Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tour "Horsham's Most Haunted House" this Halloween

Ask any Horsham resident what they know about Graeme Park and inevitably they will tell you it is haunted! Long the source of local lore and legend of the hauntings that take place here, Graeme Park will be hosting its annual Haunted Moonlight Halloween tours on Friday, October 16 and Saturday, October 17 at 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, and 9:00 p.m. The tours are $12/person and reservations and prepayment are required. Light refreshments are included.

On the surface, Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, mistress of the house in the late 18th century, seemed to have it all. She was the granddaughter of the Governor and the daughter of a prominent Philadelphia physician. She was well-educated and well traveled, a noted poet, and salon hostess who moved in elite circles and held her own intellectually with her male counterparts. She was however, unlucky in love and a victim of circumstances when she got caught up in the politics of the Revolution, and it all went wrong for her very quickly. Her possessions were sold at auction and she was at risk of losing her home. Rumors of her husband’s infidelity were spreading through Philadelphia and her very loyalty to the American government was called into question.

Did the events which haunted Elizabeth during her life prevent her from retiring peacefully after her death? Reports of her ghost have been circulating since 1801, just months after her death, when her friend Betsy Stedman reported “passing her on the stairs” of the Keith House at Graeme Park. Could Mrs. Strawbridge, the 20th century owner of the house, been mistaken when she heard “the rustle of her skirts?” Surely the pilots from the nearby Willow Grove Naval Air Station weren’t imagining things every time they saw mysterious lights over the pond?

Visitors will hear the details of these reports and many others, interwoven with the story of Elizabeth’s life, on these guided candlelit tours. Costumed actors bring to life the events which may contribute to Elizabeth’s unrest through the ages and relay some of the stories that have “haunted” the Keith House since the dawn of the 19th century.

The event is being put on by the Friends of Graeme Park, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Call 215-343-0965 for details. Directions are available on our website at

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