Halloween is around the corner, so what better time to share a few ghost stories? Here are some of Lebanon’s more spooky locations and a bit of backstory for each.
Lebanon Farmers Market
What is now the unassuming Lebanon Farmers Market was once one of the county’s earlier prisons. This prison would come to house the Blue-Eyed Six, the subject of a famous Lebanon County murder conspiracy.
The six men, charged with conspiring to murder, were imprisoned at the jail, and five of the six were hanged there.
The prison was eventually destroyed in a fire. However, several locals have reported ghostly activity in the Farmers Market, particularly in the basement, where the restrooms are now located.
“I believe there is ‘something’ there,” Joya Morrissey, owner and manager of the market, told LebTown for a previous article. “We have experienced pockets of very cold air and a heavy feeling in certain areas. Lights have gone on and off as well.
“We have heard footsteps when no one is around, or even in the building. Some vendors, who were setting up their stands on closed days, have actually seen apparitions.”
The now-demolished Boyer Mansion on Maple Street
While the building was demolished sometime between 1969 and 1973 and the location became the site of new townhouses, the Boyer Mansion (aka Weaver Mansion) had a reputation for being haunted.
Likely built in 1886, the Boyer Mansion was located right by the entrance to Mount Lebanon Cemetery — which may have contributed to its spooky reputation.
The mansion passed ownership several times over the years. Prior to being demolished, it was vacant, and owned by one of the neighbors.
LebTown’s previous reporting concluded that, “Though it’s long been destroyed, the mansion has, in its own way, become a ghost of Maple Street — one memory of Lebanon’s past among many others.”
Read More: Do you remember the mansion on Maple Street?
The Colebrook Furnace
Colebrook Furnace is the setting for a local folk legend about a pack of ghostly hounds that roams the area.
The first recorded account of the story is the 1869 poem, “The Legend of the Hounds.”
As it goes, the furnace’s first ironmaster, Samuel Jacobs, was a cruel man with a valued pack of hunting dogs. After bragging about his dogs’ skill, he took them for a hunt to prove it, but they were too tired to catch a fox right in front of them.
As punishment, or so the legend says, Jacobs had his men throw each dog into the furnace except the pack leader, Flora — who he threw into the furnace himself.
The story goes that Jacobs was haunted by the dogs the rest of his life, and he claimed to see them coming for him moments before his death of mysterious causes. Some recountings of the story insist that the hounds still haunt the furnace.
It is unclear how much truth there is to this tale, and there have been many speculations about what may have inspired it. Still, the legend lives on, particularly around Halloween each year.
Read More: The Colebrook Furnace ghost story
What may be the oldest still-standing building in Lebanon County, Light’s Fort has more than its share of folklore and historical tales.
Over the years, the fort has been a military structure, a center for Mennonite teaching, a private home, a distillery, and more. This is part of why the location has been preserved for so long.
“It’s been quite a few different things,” said local historian Randy Jaye within a LebTown article on the subject. “For 250 years, it has served the community in multiple roles. When you think about it, if it wasn’t utilized, it would’ve been torn down. It was a way to keep it standing until the trust fund bought it.”
As is often the case with older buildings, Light’s Fort has been the site of several ghost reports over the years. Some have reported seeing a Native American girl who tried to burn down the fort and was killed by the daughter of John Light (the fort’s namesake) in 1757.
The fort was also likely connected to Lebanon’s tunnel system, the final item on this list.
Lebanon Underground Passages?
While there has not been definite confirmation of rumors of Lebanon’s underground passages, there is plenty of evidence suggesting that at one point, there were tunnels running from Light’s Fort to nearby streets.
One piece of supporting evidence is that these tunnels are mentioned in the newspaper archives, including a 1940 edition of the Lebanon Daily News.
“From the cellar of this house [the site of the former Lebanon County Court House] to the Light fort at Tenth and Maple Streets, there was a tunnel to permit the populace to escape during Indian raids,” reads the article.
The possible underground tunnels are still the subject of fascination today. Local music teacher and psychic medium Jan Helen McGee theorizes that these tunnels may have been used by escaped slaves, something that she is discussing in walking tours (the last of which will take place Oct. 29).
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