Built in 1833, the Inn at Jim Thorpe is considered one of the most haunted hotels in the state of Pennsylvania.
Ghosts of Jim Thorpe Inn
Over the years, the Inn has hosted such celebrities as John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, Buffalo Bill and former presidents Ulysses S. Grant and William Howard Taft. However, these famous names aren’t the ones reportedly haunting the historic building in downtown Jim Thorpe.
The hotel says several guests have reported unexplained activity over the years in some of the rooms. Those include TVs randomly turning off and on, objects moving around, and strange orbs and shadows appearing in photos. Some children have even reported seeing ghosts in their beds. Other guests have said they’ve woken up to see chairs in their room turned upside down while they were sleeping.
In the last several years, Inn guests have reported cold spots or chilly breezes in the halls and seeing shadowy figures in their rooms and hotel common spaces. Some guests said they experienced an overwhelming feeling of being watched and feeling light touches on parts of their bodies as if done by an invisible hand.
Specific rooms noted by guests and Inn staff as the ones reporting the most unusual activity are 210 and 211. A guest of room 210 reported waking up one morning to an overwhelming smell that made her believe the room was on fire. It only lasted a couple of seconds, but the guest said she and her husband continued to wake up in the middle of the night for the next several days and reported feeling like they were being touched by something or someone.
Staff at the Inn said two guests who had stayed in room 211 at separate times reported the same story: they saw an indentation in the bed next to them as if someone were sitting on it. Other hotel staff reported feeling physically ill after running into some sort of dark form inside the Inn.
While the Inn doesn’t offer specific ghost tours of the building, guests said front desk staff are knowledgeable of its history and can provide more details on paranormal sightings. And over the years, ghost hunting crews from around the country have flocked to the Inn at Jim Thorpe with their tools and technology to see if they could also experience some of the unusual activity.
Inn at Jim Thorpe History
The Inn started out as the White Swan Hotel in 1833, built by Cornelius Connor when the city was named Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania. The White Swan Hotel was one of several grand hotels in the area built to accommodate travelers to the booming coal and railroad town.
Unfortunately, the White Swan burned to the ground in 1849, along with many other of the city’s structures during the great fire. Connor then rebuilt the hotel as the New American Hotel.
The New American Hotel – and the town of Mauch Chunk – flourished as a social center and tourist attraction in the early 19th century. Visitors flocked to the area to ride the famous Switchback Gravity Railroad and to visit Glen Onoko Falls. The city became so popular that New York’s Penn Station had a train platform just for service to Mauch Chunk.
But like many other American towns in the 1930s, the hotel fell into disrepair and decay during the Great Depression. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the hotel became the Inn and was restored to much of its original splendor. The man behind that restoration, John Drury, is also the Inn’s owner and his son is the general manager.
The restoration of the Inn also came after the 1954 renaming of Mauch Chunk to Jim Thorpe – an Olympian and professional athlete.
The story behind the renaming is one of the most unusual in American history but relates to the town’s efforts to bring more tourists to the area.
Jim Thorpe wasn’t born there and never actually visited the town, but it’s still named after him. He is now buried there and every year Jim Thorpe the town has a little festival to honor him.
About the Hotel
The Inn at Jim Thorpe, the original main building at 24 Broadway, is four stories with 45 rooms that showcase restored Victorian style with modern amenities. Rooms range from cozy standard lodgings to two-bedroom suites with fireplaces and whirlpools.
Being in a historic, restored building, each room is unique. Each one has private baths/showers, cable television, a hairdryer, an alarm clock with USB ports, an iron and board and a Keurig coffee maker.
As for dining, the Inn offers a free $10 daily breakfast voucher per guest to be used at the Broadway Grille & Pub. The pub, on the Inn’s ground floor, has American cuisine and pub fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There’s also live music four days a week and a weekday happy hour. Underneath the restaurant there’s the Broadway Underground, a night spot with live music and dancing every weekend.
- 24-hour front desk service
- Bike storage
- Ping pong room
- Spa services
Things to Do Nearby
Jim Thorpe has several haunted tours around town and other excursions and attractions. The Jim Thorpe Rotary Club hosts Ghost Walks in Old Mauch Chunk – a one-mile round trip walk that starts at the Inn and features a costumed host telling the stories of other historic and reportedly haunted properties in the area. Ghost Walk tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 7-12.
The Old Jail Museum, also on Broadway, says it has friendly ghosts who “usually make their presence known to people who are not looking for them.” The Old Jail Museum boasts about guests frequently experiencing paranormal happenings, especially orbs and strange lights in their photos. Ghost tours are $15 a person. The museum also occasionally hosts private ghost hunts and investigations for an extra fee.
Visit Pennsylvania offers a four-day, 20-stop ghost ride covering towns in the eastern part of the state. Day one includes four spots in Jim Thorpe and nearby Bethlehem. In Jim Thorpe, ghost ride guests will visit the Old Jail Museum at the Carbon County Jail, the Asa Packer Mansion Museum, Historic Stone Row and of course the Inn.
Beyond ghost tours, Jim Thorpe is a picturesque historic town that’s often called the Switzerland of America for its mountain scenery and colorful and varied architecture. For the outdoorsy types, there’s whitewater rafting along the nearby Lehigh River, hiking in Lehigh Gorge State Park to see the Glen Onoko Falls, the Switchback and D&L trails and the Mauch Chunk Lake Park.
- One queen bed standard rooms start at $150
- Two queen bed standard rooms start at $170
- King bed deluxe rooms start at $185
- Rates for mini suite with king bed and soaking tub are available by calling the Inn
Address: 24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, PA 18229