The search for the White Lady of the Wopsononock

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BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — If you ever traveled along Route 36, you’ve likely passed the top of Wopsononock Moutain. It is on the top of this mountain that a famed story began.

In the 1840s, the Wopsonock Hotel was built overlooking the valley where Altoona was. It was a successful resort and a popular retreat up the mountain.

In 1889, the hotel was expanded into a full resort with cottages, a lookout tower and even a carousel. There was even a narrow-gauge railroad that was built for visitors to visit the resort.

Unfortunately, in 1903 there was a forest fire and it took out almost everything of the resort. Sadly, the resort was under-insured and could not be rebuilt.

The leftover wood was then brought down to help build some parts of a new park north of Altoona, Ivyside Park, now home to Penn State Altoona.

This resort was the start of the story of the White Lady of the Wopsononock, also known as the White Lady of the Buckhorn. Our haunted hike was on one of the many trails that can be found on the mountain. not too far away from an area known as Devil’s Elbow.

Who is this White Lady and why does she haunt this area?

Painting of the White Lady from Artist Joe Servello

There are many different variations of the tale, but the story seems to start somewhere between 1891 and 1903. A newlywed couple was traveling by carriage on the Buckhorn Road. The carriage went off the road and plummeted over a thousand feet to the ravine below.

Why did the carriage fall into a ravine not too far away from here?

Some say it was an accident, some say she pulled the carriage off of the road in a fit of rage because a cheating husband, some say it was an infant from the carriage.

Over the past century, people have seen this beautiful Irish woman in a white gown searching along the road with a lantern. What is she looking for?

Some say the infant, some say the head of her decapitated husband.

Some drivers traveling around this curve have even seen her appear in the backseat looking for a ride.

It’s a tale so long, it inspired this song written by Bill Dann and Performed by Jack Servello.

Here are some more resources to learn more about the White Lady and Wospononock hotel.

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