Like something out of a crazy urban legend horror film, sinister clowns are walking off the silver screen and into reality on the backstreets and main drags of towns across America. Now, as we get closer to Halloween, they’re moving into Pennsylvania…
In late September York College students reported seeing other students, on and off campus, dressed as clowns. These reports included one in which a car-load of clowns was allegedly seen, and those clowns may have been carrying guns.
Pottsville Police received reports by Schuylkill County residents of two men dressed as clows who yelled at children at a playground and then sped off.
What’s going on people? Feels like we’re inside a Stephen King movie.
Penn State “Clown Hunt”
Students at Penn State University went on a clown hunt after reports of a creepy clown began circulating around campus. It was a mob of student vigilanties against an unseen adversary, since there were no eye-witnesses, just rumors of mysterious clown sightings. One student tweeted, “CLOWNS have caused riots and clown hunting at penn state this is the end.”
16 Year Old Student Stabbed to Death in Clown Mask Dispute
What was previously just rumors and creepy sightings of clowns has become all too real following the death of a 16 year old Reading high school student on the night of September 25.
The Reading Eagle reported that police found the body of 16 year old Christian Torres on the front porch of a row home in Reading following an incident in which a fight broke out with someone “wearing a clown mask” according to District Attorney John T. Adams.
Subsequent information released by police indicates that Torres was in fact the person wearing a mask, and that this generated some sort of “controversy” in the neighborhood resulting in the fight which led to the stabbing incident. The mask is reported as being similar to one seen in the film The Purge. However, according to quick research, masks in the film do not really resemble clowns.
13 YO Girl Fesses Up to Murderous Clown Threat Posts
A 13 year old girl and her accomplice have been arrested following threats made against students in Philadelphia which stirred more clown terror among local residents.
A few different Instagram accounts — phillyclown215, phillyclowns215, clown_of_philly and clownsofphilly — are attributed with clown-related Philly school posts, which could be copycat posts, but the 13 year old suspect and her freind apparently posted using phillyclowns215 and clown_of_philly.
Those accounts are responsible for posting clown images with the captions, “clown_of_philly Coming to Neuman Goretti on Monday!! Gonna shoot all the kids and teachers” as well as the phillyclowns215 threat, “the gang is in philly. (skull image) watch ya mans or you’ll get kidnapped. (skull image) The schools we’ll be at on wednesday, thursday and friday are Hopkinsin, nueva, edison, mba, spruance, and northeast hs. y’all ain’t safe. it’s 12 of us yaheard.”
It seems that we’re looking at a form of hysteria prompted by a combination of social media rumors, hype, hoaxes and maybe a few real sinister incidents involving clowns with ill intent.
As always we should exercise caution, play it safe, and avoid dangerous situations, but let’s not go beating up on people just because they happen to be dressed as a clown. The likely reason is that they are just playing a prank. So, just walk away.
However, if you suspect serious criminal activity at the hands of a clown-clad villain call the police and get yourself to safety.
Oh, and if you’ve got big enough tassels to dress as a clown this Halloween, do it right, but don’t get yourself into trouble!
For some reason I enjoy reading about these dogman sightings, real or not, doesn’t matter. My first introduction to the dogman phenomenon was when I read the book Beast of Bray Road written by Linda Godfrey and published in 2003. The book presents the legend of dogmen sightings which began in Elkhorn, Wisconsin in the 1990s. A new edition was published in 2015. Not sure if it is just a republication or update with new material.
As we learn in Hunting the American Werewolf, sightings of these dog-men are not limited to Wisconsin or Michigan. Pennsylvania has had it’s share of strange upright walking canine encounters too. Here are a few of the more intriguing ones I’ve uncovered.
The Skinny Gargoyle Werewolf Shapeshifter
On November 20, 2011, a husband and wife driving along Mud Creek Road near Troy, PA, stopped their car when they saw a strange creature near the side of the road ahead of them. They watched as the thing, described as gargoyle like with wrinkly black skin or short hair, appeard to shape-shift into a large black wolf as it leapd 40 feet through the air, clearing the road and disappearing into the nearby woods. Read that Dogman report here along with two other weird creature sightings in PA, as reported to Stan Gordon.
The Hermit Werewolf
There is a tale of a werewolf which takes place in Northumberland, PA, an historic area founded in 1772 and located in a fork of the Susquehanna River. In 1899 some townsfolk of Northumberland suspected a local hermit as a werewolf, who allegedly killed and ate sheep in the area. After a wolf was shot and killed by a sheep hearder it is said that the dead wolf regained human form, as the hermit.
