Bethlehem Press

Monday, July 13, 2020
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOMembers of LAPIS present a certificate of ‘Haunt’ thenticity in April to Terry Bender, co-owner of the Buckeye Tavern. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOMembers of LAPIS present a certificate of ‘Haunt’ thenticity in April to Terry Bender, co-owner of the Buckeye Tavern.

Buckeye Tavern receives certificate of ‘Haunt’ thenticity

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 by Debbie Galbraith in Local News

Members of the Lehigh Anomalous Phenomenon Investigation Society once again visited the Buckeye Tavern in April to check in on the “spiritual residents.”

The landmark opened as an inn and hotel in 1735 and operated through the late 1800s as the East Macungie Hotel and later as The Load of Mischief.

LAPIS visited the Buckeye Tavern in 2009 armed with equipment including electronic voice phenomenon recorders which use radio frequency. Spirits use this to form words and answer questions.

“They caught a couple of things,” owner Terry Bender said in an interview with The Press in 2009. “One sounded like an old person downstairs - an older lady.” Bender said it was a raspy voice saying the word, “Susan.” Bender then came up with a drink, “The Screaming Susan.”

A LAPIS member placed an equine figure on the bar during the 2009 investigation hoping to stimulate a response from a suspected spirit. They later produced a recording sounding something like a little girl whispering the word “horsie.”

“We left the figurine behind by accident and when we went back, we couldn’t find it. We searched all over the building and finally found it under the staircase, propped up against a wall that could only be reached by crawling on your hands and knees. We don’t know how it got there,” LAPIS Case Manager Maya Tettemer said.

LAPIS members listened to the recording later and heard an older man and woman who sounded like she was in her 20s or 30s. The woman said her name was Susan.

“She followed us around the entire time,” Tettemer said.

“An older woman said, ‘Get out of here’ and an older gentleman said, ‘Come on back.’”

In a December 2016 with Bender about the rebuilding of the Buckeye Tavern, a photo was taken of the front porch by The Press but no image was on the digital camera.

Bender’s immediate response, “That must have been Susan!”

LAPIS again wanted to visit the Buckeye Tavern before refrigeration units and machinery were installed in the renovated building, Tettemer said in an interview May 15.

For three hours one evening in April, LAPIS stayed in the main room, close to the main entrance. Equipped with the spirit box which is an electronic voice phenomenon recorder, they took three toys: a stuffed bunny, a horse and a ball with a jingle bell. Tettemer said during the 3-hour visit, no toys moved.

No sounds were heard while the LAPIS members were there, but listening to the recording later, they heard a squeal of delight sound twice during the time LAPIS was getting ready. Also on the recorder, Tettemer said a couple of gentlemen spoke as well as a woman who said her name was Ann.

Tettemer said she asked the question, “What is your name?” The answer on the recorder was, “Each of us?” signifying there are multiple spirits in the Buckeye Tavern.

“A piece of plaster was tossed at us near the original doorway where we were sitting. It just skipped across the floor and landed at our feet. It was thrown from the kitchen area and wasn’t meant to hurt us - just meant to get our attention,” Tettemer said.

As they were leaving, they said goodbye and later heard on the recording, “Goodbye” in a whisper from a very similar voice to the one who whispered “horsie” in 2009.

Tettemer has been conducting this investigative work for approximately 10 or 11 years with her interest sparked by several shows like “Ghost Hunters” who helped individuals or groups having claims of being affected by unexplained phenomenon.

LAPIS investigated the Historic Hereford Inn with many spiritual residents, the Alburtis Lockridge Historical Society, where they picked up organ music in the church and many residences.

Tettemer said she does not know why the spirits are in the buildings.

“Is it the real spirit of a person who lived there or a spirit just visiting?” Tettemer said. “You can’t get them to tell you much about themselves. Sometimes they do give you a name of someone who died there and they have the same voice. You can’t see them and you can’t verify it.”

For more information on LAPIS, email