Rooms With a "Boo"
The Historic Hotel Bethlehem embrace
their “Permanent Guests.”
When you consider the site’s history, known for its hospitality
since the early 18th century, it’s not surprising. Bethlehem’s
famous “first house,” built in 1741, was located here
until 1823, when the Eagle Hotel replaced it. Then in 1921, the
Hotel Bethlehem took the Eagle’s place, at the direction
of controversial multi-millionaire industrialist, Charles M. Schwab,
the president of Bethlehem Steel in its heyday.
To date, there are many accounts of the paranormal
at the hotel, one might see a fleeting shadow or transparent
figure, or hear the elevator working when no one is aboard –
just enough to wonder if some residual memory of a former guest
is walking the halls. Perhaps you will suddenly feel a cold or
hear your name called; some have reported being tapped on the shoulder,
to turn around and find no one there.
The Friendly Ghosts of The Historic
May Yohe – Lady
Francis Hope - May
Yohe, Victorian Actress - Singer
at the Eagle Hotel in April 1866, Mary Augusta Yohe was a lively
and vivacious little girl. Her Grandfather, Caleb Yohe a
Moravian loved by all, owned and operated the beautiful Eagle Hotel.
There are accounts of “May”, as she was called, singing
and dancing in the hotel lobby for all of the guests. She
was so very talented that the Moravians pooled their money and
sent her to Paris for formal operatic training.
In 1888 she made headlines across the country
as one of the biggest stage stars! She was also making “other” not
so positive headlines. For whatever reason, May was constantly
making news with her latest flings.
In the 1890’s she went to England to perform in London,
for Queen Victoria’s son, Prince Edward, who loved her singing. She
met Lord Francis Clinton Hope a wealthy British Lord and married
him. He owned a very famous jewel called the Hope Diamond,
which she wore a number of times. However, her marriage to
Lord Hope didn’t last and by the turn of the century she
was making headlines again for leaving her husband for a handsome
American soldier (who ironically stole her jewelry, she divorced
him years later)
She seems to have been unlucky in love and
her happiest times are said to have been singing and dancing
right here in Bethlehem in the hotel lobby. Some say they
can still hear her and when our player piano turns on by itself
(as it often does!) we think we know who it is!
Miss Yohe has been seen in the 3rd floor exercise room and lobby
Francis “Daddy” Thomas
Born in Wurtemburg, Germany on September 8th
1732, came to “The
Colonies” when he was 6 years old. The Moravian Bishop
Spangenberg made a particular impression on him when he was very
As a younger man he was known to have a fearlessness
and total disregard for danger, as he was frequently involved
with because of his job as a courier (quite a dangerous job to
have in colonial times!)
Several times he came very close to death, once he was thrown from
a horse and broke his neck, he was carried home for dead! On
another occasion the horse he was riding broke through thin ice
into the frozen deep water!
He learned the trade of cabinetmaker and was
married to Anna Graeff on January 12, 1762. They were happily married for 53 years
and, although they had no children of their own, the couple happily
raised three children of missionary’s sent to Bethlehem to
be educated at the famous girls Seminary.
His industry, honesty and faithfulness won
him the respect and confidence of everyone he came in contact
with, it was in this capacity that he found his true calling
in life, attending visitors to Bethlehem. He conducted
himself with such candor, obliging disposition and readiness
to do any act of kindness that everyone who knew him loved and
regarded him with fond remembrance.
He died on April 4th 1822……and some say he still
attends to Bethlehem’s visitors and guest, with a wonderful
sense of fun and humor.
Daddy Thomas has been seen in the Boiler Room area of the hotel.
Mrs. Brong Landlord
In 1833, a committee of the Moravian
Church, the owners of the Eagle Hotel, terminated the hotel “landlords”,
a Mr. and Mrs. Brong after a short six months duration.
Apparently Mr. Brong had issue with joining
any (and every!) guest who requested he join them for a drink
and was often removed to a nearby bench by the bartender, when
he was too inebriated to sit any longer.
Mrs. Brong, who otherwise would have been a perfect hostess, had
a habit of not wearing her shoes or stockings!
Guest off the just arriving stagecoach would be greeted most politely
and to their shock and mortification, would
find her “pedal extremities completely exposed!” For
the day, this must have caused quite a commotion.
Strangely enough when some of our kitchen staff and dinner guests
spoke of seeing a vision of a woman in period clothing with no
shoes or socks, there was no doubt to her identity.
Mrs. Brong is primarily in the Kitchen/Restaurant area of the hotel.
“Room with a Boo”
Room 932 - Ninth Floor
Room 932 has a most peculiar record of paranormal
couple staying in the room reported being woken by a man standing
in front of their bed asking “why are you in my room?” Only
to find when they switched on the light, that no one was there.
There have been numerous accounts of seeing
reflections in the mirrors that are not there a moment later. Guest of room
932, with no past knowledge of the hotel or the room in particular,
have, frequently, reported unexplained happenings; papers standing
upright, or flying off the desk, lamps flashing, the bathroom wallpaper
turning pink? We have many pictures of 932 where “orbs” appear.
In April of 2007 the hotel invited a
paranormal investigator to stay overnight in the room, he recorded many voices; “it’s
Mary”, “What a beautiful bathroom”, “I’ve
locked myself in the closet”, “look out the window “ While
we agree that room 932 does have a spectacular view, it also occasionally
provides unexpected visitors and activities. Not surprisingly
this is one of our most requested rooms!
So plan ahead if you would like to reserve
room 932, the Room with a Boo. Perhaps you can help us
discover the identity of our fourth ghost.