The Blair Wolf of Altoona
Before the Blair Witch there was the Blair Wolf. Late one night in Blair County, near Altoona, in the summer of 1998 two witnesses claim to have seen a large wolf-like creature standing upright along side Homers Gap Road as they drove along. The creature was described as standing over 8 feet tall with a muscular body covered in black and brown matted hair. Its eyes shone gold in the headlamps. The creature dropped to all fours and ran across the road.
Dog-Boy and Supernatural Wolfman Sightings
In the Spring of 1990 and Fall of 1991 a rash of upright canine and wolf sightings were reported near Hermitage in Mercer County, PA. Sightings of a so-called “Shenago Valley Dog-Boy” were also reported around this time. The walking wolf-like creatures were described as being 6-7 feet tall. More recently, on December 17, 2014, a similar creature was sighted by two different witnesses in separate vehicles driving toward nearby Mercer, PA.
Further east, in the area of the Moshannon State Forest, in November of 2014, a witness reported an upright walking creature with a canine snout. The creature was alleged to have stood 8-10 feet tall and was covered with short dark colored hair. The creature seemed to mysteriously appear in a clearing near the witness.
The Houtzdale Hyena
Sighting may not have been exactly in Houtzdale but it was close. Houtzdale Hyena alliteration just sounded good. This story is vaguely reminiscent of the Sites Farm Bigfoot Incident which also occurred in the summer of 1977, in Wantage, New Jersey. Although the Sites experience lasted a whole week with some large Bigfoot-like creature stalking the farm, this Pennsylvania sighting involved an upright walking canine which resembled a hyena, and lasted only one night. Though one night is enough, if you ask me, when you’re being terrorized by a strange, menacing monster dog-thing. The man of the house was apparently investigating strange noises outside when he encountered a large hyena-like beast. In a fright he high-tailed it back inside and the whole family was subsequently trapped in their home overnight as the creature remained hunkered by their back porch. I wouldn’t want to venture out there either!
My wife and I love Halloween, and we especially love creepy haunted attractions. If you’re the type who gets off on walking through haunted houses, graveyards, and haunted hayrides — while getting the crap scared out of you by zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demented clowns and chainsaw wielding maniacs — then here are your best bets for terror attractions in Pennsylvania. Planning on hitting some of these this year, maybe we’ll see you there…
As of this writing Reaper’s Revenge has the top spot with a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews. It looks to be a pretty intense thrill ride, so you’d better bring you big boy pants, or big girl pants, whatever the case may be. Some serious scares and excellent effects going on here.
“The best haunted event for the macabre, zombies, haunted houses, haunted hayrides, clowns and mazes.”
An asylum is a place where they put crazy people right? Right. At Pennhurst Asylum they’re really, really CRAZY!
Test your bravery and walk the halls of the Pennhurst Asylum, the main attraction located in the upper floors of the old 1908 Administration building. The asylum attraction features many props that are actual items that were part of the original State School. Learn the Legend.
Venture into the Dungeon of Lost Souls, the Tunnel Terror, or conduct your own self-guided Ghost Hunt in the dormitory, which was featured on Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters.
And The Eagles thought Hotel California was bad, they never stayed at Hotel of Horror! Ready to check in?
This three piece nightmare features the Hotel of Horror, the Altered Nightmares Dark Magic themed thrill, and Exhibition Macabre, a static trip through the history of disturbing medical devices and experiments.
Location: Rt 115 Cherry Valley Rd. Saylorsburg, PA Phone: (570) 99 BEAST
The ScareHouse – Etna, PA
Ranked as one of “America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions” by Travel Channel and featured on many other TV shows, Scarehouse is created by a team of Pittsburgh area artists and builders who work year round to design and build new haunts such as The Summoning, Infernal, Nocturnia and The Basement. Enter Scarehouse, if you dare.
Of course we can’t forget one of the longest running haunted attractions in Pennsylvania, the Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, which has been in operation as a full blown haunted attractions since 1995. It now features six attractions: Lock Down, The Machine Shop, Detritus, Infirmary, Breakout and Quarantine 4D. See a video preview of the haunts here. Lower your speaker volume just in case.
