Charles M. Schwab and the Paranormal

Charles M. Schwab and the Paranormal

Perhaps it is a stretch of the imagination to write about a steel magnate and possible connection with things paranormal. Schwab’s achievements are a matter of record. Research doesn’t reveal information that Charlie had ghostly experiences nor is there any indication he was interested in them. It’s possible, considering the unpopularity of the supernatural in mainstream society at the time, such things would have been kept private.

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While no one has identified sighted phantoms as Charlie, poltergeist and other activity have been witnessed in places he lived and/or built. There are cases of auditory apparitions and entity agent poltergeists.

Makes some wonder if Charlie is a haunter….

Schwab the Man

Charles Michael Schwab is best known as a leader, innovator and motivator when he was at the helm of the steel firm that no longer exists.

Other achievements:


  • Uniting four municipalities into the city of Bethlehem
  • Building elegant Hotel Bethlehem for Bethlehem Steel’s clients to enjoy premier lodging and dining
  • Instrumental in the construction of the Hill to Hill bridge, connecting the city’s South Side to the North Side and creating Liberty High School
  • Patron of the Bach choir
  • Philanthropist

Schwab was also human. He was a gambler, union buster and businessman of questionable tactics.

The 1929 stock market crash ruined Schwab financially. He died bankrupt in 1939.

Schwab’s Bethlehem Otherwordly Connections

Anna Mia’s was an excellent Italian restaurant on114 W Fourth Street in Bethlehem. It was haunted and the owners liked their “friendly” ghost. People heard inexplicable music when no radio was playing. Employees on the second floor witnessed footsteps and voices downstairs, but when they checked, no one was there. Objects moved and some securely hung on walls fell. There have been no reports of seeing ghosts. Prior to being a restaurant, it was Cantelmi’s Funeral Home. At one time Charlie’s in-laws’ lived in theFourth Street building as was their home. He and his wife stayed there before moving into their new house.

Charlie’s barn was haunted and investigated. There was a cold spot. Although the huge doors were open, outside construction noises couldn’t be heard. Whispering voices repeated, “Get out.” The barn has been demolished.

Haunted Historic Hotel Bethlehem. While Charlie’s ghost hasn’t been seen, other phantoms reside there. Poltergeist activity has been reported.

Haunted Schwab Auditorium

  • Charlie and Emma Schwab donated $155,000 to Penn State University to build an auditorium, named for them. The building is the site of paranormal phenomena. Phantoms are sighted, ghostly footsteps, heard, and something tugs at people.
  • Performers have witnessed a seat in the auditorium go down as if someone were sitting there, but saw no one. Eventually, the seat rises again, as if the person had left. People believe that the unseen presence is Charlie, who loved theater.
  • Actors have seen a misty male shape watching them; however, this ghost has not been identified.
  • Staff members have reported objects disappearing, then reappearing in a place they had already searched for them.
  • An employee saw a stranger. As he approached him, the apparition glided away and walked through a wall.
  • A director of the performing arts saw a mist form into a phantom man in Revolutionary War uniform. He convinced himself it was imagination until he saw it again.
  • Witnesses have seen and heard the wraith of George Atherton, Penn State’s seventh President.



Haunted Pennsylvania, Mark Nesbitt and Patty A. Wilson, (Stackpole Books)


Sketches of Early Bethlehem, Richmond E. Meyers, (The Moravian College Alumni Association)

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