Welcome to Nerdophilia! Don't worry, there's no sex, just R-rated language! And nudity only if it's integral to the plot!
This blog is about anything I consider to be interesting or important, but mostly both. I am a believer in the paranormal and a fan of Nerdist, MythBusters, Ghost Adventures, science, and nerdy stuff.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
My Real-Life Paranormal Adventures: Candlelight Ghost Tours Rock!
I'm sorry I wasn't able to post over Halloween; to be honest, my parents kidnapped me for my birthday (which really IS on Halloween!) and for All Saints Day; for Halloween, we went to a pub and a fro-yo shop, then that Friday, I went shopping with them and got a shit ton of clothes for my growing wardrobe....which now includes white! How terrifying is THAT?!
Anyways, to continue on with my intended topic, I have here for you this blog entry's theme music!
I'm not saying whether I do live in the Bethlehem, PA area; I could be living
as far south as Philadelphia, or as far west as Huntington, WV, or as far north
as Scranton, PA. All of these cities, my
fellow Daleks, are within my territory, so extermination must have special
permission obtained from me. With that
said, I am familiar with the Bethlehem area, especially the oldest continuously
operating (indie) book store in the country (and perhaps the world) known as
Moravian Book Shop, who does the Historic Haunts of Downtown Bethlehem
candlelit walking tour that runs every Halloween season, a tour I highly
recommend for people who don't mind carrying around hot wax sticks of fire
while walking for upwards of 2 miles for about 50 minutes to an hour, with
moments of standing around, listening to the history of the specific locations
and different unexplained experiences of specific locations in and near the
historic district of Bethlehem, PA. Not
only that, people were encouraged to take photos on the tour to see what they
could capture! So here are a couple of
locations (not all of them; this blog entry is not a substitute for the actual
tour, which generates some amazing business), with a description of the history
and activity that has been experienced there (as I remember how it's told).
the first stop of the tour, and rightfully so; this building that was built to
house the single males in the Moravian community, it is the third(?) building
of Bethlehem, and it's definitely haunted.
Currently property of Moravian College, it is a place for the Art,
Graphics and Music students of the college to learn and practice their
studies. It has served as a hospital for
the Revolutionary War soldiers. Mind
you, the Moravians who originally settled Bethlehem are against war but they understood
the importance of the American Revolution, so they allowed Brethren House to be
temporarily converted to a hospital for thousands of the wounded; the problem
with this location being a hospital was the overcrowding, so there were a lot
of patients having to be treated out on the street. Of the thousands that were moved there, about
400-600 (approximately) of those soldiers died immediately. That's not really a good sign, but we still
won the war, with the added bonus of having General George Washington setting
foot in that building! SQUEE!
paranormal activity that reportedly took place in that building include
footsteps in one of the stairwells there, that a "woman in white"
that many believe to be a nurse was sighted there, and at one point, a music
student practicing piano was getting ready to leave when the piano itself
started playing again, with nobody at the keys!
If anything, I suggest very small groups (maximum of 4 or 5) be allowed
in here to investigate (with permission from the college, of course) and share
their evidence with the college. I'd
also love to take a look of the place, see if I can't dig up my own evidence.
Moravians didn't fear death; they weren't excited about it and look forward to
it, but they accepted death as a part of life, so they didn't spare their
children from it, much like the Amish would at funerals. In fact, Moravian Academy's school buildings
practically surround this particular graveyard where many historic graves are
located, all laying flat on the ground as memorials to the dead. "Wait, flat on the ground?" Yes, flat.
You see, the members of the Moravian community believed in equality in
life and in death; it doesn't matter what color you were, what status you had,
whether you were single or married, etc., because you were equal to each
other, especially in God's eyes. So, to continue that equality
past a person's life, they would have the graves flat on the ground, so that
not one person is "above" another in death. (I believe that the Cemetery Renaissance sort
of eclipsed this practice with the rise of garden cemeteries and monuments that
reflect Gothic, Grecian and Egyptian styles.)
