Two wayward bad ones were executed here and buried on the property.
Their graves were disturbed…
Spectral frontier men approve of the restoration.
Spirits of soldiers also give their kudos.
Spirits of servants still enjoy their profession.
A broken-hearted spirit still pines away here.
The Jean Bonnet Tavern is a sturdy, 4 story, 1762 building, built of stone and timbers, with terrific structural bones that will last a very long time to come. While the basic building has stayed the same throughout its long history, inside renovations have taken place over the years, to make it a viable building for the living who owned it.
What was once the foundation of a French fort, became the basement of this 1762 structure. This area was transformed once again into a tavern/restaurant, in 1958. What is the ground level floor, is the front door of restaurant.
Going through the front door is like stepping back into the 1700s. The visitor sees lots of wood paneling and some very cool, large fireplaces, wooden tables, and a really narrow and steep staircase that leads to the second floor of the restaurant, that also has a bar. On this floor, the visitor also finds the entrance to the 4 bed and breakfast inn rooms in the back of this third floor, which were part of the original 1762 structure. On the wall is a copy of the early inn’s rules for guests. The rooms all have access to a porch area to enjoy the breezes and the view.
The fourth floor attic area was turned into a suite, and later an apartment. This living space has been used by the owners of the building, and perhaps by the servants of the owners, throughout the years. It has also been rented out at one point, as part of the inn business, but is now used as an apartment.
Being so close to two Indian trails, the original building that stood here in the early 1700s was an unofficial, informal French fort, trading post.
After the French had left the area, the William Penn family owned the 690 acres, which included the land where the French post had been. Hans Ireland, who was what we would call today a land developer, bought this lot, in 1760, and then sold it to an Indian trader, Robert Callahan, who saw it as a perfect place to build upon the existing foundation of the fort, a rest stop/trading post, and personal home.
The Indian trails had become the main roads Old Forbes and Burd Roads (Routes 30 and 31) for traveling by many on their way from eastern Pennsylvania to the Ohio River, and territories beyond. During the Revolutionary War, Callendar joined George Washington’s forces, using his skills as a scout to help in this war effort. George Washington and his men stayed here, to rest, regroup and even perhaps plan their battles.
In 1779, Jean Bonnet and his wife bought the tavern, applied for a license, and ran it as a “Public House.”
Travelers coming down the near-by main roads could stop for a meal and a drink, and spend the night in a relatively safe building. Bonnet built a stable and barn, just across the road from the tavern. It also was a haven during times of Indian unrest.
Throughout the years, this building has passed through many hands, and in many instances earned its keep by being a tavern and inn. Some did turn it back into a private residence, but because of its location, being a commercial business was too good to pass up for most of the owners.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Taverns and Inns in the 18th century were used as a court facility, because of the lack of civilization, and no official courthouse building. People were tried in front of a jury and judge, and if convicted of a capitol crime, were hung on the premises, either outside or actually inside the building. There were two known hangings done inside the Jean Bonnet Tavern.
People executed, killed or murdered within or near a building sometimes like to stay in the place of their demise.
In 1958, when then new owners, Frank and Lucille Enyeant were digging up the ancient basement to renovate this area into a tavern, the workmen uncovered a skeleton with a broken neck, wearing what was left of his clothes, bit of button and metal, worn by men in the 1700s. These remains of a gentleman suggest that he was executed by hanging for some crime. Uh oh!
Another body was discovered during the 1980s, when the floor was repaired.
There are two theories/stories as to who these executed gentlemen could be, and why they were given the death penalty and suffered a death by hanging.
Male entity of a wagon-master – During the Revolutionary War, a wagon-master who was taking General Forbes and his troops to meet up with George Washington, to join forces to storm a fort along the Ohio River, was caught trying to gather troop movement information to sell to the British. After an interrogation session, a military trial and conviction, he was hung in the building, and buried inside, so the troops wouldn’t know of this close call; possibly being vulnerable to walking into an ambush.
