Home Electromagnetic Hauntings and History Hunt in Horsham’s Graeme Park

Hauntings and History Hunt in Horsham’s Graeme Park

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HORSHAM, PA (KYW Newsradio) — Some ghosts can be frightening (see: Poltergeist). Some ghosts can be friendly (see: Casper). Other ghosts, apparently, may even play a role in preserving bits of history, at least at Montgomery County’s Graeme Park.

In 2008, when the country was in the midst of a recession, the park was at risk of losing funding due to state budget cuts.

“We needed the money,” said Beth MacCausland, president of the Friends of Graeme Park group. “A [reporter] called me and asked what I thought about the park closing, and I had no idea what they were talking about.

Shortly after, MacCausland had another memorable conversation — this time, with an investigator.

Not just any investigator, but a ghost hunter who, with MacCausland’s blessing, had been looking for paranormal activity in Graeme Park for some time. He has an idea: to use the park’s sinister reputation to raise funds.

“We jumped on it,” MacCausland said.

Sure enough, the plan worked. The money started rolling in when Graeme Park tapped into his spooky mind with haunted lantern tours and paranormal mini-investigations – which are available this month.

“It was like a godsend for us,” she said. “That really helped.”

All these years later, Halloween-themed activities at Graeme Park have generated around $37,000.

“We don’t get paid to do what we do here,” said John Levy, one of the investigators who works with MacCausland and Graeme Park. “One hundred percent of the proceeds always go back to the park, but I can sit here with a smile on my face knowing that yes, I helped save a piece of American history.”

In the daytime, there’s nothing scary about Montgomery County’s Graeme Park. Nestled in peaceful grounds off the bustling County Line Road, the park has idyllic features on 42 acres – a pond, a small waterfall, a barn, a few sculptures.

So how did Horsham’s only National Historic Landmark gain such a spooky reputation?

According to MacCausland, the legend dates back to 1801, following the death of Elizabeth Graeme. She inherited the Graeme Park property from her father, Thomas Graeme, who was a founding member of Pennsylvania Hospital.

“She had a tragic life,” MacCausland said. A few days after Elizabeth Graeme’s death, her best friend, Liza Steadman, visited Keith House, the colonial mansion in Graeme Park where the Graeme family lived.

In her diary, Steadman wrote that as she stood on a staircase in the Keith House, which connected the second and third floors, she felt a rush of cold air pass over her body. Steadman didn’t know what it was, but she felt it was more than child’s play.

“It was the first [evidence] we know a story has been told or written” about the haunting of the Keith House and Graeme Park, MacCausland said. “It’s definitely been called a haunted place.”

And wouldn’t you know it, as Levy strolled through that same part of the Keith home on a recent visit to Graeme Park, his modified hand-held K-II meter – the instrument paranormal investigators use to EMF and temperature readings – started from.

The stairwell of Keith House, built in the 18th century, where a visitor reported she once had an inexplicable cold whoosh of air shortly after the death of one of the inhabitants of the house.

photo creditHolli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

“What could it be?” [Maybe] a phone?” Lévy asked.

He scanned the area again. “Sometimes,” he said, “you get false positives.”

But Levy was pretty sure that reading wasn’t a false positive. When he positioned the K-II meter near cell phones and nearby electronics, it did not beep. Only in an open area of ​​the stairwell—where there were no other bodies or devices—did the K-II meter sound.

For Levy, this was a remarkable development. So did the one-degree drop in temperature he noticed on the K-II meter when he walked from the second floor to the third.

Typically, hot air rises. Not in this case.

“Remember,” said MacCausland, who was walking through the house with Levy, “Liza Steadman, Elizabeth Graeme’s friend, was on the steps when she felt the cold. whoosh of air pass.

Beth MacCausland, President of the Friends of Graeme Park, inside Keith House.

Beth MacCausland, President of the Friends of Graeme Park, inside Keith House.

photo creditHolli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

Together, Levy’s K-II meter readings and the entry on the cold whoosh of air in Steadman’s diary could be combined to constitute evidence, depending on the interpretation of a paranormal investigator.

“When spirits communicate, sometimes you can hear them with your ears, but most of the time you really can’t,” Levy said. “That’s why we do it. We do it to investigate the paranormal.

Levy has worked as a Philadelphia police officer for nearly 25 years. He only ended up falling down that paranormal rabbit hole, innocently enough, when nature called him.

About 15 years ago, while on a night patrol in her old neighborhood, Levy needed to go to the bathroom. He decided to make a pit stop at his childhood home around the corner.

Levy’s mother also grew up in the house and still lived there. But that night she was out of town and there was no one in the house. Or at least that’s what Levy thought.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his grandfather walk through a room – the same room where his grandfather slept.

“It was him all the way,” Levy said, which would have been perfectly explainable had his grandfather been alive.

“It didn’t surprise me,” he said. “I was not afraid. But it was my grandfather.

Levy called her mother, who was on vacation on the coast, and told her what had happened. She replied with a laugh, “What are you talking about?”

He didn’t find it that funny.

“Then she said, ‘I also felt your grandfather’s presence in the house,'” Levy recalled.

After that, Levy’s passion for the paranormal took off. He jumped into the field in 2008 and then, with a friend, formed Olde City Paranormal in 2009.

Above holding an <a class=electromagnetic field detector, John Levy founded Olde City Paranormal in 2009 and has been a member of the Philadelphia Police Department for nearly 25 years. “/>

Above holding an electromagnetic field detector, John Levy founded Olde City Paranormal in 2009 and has been a member of the Philadelphia Police Department for nearly 25 years.

photo creditHolli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

The group, which includes other Philadelphia cops, including John’s wife, Amanda, has since been investigating ghosts, spirits, hauntings and other unexplainable phenomena.

“I’m an investigator by trade,” said Levy, 49, a Northeast Catholic High School alumnus who graduated from the police academy in 1998, “so I think that may have been a calling for me. , being a paranormal investigator.

“I wouldn’t return this for the world.”

Graeme Park offer lantern tours and mini paranormal investigations this month to help raise funds for operational costs.