Haunted Lane – Bensalem, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Haunted Lane

The residents of this ominous-sounding street in Pennsylvania liked its name so much they fought to keep it. 


There may be some truth behind the name of Haunted Lane, a sleepy street that runs for less than a mile along the banks of Neshaminy Creek in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. And the locals are just fine with that.

In the 1800s, Bensalem was a place where wealthy Philadelphians could escape the summer heat of the city. Some built cottages along Neshaminy Creek. One family, the Palthorpes, erected a two-story mansion there.

By the early 1900s, having become deserted and dilapidated, the mansion earned a reputation for being haunted. Neighbors insisted they could hear rattling chains and other spooky sounds coming from the house.

There were also other spooky stories that earned the street its foreboding name. Supposedly, in the 1700s, a young child drowned in the creek. After the child’s distraught mother passed away, the townsfolk claimed they could glimpse her ghostly apparition searching for her lost child along the waterway.

Of course, with tales like these, it’s no wonder the road beside the creek became known as Haunted Lane. The name stuck until the 1950s, when local town officials agreed on a more inviting moniker and renamed the street Totem Road.

By this time, though, the more ominous name had endeared itself to Bensalem locals, especially those who lived on the street and probably got a kick out of telling people where they lived. It took several decades, but in 1976 the town was finally convinced to change the street’s name back to Haunted Lane.

Today, there’s nothing particularly scary about the houses on Haunted Lane, although it’s not difficult to imagine that neighborhood trick-or-treaters might consider it an ultimate destination on Halloween. More importantly, though, Haunted Lane represents a small slice of town lore the locals didn’t want to let go.

Know Before You Go

There are no sidewalks on Haunted Lane, so it's not ideal for walking, especially at night (either on Halloween or otherwise).

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