With October nearly over, here are the top 10 most popular #HauntedLancaster stories from this month. Which one was your favorite?
1. The Witch Sisters and Chiquesalunga’s Curse
Three witch sisters once lived in a small house atop Chiques Hill. Rather than leave their land when forced out by the Columbia & Donegal Electric Railway, they committed suicide but not before putting an evil curse on the property. Some believe the ground is still cursed today. Click here to read the entire tale.
2. Enormous snake attacks Conestoga area residents
With urban sprawl spreading across the county, it is easy to forget there was a time when Lancaster represented the frontier. Wild and dangerous creatures such as wolves and snakes roamed the untamed countryside attempting to feast on the unexpecting.
In the summer of 1869, giant snakes, some rumored to be as large as 8 inches in diameter and 25 feet in length, attacked residents in the River Hills of Southern Lancaster on at least three occasions. Sightings like these were not new. Residents reported seeing giant black snakes like this for the past 25 years in the Pequea Creek hills between Conestoga and Marticville.
On August 3, 1869, an enormous black snake nearly crushed a sleeping boy. What made this attack even more frightening was it was not the first time either but the third that summer. Click here to learn more about this true tale.
3. The sad tale of Lover’s Leap at Chickies Rock
Native Americans have lived on or around Chickies Rock for thousands of years. The name comes from the Delaware word Chiquesalunga meaning “place of the crayfish.”
As soon as people start living somewhere, death and murder soon follow. The earliest legend at Chickies Rock involves the Susquehannocks and a tragic murder-suicide love triangle. Their ghosts still haunt the base and summit of the 200-foot tall jagged cliff.
Even if you don’t believe in ghosts or spectral apparitions, Chickies Rock is a place of death. At least 13 people have tumbled off the edge since 1981. Click the link to read the tragic story.
4. Grave Money: Why do some tombstones have coins on them?
Discover why do some tombstones have coins on them when you click here.
5. Meet Columbia’s Little Bigfoot—the Albatwitch
In the area of Chickies Rock near the ancient Susquehanna River, stories of a 4-foot-tall hairy ape-man fond of apples have existed since Native Americans dominated the region. As recently as 2020, people have seen the hairy beast. Click here to learn about Columbia’s little bigfoot—the Albatwitch.
6. The Laughing Ghost of Gonder Mansion
Behind the walls of Strasburg’s most beautiful home lies a dark secret. More than 100 years ago, a family member was barred entrance to this stately manor. Today her laughing ghost haunts the halls. Click here to learn the full story of this true tale.
7. The Haunting of F&M’s Old Main
Built between 1854 and 1856 to accommodate the merger between the Franklin and Marshall colleges, the “Old Main” building is allegedly the most haunted location on campus. Paranormal activity often involves the building’s bell ringing by itself in the dead of night.
However, it isn’t the imposing antebellum structure that’s haunted but rather its location. At least 15 Lancastrians greeted eternity at the end of the rope in front of huge crowds on this very spot. Perhaps Old Main’s nocturnal chimes are merely the death rattle of those 15 hung criminals from long ago. What do you think? Click here to read the full Haunted Lancaster tale.
8. The tragic tale of Augusta Bitner and her wandering statue in Lancaster Cemetery
Founded in 1846, Lancaster Cemetery is home to several prominent Lancastrians such as painter Charles Demuth and Civil War Union General John Reynolds. However, its most famous grave (at least in the sense of the supernatural) belongs to Augusta Bitner. Legend holds this young woman died on her wedding day when she tumbled down the steps after tripping on her gown. Her statue is said to roam the cemetery at night.
9. The White Werewolf and the Full Moon Curse of Shock Graveyard
Legend holds that anyone foolish enough to walk seven times around Hans Graf Cemetery under the light of the full moon will perish before sunrise, hunted down by the werewolf who guards the graveyard. While I’m not superstitious or even a “littlestitious,” I don’t make it a habit of walking around cemeteries in the middle of the night. Tread with caution. Click here to read the whole legend and the history of Hans Graf Cemetery.
10. All aboard! The Rock Point Tunnel Railroad Ghost
Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, Chickies Rock is a place of death. At least 13 people have died there since 1981.
Nearby Rock Point Tunnel has its share of apparitions. One is the spirit of a long-bearded man who carries a staff with a red lantern spotted in the tunnel between midnight and 1 am. Learn more in this #HauntedLancaster tale when you click here.