Paranormal activities discussed at Lincoln Highway Museum event
By Cami Dibattista
Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Dubbed the “Haunted Highway,” Route 30 and the abundance of paranormal activity that has occurred along the historic roadway, was the topic of discussion recently at a one-of-a-kind presentation at the Lincoln Highway Experience Museum.
Local author Ed Kelemen of New Florence shared stories about supernatural occurrences from his newly released book, “Route 30 — Pennsylvania's Haunted Highway.”
“It was a thrilling presentation,” said event organizer Kelsey Harris, a summer intern at the heritage corridor. “The support and interest was just amazing.”
Harris said the event brought in 30 participants and more than 10 had to be turned away due to lack of space.
“Haunts and Hot Fudge Sundaes” attendees enjoyed an ice cream treat while hearing about ghostly experiences spanning from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia along the highway. The event concluded with a question and answer session and a book signing by Kelemen.
From ghostly images of soldiers and Indians caught on Point State Park security cameras to the repeated cries of a young woman who was killed in the William Penn Hotel, encounters have been recorded throughout Pennsylvania for many years.
“So many things have happened here,” Kelemen said, “Pennsylvania has so much history.”
Kelemen said encounters usually occur in areas where intense feelings and activities have taken place.
The Allegheny County Jail, the Carnegie Library, the location where the S.S. Grandview Point Hotel used to stand and Independence Hall in Philadelphia are all locations of recorded paranormal activity.
More locally, the Greensburg Court House, St. Vincent College and the Ligonier Tavern have had reported sightings of mysterious incidences.
“Route 30 – Pennsylvania's Haunted Highway” is Kelemen's fourth published book on haunted happenings in Pennsylvania. His first three books — “Weird West Overton,” “The Haunted Foothills” and “The Haunted Foothills Second Edition” — were written in collaboration with M.A. Mogus of Greensburg.
Kelemen — a writer, columnist and playwright — said he has always been interested in the occult.
“The sphere of paranormal activity represents a vast unknown universe,” Kelemen said. “The very fact that it affects so many people while being shrouded in mystery is what attracts me.”
Kelemen said he has run into several spooks himself over the years, including two who reside in his very own home.
For his book, Kelemen followed up on urban legends and rumors of sightings at more than 50 locations along Route 30 by going to each site and interviewing at least three verifiable references for each haunting.
“It's refreshing to see a man speak knowledgeably on a topic so interesting to the people of this area,” said attendee Norman McWhinney, a retired English professor from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.
Olga Herbert, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor executive director, said she felt the event went extremely well. “We will be offering the program again in September,” Herbert said.
“Route 30 — Pennsylvania's Haunted Highway” is a 144-page paperback book available for purchase locally at the Lincoln Highway Experience Museum gift shop and Second Chapter Books on East Main Street. Cost is $14.99. The book can also be purchased online at Amazon.com.
Cami DiBattista is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
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