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The Best of Pennsylvania Oddities



If you enjoy Journal of the Bizarre, be sure to visit our sister blog, Pennsylvania Oddities, where we delve into all things odd and peculiar from around the Keystone State. From unsolved murders to haunted places, from lost treasure to mysterious creatures, Pennsylvania Oddities has something for everyone to enjoy!

Here are just a few examples of what Pennsylvania Oddities has to offer:





Mount Carmel's Mysterious Suicide Cell

This quaint small town gift shop has a morbid past--- including a half dozen documented suicides.




The True Story of Shamokin's Famous Missing Head

The search continues an unidentified murder victim's lost head, missing since 1904.




The Aeronaut's Fate

The strange but true story of Wash Donaldson, a famous hot air balloonist and his equally famous disappearance.


The Tragic Fate of Homer Swaney


When Homer H. Swaney lost his life in the sinking of the steamship Clallam off the Pacific coast in January of 1904, it concluded a strange tale of superstition and native curses.



The Hanging of Charles Chase

One of the most colorful chapters in the history of Jefferson County is a story that seems ripped right out of the pages of a novel, and features murder, suicide, a haunted farm and a buried treasure of silver and gold.




A Tragedy in Ghost Hollow

In Lebanon County there exists a place known as Ghost Hollow. For more than a century, strange things have happened near this rural stretch of highway. In 1876, a teenage girl lost her life in a horrific carriage accident along present-day Route 419, just outside the tiny village of Millbach. According to the victim's brother-- who witnessed the entire incident-- something "otherworldly" was to blame.


Haunted Coal Mines of Pennsylvania

A look at 6 coal mines said to be haunted.


Kettle Creek State Park


Who's Buried Beneath Kettle Creek Reservoir?

Why Kettle Creek just may be the spookiest state park in Pennsylvania.




Witchcraft in Stony Creek Valley

The bewitching of Emma Kildey in 1877 sparked one of the last witch trials in Pennsylvania history.



The Creepiest Playground in Pennsylvania

At first glance, Philadelphia's Starr Garden Park seems like an oasis in the heart of a bustling metropolis. Starr Garden Park has been an idyllic wonderland to children of all ages, races and backgrounds since its creation 1895. Yet, this park has a dark history most people don't know about-- a history of murder, mayhem, hidden tunnels and a bloodthirsty 19th century gang known as the Forty Thieves.






Who Buried the Babies in the Church Cellar?

Modern apartments now stand along Christian Street in Philadelphia, where a church used to stand more than a century ago. This church, Mount Zion Christian Church, would have seemed unremarkable from the outside; for it was just one of numerous houses of worship in the City of Brotherly Love. However, a gruesome discovery took place in the spring of 1898 when seven little bodies were found in the church cellar, hidden beneath heaps of rubbish, thus making this simple church the center of one of the most intriguing mysteries in Philadelphia history.


Castles in the Sky: The Columbia County Apparitions of 1914

Religious apparition or visitors from another world? Mankind has seen many strange things, but few as strange as the Columbia County apparitions of 1914.



A Haunting at Conewago Chapel

The Conewago Chapel is one of the most historically significant Catholic churches in Pennsylvania. The chapel can trace its history back to 1741, making it one of the first Catholic houses of worship in the United States. While the Conewago Chapel attracts numerous visitors each year, many would be surprised to learn that this quaint country church has quite a spooky past.




Was the Queen of Babylon Buried in Pennsylvania? 

In the summer of 1878, a group of boys made an astounding discovery in the wilderness of Fayette County-- an ancient tomb complete with Babylonian relics and inscriptions.



The Cambria County Gypsy War of 1901

In 1901, a skirmish between gypsies and law enforcement took place in Cambria County and when the smoke of the battle cleared, one person was left dead and several more were left injured.



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