Written by Judy and Chris H., Sprout Contributors
Did you know that Erie and Erie County have a long history of ghost sightings? We purchased two books from the Erie Book Store written by Stephanie Wincik. The books are titled “Ghosts of Erie County “and “More Ghosts of Erie County.” My grandson started to read them and became very intrigued with the stories. We decided to explore some of the places mentioned in the books by going to the site and rereading the story. It was a great way to spend quality time together and learn some history.
The first place we visited was Gudgenville Bridge. It was a wooden covered bridge and the story states that people can hear horses clopping across or a child screaming. Our trip was unfortunately uneventful, but we had a great time. The bridge is no longer in existence due to arson several years ago.
Our next adventure took us to Anthony Wayne Blockhouse located behind the Soldiers and Sailors Home on 3rd & Ash Street. We read the story entitled “The General.” When we arrived, we were instructed to get the key from the Soldiers and Sailors Home. We were given the key to explore the site on our own. Just trying to open the door was spooky. The lock was rusted and the door itself was a very heavy wooden door. Inside was very creepy – we saw the coffin of the general and the pot where his body was boiled. We walked away with the entire history of Anthony Wayne’s life.
Ax Murder Hollow became our next adventure. It is located in Millcreek on Thomas Road. The story states that a farmer, upset with news of his wife being unfaithful, chopped off her head and their children’s heads. There are three bridges on Thomas Road, and the story states that if you stop on the third bridge, you may never return. The old stairs remain from the farmhouse and they appear to be blood-stained. The wife’s head is supposed to be hidden at the Weiss Library, a very popular spot at Halloween.
We took a drive to Mercyhurst campus in search of the “Haunted Ring.” We didn’t find the ring, but enjoyed viewing the chapel and the campus grounds. We also drove to “Gravity Hill” located on Mooreheadville Road in Northeast. We experienced the illusion of our car rolling uphill. It was a real thrill!
Our last place to visit was the Eagle Hotel in Waterford. The hotel is currently a restaurant called SUGAR AND SPICE. The story is about a ghost named Matilda. I’m not sure if she was present but the power went off during our visit.
Erie and Girard also offer weekend ghost walks for a small fee. We took the Erie walk and had a wonderful time and learned many historic facts. So if you’re looking for something different this Halloween, may I suggest either buying one of the books or taking a ghost walk.