Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Suscon Screamer: Spirit or Beast?


The first tale about the Suscon Screamer appeared around the end of the 1800's. In those days fire towers were located through out the area each were located within sight of another. A fire was spotted in the Suscon area of Luzerne County, PA and firefighters were sent out to extinguish it. As the fireman worked on the blaze a terrible scream was heard, frightening many of the firefighters. Afterwards, the firemen discussed as to what it could have been. None of them could explain what would make such a horrible scream. Later in the day, a watchman in the tower heard the scream. As he looked out over the burned out area he noticed something moving and the screaming seemed to be getting louder. As it came closer the terrified watchman crouched down in his small room at the top of the tower. Now the creature was directly under him. As he looked down he could see the creature looking back up at him screaming and clawing at the ground. Worried that it might climb the tower he locked the entrance to the tower which was nothing more then a hatch in the floor and waited. Once again he peeked over the edge, the creature was walking away from him. The large creature was sometimes standing and sometime walking on all fours with a pig-like snout. It seemed that a large Black Bear had been trapped it the fire and had been severely burned and was crying out in pain.

Since that time, it seems the account has changed.

It is said that underneath the former Susquehanna Railroad Bridge (also known as The Black Bridge) that once crossed Suscon Road supposedly lurks the legendary Suscon Screamer. One story states the area is haunted by the ghost of a woman jilted at the altar who, with a loud scream, hung herself from the bridge. Another says she was a teen killed on her prom night who's still trying to hitch a ride home. Yet another says it's a mother and child who died in a car crash while rushing to the local hospital. One more claims that it's cursed by the ghost of a girl that escaped from an insane asylum and leaped to her death off the bridge. Whichever version you prefer, a spectral lady has been spotted floating in the nearby woods.

Then again, some say it's not a human's spirit at all that haunts Suscon. Some believe the eerie sound is the roar of a lion or panther that escaped from a traveling circus (or maybe its' spirit after all these years.) Others say it's a half human, half pig swamp monster from the bogs. A Times Leader newspaper story said that a hunter was in a tree stand off of Suscon Road when he heard something coming up over the hill. His companion in the next tree screamed, jumped down from his stand and started running. Then the hunter spotted a creature through his binoculars. He described him to the paper as “being about 6' long with a long snout. It weighed about 200 pounds and was gray in color. It had webbed feet with long claws and had a huge head”. The hunter refused to take the Game Commissioner back to the scene because he was too frightened. The man added that “the ground was clawed up as if 100 turkeys had gone through”. He told the officer that he was sure it wasn’t a bear or a coyote; it was a “monster”.


Here's a brief witness account:

"I used to live by the now gone underpass bridge, and though not a believer in "spooks or ghosts," had experienced the scream one spring night along with my family. We were so terrified we had called the Pittston Twp. police because we thought someone was being murdered in the woods behind our home.

Only later in the night had the screamer idea been thought of after the police found nothing but a few neighbors who had also heard something. I only heard it once and that I will never forget. The spooky part of this story though is 2 weeks later, at 2:30 in the morning, my parents were jolted from bed with that same scream and it lasted a short 30 seconds or so..we never heard it again"

In May of 1976 a family had a different close encounter with an odd critter. They were visiting a nearby lake and saw a family of four, 6' tall, hairy animals resembling “Bigfoot” wandering around. Whatever they were, it was said one of the beasts had the most piercing, ear splitting shriek they had ever heard.

The Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society has recorded that in May of 1976, there was a sighting of a group of four 6' brown humanoids at one of the lakes south of Suscon. There were also sightings recorded from Harveyville, also in Luzerne County (1984), and also from Dickson City immediately north of Scranton, in neigboring Lackawanna County (2003).

Pocono Ghosts, Legends and Lore : Book 1

Pocono Ghosts : Book 2

American Regional Folklore: A Sourcebook and Research Guide


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