Area towns have ghost stories to tell
This 2000 file photo shows Williamsport's "Veiled Lady," portrayed by Johnna Maravelis, telling ghost stories at the Williamsport Town Museum. (File photo)
Turns out I was at the wrong firehouse. Volunteer Daniel Young said the one I sought was the former Junior Engine Co. No. 3 firehouse.
Young, who counted himself a skeptic, said there were some mysterious happenings at the Antietam station, perhaps related to an apparatus driver who apparently died there in his sleep.
“That was quite some time ago. Must be 15 years,” said Donnie Boward, retired after 50 years as a volunteer, but still hanging out in the building.
“Last night there were some strange noises going on, but this is an old building,” Young said.
Volunteers have told tales of the television turning itself on or changing channels.
“Old firehouses like this, they have all kinds of stories,” Young said.
Lots of towns now host ghost tours and, if there was ever a time to make a living off the dead, it’s now.
Probably at no time in recent history have tales of the paranormal cast such a spell over the Nielsens and at the box office. Forget Casper, Don Knotts’ comedic masterpiece “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” or even “Ghostbusters.”
This is the Golden Age of Ghosts.
From “Celebrity Ghost Stories” and “Ghostly Encounters” on the Biography channel to “Ghost Adventures” (the Travel Channel), “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Hunters International” (both on SyFy), the spectral, wraithlike and ectoplasmic have never enjoyed such popularity.
Animal Planet has a show called “The Haunted” that “chronicles true, chilling and terrifying stories of animals and their owners who are experiencing the unexplainable,” the website states.
That media popularity has translated into ghost tours in communities around the Tri-State. This Halloween season, Hagerstown, Sharpsburg and Williamsport in Maryland, Charles Town and Harpers Ferry in West Virginia, and Waynesboro and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania have hosted them.
Just about any burg with more age to it than Levittown, N.Y., can boast a few hauntings, and the post-mortem population increases if the town was the scene of a battle, or unfortunate enough to be known for a grisly killing or two.