Things that go bump in the night
Ghost walks through Colonial New Hope abound in history, mystery
Is it any wonder that "history" and "mystery" sound so similar? Wherever there is history, it seems, mystery lurks in dark corners and wafts on moonlit currents of air.
New Hope, a Colonial town if there ever was one, is no different. The ghosts and spirits are said to walk these streets, haunt the centuries-old houses, and sometimes scream in the night. Vice presidents, artists and hitchhikers mix and mingle in a Pennsylvania town that has seen its share of America's history.
There's printer/artist Joseph Pickett, a late 19th century New Hopian. Pickett has been spied all around the town he no doubt knew so well -- he's even said to have shown up during New Hope's weekend ghost walks, presented by Ghost Tours. But ghost hunters here needn't worry.
"My ghosts are all friendly," says Adele Gamble, who has been leading lantern-lit walks around town for 15 years. "They're like Casper."
"They know better," she adds.
Pickett has pulled her hair, Gamble says, but generally he's not a hazard. Nor are any of the other spirits on two different walks (Ferry Street or Mechanic Street). Some ghosts are more haunting than others, however, like New Hope's famed hitchhiker, who appears to travelers in several locations.
"He's a young man with really blond, blond hair and crystal blue eyes," Gamble says. "He wears a brown jacket, carries a knapsack, and was killed late at night, which is when he now appears."
Gamble says an ethereal Aaron Burr returns from time to time to New Hope, where the then vice president (1804) hid out for a while after killing Alexander Hamilton in a New Jersey duel. Burr, who is said to haunt one of the town's historic inns, is buried in nearby Princeton, New Jersey.
There are supposedly baby screams, vacuum cleaners running while unplugged, and mysterious bell ringings.... In a town with the history of New Hope, none of it seems out of the ordinary.
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