Bigfoot sightings and UFO sightings are usually separate events, but sometimes these two enduring mysteries share the uncanny stage before an audience of perplexed witnesses, occurring simultaneously, or at least near enough in time and proximity to prompt the consideration that there might be a connection.
Presque Isle State Park Photo by Robert K. Grubbs
A sighting near Erie, PA, may have been just such an event. In July, 1966, on Presque Isle State Park, a woman, Betty Jean Klem, and her boyfriend were driving through the sand and had become stuck. Their wait for help had extended beyond sunset and they watched as a strange light descended from the sky. According to Betty, the car shook as a silvery object landed nearby between two trees. Betty also reported hearing something walk on the roof of the car, and seeing a “dark, featureless creature.”
Another encounter involving a UFO and Bigfoot sighting occurred on October 25, 1973 in North Union Township, PA. A man and two boys bore witness to a UFO landing in a field. At that time they also saw two “tall, hairy bi-pedal creatures walking along a fence line.” The man shot at the object which promptly departed leaving a “luminescent ring on the ground.” According to witnesses the creatures casually turned around and returned whence they had come. The man and boys did not pursue the tall bi-pedal creatures, and apparently they were not seen again. The witnesses returned later with a state trooper and they observed that, although its intensity had dimminised, the ring where the craft had landed remained visible.
Were the two creatures innocent bystanders? Maybe they were just as astounded by the UFO as the other witnesses. They were probably also astounded to see three upright walking creatures nearby, and maybe frightened away by the explosive blast of the gun.
Baelfire Paranormal Investigations, a team run by a former police officer, John Lewis, who is also an ordained minster and demonologist, investigates ghostly hauntings and other paranormal phenomena. John boasts 20 years of paranormal investigative experience.
John is joined by Christina Lewis who is considered “the ‘sensative’ on the team,” and is “trained to listen and observe the smallest details.” She is also the teams PR person.
Other investigators on their team include Kyle Anderson, Brittany Isadore, Melissa Ireland, Melisa Elrod and Trent Rotz.
Happy Rounded Pi Day 2016! Here’s a bit of Pennsylvania UFO trivia for you. On Pi Day, March 14th, 2014, a Westmoreland County couple reported seeing a pulsing unidentified object as they looked out their window while having breakfast.
The report continues that the object was observed as it moved toward the northwest and was seen to contain of a series of lights, not just one. A large yellow light pulsated at the front of the object while a steady yellow light glowed at the rear, and the sides of the object were lined with multiple white lights.
The object moved overhead without a sound. No explanation has been found.
The Green Man legend was born of a very unfortunate accident. In the summer of 1919, 8 year old Raymond Robinson was walking with some friends when they stopped at the Morado Bridge near Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Morado Bridge crossed Wallace Run, a portion of Beaver River, and was part of the Harmony Trolly Line, an electric trolly commuter service that ran from the northern suburbs into Pittsburgh.
The boys had become interested in a bird nest they had seen in a tree near the bridge and Raymond climbed up onto the side of the bridge to get a closer look.
Young Ray was electocuted when he accidentally touched a high voltage line. Miraculously he survived, but he sustained severely disfiguring injuries which remained with him for the remainder of his reclusive life.
The electrical current sent such damaging voltage through Ray’s body that he lost both of his eyes and his nose, an ear was deformed and his left arm below the elbow. His face was completely disfigured and he suffered severe burns from his waist up.
Ray lived with his family, seldom venturing out during the day. If he did he would remain on his property, walking the woods behind the house.
Eventually he began taking Nighttime walks along Rt. 351 where he would occasionally encounter others walking along, or be seen by people driving by. His disturbing countenance led to local tales in which he was referred to as Charlie No Face or the Green Man.
It is not certain where the Green Man reference originated, but may have had something to do with the clothing he wore during the 1950s and 60s, at the height of his nocturnal jaunts and subsequent sightings.
Some claimed he had an erie green glow about him, but this was hardly the case. He was not some radioactive monster from a horror film, just an unfortunate victim of a tragec accident.
Raymond Robinson apparently lived out his years in his family home in Beaver Falls, PA, eventually moving to Beaver County Geriatric Center before passing away in 1985, at the age of 74. 66 years after the date of his life-altering accident.
Sad story indeed. Ray left public school in the first grade. Can’t help but wonder what he might have done with his life if he hadn’t suffered such a disfiguring injury.
