In honor of Halloween, we compiled a list of 13 of some of the creepiest ghost stories in the city. Read on…if you dare!
1. The Cathedral of Learning’s Early American Room, Oakland
Sure, they may be gorgeously decorated at Christmastime but did you know the Early American Room at the Cathedral of Learning is allegedly haunted by the ghost of Martha Jane Poe? Poe, who died in 1936, haunts the room. While she doesn’t seem violent by any means, she doesn’t like being disturbed by tourists or visitors. Her wedding quilt lies on the bed in the room and people have seen photographs oddly cracking and a rocking chair moving on its own.
2. The Broughton School, South Park
The long-closed elementary school has been the site where the ghosts of children and teachers are still haunting. There have been tales of running, yelling and moving objects. Paranormal investigators even checked out the building in the past and recorded creepy voices telling them to get out and “Please don’t leave me!” The school was built back in 1929.
3. Dead Man’s Hollow, McKeesport
This 400-acre nature preserve in McKeesport has been the home of lots of unexplainable behavior. Not only have there been ghost sightings, suicides, murders and gigantic snakes, some of reported shaking tree branches despite absolutely no wind at all. Others have felt like they were being followed while hiking the trails.
4. Charlie No-Face, South Park
The spirit of a man nicknamed Charlie No-Face allegedly wanders along Piney Fork Road and Green Man’s Tunnel in South Park (apparently that neighborhood is especially haunted!). The story is based on an actual boy named Raymond Robinson. He was climbing power lines and got electrocuted, which ended up giving him an appearance of having no face. It was said that he had green skin. Some say that the greenish appearance came from his green clothes he wore that reflected off his extremely pale skin. Others said his skin actually was green! He died on June 11, 1985 and was buried in Beaver Falls at Grandview Cemetery, just a hop, skip and a jump from where he met his unfortunate fate. Some say Robinson’s spirit still haunts that stretch of road, looking for someone to talk to.
5. The Allegheny County Jail, Downtown
This may be the spookiest of haunted Pittsburgh sites around town. The county jail is home to a prisoner who apparently took his own life in his cell back in the early 1900s. He has since remained behind to haunt cellmates. It got so bad at one point that prisoners in the general vicinity of the cell were moved because they were being terrorized by unseen things.
6. Blue Mist Road, North Park
The isolated stretch near North Park has been attracting attention for decades. The unlit, unpaved lane is full of rumors of satanic events. In the past, it was home to families with lots of troubles (a father who used a shotgun when trespassers entered the lane, another father who was so depressed he murdered his entire family). The Ku Klux Klan at one point was even rumored to hold meetings and conduct lynchings in the woods. Blue Mist Road got its name from a bluish mist that often covers the road.
7. The Dixmont State Hospital, Kilbuck
The old psychiatric hospital was torn down over a decade ago but while it was standing (1859-2005) it was the subject of many ghost stories. The building’s grounds were abandoned for years, which led to lots of paranormal activity. In the 1940s and ’50s, Dixmont adopted new treatments for the mentally ill at the time, like electroshock therapy and prefrontal lobotomies. Over 1300 graves were on the hospital property, as many families never claimed bodies.
8. Heinz History Center, Strip District
The building was once the site of the Chautauqua Lake Ice Co. The business was lost as it exploded in a fire on February 9, 1898. Since its renovation to the Heinz History Center, staff and night guards have heard creepy sounds and have seen odd happenings, particularly around the 5th floor and loading dock.
9. The Dark Place, North Shore
The North Shore of Pittsburgh is now home to sporting events, restaurants, bars, you name it. However, around 260 N. Shore Dr., well before European settlers came to the area, Native Americans were afraid of the area. There was apparently an unusual amount of supernatural activity, particularly ghosts of their enemies. The area was swampy, dark and creepy. It was at one point used for executions.
10. St. Nicholas Church, Millvale
The ghost story at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale involves murals. Back in 1937, the pastor of the church hired an artist to paint murals. The artist, named Maxo Vanka, finished the art despite being bothered often by a ghost. The ghost was a man dressed in black who would move around the church waving his hands and mumbling incoherently. At first, Vanka thought it was the pastor then they soon put two and two together. Some have said the ghostly priest was trying to make amends for former sins.
11. Congelier House, Manchester
Congelier House is known by a nickname—”The House the Devil Built.” It is known as one of the most haunted homes in Pittsburgh. Original owner Charles Congelier was having an affair with the family housekeeper. His wife discovered this and murdered the two with a meat cleaver. Afterwards, a man named “Dr. Bunrichter” moved to the property. He mostly kept to himself and it was later revealed that he was a serial killer who try to keep the heads of his victims alive after cutting them off.
12. Carnegie Library, Homestead
The Carnegie Library of Homestead is one of the oldest in Pittsburgh. Paranormal investigators often try to uncover who or what is haunting the library (most think its Andrew Carnegie himself). Others think the ghosts are millworkers who lost their lives working for Carnegie and some say the ghost is a former staff member. Most of the ghostly activity is in the music room and basement.
13. The Pittsburgh Playhouse, Downtown
There are some strange apparitions in Point Park University’s Pittsburgh Playhouse. There’s a man named John Johns and “The Lady in White.” Both have kept their spirits in live since they died inside the Playhouse. The Lady in White paces the balcony calling out her dead husband’s name while John Johns had a heart attack on stage and died in his dressing room.