Ghost of Benjamin Franklin

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Ghost Of Ben Franklin Still Roams Philadelphia

Ben Franklin was most certainly the Renaissance man of Colonial America. He was an accomplished inventor, printer, writer and politician. The Franklin stove, bifocals, the odometer, the lightning rod and Urinary Catheters are among his inventions. He is credited with Mapping the Gulf Stream. He became curious as to why journeys to Europe from America were faster than return trips. His curiosity led him to be the first to map the Gulf Stream.

He was one of the founding fathers who never aspired to the presidency, although he would have made a good one in my humble opinion, but ghosts in his closet may have held him back. Old Ben was a ladies' man, rumored to have countless affairs which in his time, unlike slick willy of our time, extramarital affairs were not compatible with a political career. Speaking of Ghosts, real ones, not figurative ones, Franklins' ghost is said to be still lurking in the halls and corridors of the Philadelphia philosophical society which he himself founded.

His experiments with a key and kite to capture electricity in a jar are legendary as are his writings. Most of his books as well as his original writings are stored at the Philosophical society which he founded, and even though he has long since vanished from our plane of existence his spirit lives on via his literary works. In fact it is said that his spirit, or ghost that is, visits from time to time as well.

Tales of Ben Franklins' ghost go back as far as the 1880s, when a cleaning woman was bowled over by his ghost scurrying down the halls and amongst the bookshelves. Other reports state that 'Back in the 1970s people used to throw pennies on the grave of Ben Franklin ... it was a tribute to his old saying 'a penny saved is a penny earned' ... and at times Franklin threw them back.

For some strange reason the only people who experienced the returned coins were women' [Weird Pennsylvania: Your Travel Guide to Pennsylvania's Local Legends] But then again, in life Franklin was a womanizer.

Toga clad statue of Benjamin Franklin

Here's where the tale of Franklins' ghost gets a tad tall ... well maybe ... Outside the Philosophical Society, near the Library Hall is a staute of Ben Franklin in a toga. Reports state that it sometimes, not frequently just on occasion, leaves its perch to pace the darkened streets in solitude. He's also been seen skipping along the route he took in life from the Society Building and Independence Hall to his print shop and home. Some folks have mistaken this ghostly apparition as a reenactor, until, after one brief glimpse, he fades away.

Franklins electrical experiments, the kite, the key and the lightning ... they were conducted in a town known as Bensalem. Eyewitness reports claim that the ghost of Benjamin Franklin can still be seen flying his kite in thunderstorms in this Philadelphia suburb.

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