Learn more about Raymond Robinson, his story and his family, at these resources:
December 9th 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of a strange incident in Kecksburg, PA. On that night in 1965 a firey object allegedly blazed across the sky over Detroit, MI, and Windsor, Ontario. The bright object reportedly dropped debris which started small fires as it passed over areas of Michigan and Ohio and caused sonic booms over areas near pittsburg, PA.
Most witnesses described a flaming, glowing and smoking object consistent with a meteor or other debris entering the atmosphere, but witnesses in Kecksburg, PA, a small town about 35 miles or so south east of Pittsburg, claim that something actually crashed down in the woods. Officials isolated the area and searched for debris but reportedly found nothing.
In fact, as reported on page 4 of Bulletin 5 of the Meteorites of Michigan Geological Survey, end point references, which are widely separated observation points where the object seems to disappear, suggest that the object passed over Lake Erie from the southwest and landed north of Lake Erie in southwest Ontario.
Nowhere near Kecksburg. But why let the truth stand in the way of a good story? And that’s not meant as a joke, I love a good story. The so-called Kecksburg Incident is a modern folk tale.
Legends and mysteries like this have been around for centuries precisely because we humans enjoy them, whether they’re based on real events or not. We love to hear strange tales of the unknown and other weird stuff. They stir our imagination.
The Kecksburg UFO tale continues: A boy claimed he saw an object land in the woods, and his mother said she saw a wisp of blue smoke rising up from the area before she contacted authorities. Members of the local Kecksburg volunteer fire department reported finding an object shaped like a giant acorn with strange, hieroglyphic-like markings around the bottom edge.
Others heard noises and reported a strong U.S. Army presence. The initial conclusion was that it was a meteor, after initial suggestions of “a plane crash, errant missile test, or reentering satellite debris” were discounted by authorities.
Whatever, if anything, crashed or landed in the woods of Kecksburg, PA, we may never know. Nothing was found. So “they” say…
No, it wasn’t a UFO, but I’m having flashbacks to 1947 Roswell, NM, when a Project Mogul high altitude defense monitoring balloon came down and everyone thought it was a flying saucer with aliens on board.
At first no one knew where the hell the funky airborne craft came from as it drifted over farmland and neighborhoods of central Pennsylvania on Wednesday, October 28th, but at least no one thought it was a spaceship. At least none that we know of.
North American Aerospace Defense Command, NORAD, lost a JLENS blimp when it came loose from its tethered mooring at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and drifted northward on a little ride through the skies over south central and central PA before coming to rest and slowly deflating near Moreland Township, PA.
The aerostat, which reached altitudes of 16,000 feet, was dragging along its 6,700 foot mooring cable and pulled down powerlines as it drifted over Bloomsburg, PA. Service personnel are on the case and it is estimated that the power will be returned to most by this afternoon, Oct 29.
To be sure, a rogue blimp is not very mysterious unless it was hijacked by Dr. Evil and put to some use in an attempt to control the world, but it is strange, and it involves Pennsylvania, so that’s why I decided to post about it. The Twitter posts were pretty damn funny too.
As funny as this may seem though, let’s give credit where credit is due. NORAD is hardly a halfwit operation. They use amazingly high tech stuff to monitor our skies for airborne threats from outside of North America and keep us all safe! I mean, it’s been years since that kid hacked into WOPR and started a nuclear war simulation. Give these guys a break! Tethers come loose all the time!
“Weird” is always a good place to start. Since around 1990 the Weird N.J. periodical has been entertaining readers with stories of strange creatures, strange people, weird events, creepy places and personal accounts of the paranormal in New Jersey. In 2003 creators Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman published their the first Weird N.J. coffee table book with the tagline, “Your Travel Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets” which contained the best of the best weird stuff. The book was soon followed by Weird N.J. Volume 2 and through collaboration with authors of strange local lore from other states, the Weird series of books has spread to include all but 17 states in the U.S., including Weird Pennsylvania.
Penned by Matt Lake, who has authored several other books in the Weird guides series, Weird Pennsylvania takes us on a romp through the southeastern part of the state mostly, with some tales from a little farther west. Let’s face it, historically speaking the eastern part of the country has just had more time to collect its share of weirdness. To be sure, the Weird guides are not really intended as travel guides either. While they do share local legends, highlight oddities and roadside curiosities in certain areas, none of the books include maps or specific directions to any of the places or events.
Efforts continue to collect tales and legends and progress can be followed on the official Weird U.S. Website.