Prepare for the Paranormal
Just a few miles south and a little over an hour away from NEPA, you’ll find the historic city of Bethlehem. Founded in 1741, this once small colonial town has transformed into one of Pennsylvania’s top travel destinations.
With a bustling downtown district and plenty of nearby attractions, it stands out as one of the Lehigh Valley’s hot spots. Bethlehem did not grow overnight though and the city’s preservation efforts show a deep appreciation for its roots.
But first, a history lesson.
In the mid-19th century, Bethlehem acted as a mecca of Pennsylvania’s biggest industries and Robert Heysham Sayre was the man at the center of it all. As the chief engineer of the Lehigh Valley Railroad and general manager of Bethlehem Iron Works, Sayre built himself a big reputation and a residence to match.
In 1858, Sayre oversaw the construction of his very own Gothic Revival style mansion in the wealthy Fountain Hill neighborhood. In this stunning home, he spent 50 years raising a family and shaping the city into the Bethlehem we know today.
Quaint bed & breakfast…with a twist.
Now a renowned bed & breakfast, the Sayre Mansion maintains its original grandeur with restored guest rooms and spacious Carriage House suites. The grounds are picturesque, with century-old trees and green space. Still, beyond the rich history and elegance, secrets await guests who are brave enough to seek them out.
From shadowy figures to noises in the night, ghosts of the Sayre Mansion’s past welcome visitors in their own special way. Have no fear though, the Sayre’s staff is well aware of the paranormal activity and makes sure to accommodate both the living and the dead.
After years of research and careful preparation, the Sayre Mansion now offers Paranormal Experience stays during which visitors can catch a glimpse of the mansion’s dark side.
Gear up and ghost hunt.
The Paranormal Experience begins with a brief tour, providing historical context for the evening ahead. Guests are then treated to a special dinner, prepared by the mansion’s resident caterer Karen Hunter, in the Asa Packer Room.
After fueling up and gathering some courage, Wyoming Valley Ghost Tours explains techniques and demonstrates equipment before sending the newly-appointed ghost hunters off on their own investigations.
When the ghosts have had their fun, guests spend the rest of the night in one of the mansion’s incredible guest rooms or suites. No worries, after becoming acquainted, the spirits will let you rest peacefully.
Nothing some retail therapy can’t fix.
If the paranormal gets a bit too heavy, venture into historic Downtown Bethlehem. Just a short trip across the Hill to Hill Bridge, which provides scenic views of the rolling Lehigh River, this quaint downtown district has enough shops, restaurants and attractions to keep you busy for an entire afternoon.
For bookworms and history lovers alike, the Moravian Book Shop is a must-see when in Bethlehem. Founded in 1745, just four years after the city was settled, it is not only the oldest book shop in America, but the oldest continuously running book shop in the world.
Recover with some good eats.
What trip is complete without a sampling of the local cuisine? Luckily for foodies, there is no shortage of diverse bars and restaurants throughout the area. From the laidback Fegley’s Brew Works to the trendy Tapas on Main, Bethlehem has a spot for every vibe imaginable.
And if you can’t turn down a good brew, hit the Lehigh Valley Brewery Trail for a DIY tour of the region’s best breweries, some of which are just a short distance from Downtown Bethlehem and the Sayre Mansion.
A Peaceful, Historic Escape
Whether you’re visiting in hopes of having a paranormal encounter or to simply soak in the historic charm, Bethlehem welcomes people with open arms. And when you need a quick getaway, the Sayre Mansion (and its permanent residents) would be glad to have you.
Although this year’s Paranormal Experience at The Sayre Mansion is fully booked, openings for January 21, 2023 are still available. Rooms fill quickly, so be sure to check availability in advance. Keep up with the Sayre Mansion on Facebook and Instagram.
* Featured Image (Top) Courtesy of The Sayre Mansion