Ghost May Wander Bank's Basement
Spirit of woman murdered at nightclub may haunt the Wells Fargo on W. Broad Street.
Before it was Wells Fargo Bank (and Wachovia), the building at 52 W. Broad Street was a Depression era night club called the Colonnade. Although no drinks are served there today, many believe there remains some spirits in the building.
In their book, Bethlehem Ghosts: Historical Hauntings In and Around Pennsylvania’s Christmas City, Katherine Ramsland and Dana DeVito mention the ghost of the Colonnade, a woman murdered in the basement. They said though, “Some people say it’s haunted, but it was difficult to track down the specific stories about the ghosts.”
On November 10, 1949, the Evening Chronicle newspaper reported that the body of Ruth Mickley, 31, was found at 6 a.m. in the “Rumpus Room,” which was the basement tavern of the Colonnade. The Morning Call reported the following day that a utility man living in the building told detectives he thought “he believed the woman was asleep and did not disturb her.”
Her death was quite a mystery at the time, bringing together a line-up of potential murderers that included the nightclub own, a Reading band leader, a waitress from Allentown’s Astor Bar, an off-duty member of the state police and three employees of Lehigh Structural Steel Company.
After Northampton County Coroner’s concluded the potential weapon was a blunt object, investigators turned their attention to the two iron pegs used to lock the doors of the Rumpus Room.
By December 6, the case ended with Northampton County District Attorney Jacob O. Raub announcing that no one was guilty, according to lie detector tests, and that the death was the result of a “fall down the stairs.”
If Mickley’s spirit is roaming the vault at Well’s Fargo bank, she just might be doing so in hopes that someone will bring closure to her murder.
I’ve gone into the bank and talked to tellers. They say weird things have gone on, lights flickering, doors closing, a presence but that could just be the feeling of all the cameras "watching" the withdrawals and deposits. No one has seen any apparitions of a woman but, then again, not that many people are going to the basement.