The Ghost of the Buckhorn and the White Lady of Wopsy
In the 1930s, it was widely accepted that the Ghost of the Buckhorn walked a mountain highway in the Alleghenies near Altoona, Pennsylvania.
In 1938, an encounter with the Ghost of the Buckhorn made the front page of the Altoona Tribune and it inspired two weeks of nightly ghost hunts.
Dozens of reports came in of those claiming to have seen her. Some said that they’d given her a ride from the top of the mountain to the “Devil’s Elbow” where she vanishes. Others said they actually got out of their cars and chased her over the rough, mountainous terrain. But, she was always too fast to be caught.
By the time the story was laid to rest, she had been seen by hundreds of school children.
By the 1970s, the sightings had migrated north from the Buckhorn mountain to the Wopsosonock or, as locals refer to it, the Wopsy.
Their stories are very similar: a young woman, either going to her wedding or her honeymoon, was involved in a tragic accident at a sharp bend in the mountain road known as the “Devil’s Elbow.” Now, she waits beside the highway — sometimes with a lantern, other times with a cigarette — forever attempting to get back to the life she’d just begun.
Folklorists disagree whether the Ghost of the Buckhorn and the White Lady of Wopsy are two ghosts or one legend that has migrated over the years.
This week, we dig into the legends of Pennsylvania’s pair of roadside spirits, the Ghost of the Buckhorn and the White Lady of Wopsy.
Photo: The Devil’s Elbow on the Buckhorn Highway near Altoona, Pennsylvania.
- The White Lady of Wopsy by Jared Frederick