March 24, 2015
Broad & Eerie: Hunting for Ghosts in City Hall
“The Little Girl is a frequent visitor to the second floor of City Hall. She slips – unseen – past the police officers outside Mayor Nutter’s office. She secrets herself within a majestic room called Conversation Hall. She is not supposed to be there, unsupervised, at all hours of the night.
Officer George Feinstein, part of the mayor’s security detail, acknowledges that he’s never actually seen the girl. But twice he’s heard her giggle while making his second-floor rounds. He’s also heard her sigh, breezily, as he chitchatted with some City Hall visitors.
“It was like we were boring,” Feinstein said.
On a cold, starry Saturday night last month, as a sliver of moon glowed above Billy Penn’s hat, Feinstein and a group of fellow ghost hunters, including two other Philadelphia police officers, set out to find the girl.
The Nutter administration agreed to open City Hall to Feinstein’s group, called Olde City Paranormal, and to a Daily News reporter and photographer (after signing a waiver agreeing that the city could not be held liable for any injuries).
The night, which began at 8 o’clock, was the first official ghost hunt to be held within the 114-year-old limestone French Second Empire headquarters of Philadelphia government.
Feinstein, who has patrolled City Hall for seven years, was determined to learn more about the girl. How did she die? When did she die? Why did she haunt Conversation Hall?
Was it because the room is fit for a princess? High golden ceilings, plum-colored drapes, rose-hued marble columns and a spectacular bronze chandelier, perfect for any girl to twirl endlessly beneath.”