Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bethlehem Academy

There aren't nearly as many ghostly experiences I can recall from my childhood compared to my adult years.  I remember a handful of occurrences where I clearly saw or heard spirits and they have never left my memory, as if they were permanently burned there for all eternity.  One of my most memorable experiences as a child was at the old Bethlehem Academy in my hometown in Kentucky.

Growing up I always heard about Bethlehem Academy.  People would remark on the mere size of the place since there weren't that many mansions in the area.  I remember a lot of wealthier people threw parties and weddings there, and it was a privilege to be invited.  I don't really recall who's party it was but my family was one of the lucky ones to be allowed entrance into this grand estate.  As we drove up on to the property I looked out the back window with my mouth hanging open.  The place was huge.  It also freaked me out despite it being daylight.

I was resistant to go in due to my increasing fears but being a small child I had no choice but to.  We were taken to a huge room that looked to me like a ballroom of sorts and I sat down on a chair against the wall.  I spent the entire party shaking, trying to hide my eyes, and feeling completely terrified.  I saw dead people all over the room, heard growling, and even heard a man whisper in my ear that he was going to hurt me and everyone else at the party if we didn't leave.  It was awful.

The room was painted with enormous religious murals depicting various scenes.  The biblical men were huge and appeared to be staring directly at the party goers with menacing eyes.  The paintings did not help to improve the ambiance of the building.  

At long last my family left.  It took me all night to calm down and even still I had nightmares for a week after that.  As I became a teenager  I would hear references to the "Haunted old Bethlehem Academy" and how everyone knew it was full of ghosts.  I would keep silent but always felt a mild sense of relief to know that I wasn't crazy.  Apparently everyone in town knew the place was haunted.  

I have spent my adult years longing to go back into that place.  The estate exchanged hands many times and was turned into an Inn, a restaurant, and more.  It just recently was sold at an auction for a very small amount for such a large building.  I often wonder if the reason it had so many owners over the years was because of the spirits that reside there.  I hope one day, despite how utterly terrifying that place can be, that I can persuade the owners of Bethlehem Academy to let me in and to bravely face those menacing spirits again.

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