What's also interesting with this particular site is that in one corner
of the land lies the final resting place of a chief of a Native American
tribe. And yes, this cemetery is
haunted; but not just "haunted," but rather FUCKING haunted!
plenty of people have captured photographic evidence of paranormal phenomenon
and electronic voice phenomena (EVPs or spirit voices recorded on audio
recorders that you have not heard when the actual recording took place) within
this location. Author Katherine Ramsland
investigated this cemetery at one point, along with her accompanying companion
Pat, who claimed to have psychic abilities (like a medium), were in this
particular cemetery when Pat saw a girl looking at them and having trouble with
speaking, as if something's wrong with her throat. The girl was sighted near her own grave,
which was near a tree she would be seen peeking from behind. Another bit included an EVP captured on a
tour lead by a local historian named Natalie; the EVP that was recorded there
by a member of the Pennsylvania Paranormal Society who was in the group she was
leading was a very clear Class A (clear tone, awesome volume) female voice that
said in a polite, assertive tone, "Leave, please." Other evidence includes awesome photographs
of a smoky mist that looks like it is coming out of one of the graves.
into the paranormal that can be violent, this place is for you! And when I say violent, I mean violently ill,
violent poltergeist tantrums, extremely rapid temperature changes, etc. The building used to be a nightclub known as
The Colonnade (the first ever nightclub in Bethlehem!), which, somehow, was
allowed to continue serving alcohol during Prohibition, due to some of its
patrons being the mayor, the Governor of the time, heads of Bethlehem Steel
(which had a lot of pull even then), but it closed down in the 1930s or 1940s
after a janitor found the body of a woman bludgeoned to death on a couch in one
of the basement rooms. The investigation
into this homicide wasn't very thorough; at the time, the most advanced
forensic technique was the polygraph--a lie-detector test. The investigators brought in everyone who was
there the night before and administered the test; shockingly (for us peeps
nowadays) everybody passed. Going on
those results, the investigators ruled the death an "accident," and
closed the case. Which begs the
question…WHAT THE FUCK?! How can a woman
be "accidentally" bludgeoned to death while laying on the couch? To this very day, the case is unsolved, which
is probably why the activity is so strongly negative.
the parties stopped, the building is still in use, currently occupied by a
certain bank I shall call Hells' Fargo.
(The choice of pseudonym is not coincidental.) And because it's owned and run by Hells'
Fargo (with a Bethlehem Police training center you can enter around the side),
nobody is allowed to simply go in to the basement and "poke
around". But I've heard that the
activity there includes extreme temperature changes where it can drop or rise 50
degrees in seconds. Other activity, like
I said, is the poltergeist "temper tantrum" where, if you exit the
room, and then re-enter it later, everything is thrown about, like contents of
drawers dumped out onto the floor, items that were previously on the tables
would be found strewn about the room.
And yes, employees would refuse to enter that room and avoid it at all
costs. But like I said, it's near
impossible to investigate here; you'll have to pull a lot of strings to get
The Sun Inn
Guetter St. on the southern side of Broad, head down the tunnel past The
Underground Lair (to whom I've waved while passing--Yays!), cut across the
right side of the courtyard, and you'll reach the "backstreet side"
of the historic Sun Inn. This was the
Ritz of the 1760s and 70s! It had
running water well before any of the residences in Bethlehem! Anyone who's anyone would've loved to stay
here! Not only was it the northern most
point of Bethlehem way back then, it also hosted historical figures such as
General George Washington, Martha Washington, John Adams, and multiple generals
of the Revolutionary War! It currently
serves as a living history museum nowadays, and also seems to play host to a
restaurant (I believe). They also allow
ghost hunts to take place, and multiple paranormal groups have investigated
was seen on SyFy's Ghost Hunters for a Christmas episode, when The Atlantic
Paranormal Society (aka TAPS, and it was before Grant Wilson left) was called
to the place to investigate; they did and they managed to catch evidence of the
spirit of a little girl who haunts the place!
