York, Pennsylvania has plenty of interesting ghost stories and urban legends to tell. From the somewhat mystic ‘Seven Gates of Hell’ to an unassuming home that is marked by the brutal murders that occurred inside there is a paranormal tale to suit every taste!
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most haunted places in York , PA.
The Codorus Furnace was built back in 1765 as part of the Hellam Iron Works in York County. At one time it was mainly engaged in supplying cannon balls to the colonists who were fighting for independence during the Revolution. It has long since been abandoned, but visitors say that it is anything but deserted! Witnesses claim that a woman in white is often seen leaving the furnace house before making her way down the hill towards the Furnace itself. It is not known who she is and there has been a great deal of speculation over the years. Some say that she is a former resident of the house, others feel that she must be the wife of a former forgemaster and some even think she might be the victim of some long forgotten crime!
9 - Cookes House
Cookes House was built in 1761 and is one of the oldest buildings in the whole of York County. It was originally built by Johannes Guckes, who later became known as John Cookes. One of the many house guests that visited over the years was Thomas PAine who stayed there when the Continental Congress met in York. As you can see, it is certainly a historic building. It also happens to be one of the most haunted places in York PA.
There have been reports of a variety of paranormal activity including the appearance of two different apparitions – an older man who appears as more of a shadowy figure and paces up and down in the room and a blonde girl who is wearing a rose coloured gown. The current owner, York City Councilman Michael Helfrich has lived there since 2008 and said that his only personal experience has been a chair pulling back from the dining table when nobody was there!
8 - William Goodridge House
William Goodridge is known as one of York’s wealthiest people and was one of the most prominent businessmen in the area. However, he actually started out life as a slave. He is said to haunt his former home on East Philadelphia Street which may also have been a stop on the Underground Railroad at one time. Witnesses say that they have heard footsteps and disembodied voices coming from empty rooms in the house.
7 - Otto’s Kitchen and Cocktails
Otto]s Kitchen and Cocktails occupies what was once the home of John Fisher. The building was built in 1778 and is the last remaining building in Continental Square that dates back to Colonial times. In those days, Fisher was a physician and he also ran the local drug store from his home. These days cocktails rather than medicines are dispensed to customers.
Employees have reported a variety of strange activity going on including the unexplained scent of lavender suddenly appearing in the dining room and employees feeling as though someone is standing close behind them when they are alone in the room. There is also said to be some CCTV footage which shows a loud crash just out of shot before some blue light anomalies dance down the hall and a picture is ‘slapped’ off of the wall!
6 - House on King Street
One of the lesser known haunted places in York PA is a seemingly ordinary house on King Street. However, while it looks like any other house on the block it is hiding a dark secret. This was actually the location of a brutal murder in which a family of four were murdered. It is believed that all four of the victims are now haunting the property.
Among the reports of paranormal activity there have been claims that cabinets open or close on their own, footsteps can be heard in the attic which is now sealed up and doors slam without anyone touching them. There have also been sightings of the apparition of a little boy aged around 7 who appears in various rooms, but disappears as soon as someone speaks.
5 - Rehmeyer’s Hollow
Another murder site that makes our list of the most haunted places in York PA is Rehmeyer’s Hollow. In 1928, Nelson Rehmeyer was murdered by a gang of men who believed that he had cursed them. The broke into his home and killed him before mutilating his corpse. He is now believed to haunt the road by his house. The area is also know locally as Hex Hollow.
4 - The Seven Gates of Hell
According to local legend, there was once an asylum standing on what is now a desolate stretch of land in York, Pennsylvania. It apparently caught fire one evening, but as the firefighters were unable to reach the remote location quickly it ended up being completely destroyed. The majority of patients perished in the fire, but according to the stories seven gates were erected around the perimeter of the old asylum to contain any stragglers. Some witnesses say they have heard disembodied screaming and that there are shadowy figures flitting around. However, the most persistent tale is that anyone who chooses to walk through all seven gates will go directly to Hell.
3 - Penn Common
Penn Common is one of the most haunted places in York PA thanks to the spirits of several long dead men. These spirits are believed to be soldiers who were executed here by order of Anthony Wayne during the Revolutionary War. These days, Penn Common is a beautiful park complete with tennis and basketball courts, you would never guess that there was once an Army Hospital here that treated more than 14000 Civil War soldiers, mostly casualties from the Battle of Gettysburg which took place around 30 miles away!
2 - York Prison
York Prison was built in 1906 and remained in use until it was decommissioned in 1979. It was originally part of a complex of custodial buildings that included York County Poorhouse and Hospital, although most of those buildings have long since been torn down. Ever since it was abandoned there have been reports from visitors regarding paranormal activity. There have been sightings of the ghosts of former prisoners and it is common for people to smell someone lighting a cigarette even though nobody in the building is smoking. Those who have visited the abandoned prison say that the spirits of former prisoners will often follow visitors around, perhaps they are hoping that someone will lead them to safety?
1 - The Accomac Inn
The Accomac Inn was originally home to the Coyle Family in the 1800s. Local legend states that Johnny Coyle fell in love with his family’s servant girl, Emily Myers. When he realised that the girl did not feel the same way he was so upset that he killed her out in the barn and was in turn arrested and hanged for his crime. It is rumoured that his grave is on the property somewhere. The house is now The Accomac Inn and is considered one of the most haunted places in York PA.
It is apparently haunted by both Johnny Coyle and the girl he murdered. Witnesses have noted a variety of different paranormal activity including objects moving by themselves, disembodied voices, broken dishes and slammed doors. Johnny in particular is said to be a bit of a prankster! Some employees have also reported seeing the two apparitions in one of the upstairs storage rooms, suggesting that perhaps in death Emily succumbed to Johnny’s advances!