York Town Square

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Part II: 100 stories about Fissel finger in southern York County: Any one could be true

This pinky finger was found in the wall of an old house near Fissel’s Church in the Glen Rock area. Perhaps there’s a solution now as to why that digit was in there. (Click to enlarge (if you dare). Additional photos below.) Also of interest: Parade March King Roland F. Seitz went to school in Fissel’s area.

Ten years ago, workers rehabbing an old farmhouse near Fissel’s Church found a human finger in the wall.

Some teeth too.

This is the best – and it’s pretty good – that anyone could come up with:  “I imagine you could come up with 100 stories of how and why it got there,” Jim Hartenstein, the veteran New Freedom funeral director,  said. “And any one of them could be true.” (Read more about this find at Part I: 100 stories.)

Now we have  shoes discovered in renovation work on Schmucker Hall at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, leading to stories of medieval folk magic and the like.


One of the shoes found in Gettysburg was cut in half before being placed in the wall, spurring assessments of medieval magic arts.  Here’s more: Trove of relics discovered in Gettysburg seminary.

Now comes stories about shoes, a flattened toad, and a cat described as “freeze dried,” found in a wall at the Dritt House, the renovated 1730s house that serves as the home of Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Center.

Could the Fissel finger, found with those teeth and other items down near Glen Rock, be more of the same – ritual marks or Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs used to fend off evil?

Yorkblogger and historian June Lloyd might have the winning perspective on such findings:

“Sometimes a shoe is just a shoe,” she told the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

This boot from the 1800s was one of those items found in the wall at Gettysburg Seminary.

Photos courtesy of Hanover Evening Sun.