There are many haunted places in Pennsylvania, one reason being that Pennsylvania is old. It was one of the original 13 British Colonies, going all the way back to 1681. That means it’s older than the US itself. William Penn established Pennsylvania as a haven for Quakers with the first settlers being Quakers, Dutch, and Swedes. Instrumental to the founding of America, this is one state steeped in history. Therefore, you’re going to find a few ghosts. Here are some of the most well-known haunted places in Pennsylvania.
Inn at Maple Grove
The Inn at Maple Grove is a rustic stone inn, complete with a sweeping front porch and a massive stone fireplace. Here, you can sit by the fire and dine on exquisite steaks and seafood. Be aware, though, that as you’re dining by that romantic fireplace, there’s an Indian that lives int he hearthstone. He died where the main dining room ins now, hung from long gone gallows. He earned his fate, reportedly because he had a crush on a white girl back in the day. Additionally, someone died as a result of murder on the second floor of the inn. According to the Inn, it is these two, as well as a ghost named Charlie haunt this quaint centuries-old inn in Alburtis.
Baker Mansion is a magnificent Greek Revival structure perched atop a hill in Altoona, Pennsylvania. It was erected in 1846 by Elias Baker, an ironmaster and proprietor of the nearby Alleghany Furnace. It’s a formidable structure, solid and impressive.
After building the house, the Baker family spent their lives there until, Anna, died in 1914. She was the last living daughter. Anna is one of the ghosts haunting the house. Some say she haunts it because her father refused to allow her to marry her beloved. He disapproved of a marriage to a lowly millwright.
In retaliation, Anna pledged she’d never wed for financial reasons and lived out her life unmarried. After Anna passed on, the house turned into a museum run by the Blair County Historical Society. They displayed Anna’s wedding dress in a glass case there. According to reports, that dress stirs about on its own, even violently shaking, and the shoes at the base of the showcase, rearrange themselves.
Reports of spirits and disturbances are commonplace around the Baker Mansion. Spirit sightings range from appearances by family members to a Civil War officer in the cellar. Cold spots and other unexplained phenomena occur in the house. Guests to and laborers at the Museum report seeing spectral beings in different rooms that had no association with the Baker family.
Rhoads Opera House Haunted
Over 300 attended the Rhoads Opera House, in Boyertown, Pennsylvania’s theater, for the opening night of “The Scottish Reformation.” It was January 13, 1908. A chain of events led to a kerosene accident that doused the theater in flames so quickly, that 170 people lost their lives before they could get out. After the fire was out, the townspeople encountered a gruesome scene of burnt bodies, 29 of which were burned so severely, officials couldn’t identify them. To say it was a tragedy is an understatement.
Now, the theater and the area surrounding it is haunted. At the Durango Saloon, one block from the old opera house, employees report items moving and doors closing on their own, with no reason. In 1908, the saloon was a hotel in which bodies of the dead remained until they could move to a permanent location. There have been disturbing noises in the Fairview Cemetery, too, where many burn victims rested eternally after the fire. The victims that could not be identified were buried there in a mass grave.
Probably the most haunted places in Pennsylvania is Gettysburg. It’s known as the site of the most gruesome battles in the American Civil War.
It was a battle so bloody, more than 50,000 Americans lost their lives at Gettysburg in July 1863. After the carnage, thousands were interred in mass graves there. Now, the memories of that fateful battle linger in an area where so many men lost their lives in the fight to end slavery.
One ghost story from the area talks about the Phantom on Horseback. The story that when the 20th Maine Division arrived they were guided up Little Round Top by an oddly uniformed man who rode a pure white stallion. Without this guide, Union soldiers couldn’t have flanked the Confederates which lead to winning the battle. Some thought the phantom looked like George Washington.
People have seen fog with floating and pulsating lights within while visiting Gettysburg National Military Park. To some, it appears to be a line of soldiers moving forward in unison. There have also been reports of spirit soldiers and headless phantoms riding on horseback. There’s an older man at Little Round Top who wears a burned Union uniform. He’ll disappear after asking you if you’ve got any spare rounds. There’s another barefoot man at Devil’s Den. He says, “What you’re looking for is over there,” and nothing more.
Heaps of dead bodies lined the streets of the city in the July heat. That’s because the entire area had become battlefield. However, the smell of decay corpses was so strong women had to use scented handkerchiefs to venture outside, or else be overwhelmed by the smell. The scent of vanilla and mint are still active there.
Additionally, there are many reports that items move about by themselves. Also, there are many strange noises in the area, and alarm clocks have been known to continue ringing and won’t turn off even after being unplugged.
Countless ghost stories emanate from this place. Freedom always comes at too high a price. The area is protected as national parklands now, lest we forgot the price that we paid.
There are many more haunted places in Pennsylvania to explore. They’ll arrive soon. Meantime check out my real haunted houses page.