As a Bethlehem native and a Lehigh Valley expert (well, according to Facebook's Lehigh Valley Expert Quiz), I would've sworn that I know Bethlehem inside and out. Of course, that was before I attended The Moravian Book Shop's "Historic Haunts of Downtown Bethlehem" ghost tour.
Last Friday night, under the eerie glow of a full moon, a small group of us set out on a candlelight walking tour, eager to uncover Bethlehem's ghostly secrets. Our guide, dressed in a black colonial gown, velvet cloak and sateen gloves, led the way with her Moravian star lantern and stopped at sites like the Brethren's House, the Old Chapel, God's Acre, and the Sun Inn.
As we gathered around and listened to stories about apparitions appearing in windows and mirrors, poltergeists making their presence known, and voices from the great beyond, a chill crept down my spine and I couldn't help but wonder if it was caused by the evening breeze…or something otherworldly.
By the time we returned to the Moravian Book Shop, I realized that I don't know Bethlehem nearly as well as I thought. For every place I enjoy visiting, there is a captivating – often spooky - past. Now, whenever I dine at Hotel Bethlehem, I'll be thinking about the tale of the Golden Eagle Hotel that stood before it and the spirit of world-famous singer, May Yohe, who grew up in the hotel and still roams its halls today. And you can be sure the next time I see a movie at The Boyd, I'll secretly be wondering who's really sitting beside me.
Have you ever taken any of the ghost tours in Bethlehem? The Moravian Book Shop's "Historic Haunts of Downtown Bethlehem" tour runs through the end of the month; there's also a cemetery tour done by Historic Bethlehem Partnership and the "Downtown Bethlehem Ghost Tour" done by Lehigh Valley Tour Group.
This post was written by Lehigh Valley InSite guest blogger Erika Liodice, who also writes the Beyond the Gray blog.