For all of the beauty it holds, Pennsylvania also lays claim to some pretty terrifying places – whether they claim a violent past or a haunted present. Here are just 10 of the most disturbing places in Pennsylvania that are sure to leave you breathless.
Philadelphia State Hospital
Philadelphia State Hospital - also commonly known as Byberry Hospital - has a sad past. Originally a mental asylum designed to help the mentally ill, the state hospital eventually spiraled out of control. Horrific tales of overpopulation, patients sleeping on filthy floors and drowning in their own excrement, and patients being shackled for days began trickling out of Byberry, which eventually closed for good in 1990, after an 83 year history.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Tortured souls are said to wander the halls of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Originally designed to house prisoners in solitary confinement for the length of their sentences, prisoners went mad from the silence. Once home to Al Capone, Eastern State eventually got rid of solitary confinement and prisoners soon lived in overcrowded, filthy conditions. Prisoners faced such harsh punishments as starvation. Closed since 1971, Eastern State is now a tourist attraction, many who come to encounter the spirits - including that of Al Capone - that are said to still remain within the prison walls.
Close your eyes when you visit Fricks Lock and you can imagine the former rail town at its most vibrant, from its founding in the late 1700s until residents were forced to move in the 1970s, after a nuclear power plant opened right across from the village. Today, visitors are welcome to explore, during a guided tour, the now abandoned-town with a storied past.
Horseshoe Curve Tunnel
Drive through Horseshoe Curve Tunnel in Altoona - if you dare - for the tunnel is said to be haunted by an Irishwoman whose spirit has wandered the area since the late 1800s. How she died remains debated but many believe she waited outside of that tunnel for her love who had been brutally murdered. After you drive through the tunnel, look by a towering spruce tree - is her apparition standing there? Then check your windows for her hand prints.
Covert's Crossing Bridge
Covert's Crossing Bridge, now simply a memory (although you can still visit the site where it once stood), once terrified travelers who needed to cross it. Young newlyweds, violently killed on their wedding day as they crossed the bridge, were said to stand in the middle of the bridge at midnight, startling passers-by.
The Inn At Buck Hills Falls
Editor's Note: The Inn at Buck Hills Falls has been demolished.
The Inn at Buck Hills Falls, once a sprawling resort in the Poconos, drew such famous guests as Helen Keller and Eleanor Roosevelt. It was the place to go until it fell into disrepair and permanently shuttered in 1991. Some claim the abandoned property is haunted while others believe the haunted stories are simply works of fiction.
Old County Prison
Now abandoned the Old York County Prison once housed prisoners in its 84 cells. Prisoners told tales of hangings, bedbug infestations, and meals that consisted of road kill. Visitors spoke of smelling smoke when no one was there, of feeling a touch when they were alone, and of drawings scrawled on the prison walls. Click the caption above to watch fascinating drone footage of the former prison.
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Mount Moriah Cemetery, the final resting place of Pennsylvanians since 1855, has fallen in such disrepair that families often can't find the graves of their loved ones, monuments are toppled over, and grass grew so high that it was difficult to even walk through the cemetery grounds. Today, Friends of of Mount Moriah Cemetery and community members are dedicated to restoring the cemetery.
Trees along Cossart Road lean away from the road, perhaps because they, too, know of the disturbing events that occur along its path. Tales are told of piles of dead animals mysteriously appearing near the road and anxious residents chasing curiosity seekers away. Click the title above to learn the full story of Cossart Road and to watch a video about the legend that surrounds it.
We end with perhaps the most poignant of all places in Pennsylvania: Devil's Den in Gettysburg, the site of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War, the war's bloodiest and largest battle. Visitors to Devil's Den have experienced a variety of paranormal occurrences, including cameras that suddenly stop working and the sound of soldiers marching across the battlefield. One of the most popular stories is that of a friendly fella who welcomes photos with visitors except as soon the as camera snaps, the man disappears and he never shows up in any of the photos. Leave what you find in Devil's Den for if you take something with you bad luck for life is said to follow.
Do you like the idea of chills of terror slithering down your spine? Add these 10 most disturbing places in Pennsylvania to this
haunted road trip across PA for a hauntingly good time.