I've gotta say; Pennsylvania has got a lot going for it. Well before I got stuck in the Philadelphia airport during a torrential rainstorm, I got to check out some of the mountainous terrain of the Poconos with my significant other's family.
Above: Woods in aforementioned mountainous terrain.
The highlight of my last trip to PA was our stop at the Old Jail Museum in the town of Jim Thorpe.
Jim Thorpe is like, the quintessential crazy little touristy mountain town. It's like Cle Elum, WA, but less meth-y & with better antiquing (sorry Cle-town; you know it's true).
The old jail was completed in the 1870's, & is most notable for housing a bunch of ball-busting union pioneers known as the "Molly Maguires". Seven of the most notorious MM members were hanged in the jail in 1877 & '78, & the jail is said to be haunted by their restless spirits.
I know what you're thinking: "doesn't look so bad in there... What are those crazy ol' Irishmen so upset about?" But what you saw above was the nice part of the tour (I wanted to show off my fabulous interior shots)...
Seriously, though, if you lived in the 1800's, there were a few things you didn't want to be. Not least of those were Irish, a coal miner, & pro-union. If you could get hired to do anything at all (ever see these?), it was terrible, hard labor in constantly life-threatening conditions for little-to-no pay (company scrip = indentured servitude). Things got pretty ugly, & some mine bosses ended up dead.
My fellow adventurer tried to coax some of the spirits out of hiding by smack-talking the Irish from inside some cells. My guess was the burly coal mining ghosts were too busy haunting the state of Wisconsin for it's recent anti-union rampaging.
Above: The next star of a "Paranormal Activity" -style paranormal haunting, if he doesn't shut the hell up.
All of the accused murderers were hanged. There is an AWESOME legend at the Old Jail of one man proclaiming his innocence & leaving his mark. According to the website:
"Before their hanging, the men proclaimed their innocence and today historians believe many of the condemned men were falsely accused of murder. Before his hanging one of the man, thought to be Alexander Campbell, put his hand on the dirty floor of his cell and then placed it firmly on the wall proclaiming, " This handprint will remain as proof of my innocence." That handprint is visible today for everyone to view even though past wardens tried to eradicate it by washing it, painting it, and even taking down part of the wall and replastering it."
The hand print is intellectual property of the museum, & they ask that visitors not photograph it. You can see it on their website, here.
I'm the blue pin. The only other Washingtonian visitors were from Yakima & Renton, strangely enough.
Next post, Savannah, GA!