Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things About MICHELLE HASKER

There are so many haunted places in Philly that I ended up using the most popular ones :)

1. Eastern State Penitentiary, a grim 172-year-old former state prison, was once home to famous inmates Al Capone and Willie Sutton. Pained former prisoners are said to haunt Eastern State's dark Gothic halls. Halloween staff regularly reports seeing the "Soap Lady" dressed in white in the last cell on the second floor. "Terror Behind the Walls," a Halloween tour of the 12-acre site, is offered by candlelight, with visits to The Asylum, Cellblock of Lost Souls and a Tunnel Escape included in the "fun." Not for the faint of heart. 20th Street & Fairmount Avenue, (215) 236-5111 I'm planning on going here with my dad, sister and brother perhaps when the Halloween ruckus dies down, or else early next October before the rush starts. Is it ever not crowded? hehe

2. St. Peter's Church Cemetery has been home to ghosts for more than a century. Some spectators have seen a horse-drawn carriage charging through the center of the graveyard and through the church. Others say restless Native American chiefs roam the grounds and the spirit of a colonial African American man can sometimes be seen walking in the graveyard by moonlight. 4th & Pine Streets you can see this place while on a ghost tour.

3. At City Tavern, a historic restaurant in Old City Philadelphia, a former waiter is always on the job. Legend has it that he was the unintended victim of a bar room duel. To this day, proprietor/chef Walter Staib reports that table settings are moved and silverware clatters. A specter in a bloodied white shirt is sometimes seen falling to the floor before it disappears. 138 S. 2nd Street, (215) 413-1443

4. A few minutes from Philly: Strayer College - formerly Eastern State School and Hospital - Rumored to be haunted due to unfair treatment and killing of patients. If you go into patients rooms the doors will slam shut and trap you in. When you walk down the halls you can sometimes see a figure fallowing you of a man. Mysterious 4th floor said to be life threatening and extremely haunted. If you go into the morgue its very cold and feels like theres a fan on you with no windows in site. My husband knows someone who is a gaurd at Strayer but I'm wondering if the college has satellites - I need to look into it. The building is relatively new, so I think the one his friend works at isn't the original, but of course it didn't occur to me to ask until now. Figures

5. This one made it onto one of those scariest places in Philadelphia Show: General Wayne Inn - This inn is home to more than 17 ghosts including Hessians, a ghost wanting his wives picture, a old owner, and a ghost singing.

6. Just a freaky place to visit period- The Institute of Pennsylvania - Reports of the elevator opening with a loud noise and voices, and foot steps came from the elevator.

7. With a diff spelling this would be a hospital I’ve been in several times and yes was overnight several times. If this is Jeanes then I actually have friends who work there….NOT haunted. And it is now owned by Temple. Jeans Hospital - A few years ago Jeans Hospital was having financial difficulties and there were rumors that it would be bought out. It is said that Anna-May Jeans (founder of the hospital) began appearing to various members of the staff to show her disapproval of a buy-out. BUMMER can’t count this as one of my TT13 since it’s NOT haunted :) NOW…there is a mansion behind it that IS. Ryers Mansion. They do tours on Sundays!

8. Gotta go here now :) The Civil War Library and Museum - Was feature on unsolved mysteries--net work tv. On the second floor, in the Lincoln Room, the spirits of soldiers have been seen playing cards.

9. Okay there was a movie about this. Don't ask me for names. I can't remember your name until I've met you at least twice. I'm horrible with names. It was creepy… Philadelphia University (Textiles)- When the university was a small Catholic school for girls, a nun supposedly hung her self in the top room of the mansion, after finding out she was impregnated by the father...Today, the attic is locked but people still see lights on or the figure of the nun standing up there...the old classrooms are now an all girls dormitory that has had countless incidences from noises to white fuzzy glowing balls appearing in pictures taken...when nothing was there...supposedly you can still see the nun if you sit on the hill in front of the mansion...she is said to walk there at sunrise.

10. The Betsy Ross house is haunted! Saw this one on TV too :) a cool story of an investigation there.

11a. The Franklin Institute is as well, but since I was there as a Chaperone, I didn’t get to question the guide on all the stuff I REALLY wanted to know about.

11b. You may know that John Adams was the only U-S President sworn in at Philadelphia, but did you know some people believe they see him haunting Congress Hall?

Not a specific place to visit, but a tour of several haunted locations:
12. Ghost Tour of Philadelphia Hear the chilling tales of America's most historic...and most haunted city on this candlelight walking tour through Independence Park and Society Hill...
Is Ben Franklin still roaming the streets of his "City of Brotherly Love"?
Do the very souls of our forefathers still frequent Independence Hall?
Does Benedict Arnold have unfinished business at the Powel House?
Help us push aside the cobwebs and discover what lurks in the shadows of America's most Historic City!
LOCATION & TICKETS: Call 215-413-1997 to reserve space on the tour.

13. One Part History, Two Parts Haunt! Visit more than 15 scary sites to hear Philadelphia's haunted facts and folklore. Experience Philadelphia's monuments by moonlight. Travel the cobblestone streets of Old City to hear chilling stories about the Spirits of '76.
Library Hall - Merchants' Exchange - Old Pine Street Church & Cemetery
Physick House - Powel House - St. Mary's Church & Cemetery
St. Peter's Church & Cemetery - Second Bank of the United States
Washington Square Park - Witch of Pine Street - Benjamin Rush House
Bicentennial Moon Tree - Bishop White House - Carpenters' Hall
City Tavern - Congress Hall - Edgar Allen Poe - Holy Trinity Church
Independence Hall - Liberty Bell
For more details on the tour schedule, call 215.525.1776

Even with me tinkering with 11, I ran out of room. I might need to do more, but then there are so many haunted places in Philly it's crazy. I have a story:

This is about our last home, not our new one - My daughter was 3 at the time. She was sleeping in her room, woke up and saw a woman looking at her. She described a woman I'd never met, or seen before. I've always had an interest in ghosts, so I found a neighbor who'd known the woman who'd lived in my house for most of her life and said, did this woman have blue eyes, dark curly hair and smile a lot. The response was yeah she did, and she loved kids even though she'd never had one. So while you all may want to explain it away as my child could have imagined anything as she was dreaming....the woman had actually died the week before I asked this woman and that would have been around the time my daughter had seen her. There were other things, too. One of them we found out was our dog, but there were others we couldn't explain. BUT it turns out my dog lifts the toilet lid with her head, drinks, then lets it fall back down when she pulls her head away. When you are home all alone and there is no other sounds, that loud CRACK is very scary...til I caught her doing it ;)



Sandy Carlson said...

Civil War and Besty Ross hauntings pique my imagination. Thanks for this informative post. My husband, daughter, and I will have to come down and make the rounds.

Hootin'Anni said...

Mmmmmmmmmm, now that St. Peter's sounds like I would love to go walk through it at night. [I have a thing with spooky cemeteries. In fact some of them can be downright spooky during the daylight!!!]

Absolutely fabulous T 13!!

Lesley said...

Sounds like I need to visit Philadelphia! Those sound totally fun!

Veronica Arch said...

Ooh, very cool. I love ghost stories.

Happy TT

Aline de Chevigny said...

I loved it, you know I'm a sucker for the scary stuff.


Michelle Hasker said...

Hope you have a blast, Sandy!

Yeah some of them can, Anni!

Yes, do come visit me, Lesley :)

Thanks Veronica!

Yep, A - Scary stuff and gorgeous muses...