Forget the ghost stories, and view the past at Egg Hill Church

Egg Hill Church in Potter Township hosts an annual homecoming service and is a place for respectful visitors throughout the year.
Egg Hill Church in Potter Township hosts an annual homecoming service and is a place for respectful visitors throughout the year. adrey@centredaily.com

Editor’s note: This story is part of the Road Trips special section.

Take a moment to Google Egg Hill Church and you’ll be almost immediately regaled with a story of gruesome murders. The urban legend (which varies according to which source you consult) states that a mad pastor murdered his congregation in the 1800s.

However, according to Dick Decker, Potter Township chairman, “the ghost stories ... about the church are the result of someone’s imagination and not founded in fact.”

Regardless of your taste in the eerie and odd, Egg Hill Church provides as many good vibes to the appreciative history hunters as it does creepy ones to the paranormal investigator. Built in the mid-1800s by members of the Penns Valley Evangelical Association, the one-room building sports an unfinished pine facade that contrasts beautifully with the surrounding foliage, and reflects the craftsmanship of the early German settlers in Pennsylvania.

Decker seems to agree with this reasoning.

“During my 70-plus years, I have always considered the Egg Hill Church and its location as a very peaceful place that exemplifies the strong Christian values held by our forefathers when the area was first developed,” he said. “It exists little changed, except for the weathering and natural deterioration, from the time when it provided a center for community worship and fellowship in days when the pace was slower. Especially during early fall, when leaves are changing color, the church in its surroundings — with grave stones adjacent and the dirt road leading to the site — provides a solitude difficult to find in our busy society today.”

Egg Hill Church has not held regular services since 1927 but still hosts an annual homecoming service, which is attended by many local individuals who are descendants of those buried in the adjacent cemetery. Those looking to otherwise visit during their travels around Centre County can do so respectfully. The property is technically private, and in the past, those caught prowling the grounds at night looking for some excitement have been prosecuted. Otherwise, visitors are encouraged.

“I think a primary reason to visit the site is to help gain an understanding (of the) importance of the local church in a less busy time and see the simple architecture that illustrates how our predecessors worshiped God,” Decker said. “It provides a place to experience an appreciation of nature’s beauty and life when our community was first developed.”

It’s this simplicity and symbolism that is Decker’s favorite thing about the quiet spot, a perfect little out-of-the-way gem to stop, breathe and maybe snap a photo or two.

“My most favorite thing about the site,” he said, “is the lack of the hustle and bustle of modern life and peace that exists at a Christian house of worship along a little-traveled dirt road, especially on a sunny, early October day.”

Getting there

The church is located on Egg Hill Road, southwest of Spring Mills