; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Anomalous Lights / Spirit Manifestations on Juniata College, PA Mound

The witness recalls anomalous lights and entity manifestations on a mound located on the Juniata College campus in Huntingdon, PA. Was this energy retained from a previous event on the mound?

I recently received the following account:

"Hi Lon,

A friend of mine who I've known for a while and told about my experiences with the paranormal recently showed me your site, which I quite like by the way, and recommended I contribute a little. I'm from south-central Pennsylvania originally, though I live in Canada now. I grew up in a very haunted house and have many different ghost stories I could share. But what I really want to share is a different, weirder story that I still can't explain after almost two decades. Share this on your site if you like, but I'd really love to know if anything like this has ever been reported before. I've read many paranormal materials over the years and recently dug back through your site's old posts quite away and have never found anything close to this weird experience.

So, starting from the beginning, this all happened in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, in July of 2005 when I was 17 years old. This incident happened on the campus of Juniata College, specifically at a place called "round top" behind the Brumbaugh Science Center. This is basically a small hill, which has a big grassy area stretching north to the south up and down both sides of the hill, with tree-filled areas lining the eastern and western sides. In the winter the middle grassy section is a popular sledding spot for local kids. On both outer sides of the "forested" areas of the hill are streets as this is right in the middle of the town. The northern side of the slope is steeper (the sledding area) and the southern side slopes more gradually down to a parking lot behind the science center and some houses not far beyond that. From the top of the hill down to the parking lot is maybe 70-100 yards. It's been many years and I'm bad at determining distances but that's my best guess. The back of the science building and the parking lot behind it were illuminated with lights, and there was a row of 4-5 trees in the grass in between the parking lot and the building. Also about halfway down the hill is a small observatory for the college astronomy classes to use. It's a round brick building with a steel-looking roof and quite small, holding maybe 8-10 people at most. I've been inside it once and felt quite cramped with only a few other people in there lining up for the telescope. Not sure about the dimensions exactly but it's really not that big. (I'm including a picture of the hill taken from google earth where I point out all these relevant spots.)

My best friend at the time lived less than 3 minutes walk away from the round top and so in summer we would often meet there at night and hang out together. We were both aspiring writers at the time and would sit, talk about ideas and inspirations, write in our notebooks, etc. for long periods of time. We did this on countless occasions with zero weird incidents. It's worth mentioning also that my grandparents' house was directly adjacent to the west of the round top, and I had spent hours and hours on that hill as a kid without ever seeing anything strange. 

One night in July my friend and I are sitting at the very top of the hill, facing south down towards the Science Center. We sat there running over ideas and stories, etc., as we had done many times before. I'm not sure of the exact time but it must have been around 1:30 or 2 AM, something weird happened. We had been sitting there looking down at the parking lot/science center for hours and hadn't seen a single person go by. They would have been easy to see under the lights at that distance. Anyway, suddenly the base of one of the trees (the one closest to the science center door) suddenly without warning turns into a bright glowing orange/reddish ball. It looked a lot like glowing coal from a campfire at first, but then after a second started spreading up the tree, branching off wherever there were splits in the trunk, and then eventually to all the smaller branches. When it peaked the entire outline of the tree's trunk and branches were a bright glowing orange/red like neon. Then just as suddenly as it had started, all of it disappeared and the tree went back to being just a normal-looking tree.

My friend and I both saw all this happen, and all of it took place in about 30 seconds. We both knew what we saw and had no explanation for it. No one had been around that tree in hours, we would have seen them. In fact, no one had been anywhere on the hill in hours. Huntingdon is a small town, almost no one is out after 9 pm anywhere. And nothing we knew of could make that kind of weird light show. After a minute or two of excitement and confusion, we headed down the hill to look at the tree close up. This is where things get weirder.

We walked down the hill quickly as we were excited to check out the tree. (Again, here I remind you this is not a big hill, and there are lights from the parking lot and the science building dimly illuminating the entire hillside, we are definitely NOT walking in pitch black.) I was also definitely alert and paying attention to my surroundings as this was quite a weird thing that had just happened. As we walked down, we passed right by the observatory, me within arm's reach of it. Again, I could see my friend clearly beside me and could see all the way to the tree lines to the east and west. We were alone. We kept going down past the observatory, and maybe 20 seconds later, when we reached the edge of the parking lot, for some reason I turned around and looked back up the hill. I grabbed my friend's arm immediately and forced him to look back up at the exact spot we had just then walked through. Spread out all over the hillside near the observatory were maybe 20-30 silhouettes of people, standing meticulously evenly spaced  (about 3 feet) apart from each other, all of them with their arms at their sides and looking like they were staring upwards at the sky. The hillside was illuminated enough that we could see each of the figures clearly, but not clearly enough to make out any details or see any faces or clothing or anything like that. But they were very clearly there, in the space we were in seconds before when it was completely empty. I cannot emphasize enough, if they had been there when my friend and I walked through, we would have been within inches of several of them if not running into them altogether. We didn't hear a single sound, see a single movement, anything. They just appeared behind us and stood there motionless in total silence.