Most often, people would feel the hand of a small child in their
hair. Other experiences include EVPs
(which have been caught by Mark and Debby Constantino of Spirits-Speak.com, and
Brian and Jason of Haunted Collector; they just recently investigated this
place as part of a special sold out ghost hunt that took place during Parafest
2013! I'LL GET IN NEXT YEAR, BOYS!) that
not only has the voice of a little girl, but also cursing and yelling. Yeah, how can little sweet girls (and perhaps
boys) curse? It might not be them
cursing, because the Sun Inn's basement was a jail for prisoners of war! Yes, POWs, and at one point, the tour guide I
had (who's a dude who was wearing a kilt!
FUCK YEAH!) actually went in during a ghost hunt to the basement, and he
felt unwelcome there, like he didn't belong, almost as if he was trespassing. According to a psychic who was also there, he
actually reminded the spirits of the POWs of one of their jailers, so they
wanted him out! This certifiably haunted
living history museum is a definite must-do on any paranormal investigators'
list. (Yes, I once saw that it was
certified as haunted. How cool is
The Historic Hotel Bethlehem
St. from the Moravian Book Shop and Hand Cut Crystal shop is one of the most
expensive yet incredible hotels I've ever heard about: Hotel Bethlehem (where
I've had to tell some people why 25 men and women--half of them dressed as
witches--were standing outside the hotel with lit candles and gathered around a
man in a kilt telling about the history of the building they were entering). And yes, this place is haunted! It sits on the site of the first ever
structure in the "little town of Bethlehem", which was torn down in
1823 to provide space for the Eagle Hotel; but in 1923, that hotel was eclipsed,
too, in order to be replaced by the hotel that is here today, Hotel
Bethlehem. It was built by the president
of Bethlehem Steel, Charles M. Schwab, and is most certainly haunted. Its predecessor played host to many different
people, including May Yohé,
whose father worked extensively in order to send her off to Europe. She was quite the prominent film actress of
the time, and after touring around Europe for a time, she settled down in
England and married Lord Henry Francis Hope, and was (I believe to be) the
first to wear the famous Hope Diamond; but she was also the first to be cursed
by it, too, as her marriage ended poorly, with a number of subsequent marriages
also ending poorly. She wound up dying
alone, away from the hotel, but the apparition of a young girl that has been
seen in the windows was attributed to her, as she grew up in this particular
location when it was the Eagle Hotel.
Bethlehem certainly has its ghost stories, with the staff experiencing activity
in the lobby, the boiler room, in the halls, and in the rooms; the guests have
no shortage of stories to tell, and to top it all off, they have what they call
a "Room With a Boo," which has the most amount of paranormal activity
taking place in it, with EVPs, windows opening on their own, the apparition of
a man in a tuxedo and top hat greeting you with, "Why are you in my
room?"--certainly one of the most popular rooms the hotel has, as it has
an item named with those two dreaded words for paranormal investigators:
waiting list. It's hard to reserve or
get into, especially around Halloween time.
But it's probably worth it, as guests tend to emerge with stories to
share. There is no doubt that I'd love
to spend a few nights in this room with cameras and digital recorders and Mel
Meters and REM pods and Ovulus IIIs!
GODDAMMIT, JARVIS! GET MY
the tour, and I wish I brought Dad's camera with me, but I have a ticket as a
souvenir for now. But I do plan on going
around again, at night, to take pictures of these locations to see if anything
does pop up. Picture-taking is
encouraged, and one of the other people touring in the group (dressed as a
witch; somehow, there was a "coven" of witches dressed up for the
tour, which was actually quite fun--I need to take a bunch of people myself,
and have them all dressed up in Goth just to freak people out and laugh at the
reactions!) took pictures of the group holding candles and after examining it
back at the Book Shop, she was surprised to learn that in one of the images,
all the flames of the candles we were all holding somehow extend in a ghostly
way up to the top of the frame! Like,
wow! (Why couldn't I take pictures like
that, Dad?!) And I plan on going back
again next year, paying the $13 and holding a candle while hiking around just
to take ghostly pictures of the tour and perhaps catch some visual evidence
that I can stick into my sister's face and say, "Ha HA! Who has proof of life NOW?!"
even sweeter if she were there with me as I take the picture because then I can
render her argument invalid in the moment!
Ah, I love
being right, and being able to prove it!