Scare Yourself Silly With The Most Haunted Places to Visit Near Pittsburgh
It’s that time of year again! Kids are back in school, football is on the television, and of course it is time to get in the mood for Halloween! Want a unique and spooky adventure? Visit one of these stops that are rumored to be haunted and see if you find the rumors to be true.
Church Brew Works
Some of the ghostly residents evidently weren't happy with being converted into a house of pale ales instead of prayers. Located in a 100-year-old Catholic church, Church Brew Works' haunted stories include a woman in white, unexplained sounds, and items moving by themselves.
The Church Brew Works is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. It is housed in a former Roman Catholic church known as St. John the Baptist Church. The church was originally built in the early 20th century and served as a place of worship for the local Catholic community. However, due to declining attendance and the consolidation of parishes, the church was closed in the early 1990s.
In 1996, the building was transformed into a brewpub by Sean Casey, a brewer and entrepreneur. The Church Brew Works is known for its unique use of the church's altar as the brewery's brewing area. The brewery retained many of the church's architectural elements, including stained glass windows and high ceilings.
The brewpub is renowned for its craft beer offerings, including a variety of beer styles. Their house beers have religious-themed names, such as "Pious Monk Dunkel" and "Celestial Gold."
The Church Brew Works, with its history and repurposed church setting, has occasionally been associated with ghostly tales and reports of hauntings. Some visitors and employees have claimed to experience paranormal phenomena within the establishment. Some individuals have reported seeing shadowy figures or apparitions, particularly in the older sections of the building that were part of the original church. Staff and visitors have reported hearing unexplained noises, such as footsteps or whispers, when no one else was present. There have been accounts of objects mysteriously moving on their own, including glassware and utensils. Sudden drops in temperature, known as "cold spots," have been reported in various areas of the brewpub.
Visit the Church Brew Works website here to make reservations, check out the menu, and plan your visit to see if you can spot a ghost!
The Cathedral of Learning
The Cathedral of Learning, located on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a Gothic Revival skyscraper and one of the most iconic buildings in the city. While it is renowned for its stunning architecture and educational significance, there have been occasional reports and rumors of ghostly encounters and paranormal activity within the building.
One of the most famous stories involves a ghost named Forbes B. Morgan, who is said to haunt the 23rd floor. According to legend, Morgan was a stonemason who fell to his death during the construction of the Cathedral in the late 1920s. Some people claim to have seen or felt his presence on this floor, often reporting strange noises, cold spots, or unexplained sensations.
Another frequently mentioned story involves a ghostly presence in the elevators, particularly in the early morning hours. It's said that the elevators sometimes stop at the 7th floor (which is actually locked and inaccessible) without any human intervention.
There have been accounts of students and staff experiencing odd occurrences in some of the classrooms and the building's libraries. These experiences include unexplained noises, moving objects, and a general feeling of unease.
Martha Jane Poe is often identified as the spirit or ghost associated with the Early American Room. According to the legend, Martha Jane Poe was a young woman who lived in the early 19th century and tragically passed away. Her spirit is said to have remained in the room, making occasional appearances. Visitors and staff members have reported various unusual occurrences within the Early American Room. These incidents include inexplicable cold spots, the sensation of being watched, and strange noises, such as footsteps or whispers when no one else is present.
One distinctive aspect of the Martha Jane Poe legend is that her ghost is said to interact with the room's environment. There are accounts of books moving on their own, chairs being rearranged, and other objects appearing to shift without any human involvement.
The Cathedral of Learning's Nationality Rooms program is well-known for its historically accurate and meticulously designed classrooms, each representing a different cultural heritage. Visitors to the University of Pittsburgh often find the program fascinating, regardless of their belief in ghostly encounters.
To visit the Cathedral of Learning and to take a tour of the Nationality Rooms, visit the website here. There is also an option for virtual tours.
Allegheny Cemetery, located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of the city, is one of the oldest and most historically significant cemeteries in the United States. Its history is closely tied to the growth and development of the city of Pittsburgh. The Cemetery was founded in 1844 by a group of prominent Pittsburgh citizens who sought to establish a non-denominational, rural cemetery to serve the growing city. Rural cemeteries were a popular concept in the 19th century and aimed to provide a peaceful and scenic final resting place for the deceased, in contrast to crowded and unsightly urban churchyards.
