Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Have you ever felt that there's something spooky in your community? For Whitpain, it revolves around one of our oldest roads, and that is Skippack Pike.
Back then, it was called "Skippack Road." This road had a reputation for its spookiness during and after the Revolutionary War.
"Much of this tradition probably stemmed from the heavy fogs and mists which shrouded the heavily timbered forests of oak that lined this roadway. Also, during the retreat from the Battle of Germantown, any wounded soldier who died on the march was unceremoniously buried on the spot, by the side of the road."
- Whitpain... Crossroads in Time, 66
History Lesson: Battle of Germantown
The Battle of Germantown took place on October 4, 1777 at Cliveden in Germantown, Philadelphia.
The British army led by General William Howe head to capture the city of Philadelphia in 1777, where the Continental Congress was held at. General Howe's expedition to Philadelphia began in July 1777 from New York.
General George Washington attempted to block General Howe's army from coming into Philadelphia. General Washington had his soldiers situate along the shore of the Brandywine Creek. Unfortunately, Howe and his army outmaneuvered him and his army, and went into Philadelphia 2 weeks later on September 26, 1777.
NOTE: If you're wondering about the members of the Continental Congress, they already fled the city before the British troops arrived.
Prior to the battle, Washington's army marched down Skippack Road through the center of Whitpain from their headquarters at the Peter Wentz Farmstead to Germantown.
Washington divided his army into 4 columns on the night of October 3rd. Unfortunately, one column lost its way, and failed to reach the battlefield. The second column fired at the British camp instead of charging at them. General John Sullivan's army was the first to engage the British in "spirited" combat.
The last column, led by General Nathanael Greene, came in next. With the fog and gun smoke around the battlefield, Sullivan's army ran into Greene's army, ended up firing each other.
NOTE: General Adam Stephen was noticeably drunk when he brought his men into the battle
It ended when the British attacked them. The army retreated, in a disorderly fashion, back to Skippack Road through Whitpain, all the way back to their camp in Schwenksville.
While retreating from Germantown, the Patriots were being chased by the Hessian soldiers on Skippack Road. Both Patriots and Hessian soldiers died on the side of the road while fighting each other.
Skippack Pike today is, I think, the busiest, and longest, road in the area. Surrounding Skippack are shopping centers, gas stations, restaurants, homes, etc. There's currently construction happening on the road, causing slow traffic in both directions.
It's unknown if this spookiness is still happening today along Skippack Pike. I, myself, never witnessed anything haunted in the area, especially at night. Also... I never seen any fogs or mists. So I'm assuming that this is just a myth within the community. It's also not confirmed that this is real.
What do you think? Is this real?
"Battle of Germantown." HISTORY. Last modified February 6, 2020. https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/battle-of-germantown.
Whitpain... Crossroads in Time. (Montgomery County, PA: Whitpain Township Bicentennial Commission, 1977): 39-41, 66.