wearing Civil War attire. Some say it is the ghost of William H. Howe who was executed during the war at the fort.
Harrisburg State Hospital – Harrisburg, Pa.
The Harrisburg State Hospital was formerly known as the Pennsylvania State Lunatic Hospital from its opening in 1851 until 1937. The hospital stopped operating in 2006 and is now used as office space.
Reports of paranormal activity include screams, unexplained noises, shadows, apparitions, and disembodied footsteps. The exam room in the morgue, which is considered one of the most haunted places in the former hospital, allegedly has stains that look like blood on the floor.
The places that have the most activity besides the morgue include the basement and the tunnels underneath the basement.
It was also apparently the location of a very aggressive poltergeist situation.
Old Jail Museum Jim Thorpe – Jim Thorpe, Pa.
The jail had 27 cells and a basement which had dungeon cells for solitary confinement and is most known for being the site where seven Irish coal miners, a part of the secret society known as the Molly Marguires, were hanged.
One of the men thought to be Thomas Fisher, claimed he was innocent and before the hanging put his hand on the dirty floor of his cell and put it on the was, supposedly proclaiming “This handprint will remain as proof of my innocence.”. The handprint remains today despite many efforts to remove it including re-plastering the wall, painting, and washing.
According to the Old Jail Museum, many visitors have reported “strange happenings”.
Hotel Bethlehem – Bethlehem, Pa.
The Hotel Bethlehem is on the site of Bethlehem’s “first house” which was constructed in 1741. The Eagle Hotel took its place in 1823. The Hotel Bethlehem replaced the Eagle Hotel in 1921. According to the hotel, there are four resident ghosts.
The spirits include May Yohe – Lady Francis Hope whose grandfather owned the Eagle Hotel. Yohe was born in the hotel and was a singer. Today, there have been accounts of her hanging around the lobby and the third-floor exercise room. The piano turns on by itself often, which people account to Yohe.
Francis “Daddy” Thomas is another spirit who was Bethlehem’s Town Guide. Thomas died in 1822 and supposedly still tries to entertain visitors. Thomas has been sited in the Boiler Room.
Mrs. Brong was one of the landlords with her husband Mr. Brong for six months. Mrs. Brong did not wear her shoes or stockings very often and would usually greet guests in bare feet. There have been reports of a barefoot woman roaming the kitchen and restaurant which people believe to be Mrs. Brong.
The other spirit has not been “identified” but allegedly haunts room 932 on the ninth floor. There are pictures of orbs in the room, guests with no knowledge of the hotel reported papers standing upright and flying off desks, lamps flashing and the bathroom wallpaper turning pink.
A couple who stayed in the room said they were awoken by a man next to their bed who asked them why they were in his room. Paranormal investigates recorded voices in the room including “It’s Mary”, “What a beautiful bathroom”, “I’ve locked myself in the closet” and “look out the window.
Gettysburg Battlefield – Gettysburg, Pa.
Another Gettysburg location that is reportedly very haunted is the Gettysburg Battlefield where the Civil War’s bloodiest battle took place. In the Battle of Gettysburg, there were about 51,000 casualties.
There have been reports of soldiers whose spirits have not passed on walking around the battlefield, orbs, the sound of marching, gunfire, and music at the battlefield.
University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, Pa.
Supposedly the University of Pittsburgh has several buildings that are haunted including the Cathedral of Learning, William Pitt Union, and some residence halls such as Ruskin Hall and Centre Plaza.
A Former Pitt custodian supposedly made a bed in the upstairs area of the Cathedral and when he returned to the room there was an indent in the pillow as if someone had, or was, laying down and the cover was moved.
The Croghan-Schenley Ballroom has had apparitions observed of Mary Schenley. The room was originally a part of a mansion that was built for her by Mary’s father. There have also been stories of moving furniture.
Students have also reported incidents of unexplained noises in some dorm halls such as Ruskin Hall.
There is also a story of a ballerina who lived in William Pitt Union when it was a hotel and frequently overslept and missed her rehearsals. As a result, she was cut and committed suicide. Now, she haunts the William Pitt Union.
Bube’s Brewery – Mount Joy, Pa.
This originally small brewery was bought by one of its workers Alois Bube and made into the Bube’s Brewery that exists today. The brewery is about 150 years old now and is still open for people to come and enjoy a meal and a drink.
It features creepy catacombs where guests can dine.
People have experienced a ghost in the second-floor ballroom. However, the most common report is of a young lady walking through the art gallery in a long dress.
The crew from Ghost Adventures investigated the property in 2012.
Devil’s Den – Gettysburg, Pa.
Devil’s Den was the site of a huge battle during the Civil War on July 2, 1863. In that battle, the Union army lost 23,000 soldiers and the Confederates lost over 28,000 men.
Those who died there were not buried for days and weeks and some were supposedly never buried, instead thrown into the crevices of the boulders. There were two reports from women in the 1970s who were out visiting the battlefield and encountered an unkempt man. One woman said he appeared behind her and asked why she was looking at the rocks and pointed at them. When she turned to see where he was pointing, he had disappeared.
Another woman photographed a man who looked similar to the first woman’s description a month later.
Since these original reported incidents, there have been numerous other reports of ghost activity at Devil’s Den.
Mishler Theater – Altoona, Pa.
The Mishler Theater was built in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1906, beginning operation on Feb. 15. It was the first theater in America to be completely dedicated to theatrical productions. In October of that year, it was destroyed by a fire and was rebuilt.
It is apparently now haunted by Isaac Charles (Dc) Mishler whom the theater was designed for, a dog who howls often, and a female ghost who plays pranks on people in the bathroom.
Katy’s Church – Muncy, Pa.
Katy Vandine, a former resident of Millersville from the 1800s, is buried at this tiny, white church. Vandine ended up hanging herself from a tree on the church’s grounds. There are two legends circulating regarding her death. some say she became pregnant before marriage and was outcasted by her peers.
Others state that she was a mistress of a married man and became pregnant and the man accused her of witchcraft instead of admitting the baby was his. Vandine was apparently hanged for being a witch.
There have been stories from locals about seeing blood dripping down the church windows, seeing a noose in the tree near her grave, seeing her ghost walking around the church, and voices and screams coming from the church.
People have also stated having issues with their cars when near the church.
However, a supposed descendant of Katy, Catherine Vandine, says all of the stories are not true and that she was just a member of the church who attended services until she died at 87 years old.
The church is still operational and has services.