Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tour Horsham's Most Haunted House this Halloween

Graeme Park will be hosting its annual Haunted Moonlight Halloween tours on Friday, October 25 at 7:00, 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00 and 9:30 pm. The tours are $15/person and run on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is suggested visitors arrive approximately 15 minutes before the desired tour time to ensure availability. Light refreshments are included in the cost.

Ask most longtime Horsham residents what they know about Graeme Park, and they’ll tell you it’s haunted! Mysterious smells, muffled voices, footsteps on the stairs, and trouble with electronic equipment are just some of the things our staff and volunteers deal with regularly, but the stories and legends go back to the early 19th century.

On the surface, Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, mistress of Graeme Park in the late 18th century, seemed to have it all. She was the granddaughter of the former Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania 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 ghostly presence 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, have 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 other, more recent and unexplained phenomena experienced by our staff, volunteers and visitors, and unearthed during paranormal investigations, interwoven with the story of Elizabeth’s life. Costumed actors bring to life the events which may contribute to Elizabeth’s unrest and relay some of the stories that have “haunted” the Keith House since the dawn of the 19th century on these candlelit tours.

Call 215-343-0965 for details.

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