Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bedford County, Pennsylvania

In the April zine of Outta the Way we take you for a ride on the lost highway. An abandoned stretch of turnpike complete with tunnels. You'll be daring each other to pass through these dark hollow monsters. We'll also travel on a road where the laws of gravity no longer seem to apply. Soon you'll be rolling bottles, cans, balls, and even your car uphill. And finally we'll point you to some odd roadside attractions, including a giant coffee pot, and an old abandoned amusement park nestled in a wooded area adding a very creepy feel to a child's storybook imagination. So get outta the way, we're going Outta the Way.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why I go Outta the Way!

Coming up on our first year I thought I'd share how I started going "Outta the Way." Maybe it was instilled in my head as a child. Some of my earliest memories involve riding around in the back of my dad's pick-up truck (hey, it was the early 80's) with my two older sisters, scouring the back roads of Toad road. I didn't know the stories and the legend about the place, but it was always creepy and certainly strange.

By my teenage years when I was able to hit the open road on my own I would always find myself drawn to the weird and odd places. The more sinister the better. My friends and I would search the rural back roads looking for anything out of the ordinary.

By my 20's I was raising a family and didn't have much time to search the underbellies of society. But as my daughter got older and the bills got higher I found myself drawn back into this odd fascination. Only this time there was no holding back. Seems as my fascination grew so did a lot of other folks. By my late 20's I had discovered quite a bit of information on haunted, historical, abandoned, and odd spots allover. So my girlfriend, my daughter, and myself went out in search. We discovered how much fun as a family we could have without spending much money, if any. Plus my daughter was learning about history (just don't tell her that) even if some was a little odd or macabre.

As I begun to share my stories of travel with others they seemed very interested and intrigued by my adventures. They wanted to know how they could find these places. Quite a few of the spots we visit are often quite rural and difficult to find. My girlfriend instilled into my head the idea of a travel zine. A chance for others who are as disturbed as I am to visit such odd locales. What would I offer? Truth be told a few of the places we visit can be discovered with a bit of research. So what I've done is combined 4-5 locations within a general area for a day full of adventure and mystery. I supply photographs so you know exactly what you're looking for. And most importantly, accurate driving directions to these often difficult to locate oddities. I visit all of these places before anything else.

Here at Outta the Way we focus on showing you the places that are not your normal tourist traps. Some may be of historical note, some a little weird or odd, a few macabre, but all are unique. Most importantly their inexpensive and will keep a smile on your face and your brain on the edge. We feel if you go into these adventures with an open mind you'll find as much enjoyment in these trips as we have.

So get outta the way, we're going Outta the Way!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Haunted Places in Pennsylvania

Whether you're traveling the rural back roads, or in the heart of Philadelphia, if you're in Pennsylvania chances are there's a ghost nearby. In fact, the Keystone state seems to have a few of the most famous haunts in the country.

The battlefields in Gettysburg where over 7,500 men perished in just a few days is thought to be one of the most haunted areas in all of the United States. The Eastern State Penitentiary in downtown Philadelphia has it's share of ghostly visitors as well. The tortuous methods dished out to these lawbreakers many years ago, still lingers fresh in the apparitions that still haunt this fortress of solitude. Even the small town of New Hope, near the Washington crossing has it's share of supernatural tales. From haunted inns, to covered bridges shrouded in mystery. It's no wonder New Hope is thought to be the most haunted town in America.

In a state so rich in history, yet so ripe with violence it only seems natural (or supernatural) that Pennsylvania would seem to be the most haunted state in our great country.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Historic Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania

Mt. Gretna is a small town of historic homes and cottages. Founded in the 1890's by the Pennsylvania Chatauqua Society. They were naturally attracted by the beauty of the area. They found the town to be perfect for a summer day, fortunately so did the rest of the country. At one time you could travel to this quiet community by train from anywhere in the country.

As the town grew so did the aspirations of the townsfolk. There were the beginnings of an amusement park. There was a carousel, a dancing pavilion, and even a roller coaster. This in turn led to restaurants, shops, and hotels. Unfortunately most places had perished by the 1920's. During World War 2 the area almost reached abandonment.

