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Independence Hall in Philadelphia is most famous for being the place where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. Patriots such as Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, along with fifty-one other men signed the Declaration in this building. It was completed in 1753 as the colonial legislature for the Province of Pennsylvania. The building became the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783, and was the site of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787.

It's not surprising that a building over two centuries old has a history of haunting as well. But you're not likely to encounter the spirits during the tours - during the day the place is hustling and bustling with activity. Ben Franklin himself could materialize and walk around, and probably no one would notice. Legendary ghost stories about the building do involve sightings of old Ben, and even Benedict Arnold.

The real manifestations, however, seem to occur when the crowds are gone. Footsteps echoing through the empty rooms, the sound of doors opening and closing, and voices from areas where no one is present are reportedly common experiences. The site is run by the National Park Service, so employees are often reluctant to talk about their experiences until they're no longer employed there. When I visited, I had to ask one park ranger about supernatural experiences at Independence Hall, and after glancing around, he said, "All I can say is that some very strange things happen around here."


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