Male Entity of a horse thief – A man who was fleeing angry Shawnee Indians was given protection in Jean Bonnet Tavern. After finding out from the hostile Shawnee, that this fellow had stolen one of the Indian horses, he was recognized as a wanted horse thief by a witness who knew of his thievery in another nearby town. Rather than turn him over for execution via the total Indian torture treatment sports package, sure to come his way with Indian justice, a trial was held, and he was found guilty. He was hung inside the building, on the second floor. His body was shown to the Shawnee, who were then satisfied, and went their way. They may have buried his body in the basement to keep it from the Shawnee Indians who may have desecrated it or taken the scalp of this newly deceased thief, if the body had been buried outside.
Being friends with Robert Callahan, George Washington and his men stayed here. Soldiers who die in battle, sometimes hang around a spot where they felt comfortable, and had good times shared with others.
Male entities of an officer and at least one enlisted man have made their presence known.
During the Revolutionary War, the upper rooms were rented out to families of soldiers, and others on the rebels’ side of the fight. Throughout human history, a common trial to endure is having to wait patiently for a loved one to return home to their loved ones, yearning with all their strength to see their beloved. Tragically, for some reason, sometimes the loved ones don’t ever show up again, creating heart-break for those who patiently wait. During the rest of their life, their distress for some reason can’t be healed or let go, in some instances.
When these heart-broken survivors die, they can’t let go of this world, because part of them still wants to wait for their beloved’s return.
Entity of a yearning, love-lorn young woman – There are two stories about her circumstances.
This first story took place during the Revolutionary War. A scout for George Washington, probably a friend of the owner, Robert Callahan made a rendezvous lovers’ date with his lovely girlfriend at Robert Callahan’s home/trading post, to be held after the young man’s latest military assignment. Unfortunately, he was killed. She never heard of his death. The day that he was supposed to return came and passed, making his young beloved more and more anxious, unable to eat. After months of waiting, she died of a broken heart.
Another more scandalous story explains that Robert Callahan was a married man with a family at another site, but had this young woman on the side, living with him in this building. She foolishly slept with him, and wanted marriage to improve her status; becoming a married woman instead of a mistress. Finally, Robert promised to marry her when he came back from his upcoming trip. He stayed away for quite awhile, hoping that she would be so happy to see him, that marriage wouldn’t be brought up.
Unfortunately, because of his long absence, she became more and more distraught, and finally died from an illness she caught, and couldn’t fight off, because her emotional distress had lowered her immunity. She remained a disgraced, kept woman in her death.
Patrons who enjoyed a tavern/inn while alive, often don’t let the fact that they are dead stop them from continuing in enjoying the favorite watering hole.
Past male patrons/guests of this building gather here.
People who were employed as servants/helpers during their lifetimes, sometimes don’t want to give up their service to others, even when they are no longer living.
Guests are still being attended to by unseen servants, who still take their duties seriously.
Entities of men, dressed in frontier clothes
When people fill the bar area, to enjoy food and drink, solid & see-through entities of men>, dressed in frontier clothes, are enticed to show themselves, enjoy a drink at the bar, or stand near the piano, and watch the piano player perform.
A male entity, dressed in common-man, colonial clothes, has been seen drinking a cold one at the bar, after hours, when the tavern is closed.
First floor restaurant – Back dining room
At one table, the place setting is pushed back into the center of the table, when the staff isn’t looking.
Staff have heard the sound of a woman in heels tapping across the floor.
On occasion, an entity dressed in common-man, colonial clothes; (perhaps the same spirit mentioned above), walks through the restaurant and bar. In one instance, he sat in a chair at a table across from a lone woman, in a solid, realistic form, though he only stared ahead and didn’t talk to her, which was quite alarming to this poor customer!
The entity of a 10 year old boy
A priest reported seeing a young lad of 10, hauling a bucket of coal into the kitchen, off the dining room.
Third Floor Bedroom area:
Entity of a male soldier
A male entity with a beard, wearing brown boots, and a uniform with 3 silver buttons has been seen and heard walking down the hallway by the guest rooms.
Entity of a young woman
She is heard humming.
The rustling of her skirts and the sound of her footsteps are heard as well on the second floor, as well as Room 2.
