Where there’s history, there are ghosts. Lancaster County has plenty of history—and plenty of ghosts. Here are some places to visit the supernatural.
The restored 1800s building complex that houses restaurants and a microbrewery may also house some spirits other than the drinking ilk. The apparition of a young woman in a long gown wandering through an art gallery, and a male ghost may reside on the premises as well. Ghost tours are offered on certain days of the week. The place has been featured on TV’s “Ghost Hunters.”
102 N Market St, Mount Joy, PA 17552
Chickies Rock County Park
Chickies Rock, a outcropping of rock in western Lancaster County that looks over the Susquehanna River, is known for its unexplained phenomena, including a 16-foot-tall creature with no arms or visible legs, a head covered with bandages, with knives protruding from the bandages, spotted in 1946. An old stone farmhouse on the property is reportedly haunted. It’s closed to the public but you can see it.
881 Chickies Hill Rd, Columbia, PA 17512
Franklin & Marshall College’s Old Main building
The Gothic Revival building was constructed in the 1850s, reportedly on the site of Lancaster’s former “gallows hill,” where convicted criminals were hanged. It’s served as a chapel, classrooms, administrative offices and more. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. F&M archives have stories about the bell in Old Main tolling in the middle of the night without any human involvement.
525 Old Main Dr, Lancaster, PA 17603
Ghost Tours of Lancaster and Strasburg
The mansion, which dates from the 1700s, is a hot spot for paranormal activity, including a grouchy man, a little girl, a little boy, a teenage boy, an English woman and a female servant in the summer kitchen who “loves to sing and hum. She also loves to rub men’s heads.” Oral history suggests that workers installing underground plumbing and electricity on the site found 92 unmarked graves on the property. Weekly Sunday tours from May until early October.
230 Locust Grove Rd, Bainbridge, PA 17502
Railroad House Inn
This restaurant and inn, originally from the 1820s, is said to be haunted by the men who worked nearby as well as many other spirits. The ghost of a young girl with blonde hair has been seen, dressed in Victorian clothing, and the staff says she likes to play games. Kitchen employees report seeing objects that move on their own, or finding utensils strewn all over the kitchen. Guests here have noted cold spots and eerie feelings, and have seen apparitions of men and women: Room 6 is said to be an especially active room. The tavern also is said to be popular with the spirit set. Apparitions and cold spots have been noted throughout, and a ghostly woman named Annie is said to flirt with tavern patrons.
280 W Front St, Marietta, PA 17547
Rock Ford Plantation
The home of George Washington’s pal, Gen. Edward Hand, has earned a reputation for apparitions, footsteps in empty rooms, strange knocks and barely heard conversations when no one else is there. Guided tours of the mansion from April through October.
881 Rockford Rd, Lancaster, PA 17602
— Cindy Stauffer