Adams’ ghostly tales are told at historical society meeting
“Ghost stories without history are not ghost stories,” said Charles Adams III, as he began a talk to the Palmerton Area Historical Society at the Little White Church, Third Street, Palmerton.
Adams has written more than 30 books about ghosts beginning with “Ghost Stories of the Lehigh Valley.”
“It’s not a belief in ghosts; its understanding what they are,” Adams said. “To me, it’s just energy from a past time.
“Einstein said energy cannot be destroyed. If they tore this church down, my energy would still be here.”
The stories he brought are a combination of legend and folklore, such as the one Adams told about Witches’ Hill in Berks County.
The witches congregate in a hollow. It is an ancient tradition. The energy is where the veil is. Hex signs on the barns chase the witches awa, or windows may be painted so that one is real and another is solid. If they choose the wrong one they go bang and just dribble down.
Some hospitals have a tradition of opening a window when a person dies so the energy, often thought of as the soul, can escape. In a home a block or stone set in the wall can be removed if the person dies.
In another story, Adams said there was a husband, wife and two children whowould smell cigar smoke like a punch in the mouth. Sometimes there would be a slight smell of lavender or lilac. I looked into who smoked cigars and died in the house. He found that in 1932 a funeral was held in the house. It took days to get relatives together and the casket was packed with aromatic flowers. They hadn’t taken the soul hole out.
Then there is the couple who had the time and talent to buy an old house and restored it.
One day, the woman was home alone and heard something bouncing down the steps.
She thought her husband had left something behind. The sound came again with a bang as though something hit a closet door.
She never told her husband. One day she finally told her husband the house was haunted and he admitted to hearing the same noise.
They found out from a lady that a little boy, 8, died in the house. He tripped over the sash on his robe, fell on the steps and broke his neck.
In another tale, strange but true, a little baby with a young mother almost died in 1947 but his deceased father kept calling “Mabel” until she went for help.
The baby had swallowed his tongue but she got a doctor in time to save him.
“I was that baby,” Adams said.
“Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, in Kempton, is the most haunted place I’ve been because of the strong imprint,” Adams said. “Paranormal students use equipment but I use my head. I look for a cause.”
The story Adams told goes like this: Mathias Schaumboch lived in a house along a hill on a road that teamsters used to carry goods across the mountain.
He built a house on the footprint of one that had burned and put up a sign that said it was a tavern. Several men just disappeared.
Men went up to the tavern to see what was happening to the goods – they were not too concerned about the teamsters.
Eleven men were known to have died. Schaumboch said the mountain made him do it.
When he was buried at New Bethel Church no one would read from the Bible.
The gravediggers held the casket over the grave. Gray clouds moved in and became black, and hail began pelting the funeral party. As soon as he was dropped in the grave the weather was okay again. Lightning had split the casket and his face could be seen.
“That is the epicenter of special energy,” Adams said, adding he points out the unmarked grave on tours he leads. “I was telling ghost stories on a tour and looked over my shoulder.
“I turned around and a bluish globe was in the graveyard. I watched it for eight seconds. Some saw it and others didn’t.”
In his final story for the evening, Adams told of a Slatedale man who kissed his wife goodbye and went to work.
When the man came home, he discovered his wife had not started dinner and found her dead on the porch.
The coroner said she had been dead for 14 hours.
He had kissed a dead woman goodbye.
“It’s all rooted in history: the soul hole, that mountain, it’s all history,” Adams concluded.