Bethlehem Hotel

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This place is one of the most active spectral hot spots in Pennsylvania!

Yes indeed! Hotel Bethlehem offers the full
paranormal sport package, featuring past residents and workers.



The Hotel Bethlehem is a fully restored, 7 story hotel. While the building is a credit to its original 1920s style, the hotel has also been renovated with modern amenities to please its upscale clientele and business travelers. This historic hotel offers “state-of-the art hotel meeting facilities, elegant well-appointed accommodations, AND award winning dining.”

Hotel Bethlehem offers “128 elegantly restored guest rooms and suites in rich hues of navy and gold.” A variety of guest rooms with King, Queen or Double Beds all have the “traditional colonial decor”. The views from the windows often include a “spectacular mountain-side or street-side view”.

For those guests who want something special, Hotel Bethlehem offers a choice of suites: King Executive: over-sized room with sitting area; One Bedroom Suite: Sitting room with separate bedroom; Governor’s Suite: Living room with dining room and separate bedroom; Presidential Suite: Large living room with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

On the first floor, in the lobby, and other areas, beautiful tapestries can be found on the walls, depicting important moments in Bethlehem’s history. Windows on the first floor are nearly floor to ceiling, letting in lots of light, and providing a great view of the city.



The plot of land upon which this upscale hotel sits on has had two other buildings that were originally built there. In 1741, a simple, rustic cabin was built by the founders of Bethlehem, a people known as Moravians, who founded the town. It was in this cabin that this city, Bethlehem was given its name on Christmas Eve in 1741. After commerce in Bethlehem began to boom, the need for a hotel was evident. So the cabin was torn down in 1821, and a hotel, called The Eagle was built in the cabin’s place. Probably the same owners, The Moravian Church, also owned The Sun Inn, a combination tavern/with second floor accommodations for visitors. The Eagle Hotel handled the overflow of guests from The Sun Inn.

Sometime in the early 1900s, the Eagle Hotel was torn down. In 1920, a financial entrepreneur, Charles Swab, bought the property, and built a grand, upscale, 7 floored hotel; a place for his wealthy business associates and clients to spend the night while visiting him.

The Hotel Bethlehem, throughout the following years, has had three other owners. The current owners have been doing many restoration/renovation projects throughout the building, moving closer to fully restoring Hotel Bethlehem to its former glory.



Guests, employees and owners of places of business, such as hotels, loved their time there so much that after passing from their life in this world, they visit or decide to stay earth-bound to relive or get their chuckles from the living who are currently involved, especially if the spirits had to leave due to unexpected circumstances, like a sudden death, or experience troubles of this world that changed their lives.

Francis “Daddy” Thomas, was a cabinet maker by trade, who found great satisfaction later in life, welcoming and attending to visitors to Bethlehem, helping people find and settle in, being guests of Eagle Hotel, when it first opened, filling the role as Bethlehem Town Guide. Francis was known for his kindness and sense of fun. He was much loved by all who experienced him. He died in 1822, during the first year of the Eagle Hotel’s existence. Just when he found a very fulfilling activity, he died, at the age of 90!

Unfortunately, the Moravian Church didn’t do their due diligence in finding out about Mr. and Mrs. Brong, before hiring Mrs. Brong to be the innkeeper for The Eagle Hotel, in 1833. Imagine their horror, when Mr. Brong was shown to be a roaring drunk, and Mrs. Brong would go without shoes and stockings while serving the guests. Mrs. Brong was fired from a position she loved, and forced to leave, because of her rebellious nature.

Sometimes spirits want to spend their after-life in a place where they had lots of good memories and times to remember.

May Yohe, the granddaughter of Caleb Yohe; Innkeeper and owner of the Eagle Hotel, was born there in 1866, and grew up at the Eagle Hotel. She loved to sing and dance for guests. After being sent to Paris to study Opera by the Moravian Church, she became a well-known Victorian singer and actress, becoming very successful in the world of music on stage in 1888. Unfortunately, she had trouble with commitment to the opposite sex, which brought unhappiness to her personal life.

People who commit suicide because they can’t face their reality in this world, often don’t find the peace they yearned for on the other side

Frank Smith was an employee of The Eagle Hotel, and held an important job, as he had an office and secretary in the hotel itself, up on the third floor. After a business deal went sour, he couldn’t live with the consequences of failure and shot himself in the bathroom off his office.

Sometimes when a person’s house or building is knocked down, they choose to stay in the new building, attaching themselves to the land itself.

A male entity from the 1700s cabin still seems to dwell in the hotel.



Hotel Bethlehem is rated by many to be one of the most active paranormal hot spots in Pennsylvania, making it a popular place for paranormal investigators.

Paranormal Activity that has been reported in Room 932, named by the hotel, “Room with a Boo.”

A male entity, wearing an undershirt and boxer shorts likes to appear at the bedside of guests who stay in Room 932, in the wee hours of the morning. He asked one couple,”Why are you in my room?” He disappears in front of the then startled guests when they hastily turn on the light.

One woman guest went into the bathroom, and saw a completely different room for a moment, one with pink wallpaper.

Lights blink on and off by themselves.

Papers fly off the room’s desk by an unseen force.

General Paranormal Activity that has been reported in many of the other rooms of this old hotel:

Images are seen in the mirrors.

Cold spots are felt, and unexpected cool breezes are felt on the third floor – thought to be caused by the entity of Frank Smith.

Disembodied voices are heard.

Items and objects are moved around the various rooms.

Sounds of a child have been heard, playing in the halls.

Other male and female apparitions and/or shadows make an appearance or make their presence known to guests and staff.

The Male entity of Francis “Daddy” Thomas

Francis still likes to take care of guests in a playful, fun way.

He has been seen down in the boiler room.

Male Entity of Frank Smith – On the third floor

Appears in solid form in front of staff, wearing a suit.

Makes his unseen presence known by cold spots, cool breezes, drops the weights in the exercise room.

Female Entity of former Innkeeper, Mrs. Brong

Her see-through apparition has been seen by guests and staff in the dining room and kitchen walking around in bare feet.

A cook once felt a kick by a spectral foot – Perhaps it was Mrs. Brong, not happy about something he was preparing.

Child – A little girl entity, thought to be May Yohe,

seems to be reliving a time in her life when she was the most happiest.

Little May has made herself visible in the exercise room, located on the third floor, climbing on the equipment.

Little May also likes to play in the lobby. She is thought to be the one to turn on the player piano, and sing along to the music.

A quick little man wearing 1700s attire

A Moravian settler.

Staff members have reported that he moves quickly around the basement, sometimes startling the staff by tapping on their shoulders.


A big YES INDEED is in order. The friendly, benign presences truly still enjoy the building, remembering what they experienced here, whether a simple cabin, or either one of the hotels, The Eagle Hotel, or Hotel Bethlehem.

Many paranormal groups and individuals have captured hard evidence, which back up the many personal experiences reported by guests and staff.

For instance, in April, of 2007, a paranormal investigator camped in room 932, and picked up the following EVPs: “It’s Mary”, “What a beautiful bathroom”, “I’ve locked myself in the closet”, “look out the window.”




437 Main Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
(800) 607-2384

Hotel Bethlehem can be found in the heart of Bethlehem’s historic district, on Main Street. Take Southern Spur Route 378, getting off at the Main St. exit. Go North on Main Street; Hotel is near the corner of West Market Street and Main Street.

Or go on West Broad Street to Market Street, and turn right.



    by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
    Clerisy Press – 2009

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

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