The Mystery and History Tour features tales of unsolved murders, ghostly sightings, and bizarre premonitions seen among many of Bethlehem’s historic buildings. Presented by the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center, the tour runs throughout October.
Currently in their second year of operation, the Mystery and History Tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m., last one hour, and depart from the historic Bethlehem Visitor Center.
Charlene Donchez Mowers, chair of Bethlehem Museums and Historic Sites, said she researched and wrote for the tour.
“I wanted to share some interesting information about historical glimpses of the colonial industrial district and talk about the history of the tourist spots and some mysterious events that have taken place in this area,” Mowers said. “It is believed to be America’s first industrial park and the largest concentration of trades in the American colonies at that time. “
The tour itself is led by a costumed guide who tells historical and mysterious stories about the various people who may have died in the area.
Buildings visited during the tour include those in the colonial industrial district of Bethlehem, Smithy and the colonial blacksmiths buildings, aqueducts and tannery, as well as along Monocacy Creek.
Examples of stories told to attendees include the Luckenbach Mill fire and the struggles facing the Moravians.
“A few years ago some paranormal came, and they said there were three spirits there, however, they don’t identify them by name or character,” said Ted Moyer, a guide. for historic Bethlehem.
Those identified spirits included the one lived on the second floor of the 1761 tannery and the spirit of a young woman walking along Monocacy Creek in search of a lost loved one, Moyer said.
The third spirit was that of a young boy wandering the butcher’s shop in 1756, however, it is not known what he was looking for. Moyer said the current theory is that he is looking for his lost cow who his mother says was taken to a beautiful farm, but actually went to the butcher.
Melina Cawley, 23, said she was planning to do the tour and was thrilled with it as she adores horror movies and has heard scary stories regarding the Bethlehem area.
“It’s the perfect way to celebrate Halloween,” Cawley said.
Last year the tour was part of a package for those staying at the Bethlehem Hotel. While this package is not being offered this year, Moyer said turnout has been high, especially in the run-up to Halloween.
In addition to the Mystery and History Tours, there are 10 other walking tours on the north side of Bethlehem, one of them being the Death and Dying Tour. This visit discusses Moravian funeral practices, as well as their vision of death. Participants can even visit the cemetery to see where these spirits lie, Moyer said.
In addition to programming specific to the Mystery and History Tour, attendees can experience other Halloween festivities that take place throughout Bethlehem on their tour, such as the Scarecrow Showdown on the North Side of Bethlehem.
Mowers encourages people to attend the tour on its final weekend, as well as to check out other events in historic Bethlehem.