Glen Lyon, PA
Duration of Investigation:
Two digital recorders
samsung video camera
History/ Background Information:
No Evps at this locations
No video evidence at this location
No personal experience at this location
OUT OF THE MISTS OF NIGHT IN NEWPORT TOWNSHIP SLITHERS THE RED-EYED CREATURE
KNOWN AS ... THE BAGUNK
STORIES OF ORIGIN VARY, BUT TALE HAS LONG ENDURED By BOB NOCEK;
NEWPORT TWP.- For as long as the locals can remember, St. Michael's Cemetery on the hilltop west of Glen Lyon has been home to a ghost story.
Oh, the facts change with each retelling, and variations relocate the spirit, But the name, as many who grew up in the Nanticoke area will tell you, has always been the same:
"Oh yeah, we grew up with the Bagunk," said 40-year-old Cheryl Evans, a former Mocanaqua resident who claims to have seen it more than 25 years ago. "It was as familiar to us as the boogeyman."
"Everybody has a different version," said Debbie Forgach, 21, who works at The Variety Stop, a Glen Lyon convenience store. "I don't think anybody has ever gotten the same version twice."
Nearly all of the stories place the spirit in St. Michael's, one of two cemeteries along State Route 3004 between Glen Lyon and Lee, a tiny town on the way to Mocanaqua. Occasionally the legend puts the Bagunk across the street in St. Andrew's Cemetery, or in the old Newport Center Cemetery near Sheatown, a few miles away.
Just what- or who- the Bagunk is really depends on who you ask.
But this is a story with some staying power.
"We used to have a police officer that was scared to death to go in that cemetery," said Newport Township Police Chief Albert Vandermark, a 26-year police veteran who laughed when reminded of the story he said he hasn't heard since he was in school.
He and police dispatcher Ed Pauska believe the story may have started in the 1970s, when a boy (whose name they can't remember) was killed near the cemetery when the car he was working on fell and crushed him.
But Evans' memories of the tale- and her subsequent encounter- happened around 1970, she said. And she remembers her grandmother, who was born in 1909, telling her about the Bagunk.
"All I know is that it was something to do with an orphanage and a headmaster who was there in the 1800s," Evans said,.
The only orphanage in that area in recent years, the former St. Stanislaus Institute in Sheatown, didn't even open until 1915.
"This was way prior to that," Evans said.
Evans, a professional psychic who performs tarot card readings, says she saw the Bagunk more than 25 years ago in that cemetery.
She was in ninth grade, on a double date, when she and her three friends parked in St. Michael's.
Out of nowhere, she remembers, the red-eyed apparition emerged.
"It was like nothing that ever came out of the woods," she said. "It wasn't deer eyes. It had red, orange eyes. You could see the eyes and this white mist. And it wasn't fog coming up from a mine."
Williams, of Forty Fort, liked the story so much he had Evans' husband, Larry Rasimas, airbrush a ghostly figure, along with the name "Bagunk" and the saying "You're goin' the wrong way," on the rear door.
The expression, Williams said, comes from a friend's Bagunk encounter.
"A friend of mine, an older man who since died, said he was going across a dam, a real narrow one," said Williams. "He saw this weird looking thing, and closed his eyes. There was only enough room for one person, but when he opened his eyes, it was gone. When he turned around, it was in back of him, and it said, `You're goin' the wrong way.' "