Because Pennsylvania played such a historic role in the American Civil War, providing almost 360,000 soldiers and arms and artillery to the Federal State, it’s no wonder that this could also be where a lot of restless souls reside. There have been many reportings of paranormal happenings in areas like Gettysburg where Union and Confederate soldiers died by the thousands, as well as Philadelphia where American Revolutionary War soldiers have been reported to walk the streets at night. If you’re a paranormal enthusiast, Pennsylvania is definitely a place that you would want to check out (maybe with a friend or two). Here are the top 10 most haunted places in Pennsylvania, USA.
If you’re looking to spot the ghosts of Benedict Arnold and Benjamin Franklin, look no more. There have been several accounts by visitors and workers claiming to have seen both of their ghosts in Independence Hall. As one of the most historic parts of Pennsylvania, the Independence Hall was the venue for the Second Continental Congress in May 1775, and where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July 1776. So even if you don’t see any restless ghost celebrities, there’s probably a restless politician or two sitting in their long hallways for sure.
Haunted Philadelphia: Spirits of '76 Ghost Tour
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
2. Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia
Colonel soldiers are said to be haunting Fort Mifflin. The sightings have been so frequent that urban legend has come up with a name for one of them. A ghost named Amos is said to be living in the artillery shed. Workers see him once in a while cleaning his gun. Spookier though is the sound of a screaming lady in the officers’ quarters or the sound of work being done in Jacob Sauer’s blacksmith shop. Some other sightings of lamplighters and faceless soldiers strolling around the barracks have also been reported.
Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia
Address: 6400 Hog Island Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19153
Website: Fort Mifflin, Philadelphia
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 8 USD
Many guests and staff were haunted by the ghosts of Hotel Bethlehem even before they fully embraced these sightings and made it a part of their identity. One of the staff named Bock started logging his sightings and even tracing the origins of the ghosts. These days, they advertise several rooms to be haunted. If you’re itching to see or even feel a ghost or two, you can book Room 932, where four ghosts are said to be residing. The strangest encounter, according to one guest, was when he opened the door and found a completely different bathroom design from another era. There are also sightings of dark figures in the boiler room and in the hallways at night.
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4. Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg
While so much of the Gettysburg Battlefield has now been converted to more functional areas, remnants of the revolution can still be felt in the hallways and dens of the places where the Gettysburg Battlefield used to stand. The Codori Farm, for instance, was considered as Ground Zero for the Pickett’s Charge where the wounded soldiers of the Confederate waited out the battle. On the same site after, 500 soldiers were buried in what is now the farm. It is said that soldiers have been seen wandering at night. Even battle sounds and footsteps can be heard.
Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg
Address: Adams County, Pennsylvania, United States
Website: Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg
5. Old Jail Museum, Jim Thorpe
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
New flooring installed in the Warden's Dining Room. This room is now our ticket sales / Gift Shop. We are still working...Posted by The Old Jail Museum on Thursday, May 2, 2019
This majestic stone structure may seem beautiful but it has a stark past. The whole building has 72 rooms, 27 of which are jail cells. There are also basement dungeons used by those who undergo solitary confinement. The most restless ghosts who are said to be still here though may belong to the seven Irish coal miners many now say were wrongfully accused of murder because of political corporate prosecution. Before the miners were hung from 1977 to 1979, one of them placed their handprint on the wall, stating “this handprint will remain as proof of my innocence.” The handprint still remains today despite many efforts to replaster, wash, or paint over it.
Old Jail Museum, Jim Thorpe
Address: 128 West Broadway Jim Thorpe, PA 18229 (570) 325-5259
Website: Old Jail Museum, Jim Thorpe
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 11 USD
While the Quality Inn is no longer a working hotel, you can still go in this once 2-star hotel to try a totally different experience: ghost sighting. Visitors and former staff, including the Night Inn Manager named Carolyn, reported seeing full body apparitions in the inn. They would also hear footsteps in the attic. Phantom sounds like cannon fire, the sounds of battle, and battle drums could be also be heard once in a while. The hotel was purchased in 2015 by the Civil War Trust.
7. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia has had many infamous inmates over the course of its operation, the most infamous of which perhaps was mobster Al Capone. It is said that during his stint here, Capone was haunted by one of his slain victims. The ghost of James Clark whom Capone had killed during Saint Valentine’s Day massacre was said to appear to him time and time again. Eastern State is also famous for Cell Block 12, one of the most haunted parts of the penitentiary.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia
Address: 2027 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19130, United States
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 2 USD
8. Pittsburgh Playhouse
Like many old theaters who have their own cast of ghosts, Pittsburgh Playhouse also has its own version of the white lady. It is said that the lady roams through the balcony at night, calling out her dead husband’s name. A name that also constantly comes up when mentioning the spooks in the Pittsburgh Playhouse is John Johnsand, an actor who was said to have had a heart attack in the middle of a performance and then died in his dressing room.
Address: 350 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, United States
Website: Pittsburgh Playhouse
Price: 84 USD
9. Seven Gates of Hell, Hellam
The name itself can conjure chills down your spine. It is said that this forest in Pennsylvania has seven doors that, when passed through correctly, goes straight to hell. Like many urban legends, the story of its origin has changed over the years. The most popular one perhaps is that there was an asylum on the outskirts of town. When a fire burned down the asylum, many of the patients were trapped in the gates and their souls are said to remain there even up to this day.
Seven Gates of Hell, Hellam
Address: York County, Pennsylvania
Website: Seven Gates of Hell, Hellam
10. Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia
The seamstress of the first American Flag, Betsy Ross is said to haunt her home up to this day. Although historians can’t exactly be sure if what is now called Betsy Ross House is really the flag maker’s house. Tourists here come in droves as a side trip from the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell not only to pay homage to the little rebel but to see if her rebellious streak is still restless up to this day.
Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia
Address: 239 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, United States
Website: Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 8 USD
Haunted by the past in the present
Unable to move on, many of the paranormal activities in Pennsylvania is very much tied to the American Civil War. A dark part of American history, remnants of its impact can still be felt up to this day, some even transcending the afterlife. May you learn some valuable lessons from the story and history of the most haunted places in Pennsylvania, USA.
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