Sightings on the Wissahickon Trails

Ghost Stories of Wissahickon Valley Park

Ghost Stories @ Wissahickon Valley Park

You won't catch me in these woods after dark. Once the sun goes down, I am out of there. For others, there may be an interest in this type of thing. Imagine that scene from the picture above as your walking the trails at night. That image is from the stories below. So, what are some of the ghost stories you have encountered in Wissahickon Valley Park? Please comment below or send a message. It would be very interesting to hear your story.

The Monks of the Wissahickon

We all know about Johannes Kelpius. After his death, most of his followers split up and left the area. Six monks decided to stay. The tale goes that witnesses have seen six monks walking single file down Forbidden Drive. They are all wearing brown robes with hoods and sandals. I would be very interested in hearing a real-life witness. Also, the burial site of Kelpius was never marked. It is assumed he was buried by his fellow monks somewhere in the woods. 

The Ghost at Toleration Statue

This site is known for one woman. Her name is Molly (Mom), Rinker. You can check out more info on her on my tourist spot page. Here is a strange story from that site in the woods. The referenced site is listed as . The story is called "Guardians of the Forest". Please see the story below and let me know what you think of the Pukwudgie.

- Guardians of the Forest


I've been looking for a site for a long time wherein I can outline an experience that I had back in the '80s. It remains extremely vivid in my if it happened only hours ago. Last year, while camping in Vermont, I related the story to a couple who was camping next to us. They were from Massachusetts and told me about Freetown State Forest and what was going on there. She also told me that what I had described was what was disturbing people there. She called it a Pukwudgie. (Guardians of the Forest.)

Let's go back to the Story. I am now 48 and I live in Valley Forge, PA. My great-grandmother on my father's side was full-blood Lenni-Lanape. When I was younger, I lived near Philadelphia in a town called Flourtown. I used to practically live in Fairmount Park, (Wissahickon Creek), within the boundaries of the city of Philadelphia. The park is about 20 miles long and about 6 miles wide at the most. You'd never know that you were in a major city when you are in there. It is a steep valley and there used to be a ton of mills there. The park has a long, historical past and was involved in the Revolutionary War. It was also sacred land to the Delaware tribe of the Lenni-Lanape. There is a Counsel Rock there, among other things.

I had been there many, many times and there are many great places. There is "Devil's Pool" where the Native American legends say the Great Spirit defeated the Dark Spirit and an imprint was left on the rock. There is the Ledge, which is a great fishing spot, secluded and out over the water. One of my favorite spots is called "Mom Rinker's Rock." It is a finger of rock that sticks out from a hillside deep in the park. There is only one way on or off and the drop on all sides may not be sheer, but they are steep and treacherous. On the top of the rock is an old statue of William Penn. Engraved in the plinth is the word, "Toleration."

One night, during the summer of my 26th year, 4 friends and I went to "Toleration" before it got dark. We sat on the rock until late, talking and enjoying the peacefulness. All of the guys with me, I knew well. One, (named Stan), was always seeing stuff and it was a joke of sorts. One, (named Andy), never believed anything unless he could touch it. Anyway, we were out there for a while and Stan came back from relieving himself and announced to me that there were eyes in the bushes. I was talking to Andy and was closest to the land side of the rock. I laughed, but eventually, I looked. Sure enough, there were two human-sized points of greenish-yellow light. After about 10 seconds, they blinked, twice.

I asked Andy if he saw him and he said, "yep." About 15-20 seconds later, the owner of the eyes stepped into the moonlight. I'll tell you; I never saw this before and never saw it again, (except in dreams), but have been trying to figure out what it was since that day. 

It/he was about 3.5 to 4 feet tall and he was squatting. He walked in a squat. He moved that way until he was about 12-15 feet from me, then he stopped and just stared at us. I could see the shadow he was making on the ground, in the moonlight and he wasn't transparent, (although at times he seemed to shimmer.) He looked wet. His hair was long and damp looking. His face was human, but his nose was long, almost over his upper lip. I couldn't see any teeth. His eyes were greenish-yellow. He was wearing a shirt that looked as though it was made of sticks and I think he was wearing a loincloth of sorts. (It may have been his skin too.) His feet seemed bare, but there weren't any discernible toes. His hands were human, but his fingers were very long also.

One hand was held like a fist, with a stick in it that only protruded from the bottom of his hand, and beads and feathers were hanging from the end. The other hand was empty, and he kept opening and closing it. He didn't make any sound at all, not even on the dry ground. I have no idea how long we were there like that, but I do know that he was looking at me, because my friends, (including Andy), not only commented on it later, but they were looking from him to me while we were in the "standoff."

After a while, he left. But he didn't walk away. He moved to his left, (our right.) The path that he chose was directly off the rock, but he didn't descend, he just moved through the air and we could see him passing through the trees until he was out of sight.

None of us moved for a very long time. When we did, no-one wanted to lead or be in the back!

We eventually made it back to the car without incident. (Although, just before we got there, a shadow moved across our path.) No-one was frightened at all on the rock, only afterward. We never went back there at night again. I had dreams about it for years and did some research, but never found much. I went there, with a friend, on the summer solstice this year with my camera. I had saved some soil from that night and brought it with me. Nothing appeared, although there seemed to be a "theme" that day. Everything that we saw had red in it. Leaves, fungus, stray debris, and a passing balloon on the wind. We even saw a Scarlet Tanager, (which is a very rare bird for our area.) 

I took a lot of pics and checked them all. When I got back and displayed them on the PC, one had orbs in it. Strange during the day.

Mom Rinker was a tavern owner in Philadelphia during the British occupation in the 1770's She used to listen to the British officers talk in the tavern, then she would pass the information, (in balls of yarn), down to Jacob Levering who was camped in the creek area. That is how the rock got its name. In later years, the rock was also the scene of a report from a mill owner that stated, "Mom Rinker was a witch and he saw her there on the rock in the moonlight using it as the place where she would start her broomstick rides."

This could very well be a typical report of what I saw, except from a man in the 18th century. Anyway, I've shared my story with a few people over the last 22 years, one of whom was in Vermont. I was staying at Jamaica State Park there, which had its reputation with the native Americans and the massacre there. She told me that I had just described a Pukwudgie. That was the first time that anyone had the slightest recognition of this guy, much less a name. I would like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience and/or knows more about this. I didn't want to start a discussion thread unless the people on it were serious. I've attached some pics.

I've always been pretty much in tune with things since I was very young. I've had more than a few experiences in various places including Gettysburg, and some of the Revolutionary sites around here. But that is another story...

The Hessian Hauntings

I decided to add a new page to discuss this story. Please refer over to this page to get the full story.

Ghost of Jacob Rittenhouse

You can do a quick google search on the ghost of the Jacob Rittenhouse and find some interesting stories. For the most part, they mention the staff seeing him walking down the road and disappearing. What do you think?

I would love to hear more stories. Please comment below.