BEDFORD, Pa. — The spirits of Bedford Tavern will make their national debut Friday, as the new season of A&E’s television series “My Ghost Story” airs at 10 p.m. on the Biography channel.
Tales of haunted happenings at the tavern, built in the 1820s, will be among the stories featured in the first episode of the new season.
According to Courtney Armstrong, supervising producer, the goal of the series is to “present credible, ordinary people who have gone through extraordinary situations. Everyone interviewed is given the utmost respect to present their story in their own words. The human element of the stories remain the heart of the program, but we feature extraordinary visuals of other-worldly activity.”
Reports of ghosts at the tavern have been shared for many years, by both employees and area residents, including the owner, Jeff Rinscheid.
“Doors open and close, lights go on and off, and chairs and benches are moved around when I know the place has been empty,” he said.
Rinscheid and his staff are not the only people to experience these occurrences. Local paranormal experts Patty Wilson and Scott Crownover of the Ghost Research Foundation conducted an investigation with a group from Pittsburgh that provided further evidence that the historic tavern is haunted. Using an infrared camera, one of the participants captured a shot of what appears to be a figure standing at the bar.
Both Wilson and Crownover have worked on similar television shows that featured ghost stories. They helped provide material for a show that featured the Jean Bonnet Tavern, also located in Bedford. When Wilson was contacted by “My Ghost Story” producers, she knew Rinscheid’s experiences would meet their standards. Wilson gathered historical information and witness accounts while Crownover gathered physical evidence of the hauntings. All the information was forwarded to the show’s producers.
While producers were reviewing the material, Rinscheid inadvertently captured some evidence via his security cameras. During a review of the footage, Rinscheid realized that he witnessed a piece of bar equipment move on its own.
“The soda gun lifted up and pointed right at the camera and dropped suddenly, almost like it was thrown down. There is no one standing anywhere near it at the time,” he said.
A second clip, recorded at a later date, shows a bright light shaped like a butterfly suddenly appear, shoot through the frame and disappear.
This additional evidence was sent to “My Ghost Story” and producers soon called to inform Rinscheid that they would like to feature Bedford Tavern in the new season. A film crew visited the establishment in July. Rinscheid and one of his employees, Megan Waller, later flew to Los Angeles to be interviewed.
Since those interviews, Rinscheid has been anxiously awaiting an air date and is immensely pleased that the debut of the show coincides with the first weekend of the Bedford Fall Foliage Festival.
“I am so looking forward to seeing what producers have put together, with the footage and our interviews,” he said.
However, everyday life remains exciting, as Rinscheid and his employees continue to experience visits from the “other side.”
“One of my newer waitresses has repeatedly seen the person who appeared in the infrared photo and has heard him walking towards her,” he said.
Rinscheid said he has become accustomed to the unexpected, “I am not afraid, but I am still startled when I hear someone calling my name when I know I am alone in the building, but everything that has happened or that I have seen has been prankish in nature.”
Rinscheid plans to offer some special activities to mark the debut of the Bedford Tavern on “My Ghost Story.”
“Megan Waller, myself, and Patty Wilson and Scott Crownover will be at the tavern Friday night and I hope to have a new special-edition drink with ingredients revealed by our ghost from the bar.”