Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pennsylvania Serial Killer: Mathias Schambacher

In the June zine, we visit a bird sanctuary that has quite a horrendous past. Long before the conservation area was put into effect, this mountain was home to one of Pennsylvania's first serial killers.

Sometime during the mid 1800's an aspiring business owner named Mathias Schambacher bought a homestead on the mountain that was once the site of brutal family attack in the 1750's. He and his wife turned the home into a roadside tavern and an overnight inn. Overnight visitors to the inn claimed to feel an overwhelming sense of doom surrounding them. Many reported hearing strange noises and footsteps in the middle of the night. Most who stayed vowed to never stay again, but others weren't so lucky.

The locals began to grow suspicious of the activity's surrounding the inn. Some guests who stopped in were never seen from again. Locals claimed to have seen Mathias cleaning blood off the walls of his barn, others reported that their horses wouldn't even near the property. Mr. Schambacher was even seen selling the merchandise of a traveling salesman who had disappeared. Though all these little clues added up to no hard evidence.

In 1879 on his deathbed Mathias urged his wife to contact a preacher so he could confess his sins. "I have taken the lives of men" Mathias stated. Than continuing to describe the grisly manner in which he slaughtered so many road weary travelers. Detailing how he chopped the men up with an axe, than displaced their bones in the woods to be cleaned by the animals. The number of victims is not known, Mathias lost count after he filled his well with skulls. The meat from the victims was never discussed, though it is rumored that sausage appeared on the tavern menu shortly after the first victim disappeared.

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