Pennsylvania Ghost Stories: Washington Square
Just a short walk from Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is Washington Square. While the square was laid out by William Penn in 1692, for much of the following century it was used as a public burial site for paupers, sailors, convicts, African-Americans and others considered to be of low class.
It’s believed that roughly 3,000 soldiers from the American Revolution were buried in a mass grave in the pauper’s field. In 1793 several thousand more that died during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 were also buried in the square.
In 1825 the land was extensively renovated and cleaned up. City officials turned the land into a park and named it Washington Square in honor of our nation’s first president.
According to legend, the park is said to be haunted by a young lady who looked after the old burial ground after the Revolution. Some have speculated that she lived nearby or was the wife of a fallen soldier. It’s believed the maiden looked after the burial ground and was in charge of shooing pigs away when they tried to dig up cadavers.
Whoever she is, the woman is said to be very protective of the dead and has been known to appear whenever anyone is being loud or disrespectful.