Hometown Haunts T-Shirt Contest

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I'm from a little dot on the map called Lower Macungie Township. The township comprises a handful of towns, villages and a borough, but all that's really there is basically my mom's house, a diner and a cornfield (Ooh, we just got a Starbucks, too. Welcome to the 21st century, everyone). For some reason, our quiet little township has what seems to me a disproportionately high number of ghost stories and folk legends. I'm talking enough to fill a book.

Or at least a healthy chunk of one. Ghost Stories of the Lehigh Valley was published in 1993 "“ ghost-stories.jpgincidentally, the same year I moved to Macungie (Oooh, spooky coincidence! Boo!). The writing wasn't great and the design was worse, but for a kid with some morbid curiosities, the book was a treasure. Macungie finally had something interesting going for it.

Among the ghosts that call my town home are"¦

Bucky

Bucky is the resident ghost at a building just down the street from a friend's house. The Hensingerville Hotel has been variously been a hotel, a tavern and a private home for almost 200 years, and the whole time owners and guests have had run-ins with Bucky, a one-time owner who killed himself there. Bucky is said to be mostly helpful, and at least two people who've owned the place have said that they've come downstairs in the morning to find the ghost had started breakfast for them by heating up a frying pan for eggs or putting on a pot of coffee. But like many ghosts, Bucky liked to play tricks on the living, too. One owner claims that one night, the lights over the bar started spilling water, even though there was a bedroom directly above them and no pipes in the ceiling. The water didn't cause any damage to the plaster, and the lights continued to function the whole time.

The ghost of Minesite Road

East Texas used to be a remote and rough-and-tumble place (which is how it got its name), but its proximity to iron mines opened it up to heavy traffic along Minesite Road. No one can say exactly when, but sometime in the late 1800s, a man hanged himself in a tree along the road and has haunted the surrounding area ever since. Over the years, horse riders, wagon drivers and even modern motorists have claimed to see strange lights in the woods, apparitions on the side of the road and inexplicable problems with their rides.

Charlie

Back when the Inn at Maple Grove was still the Maple Grove Hotel and a stagecoach stop in the mine country near Alburtis, a guest was murdered on the second floor and the angry locals lynched an Indian in front of the dining room fireplace. Before he died, the Indian vowed to remain in the hotel and prove his innocence. To this day, the Pennsylvania Dutch in the area regard the place as "˜hexed." One of the owners interviewed in the book claimed the fireplace is the location of much of the unexplained activity. Some nights, the iron cooking crane in the hearth started to shake, just a twitch at first, and then continuing until the whole building was shaking. Other times, the owner would be closing up after the guests had left the dining room and would hear someone whistling tune by the fireplace. Stranger still, patrons claim to have seen a white dove materialize out of thin air, fly across the dining room and disappear.

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So there you go, a place with a ghost to person ratio of 1:1. I know you flossers come to us from around the country, and surely your towns have some legends of their own. Here's a chance to win a free t-shirt: Leave a comment recounting a ghost story from your hometown.

On Friday, I'll pick the best story and announce the winner. Weirdness and scariness are key factors for me, and I'll pay extra attention to anyone that's gone ghost hunting and actually saw something with their own eyes.

February 12, 2008 - 7:38am
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