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Arts & CultureLocal History

Ghost stories and chilling mysteries abound in Easton

prohibition murder Johnnys tale.jpg
Olivia Richardson
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LehighValleyNews.com
Sarah White tells the tale of Saverio Damiano, AKA Johnny Ferrara, a mobster during the Prohibition era.

EASTON, Pa. – It's time to get spooky with a little bit of Easton’s own history.

The Sigal Museum in Easton is holding Eerie Easton Walking Tours throughout October.

Stories such as the murder of a Prohibition-era mobster are recounted, along with a tale about how Easton’s public library may be haunted.

  • Easton Eerie tours happen now through the end of October
  • Tours feature stories about haunted places, unsolved mysteries and gruesome murders
  • Tours can make accommodations for mobility requests

Sarah White, community engagement coordinator for Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society, curated the tour and said there are 10 stops based on historical events.
“This tour, in particular, is all rooted in historical evidence,” White said. “I used our society's library and archives as much as I could.”

Most stops occur downtown, save for the few that developed farther away, in which the tour will use a location downtown that’s connected to the event.

Der Laros Mord.png
Photo | Northampton Historical and Genealogical Society
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Allen C. Laros of Easton, Pa murdered his family with arsenic in 1876.

There are no "jump scares" on the tour, White said. Audiences, however, are getting direct quotes, printed history and documents with each stop along the way.

At the start of the tour, guides describe how a local Prohibition-era mobster, Saverio Damiano, AKA Johnny Ferrara, was murdered at the former Black Horse Inn, the original building dating to 1783. The building now is the Iron Mule restaurant along Route 611 in Williams Township.

White said the inn was a popular spot for workers of the Delaware and Lehigh canals. The canals remained operating in the 19th century when most were replaced by railroads.

During the tour, White explains that the Delaware and Lehigh canals were the fastest, easiest and most affordable way to transport coal out of the area.

"Johnny was on the phone in the hallway one night in July 1928 when someone came in and shot him."
Sarah White, community engagement coordinator for Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society

“Subsequently the inn became popular with the mobsters who worked the canal routes… [and] we know one thing for certain. Johnny was on the phone in the hallway one night in July 1928 when someone came in and shot him.”

White tells the haunting stories of people who have claimed to see Damiano’s ghost, along with a few other ghost sightings and mysteries, throughout the tour.

To send a chill down the spine, tours are held at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 5 p.m. Sundays.

Tours move at a comfortable pace starting from the Sigal Museum and also can accommodate mobility requests. Tour guides also use a speaker to assist in hearing.