Back in August, Bethlehem Patch posed the question, “Who haunts Bethlehem’s Sun Inn?”
Well, I’ve got a few answers.
When Scott Wiley, lead investigator of Northampton County Paranormal, last investigated the Sun Inn, he caught a rare video of a dark specter flying through the ceiling right in front of him (see it here as reported by WMFZ).
So when he asked me if I wanted to tag along for their return to the historic inn, my answer was a barely hesitant “yes” -- after all, this ain’t my first rodeo.
The spirits of the Sun Inn did not let us down. In the interest of brevity, here’s a breakdown of just some of what went down Friday night, November 11:
8:00 p.m. – I arrived at the Sun Inn. NCP was already ready for action--investigators Scott Wiley, Erin Monie, and Raul Gomez, along with research assistant Jesse Roth, and Sun Inn inkeeper Bucky Szulborski.
8:15 p.m. – Szulborski took us for a tour of the inn. There is a staggering history to the place. Here’s a few notable facts:
The Sun Inn was built in 1758 by Moravians. When it was built, it was on the far edge of their settlement, surrounded by wilderness.
Notable visitors have included George and Martha Washington, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, John Adams, the Marquis de Lafayette, and many other Founding Fathers and historical figures.
In the 1970s, the city wanted to tear the building down. A woman by the name of Hughette Bender stepped in and formed the Sun Inn Preservation Association, which saved the inn and still operates today.
Bucky went on to explain that the inn has been a huge attraction for ghost-hunting teams. Investigators have claimed to hear plenty of voices, including that of a little girl on the third floor, and one that might be Hughetta Bender herself.
Already this is promising to be a spooky night.
8:45 p.m. – Wiley plays us some EVP audio clips that he recorded from his first visit at the Sun Inn, which included a little girl talking and giggling, and a purely horrifying sound of a deep, throaty laugh. Another was a clear voice saying “Get away from us.”
If this sets any kind of tone for the kind of night we’re about to have, I might need a change of pants.
9:05 p.m. – We set up the equipment. Five stationary cameras are set up throughout the building, most of which are infrared, and one full-spectrum. Audio recorders are placed in rooms with the most activity.
10:45 p.m. - The lights go out and the investigation begins.
10:51 p.m. – Myself, Wiley, Monie and Gomez start in the great room, which is a former suite turned into a dining room. Using ultra-sensitive audio equipment, the team attempts to communicate with any spirits who might be in the room.
Wiley and Monie both catch the name “Eliza.” (Later we find out that a nurse named Elizabeth supposedly haunts the inn.)
Moments after getting the name, two EMF sensors go off--the sensors are designed to pick up electromagnetic fields and sound with a beep and a flashing light.
Wiley asks the spirits to come closer, and the EMF detectors go off again. However, further communication is cut off by the noise outside the inn--we are on Main Street on a Friday night, after all.
11:50 p.m. – We go up to the attic, which is the third floor of the Sun Inn. According to the owner, this was the common sleeping area for patrons who could not afford the downstairs suites.
Other investigators and visitors to the inn have left an array of toys and candy for the spirit of the little girl. We sit in a circle around the toys and ask to speak to her.
When nothing happens, Wiley gets an idea: he sends Gomez back downstairs. He asks the girl if Gomez frightened her.
Through the powered audio recorder, I hear the voice: “Yes.”
12:58 a.m. – We visit a room on the second floor, the same room that Wiley caught the clear audio clips on his last visit.
Wiley swears he feels something touch his leg. While Monie asks questions, I hear the whispering voice of a little girl, but I can’t make out the words.
Mere moments later, we hear what sounds like a girl giggling.
And just like that, I’m ready for those spare pants now.
2:45 a.m. – We decide to wrap up the evening by having a fireside chat in the first floor gast-stube, or common room. We sit by the fire with the lights out, with audio equipment on, and a doll.
The tiny doll is sewed to a tiny rocking chair and has been authenticated by experts as dating before 1850. According to Szulborski, it belonged to the little girl who now haunts the Sun Inn.
Now, here’s where it gets particularly interesting: I was not listening through audio equipment at the time of the chat, but I joined Wiley and Monie for an evidence review on the following Sunday. They played the audio tracks back for me, and what I heard was pretty frightening.
When the question was asked, “Whose doll is this?” the name “Sarah” is whispered.
When the question was asked, “Is this Sarah’s doll?” a clear “Yes” came back.
Things became muffled between two distinctly different voices for a brief period, then Wiley’s voice cuts in and asks for Sarah’s last name. The answer: “Jefferson.”
Monie asks how old Sarah is, and the voice comes back with “Eight.”
And finally, in one of the clearest EVP clips that I’ve heard yet, Wiley asks Sarah where she would like them to put the doll, and the answer comes right back:
“Put that back.”
And these were just some of the highlights of the night at the Sun Inn.
It’s worthwhile to mention that the last time that Wiley visited the Sun Inn, he left there thinking he had very little evidence -- it wasn’t until he reviewed the footage later that he found the now-famous video of the dark spirit, and other impressive photos and audio clips.
On Friday, November 18, Northampton County Paranormal will be hosting an investigation at the Sun Inn that will be open to the public. Tickets are $85 per person, and the event will include dinner. Reservations can be made by contacting Scott Wiley at email@example.com. Payment will be accepted at the door, but guests must have a reservation to participate. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m.