Part I: cont’d
First, a correction: the boy who survived the Indian massacre was named Jacob Gerhardt, not Matthias.
So far, we’ve heard the stories of two men who resided in the house on Hawk Mountain: Jacob Gerhardt, the only survivor of an Indian massacre, and Matthias Schaumboch who confessed to killing at least 11 people. Another Matthias came to reside there as well. This Matthias bought the house and lived there alone. He was a devout Catholic and good man, known for his holy ways, good works and patterning his life after Jesus. He was regarded as a kind of backwoods saint and held Sunday services in the cabin. The locals began to believe he had exorcised whatever evil had been present in that area. Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case. One day, in the summer of 1890, a hiker went to visit with Matthias. He found the front door ripped off its hinges, the rooms torn apart, and no sign of Matthias. His decomposed body was found a few days later by a search party and the murderer was never found.
Part II: The Ghosts
Hawk Mountain is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America, with many sightings and weird happenings reported. Here are some:
* A ten-foot tall glowing man has been seen on the road to the mountaintop, surmised to have something to do with the sacred Indian grounds. He is said to radiate such powerful evil, that anyone who sees him feels overwhelming fear.
* The ghosts of the Gerhardt family have been sighted.
* Ghostly faces have appeared in the windows of the old Schaumboch house, now the sanctuary’s employee housing.
* Employees of the sanctuary report hearing strange cries and wailing at night, said to be the victims of Matthias Schaubacher reliving their murders.
* The ghost of a young girl who died after falling down the stairs in the house is seen floating 18 inches above the ground. Why 18 inches? That’s how much the floor was lowered when the building was renovated.
* The ghost of another young girl who died falling down the same stairs is heard playing her pennywhistle and her parents can be heard whispering in Deutsch.
* Strange flashing lights are seen, sometimes appearing as balls of light, and causing a feeling of uneasiness in whomever sees them.
While you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit the New Bethel Church cemetery where Matthias Schaumboch is buried in an unmarked grave. His headstone was stolen years ago and now an empty base is the only thing to mark his resting place. The cemetery is said to be very haunted and that it gives unwanted visitors the creeps and an overwhelming feeling of dread.