A cool breeze is felt by the living as she passes by, on her way to her favorite window in Room 2.
Actions of an unknown entity
One guest felt a hand gently touch the back of her neck and move her hair. Another guest found that her purse had been moved during the night from the floor to a coat hook.
Entity of a man dressed in a long coat
This gentleman appeared in front of a newly awakened woman, just standing in the room.
Entity of a male soldier
A guest just saw the outline of a soldier, sitting in a rocking chair, dressed in his uniform. The rocking chair has been known to rock by itself.
An apparition of a woman with a shawl over her head- Perhaps a servant?
She was seen by a couple in the middle of the night, standing by the air conditioner.
Guests in room 3 have heard rustling sounds of a woman’s long skirt from a different era, & footsteps.
The toilet is flushed at night, perhaps by a phantom maid doing her job of tidying up!
The pleasant aroma of sugar cookies sometimes is detected in the middle of the night.
Three drinking straws were pushed under their door during the night. Perhaps this servant entity thought they needed a drink.
Entity of an unseen male spirit
Heavy footsteps of a man’s boots was heard by one female guest, that stopped by her side of the bed. She was prodded several times by a hand, but it stopped.
Some guests staying in room 3 were abruptly locked out of their room, while standing on the back porch, when their door suddenly slammed shut on this windless day. It is theorized that this intelligent spirit was listening to the conversation, was insulted or offended, and decided to lock them out. Perhaps it is better not to talk about religion, politics or other subjects that can rile the living and apparently the dead in this case!!
Tall male entity
A male guest awoke and saw a shadow of tall, really thin man with a long cape, standing on the room’s outside porch.
The rocking chairs on the porch have been turned over with a crash – An entity apparently has temper issues.
The attic apartment/suite:
Apparently, it comes with servant entities, and perhaps other characters from the past!
A family rented this space for a night’s stay. After putting their children to bed, their children called out to them. Apparently, this apartment/suite comes with a entity servant/nanny, who likes to tuck in children!
Guests staying on the second floor and staff have heard voices coming from the attic area, when no one was up in this apartment.
The door to the apartment seems to have a mind of its own, in that it opens and closes without any help from the living.
Staff and guests have felt unseen presences, and have been gently touched.
Objects in the apartment move around by themselves.
A very strong “PROBABLY SO” is in order.
Many people have consistently experienced paranormal events, and have had personal experiences that could either be residual or from actual intelligent spirits. The investigation group, Ghost Soldiers, captured some great EVPs, but also reported that they helped a soldier entity crossover to the other side, perhaps the one who talked to them. There are probably more soldiers there, as soldiers like to stay together, even in death. Some of the EVPs could’ve come from other entities, like the servants reported there.
More investigation from other groups I’m sure will confirm their existence.
The picture captured by Brenda Dick sure what looks like an entity to me, though others in the paranormal field may want to challenge it, or try to recreate it themselves to try to debunk it. Considering the personal experiences of people seeing apparitions, it is very plausible that this picture is a photo of a spirit.
I strongly predict that other investigation groups will find other hard evidence of other spirits in this building when interest is sparked, after the pilot is shown on TV.
While there have been a boatload of personal experiences reported, there isn’t much hard evidence, such as EVPs or pictures published on line – YET. However, a paranormal group called GHOST SOLDIERS, who were investigating the tavern for a pilot, were able to catch some EVPs in the fourth floor apartment.
Brenda Dick caught on film a real clear picture of a shadow man during a busy time in the restaurant. You can see through him to the bricks.
The picture was taken near the place where the horse thief was known to have been hung.
6048 Lincoln Highway
Bedford, PA 15522
The Jean Bonnet Tavern and Inn is located near the intersection of Old Forbes Road and Burd Roads; Routes 30 and 31, on the outskirts of Bedford.
- History of the Jean Bonnet Tavern * Jean Bonnet Tavern Folklore
- Ghost Hunting Pennsylvania
by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
- The Big Book of Pennsylvania Ghost Stories
by Mark Nesbitt and Patty A. Wilson
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr