Eclectic Excursions: Haunted Destinations

James Bickford

From our perch on College Hill, we as a campus community can often feel isolated, a world unto itself. But there is a world outside campus. There are many opportunities for excursions off the hill, to get out into the Lehigh Valley and beyond, to experience all this region has to offer.

With Halloween descending, the entire country is getting seeped in ghosts, ghouls and other spooky sights and sounds. Travel to famous haunted sites such as Salem, Mass. and Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. spikes in times such as these, with tourists seeking scares in such noted areas.

However, one need not travel to the birthplace of Ichabod Crane to get a taste of supernatural phenomena. A seven acre field in Bucks County is listed by the Travel Channel as one of the most supernatural places in the world. Ringing Rocks Park holds a mysterious secret that science has yet to adequately explain: tap the rocks and boulders piled 10 feet high with a hammer, and one can hear bell-like tones. Despite all the piled rocks being made of the exact same materials, the sounds can only be heard from around a third of them.

Scientists have been stumped by these mysterious sounds, and some locals have pointed to what they say is a supernatural origin. Regardless of whether there is an explanation for these eerie, otherworldly tones, Ringing Rocks Park is a place of wonder and mystery that ought to be seen – or rather heard – to be believed.

However, musical rocks are not the only spooky site in Pennsylvania. Just a few miles north of Pittsburgh, in Evan’s City, Penn., there lies the place where the dead first walked the earth.

Evan’s City can lay claim to the title of Birthplace of the Modern Zombie, because it was in a cemetery in the city where the opening scene to none other than the legendary horror flick “Night of the Living Dead” was filmed by George Romero in 1967. Fans of the original zombie movie will recognize everything from the graves to the background. For pure historical value, few locations are more significant to horror history. It’s a bit far from campus for just a day trip, but if you find yourself on the other side of Pennsylvania, it is well worth the trip to see the spooky, isolated cemetery where one of the most important movie monsters in history was first brought to life. Or, rather, un-life.

Of course, the aforementioned Sleepy Hollow, location of the Headless Horseman myth, is also an easy location to travel to from campus –as easy as getting a train from Grand Central Station. Worth the trip to see the home of a true American horror classic, and opportunities for pumpkin carving and hay riding are plentiful in the area.

Halloween is the spookiest time of year, so make it a special one with a trip to a location that could send shivers up your spine.