Today Mt. Gretna is once again thriving. Many accredit that to their award winning art show, started in 1976. There is still plenty to keep everyone active, from cross-country skiing in the winter, to lakeside swimming. Spending a day in Mt. Gretna will make you feel that life is a whole lot simpler.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania

The haunted Moonshine church in Indiantown Gap may have a lot of history, but the nearby fort of the National Guard may have a little more. The history dates back to 1755. The Susquehannock Indians who had been trekking the land for over 3,000 years became allies against the colonists at the start of the French & Indian war. The Susquehannocks were attacking colonial frontiers through passes in the Blue ridge mountains. These attacks led to colonists building forts along northern Lebanon county, including Indiantown Gap.

The modern post that sits now was developed in 1931 as a National Guard training site. During World War 2 the training camp saw major expansions. Throughout the years the fort has been used to train soldiers for war, and also as a refugee camp. The fort was almost closed down in 1995, though Pennsylvania saved the land by buying it back from the government. Today the fort at Indiantown Gap still provides training for National Guard and Army reserves. When that much history and bloodshed occurs in an area there are always tales of paranormal. Could the presences felt at the nearby church actually be from the "blue-eyed six" as most think, or is there maybe just a bit more history to the area most don't even know about.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Haunted Moonshine Church & Cemetery

There's a small church and cemetery near a military base in Pennsylvania, shrouded in paranormal activity. The church and cemetery are named for a man who set aside this free burial plot. His young son is buried in the cemetery, along with one of Pennsylvania's most famous murder victims.

Joseph Raber was murdered by a gang of men known as "the blue eyed six". They had taken out a life insurance policy on Mr. Raber and decided waiting for him to die on his own would take too long. Needless to say these gentlemen took matters into their own hands. All but one of the men were tried and convicted for their crimes, and sentenced to death by hanging.

Though none of the six men are buried anywhere near the cemetery, their spirits may haunt the area. Tales range from ghosts being spotted walking throughout the church, to mysterious blue lights seen flickering in the cemetery.

The church and cemetery both have a very unsettling feel to them. Of course the tanks rolling by from the nearby base, don't do much to ease your tensions.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Centralia, Pennsylvania: The End

The already nearly abandoned town of Centralia is getting a little smaller. Since the underground mine fire started in 1962, the once prominent town of nearly 1500 has been slowly dwindling. Most residents moved out in the 1970's and 1980's. In 1991 the state bought all the remaining properties. Initially the townspeople were allowed to stay as long as they kept up on their property taxes. Now the state is forcing the few remaining citizens out.
On a recent visit to Centralia we saw only one home standing. A lot of the small town charm the town once held seems to be stripped away like the coal seams that brought the town to life.
Go Outta the Way and get a last look at this nearly abandoned ghost town sinking closer to it's demise.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Snow Geese of Middlecreek

Every year near the beginning of March hundreds of visitors pay a visit to a small wildlife preserve on the Lancaster/Lebanon county border. More importantly is what all these spectators flock to see. During this time of the year, snow geese migrate thousands of miles to touch down in this unique site. This year there are approximately 45,000 geese migrating here. The geese fly as far as eastern Alaska to western Greenland. The rest of the year the wildlife conserve teaches us all the importance of nature and our job to preserve it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

Outta the Way #11 we'll take you on a trip to see thousands of migrating geese, view an abandoned once historical distillery, visit historic canal tunnels, and take a look at a haunted church and cemetery. Each zine comes complete with pictures, detailed information on each location as well as driving directions. So get outta the way we're going Outta the Way!

Michter's Distillery: Abandoned Whiskey

Abandoned Michter's Distillery

Outside of Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania lies an abandoned whiskey distillery shrouded in mystery. Once one of the top distilleries in the country. The Michter's distillery now sits empty, crumbling away to the environment. The company had been facing hard times since the 1980's. Sometime between 1989 and 1991 all the employees and staff just left. They also left behind expensive equipment and over 300,000 barrels of whiskey. Why would they just this historical distillery and abandon all the equipment? This may be a question that never gets answered.