Philly Haunts: Washington Square Park

Washington Square2

Photo cred Britt Reints-Flickr

The leaves are starting to fall, the morning air is crisp and the days already seem to be getting shorter.  Fall has finally arrived and we couldn’t be more excited!  October is the month of Halloween, when our inner child can’t wait to dress up, watch scary movies and listen to ghost stories.  Philadelphia is no stranger to ghosts.  Being over 300 years old, this city has seen its share of ghouls and goblins and you don’t need to go far to find them.  In fact, if you live in the Washington Square area of the city, just walk out your front door.

Washington Square Park, formerly known as Southeast Square as surveyed in 1682, is one of the city’s most popular parks.  On a nice day, you’ll find people having picnics, throwing a football with friends or sitting on a park bench enjoying the scenery.  Beneath their feet however is a history of suffering, disease and loss as thousands of Philadelphia residents and soldiers were buried there during the 18th century.

Photo cred Katie Budris-Flickr

Now part of Independence National Historical Park, the park covers 6.4 acres.  In the 1700s it was commonly used for animals to graze and as a potter’s field or, common grave site, where bodies were bound in canvas.  It was then used as a burial ground for citizens and troops from the colonial army during the Revolutionary War.  Today, you can pay homage to the fallen by visiting The Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier located in the center of the square.  Many have claimed to see ghosts at night and say the park is haunted.  While it doesn’t seem to stop anyone during the day, would you dare to walk through Washington Square Park at night?

Tomb

Photo cred Matt McGee-Flickr

 

Tomb3

Photo cred MissTessmacher-Flickr