Wednesday, May 16, 2018

GHOST TRAIN





Used during the civil war era, the Colebrookdale Railroad is up and running again in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.

The newly restored railway is located a stone throw away from where a major tragedy took place thus bringing with it a ghostly allure to current day visitors.

On January 21, 1908 the local Rhodes Opera House in Boyertown was overfilled to capacity with men, women and children. The play that night was eagerly anticipated, and a strong turnout came to watch. But during the evening, an actor knocked over a kerosene lamp used for lighting, which set a curtain on fire. People were trapped due to improper exits and doors. Within 15 minutes, 171 people were killed in a horrific manner – some fused together, mostly above the waist. What a gristly undertaken for the volunteers and undertakers to have to separate and identify the forms.

 Added to the tragedy, a local fireman was also killed when responding to the alarm.

Local basements were used to temporarily house the bodies until burial.  It was truly a disturbing event for Boyertown. Thereafter ghost stories cropped up in mere days.  Many people claimed the Specter of a headless man was seen walking along Main Street – apparently this was a Monday event.

Over the years, more ghostly tales have followed  - many from homeowners now living in homes once used during the Rhodes fire tragedy. The Colebrookdale Railroad hosts a Eerie Unlimited train ride which brings some of these tales to life. 

Having taken a trip on this lovingly restored railway, I recently had a chance to interview one of the volunteers about the restoration of the trains. To my surprise, I found out that some of the artifacts being incorporated and used for restoration were donated by none other than Pennhurst. The miscellaneous items – missing bits and pieces needed for some restoration-  were found in some of Pennhurst’s basements.  Having written two books about Pennhurst, this immediately intrigued me.

So, if you have a chance to ride the Colebrookdale Railway, its worth a trip. You can even treat yourself to a delicious dinner. 

Check out their schedule of events. 


The Dining Car:



Author Tamera Lawrence

Ghosts of Mayflower: A Pennhurst Haunting    (Amazon.com)

Pennhurst Ghosts of Mayflower II





Sunday, April 8, 2018

PENNHURST STATE SCHOOL & HOSPITAL

When walking the Pennhurst Campus, one can find beauty surrounding the buildings and landscape. These pictures were taken in the fall 2017. 



This Tree stands out in the Pennhurst Campus



Pennhurst State Hospital 1908 - 1987
Pennhurst Catwalk - beneath lies the tunnel system


The Pennhurst State Hospital & School housed people who were physically and mentally handicaped. Children with special needs were placed at Pennhurst to segregate them from "normal" society. These kids were housed and schooled at the Pennhurst campus and trained  in a vocation so that one day, they wouldn't  become future criminals. (as was the belief at the time)

Severely underfunded, Pennhurst lacked the ability to adequately care for the special needs of its populace. As a result, many residents were neglected and regressed mentally and physically. 

When the atrocious living conditions at Pennhurst were revealed in 1968 by newscaster, Bill Baldini - people were outraged over the footage. But exposure brought little to no difference. And as the buildings deteriorated so did the hope for any real change. It would take a lawsuit and continued exposure for Pennhurst to  be forced to closed its doors - forever. 

Today the Pennhurst Campus is said to be haunted. Many witnesses claim to have interacted with spirits. Ghostly phenomenon inside the buildings, tunnels or even the surrounding landscape is a common assertion. 

Whatever your belief, Pennhurst still stands today as a testament to the past. 

Author Tamera Lawrence

Want More? Check out -

GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER: A PENNHURST HAUNTING on Amazon.com 



Saturday, March 17, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

MAYFLOWER HALL:



THE MAYFLOWER HALL BUILDING: PENNHURST 

Mayflower Hall: Side facing Administration Building


Built in 1919, the Mayflower Hall was a male dormitory at the famous Pennhurst State School and Hospital. The building has a natural and sometimes supernatural chill. 

The school was opened from 1908-1987 
Mayflower Hall: Third Floor Hallway 


Today the building is a hotspot for ghost enthusiast 
Mayflower Hall: One of my strangest pictures

Want more?

Check out

GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER: A PENNHURST HAUNTING

&

PENNHURST GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER II

AMAZON.COM

Author Tamera Lawrence 



Sunday, January 21, 2018

PENNHURST PICS: 2017

            PENNHURST STATE SCHOOL & HOSPITAL:


                       SPRING CITY, PENNSYLVANIA 

                                                                (1908-1987)
Adminstration Building 2017
MAYFLOWER HALL: Hallway
             
QUAKER HALL: 2017


SWIMMING POOL: Now overground and barely visible


Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018

                     HAPPY NEW YEAR!

CANDY LAND: DEVON BUILDING, PENNHURST 


Wishing You and Yours A Happy, Healthy Adventurous New Year! 

Author: Tamera Lawrence 
Ghosts of Mayflower: A Pennhurst Haunting 
Ghosts of Mayflower II 
Amazon.com

2018

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Basement Mayflower Hall: Pennhurst 


Have yourself a Very Merry Christmas! 

Author Tamera Lawrence 

GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER: A PENNHURST HAUNTING

PENNHURST GHOSTS OF MAYFLOWER II 

Amazon.com