Boo! Did we scare you? No? Well, maybe this will. We’ve got 10 real-life spooky, scary, and bizarre locations in the area for you to check out… if you dare!
Devil’s Den– Located at the historic site of the Gettysburg Battlefield, it is said that ghostly soldiers from the bloody battle are often seen roaming about. There have been numerous accounts of old soldiers still wearing their military garb wandering around in the area of the battlefield. Are you afraid?
Benjamin Franklin’s Grave– At Ben’s burial site at Christ Church in Philadelphia, visitors have been known to leave pennies on his grave. Visitors have reported a few Franklin sightings over the years, but several visitors have reported being hit with flying pennies by an unseen force. A penny saved is a penny earned, indeed.
Union Canal House– Located in Hershey, PA Union Canal House is a restaurant and inn which dates back to the 18th century. It is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Hershey. Bar patrons say they have felt like they are being touched by an unseen hand. Objects in the bar have been reported to move around on their own. If you’re going, take note: room 104 is said to be haunted by a ghost whose name may be Rebecca.
The Absecon Lighthouse One of the most famous haunts in all of New Jersey, hardly a beachgoer who hasn’t heard this tale. Near the lighthouse site on April 16, 1854, (Note: April is not a good month for boats. See also: Titanic) the packet ship Powhatan wrecked and sank during a bad storm. The 311 passengers and crew members were killed, causing the Absecon Inlet to be nicknamed Graveyard Inlet. The Absecon Lighthouse was built to prevent another similar tragedy. The lighthouse has long been peppered with reports of ghost sightings. Visitors often report smelling cigar smoke, hearing footsteps in the tower, and the doors opening and closing on their own. Ghostly apparitions have said to appear in the tower as well. Midnight swim anyone? (You can read the story of the Powhatan which leads to yet another hair-raising haunted tale here.)
The Flanders Hotel– If you’re an ocean City visitor, you’ve seen the Flanders. Situated at 11th st. and the beach, it is right in heart of OC. Many reports of ghostly sightings have been recorded over the years. The ghost at the historic Flanders is locally known as Emily or sometimes the Lady in White. She is known to wander the halls and is most often seen at the Hall of Mirrors. Ready to book your stay?
Gabreil Daveis Tavern– Located in Gloucester Township, NJ (coincidentally home of this author) the tavern was built in 1756. During the Revolutionary War it was turned into a hospital by George Washington. While it is open for tours, and beautifully decorated at Christmas time, some areas remain off-limits. Reports say that the attic still retains its original bloodstained furniture, and spirits can be heard walking and suffering there at night. Also, the ghost of former owner William Schock has been seen sitting in his rocking chair smoking his pipe.
Merion Hall- If you live in or around Philadelphia, you may have heard about Bryn Mawr College’s Merion Hall. Merion Hall is rumored to be haunted by Lillian Vickers, who died in 1901. Lillian who was said to be happy and popular before she died, was distraught over the fact that she had leprosy. Though varying accounts have been told, one version is that she jumped out a third floor window to her death, after accidentally setting herself on fire while trying to treat herself with kerosene. In other accounts, she was said to have committed suicide. Now, Lillian’s ghost is said to hang out in the chimney. She opens and closes doors, plays tricks on students, plays with the computers, etc.
Old Maggie’s Bridge– Located on Rd 78 in Seaford, Delaware, local legend tells of a pregnant woman named Maggie who was killed in a car accident on the bridge. The legend says that if you get out of your car on the bridge and call out “Maggie, I have your baby” it is supposed to cause strange paranormal activity. Another account of the same tale says that Maggie delivered a baby that was physically deformed and it brought shame to her and her family. So Maggie went to the bridge with the intent to throw the baby over and as soon as she was about to it began to cry. Maggie, realizing the grave error in judgement that she had made, tried to reach it but she couldn’t and the baby fell to its death. Maggie was so distraught that she too ended her life. I think I’m going to “steer” clear of this one. How about you?
The Philadelphia Zoo– There are three locations at the zoo that are said to be haunted: the Treehouse Building, the Pennrose Building, and the John Penn House. Full-body apparitions have been reported, along with various poltergeist activity. Particularly noted is a female apparition in a long white dress who stands at the top of the staircase in the John Penn House. Gives a whole new meaning to Boo at the Zoo!
Eastern State Penitentiary– It wouldn’t be a complete list of local haunted oddities without Eastern State. Located in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, hundreds of spirits are said to call this former prison home. Al Capone was an inmate here, and he reportedly was visited by the apparition of James Clark, who was killed in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre under Capone’s orders. Cell Block 12 is reported to be the hub of paranormal activity. Witnesses and visitors have reported shadowy masses and figures. The guard tower even has its own ghost, that of a former guard. Tours are available of the grounds, and this time of year they offer one of the most horrifying, hair-raising, haunted events around!
Thank you to HauntedPlaces.org, Wikipedia, and delcoghosts.com