For paranormal enthusiasts, what could be more fascinating then ghost hunting while spelunking in the only all water cavern and wildlife park in the United States? The entrance to the cavern is 75-feet deep sinkhole that immediately welcomes you into something amazing. Open to the public in 1885 as a show cavern, the historic Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park located in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania offers tourists and ghost hunters a one-hour motorboat tour along a haunted underground stream where images of ghosts and other odd figures flow freely through the perimeter of the cave. Many of the apparitions appear to be suspended in mid-air, as if they are offering a protective shield to those passing through below, and a strange mist embodies the scene, making it the perfect paranormal experience for those who welcome it. Along with the opening of the cavern there was a 30-room hotel guest house that once catered to overnight guests, offering hot meals and boarding up until 1929 when it became a gift shop and welcome center for tourists. The Penn’s Cave and Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, but today offer’s guest’s gem specimens, books and collectibles. Texas Longhorn and Bison burgers are available to hungry ghost hunters in the Cave Cafe.
The Seneca Indians discovered the mysterious cavern while settling in the area then known as the Valley of Karoondinha or more famously today, the Penn’s Valley. The deep rich history of the Penn’s Cave gives a vital clue as to why it may be haunted, starting with the legend of the death of French trapper, Malachi Boyer who was weighed down with stones by Native Americans. The sons of Chief O-Ko-Cho tossed into the cavern to die after the Frenchman did the unthinkable. Befriending the chief and quickly becoming enamored with his daughter Nitanee, Malachi had ideas of marriage to which he was told was forbidden territory. After being denied the right to marry his daughter Nitanee, Malachi attempted to run away with the Indian princess, breaking a significant Indian custom that was simply unforgivable by Chief O-Ko-Cho and the Seneca Indian’s standards.
Sightings from unsuspecting tourists over the years concerning ghosts, distorted dark figures, balls of energy, strange thick mist and disembodied voices have led to the need for an investigation as to what may be causing these anomalies, which didn’t go unnoticed by the paranormal investigative team of The City Lights Paranormal Society. The group of trained ghost hunters set out with a K2 meter and EVP recorders and with digital cameras, snapped roughly two-hundred photos in various location throughout the cave. They immediately heard the voice of a disembodied female in the distance, and shadows in the rock formations were detected here and there. When talking about Malachi and Nitanee, the sound of wood knocking together became evident, despite there being no apparent cause for the noise to occur. Employee’s also gave detailed ghost stories that they had experienced and the creepiest experience happened to tour guide Mike when a voice called out to him over the loud speaker, even though he was totally alone. Cameras are by far the biggest source of proof concerning paranormal activity in the cave. By the hundreds, tourists report strange transparent figures in their photos or other distorted images that just shouldn’t be there.
For those in need of a break from the cool water environment and paranormal activities found in the caverns while spelunking along, guests of the park will be happy to know that there is a flip side to the Pennsylvania state countryside at the Penn’s Cavern. A full scale 1,600 acre natural habitat wildlife park, complete with a Penn’s Cave’s forest where one can get lost in a “miner’s maze’, pan for gems, picnic or shop. Guests can enjoy watching the animals in their grazing pastures or walk along one of the many trails that allow for spectacular site seeing and a tour of some of the most beautiful animals in Pennsylvania. Birds, tigers, wolves, buffalo, Bighorn sheep, elk, bears and Mustang horses all live together harmoniously while giving nature enthusiasts a lesson in geography, biology and geology. Cost: $19.95 per adult and $11.95 for children aged 2-12.
The month of October celebrates Halloween and the Penn’s Cave brings this special event to light with dark and spooky guided “Friday Fall Flashlight Boat Tours”, with the only protection from the spirits sneaking up on you being a flashlight that also aids in leading you through the heavily misted ghost infested water filled cave to the end at Lake Nittanee. Stories centered around ghosts, the supernatural and a haunted past are geared to heighten the creepy atmosphere and add to the spooky spelunking seasonal event that the Halloween holiday brings. The haunted boat tours are offered every Friday night in October at 6:00 pm. Tip: Bring a flashlight and dress in warm clothing. Cost: $16.95 per adult.
The cavern tour allows boaters to experience some of nature’s most amazing and unusual creations from the Garden of the God’s to the Statue of Liberty and flawless curtains of cascading water that mesmerizes all who take in it’s unique splendor. Combined tour rates are available for those wishing to experience both the wildlife and cavern tours. Combined Rate Cost: $30.95 per adult and $16.95 per child ages 2-12. Combo Tour including the Miner’s Maze: $34.95 per adult and $18.95 for children ages 2-12.
Location: 222 Penns Cave Road, Centre Hall, Pennsylvania, 16828. Phone: 814-364-1664