We both stood there in shock for a moment because this was literally impossible. We hadn't seen anyone on that hill for hours, and we had just walked through that space and hadn't seen a thing around us the whole time. Finally, it sets into my mind that there is something deeply wrong with all this, and I pulled my friend hard into running out of there without looking back. We ran back a couple blocks until we were deeper into the town and walked home the rest of the way, trying to figure out any explanation for this. We couldn't come up with anything at all, the tree thing was too odd, and the figures were too numerous and strange to have been normal people. They were too uniform, all about the same height and build as far as I could tell, and they were spaced too perfectly apart like they had measured it out.  Impossible also for such a large group of normal people to have filled that area so quickly and perfectly without us seeing or hearing them, unless they were operating with pre-planned and practiced military precision, which seems unlikely. Also, on a side note, we did go back in broad daylight a few days later to look at the tree up close. There was no sign of anything strange had happened there. No burn marks, charring, nothing.

Life took my friend and I separate ways a year or two later but even though we went different ways after high school we still got together every so often, and nearly every time we would go over our recollections of this experience again. I also eventually after many years brought it up with my dad (who worked in the Brumbaugh Science Center for a long time) and my sister (who attended Juniata college for 4 years). Neither my friend nor I, nor my family was ever able to come up with a satisfactory explanation for that experience. The tree thing on its own would be weird and hard to explain enough, but then followed by the silhouettes that could not have been there, it's impossible. My friend's best theory over the years was that whoever or whatever those things were, they wanted us off the hill for some reason, and the tree lighting up was a distraction to do just that.

What do you make of this? Has anyone ever reported something like this to you before?

Thank you." LW

NOTE: my sense is that the hill may have retained spirit energy from a previous event or series of events. The lights could have signaled the coalescing of energy prior to the figure manifestations.

I found this passage in reference to the history of Huntingdon: "The earliest inhabitants of this region were the Juniata Tribe of the Standing Stone, which took their name from the stone obelisk displayed in the middle of their village. The Shawnee and Tuscaroras tribes, allied with the Iroquois, dispersed the Juniata but kept the name “Standing Stone” for the location, which ultimately became the borough of Huntingdon."

Maybe there was significant energy retention at this mound location? I have witnessed anomalous activity at supposed sacred native locations throughout south-central Pennsylvania. Lon

Have you had a sighting or encounter?
Contact me by email - Thanks. Lon

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PHANTOMS & MONSTERS FORTEAN RESEARCH ROUNDTABLE - Current Investigations - Lon Strickler (Host)

Phantoms & Monsters Radio presents a Phantoms & Monsters Fortean Research Roundtable discussion. We will be discussing current investigations and other cryptid / unexplained incidents & sightings. Joining Lon will be James West, Chad Redding, Kit Taylor, & Bernadette McDaniel.

James West is a 2-time Dogman experiencer, has had multiple encounters with the paranormal including shadow people/creatures, suspected demons, and ghosts, and has been physically possessed on one occasion by an unknown dark entity. James is also currently in the process of writing a nonfiction book about cryptid beings in the United States, entitled "50 Cryptids in 50 States." In addition to this, James is a member of Phantoms and Monsters Fortean Research.


Chad M. Redding grew up in the Pigeon Hills region of western York County, Pennsylvania. A lifetime of roaming the woods, hills, and hollows led Chad to develop his passions and skills as a woodsman. Very much an avid lover of old traditional ways and old things. His love of the forests and mountains know no bounds. For he has camped, rambled, gathered, canoed, and fished. In all 4 seasons.

As a lover of local history and folklore, wanderer of forgotten places, and life-long experiencer of the strange. Chad also contributes to and works with Timothy Renner of Strange Familiars Podcast.

Chad has also given back to the community, woodsman or otherwise. For as a traditionalist, he believes that knowledge should be passed on. From demos at various festivals, his foraging walks he gives regularly, on the various charity campouts he has organized. He has sought to help others and educate them.

Chad became the proprietor of Ruck Rabbit Outdoors a company that supplies old-style crafted, curated, refurbished, and surplus gear to the woods folk community.

Chad is a member of Phantoms and Monsters Fortean Research.


Kit Taylor is a film and Television actor, writer, producer, and documentarian. His latest work includes a short documentary on the Fayetteville Incident (the Bledsoe Family story) titled "Burden of Truth."

Kit was an investigator for MUFON and has recently become a member of the Phantoms & Monsters Fortean Research team. Having first-hand, life-altering experiences, Kit's approach to investigating is from an empathetic point of view and hopes to contribute positively, to the world of high strangeness.


Bernadette McDaniel, Phantoms & Monsters Fortean Research member will co-host this episode. Bernadette will soon be hosting 'A Paranormal Life' on Phantoms & Monsters Radio.

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Have you had a sighting of a winged humanoid or huge bat-like creature in the Chicago, Illinois metro area / Lake Michigan region? The entity has also been referred to as the 'Chicago Mothman', 'Chicago Owlman' & 'O'Hare Mothman.' - Chicago / Lake Michigan Winged Humanoid Regional Interactive Map - Please feel free to contact me at lonstrickler@phantomsandmonsters.com - your anonymity is guaranteed. Our investigative group is conducting a serious examination of his phenomenon. We are merely seeking the truth and wish to determine what eyewitnesses have been encountering. Your cooperation is truly appreciated.






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