TALES OF MURDER, MISCHIEF & MISADVENTURE
IN DOWNTOWN HISTORIC EASTON
September 15 – October 29, 2023
EASTON, PA (September 5, 2023) – Join Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society (NCHGS) for our popular fall walking tours relating tales of murder, mischief, and misadventure in the downtown Easton historic district.
From the time of its founding in 1752, Easton’s history has been filled with dark tales of suspicious disappearances, strange coincidences, and disastrous journeys.
Step back in time to a colonial frontier village, surrounded by dense woods and wilderness, where a small pond became the site of an act of revenge. Learn about the hanging of Charles Getter in 1833, an event so disturbing that the governor of Pennsylvania outlawed public executions. If you’re a true crime fan, you won’t want to miss the bizarre tale of Allen Laros, who, in 1876, poisoned his family by putting arsenic in their coffee.
Hear the testimony of a survivor of the Alfred Thomas steamboat explosion, the true story of Elizabeth Morgan (the famous ghost of the Easton Public Library), and the enduring mystery of the “missingest man in America”, Judge Joseph Force Crater. New tales have been added this year, in addition to the return of six favorites.
Sarah White, NCHGS Community Engagement Coordinator, notes, “Unlike typical ‘haunted history’ tours based solely on legend or rumor, the Eerie Easton Walking Tour uses historical evidence to explore oral histories and community stories. As much as possible, we use primary source documents, such as trial transcripts, photographs, and newspaper articles, to determine which facts are true and which truths may have been lost to time. These tales speak to our need to tell stories and solve mysteries.”
The tour route follows major roadways and crosses at designated intersections. Tours are held on weekend evenings during late September and October, and each tour last approximately 1.5 hours. This tour is not recommended for children under 12 years old.
Pre-registration through Eventbrite is required. Click here to register.
Tours are $15.00 per person. Each tour is limited to 20 guests.
On May 31, 1876, the Laros family – father, mother, brothers, sisters, and a boarder – sat down to dinner, little dreaming that there was “death in the pot…”
Find out what happened, who died, and why Allen Laros became the first successful insanity plea in Pennsylvania trial history.
When the Empire State Building opened in 1931, it was the tallest structure in the United States, but with its rise comes a chilling history. What does this have to do with Easton? A young woman named Evelyn Francis McHale was engaged to a student at Lafayette College. In April 1947, Evelyn visited Easton and spent the day with her fiancé, Barry, on his 24th birthday. Her story ends less than 24 hours later at the famous New York City skyscraper… or does it?
The morning of March 6, 1860 began with promise. Men, women, and children gathered along the banks of the Delaware River to watch the Alfred Thomas Steamboat travel north upriver to Pike County. However, there were rumors about the steamboat circulating among the local shipbuilders. Thomas Bishop, the steamboat’s builder, was convinced that the chief engineer, Sam Schaeff, had installed its boiler incorrectly – so much so that he refused to board the ship for her maiden voyage. Bishop’s instincts turned out to be true…