Pennsylvania November 08, 2016
Cults, Mysterious Disappearances, And Other Disturbing Secrets About Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s hiding plenty of secrets. Some of those secrets are out in the open while others are long buried by memories. Some are disturbing and others are just, well, out there. Here are eight secrets about Pennsylvania that may be new to you.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
Pennsylvania lays claim to several cults in its storied history, including the Kelpious Monks. Dating back to before the birth of America, Johannes Kelpious and his fellow believers left Germany and settled in Pennsylvania at the tail end of the 1600s. The Kelpious Monks of Wissahickon had a strong reputation within the community for its intellectual members, although members believed the end of the world would arrive in 1694.
2. A Mysterious Disappearance
A seasoned district attorney in Centre County, Ray Gricar served the community for two decades until his mysterious disappearance in 2005. The day he disappeared, Gricar ditched work and headed to the antique mall in Lewisburg. What happened to Gricar on April 14, 2005 still remains a mystery. Theories abound. Some believe Gricar may have committed suicide while others surmise that someone he prosecuted in the past murdered him. Yet, 11 years later, no one knows what happened to Gricar.
3. Another Mysterious Disappearance
The scene: Pittsburgh. The date: January 31, 1956. An Air Force B-25 plane traveling over Pittsburgh on its way to Harrisburg requested permission for an emergency landing at the Allegheny County Airport. The plane never made it to the airport, instead landing in the Monongahela River. Two of the five service members on board died and the plane sank. Even though the plane disappeared in a mere 20 feet of water, it still hasn't been found.
4. An Unsolved Mystery
One of Pennsylvania's most enduring mysteries first came to light on February 25, 1957. The bruised and beaten body of a young boy, hidden in a box, was found in Philadelphia. Estimated to be between four and six, the "Boy in the Box" remains unidentified today, despite an extensive investigation and DNA testing taken after the boy's body was exhumed in the late 1980s.
5. Alien Visitors
Discover an out-of-this-world secret in Kecksburg where a UFO is said to have crashed in December 1965. Unsolved Mysteries rolled into town in 1990 to cover the mysterious story that townspeople shared for decades. The television show designed a replica space ship – the acorn you see pictured above – to use in the show. When Unsolved Mysteries left town, it left the space acorn behind where it was promptly put into storage. The acorn remained hidden until 2006 when the town decided to prominently display it for all to see. You can find the Kecksburg Space Acorn at 5123 Water Street, Kecksburg.
6. Serial Killers
Charles Cullen, a former nurse, sparked national headlines when authorities discovered he had killed patients in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. His killing spree started in New Jersey in 1988 and he began working in Pennsylvania a decade later, at medical facilities in Allentown and Easton. By 1995, Cullen worked in a hospital in Bethlehem, killing three patients with an overdose of medication. Cullen's killing spree went undetected until he was arrested in December 2003. Cullen will spend the rest of his life in prison for having killed as many as 40 patients during his career.
7. Nudist Colonies
Enjoy the freedom of living life in the buff? You're in luck. Several nudist colonies - featuring all the traditional comforts of a resort - call Pennsylvania home. Check out the White Thorn Lodge in Darlington or the Sunny Rest Resort in Palmerton.
8. Gravity Defiance
What goes up must come down...unless, of course, you just happen to be at 601 McKinney Road in Allison Park. Drivers swear that when they stop their cars on the slight hill, the car rolls backward up the hill. Many people refer to Gravity Hill, of which there are several in Pennsylvania, as a natural phenomenon while some assert that it's simply an optical illusion.
How many of these secrets about Pennsylvania have you already heard jolted your memory? Here are some more
secrets about Pennsylvania you might not already know.