The Oldest Bookstore in America Is Maybe Haunted 

In Depth

The Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was founded in 1745, making it America’s oldest continually operated bookstore. It’s also maybe got a ghost, which isn’t really surprising, because you can’t make it to 270 years without picking up a specter or two.

The Guardian recently stopped by the store. It was originally founded at the prompting of the local Moravian bishop and therefore focused on religious texts at first. Over the centuries, however, it’s grown into a sprawling enterprise that takes up several downtown Bethlehem storefronts. Beyond the books, they have a selection of gourmet candies and do a brisk business in Moravian stars, a traditional German Christmas decoration.

Lotta room for ghosts in a space that big! And the Guardian’s reporter spoke to an employee who’s been with the store for decades:

She told me that one night, while closing the store with a fellow employee, she saw a dark figure in a back hallway of the store, going into the kitchen. She and the coworker followed the figure back. Then, she says she realized the back kitchen stove was on, as well as the fan.

“I don’t know why this person, ghost, spirit drew us back there, but I guess to turn off those appliances,” she said, adding that, “In that back hallway a lot of people have said that they’ve felt things and they’ve seen things.”

Add a cat and then they should put out a line of branded cozy mysteries, making them enough money to keep the place going for another 270 years.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Photo via Getty. Not TECHNICALLY the Moravian Book Shop, but presumably the ghost looks like these people.

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