The Legend of the Head in the Window
In the heart of Fulton Township, along Route 222, stands an unassuming brick house, weathered by centuries. Its history dates back to the 1700s, and according to legend, its walls hold secrets whispered through generations.
At the top of Carter’s Hill, on the house’s third floor, there’s a window that has long been the source of curiosity and fear among the locals. For as long as anyone can remember, the face in that window has been a source of mystery and unease.
Oral history has it that the house was once home to a loving couple. The husband, a brave soul, answered the call to duty and joined the Union Army during the Civil War, leaving behind his beloved wife. They shared the dream of reuniting once the war was over.
Day after day, the wife kept vigil at that very window, looking out across the rolling hills, her heart heavy with worry but unwavering in her love. She watched, waited, and hoped for her husband’s safe return, as the seasons changed, and the world outside grew dim.
But her dreams were shattered by a fateful message that arrived at her doorstep. Her beloved husband had met his end, cut down in the fog of war on a distant Virginia battlefield. Her world crumbled, but still, she couldn’t accept the news. In her heart, she clung to hope, and so she continued to watch and wait for him, even as the years turned into decades.
It is said that she lingered in that window, her spirit refusing to let go, unable to accept the truth of her husband’s demise. Her ghost, they say, still resides in the third-floor window, gazing out over the landscape, forever trapped in the moment of her deepest heartache. Some claim they’ve seen her there, a spectral figure yearning for her love to return home.
Her story is a haunting reminder of love’s enduring power and the lengths to which a heart can go to hold on to the hope of reunion, even beyond death.
Here’s the truth behind the face in the window. In the late 1800s, Phrenologist Professor Henry Carter owned the house. Phrenology was a Victorian-era belief that mental faculties and character traits could be read by studying bumps in the skull. When Carter died in 1896, his daughter Kate inherited the house.
While going through his personal belongings, she found a hard plaster head resembling a child or small woman. It has ears, indentations where the eyes would be, a mouth, and a nose. Carter had used the head to teach phrenology to his students.
Kate put the head in the attic window to see people’s reactions, where it’s been largely undisturbed for nearly 130 years.
The Head in the Window house is located in the 2500 block of Robert Fulton Hwy, Peach Bottom, PA 17563. You can even see the head in the Google Street View in the image below.
- Why has a head stared from an attic window in Peach Bottom for more than 100 years?
- The Face on Carter’s Hill
1864 Map of Fulton Township, Lancaster County, PA$24.99 – $25.99