Friday, August 28, 2009

Horrors at Dreamland Park

The Dreamland Park, north of Reading is a defunct amusement park. Closing in the 1950's, the park is more synonymous with horrors than with children frolicking and laughing.

Along Pricetown road in Rascombmanor township lies the remains of the Dreamland Amusement Park. Opening in the 1930's by a gentleman named Ralph Kreitz, Dreamland had all the necessities for a fun time, young or old. Buildings were set up with gambling devices and card games. Also were some children's rides, a rollerskating rink, and a theatre for concerts.

Mr. Kreitz owned and operated the park until it's closing in the 1950's. The park should have just become a forgotten memory of a failed dream. However on a hot August night in 1969 a young couple was parked along nearby Skyline drive. Surely admiring the nearby Pagoda, along with the beautiful view of the city below. But things were about to take a dark, horrendous turn.

Two Pagan gang members approached the vehicle and forced themselves inside. They than forced a young Glenn Eckert (20) and his date Marilyn Sheckler (18) to drive them to a train station in Leesport, Pennsylvania. There they were confronted by two more members of the notorious motorcycle gang. The four Pagans commanded the youth into an awaiting box truck. They drove the couple along the back roads of Berks county, each taking turns brutally raping the young woman. According to the police reports at approximately 2:00 A.M. the gang took the pair to Dreamland Park and murdered them. 

After several months of searching, their bodies were discovered on October 23, 1969. The duo was found in the woods surrounding Dreamland Park. Marilyn had been bludgeoned to her death, while Glenn suffered gunshot wounds. The trial began the following Summer after the gang members began turning on each other. Two of the men were convicted of the murders. 

Today there are a few buildings lying in ruins in these woods. "No Trespassing" signs litter the area. Nearby neighbors and the new owner are weary of trespassers, and with the history surrounding the area. Could you blame them?

Sounds more like a nightmare than a Dreamland.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Crybaby Bridge of Berks County

There's a crybaby bridge located outside of Reading, Pennsylvania. Spanning over the Tulpehocken Creek, it's said you can hear baby cries from the water below. What makes this one more unique is that it's a covered bridge.

Crybaby bridges are folklore all over the world. The stories associated with them are usually of young pregnant women willing to end their humiliation by plummeting into the waters below. Other variations include a new mother aborting her child into the frigid water below. Either way the story is told, be sure to pay attention for the infantile screams from beyond.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pagoda of Reading, Pennsylvania

The Pagoda in Reading, PA is obviously not the normal architectural design you'd expect to find in the area. Inspired by a Philippines postcard and built in 1908, it was to be used as a hotel. The hotel was denied a liquor license and never succeeded. The Pagoda was then sold to a prominent businessman in the area. One year later it was sold to the City of Reading for $1.

Before telephones and television, the Pagoda acted as a message service. The lights on the Pagoda acted as Morse code for the townspeople below, offering news and sports updates with the flashing of the lights. The Pagoda stands 72 feet high and sits 886 feet above the City of Reading.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Berks County,Pennsylvania

Volume 4 of Outta the Way is now available! We feature Berks County.

The intro:

This month will stir up the supernatural on a covered bridge, visit a miniature village, see the view that inspired it, get a taste of Japanese culture and learn how a Dreamland became a nightmare. So prepare to get outta the way, we're going outta the way!

Contact us or go to Kim's Etsy Store to get your copy!