Old Jail Museum (Jim Thorpe)
Let's start off your trip with a stop at the notorious Carbon County Jail. If these walls could talk, they'd be telling goosebump-worthy stories of murder, violence, and centuries-old hauntings. But since walls can't talk, you'll have to count on the guides who'll be happy to share all the sordid details of this old prison, built in 1871. Along your way, be sure to make a stop at infamous Cell 17. What makes it so infamous you ask? This is where the ghostly handprint of a self-proclaimed innocent prisoner haunts the wall. No matter how much they clean, paint, or even concrete the walls, the handprint always returns. Creepy enough for you? Once your knees stop wobbling, brace yourself for our next spooky stop.
Asa Packer Mansion Museum (Jim Thorpe)
While you're walking around Jim Thorpe, you may notice a gigantic mansion looming over the town. That red-roofed giant would be the Asa Packer Mansion, built in 1861. Don't let its overwhelming presence scare you. There's no Doctor Frankenstein-type living up there peering out the windows. But you will find room after room of classic furniture and antiques from centuries past. While searching for ghosts take some time to enjoy the architectural details such as the wrap-around porch and mahogany wood-carvings throughout the home. This home was built after all, over a cast iron frame, consisting of 3 stories, 18 rooms, and about 11,000 square feet of living space. That's more than enough room for a spooky story of any size. In fact, the Harry Packer Mansion next door was used as the inspiration for Disney World's Haunted Mansion. So maybe there's some truth to that Doc Frankenstein reference after all.
Historic Stone Row (Jim Thorpe)
Next, take a walk through the historic streets of Jim Thorpe and you'll see that not much has changed over the past century. Back in the mining days this area used to be known as Millionaire's Row because of the dozen or so wealthy Pennsylvanians who took up residence here. Today you'll find a series of beautiful and sturdily built stone houses remaining as a throwback to the old days. Take a look around and be sure make a stop at some of the quaint shops that pepper the area. They're full of friendly folks and handmade crafts.
Inn at Jim Thorpe (Jim Thorpe)
Stroll down Main Street from the Historic Stone Row past the colorful trees to the Inn at Jim Thorpe. Built in 1849, it is known as one of the most beautiful structures in the town. It is so beautiful in fact that some of its guests decided to stay there in the afterlife. Over the years, there have been tales of moving objects, cold spots, and even overturned furniture. And the guests in room 310 have reported feeling the icy grip of a nurse who occupied the room over a century ago. If the sound of phantom children running through the hallway doesn't send you running for the hills, you'll hopefully stick around long enough to chat with visiting ghost hunters from across the country. You might even stay to grab a bite to eat at the Inn's restaurant the Broadway Grille and Pub. As you could imagine this place is pretty popular destination for both the living and the dead.
Old Moravian Cemetery Walks (Bethlehem)
This hour drive south will lead you to our next destination, a detour off of Bethlehem's main street, where you'll come across the Old Moravian Cemetery. The first things you'll notice on this brisk autumn afternoon (other than the general creepiness) are the flat gravestones lining the ground. The town's old Moravian inhabitants were strong believers in simple, not-too-flashy architecture. The cemetery itself is Bethlehem's oldest and was in use from 1742 - 1910. In the fall, tour guides will be more than happy to show you around and tell you stories about its occupants. Hey, stick around long enough and maybe you'll even catch a glimpse of one.
Brethren's House (Bethlehem)
Next, we have a stop for folks who like some history with their hauntings. The Brethren's House was built in 1748 as a home for single men and a place of work and worship. During the Revolutionary War, George Washington had over 5,000 of his sick and wounded troops housed here. He even paid a visit himself some years later. With so much tragedy and history here, you'd think a place like this would have some spirits floating around. And you'd be right. A Revolutionary War nurse is still rumored to haunt these grounds, looking to treat wounded soldiers from centuries ago. Don't be afraid if you see her hanging around. She's just here to help. Your next destination promises to be equally as scary.
Donegal Square (Bethlehem)
Donegal Square is where Bethlehem comes for authentic Irish music, clothes, and gifts. It's also where they come for some creepy ghost tales. This is the site where General Lafayette rehabilitated from battle wounds he suffered in the Revolutionary War. According to legend, his caretaker's daughter was so in love with him that even to this day she wanders the site looking for him. Visitors have reported experiencing poltergeist activity like furniture moving and faucets turning on. But when you're not ducking ghosts, you can have a nice sit-down in McCarthy's Tea Room to unwind after a long day of ghost hunting.
1741 on the Terrace (Bethlehem)
When the topic of PA's haunted houses comes up, the Hotel Bethlehem is one of the first names mentioned. The hotel was recently restored to its 1922 glory with floor-to-ceiling palladium windows and historic murals gracing the walls. Guests have reported being tapped on the shoulder, seeing ghostly reflections, and seeing vacuum cleaners moving on their own. And if you hear any otherworldly singing throughout the night, that just might be the voice of May Yohe, famous singer and actress from the 1890's. Also, watch out for room 932. Guests have awakened to find apparitions sitting at the foot of their beds. And promptly ran screaming from their rooms. Sweet dreams.
Hotel Syare Mansion (Bethlehem)
From the outside, this gorgeous mansion seems like the perfect place to spend a tranquil weekend with loved ones. That's mostly true. But it's also a great place to meet some friendly ghosts. If you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to book one of the haunted rooms, keep an eye on the mirror. It's rumored that the ghost of Mrs. Sayre, who still keeps an eye on the rooms, will appear in the mirror.