Many prominent and influential figures in Pittsburgh's history are buried in Allegheny Cemetery, including industrialists, politicians, military leaders, and cultural icons. Some of the notable individuals buried there include Stephen Foster (the composer of "Oh! Susanna" and "My Old Kentucky Home"), Henry Clay Frick (industrialist and art patron), and William Thaw (aviator and inventor). Allegheny Cemetery is the final resting place for over 200 Civil War soldiers, including both Union and Confederate soldiers. There is a Soldiers' Lot dedicated to those who fought in the conflict.
Over the years, the cemetery expanded to accommodate the growing population of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. It now covers over 300 acres and includes more than 15 miles of roads and pathways.
Allegheny Cemetery, like many historic cemeteries, has its share of ghost stories and alleged hauntings. These tales have been passed down through generations and have become part of the local lore surrounding the cemetery.
One of the most well-known ghost stories at Allegheny Cemetery involves the apparition of a "weeping woman" near the grave of a woman named Lillian Stevens. According to the legend, visitors have reported seeing a woman in white clothing who appears to be mourning. Some claim to have heard her sobbing or seen her kneeling at the grave, even when the cemetery is closed.
Another story tells of a ghostly figure carrying a lantern that has been spotted moving among the tombstones at night. This mysterious figure is said to emit a soft, eerie light as it glides through the cemetery.
There have been reports of ghostly cavalry figures, often described as Civil War soldiers on horseback, patrolling certain areas of the cemetery. Some visitors claim to have heard the sound of horses' hooves and the distant echoes of military orders.
In some accounts, a spectral figure resembling the Grim Reaper has been sighted in the cemetery. Witnesses describe this apparition as a tall, hooded figure that appears to be watching over the graves.
Many visitors have reported encountering sudden drops in temperature, known as "cold spots," in various parts of the cemetery. These cold spots are often associated with paranormal activity in ghost stories.
If you want to visit Allegheny Cemetery to see if any of the ghostly claims are true, you can do so by checking out their app and taking a self guided tour here.
Dead Man’s Hollow
Dead Man's Hollow Conservation Area is a natural and recreational area located in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. This conservation area offers visitors the opportunity to explore diverse ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and the Youghiogheny River, while enjoying outdoor activities and observing local wildlife.
Dead Man's Hollow Conservation Area is situated in the town of McKeesport, which is part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. It is located along the Youghiogheny River, offering scenic views and access to the water. The area gets its intriguing name from its history as a former coal mining site. In the past, it was part of the industrial landscape of the region, and remnants of mining operations can still be found within the conservation area. Today, Dead Man's Hollow is a protected natural area managed by the Allegheny Land Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving and protecting land in the Pittsburgh region. The area has been rehabilitated and restored, allowing native plant and animal species to thrive.
The conservation area is open to the public, and there is no admission fee. Visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles by respecting the natural environment and taking care of the trails.
The origin of the name of the area dates back to 1874. A group of boys were wandering through a remote area near the Youghiogheny River when they discovered a man hanging from a noose in a tree. The body was badly decomposed at the time, making it impossible to identify the victim. From that time on, the area has been rumored to have been cursed with bad fortune.
The curse of Dead Man’s Hollow continued in 1880. Robert ‘George’ McClure owned a dry goods shop in McKeesport that had been robbed. McClure went on a hunt to find those responsible for the crime and discovered them in Dead Man’s Hollow. He fired shots at the criminals who then fired back, killing McClure. Seven years later, gang leader Ward McConkey was convicted of McClure’s murder and hanged for the crime in the courtyard of the Allegheny County Jail. His alleged last words were, “Goodbye, all you murderers”. Some believe it’s his spirit that haunts Dead Man’s Hollow.
In March of 1883, four workmen at George Flemming’s stone quarry in Dead Man’s Hollow were killed when attempting to thaw frozen explosives by an open flame. The explosives ignited and the blast killed at least two of the men instantly.
Two men robbed a bank in Clairton and met in the hollow to split the money. One of the men shot the other to keep all the money. As the man was exiting the woods, he stashed the money in a secret hiding place. Legend says he was discovered at the opening of the woods by lawmen and gunned down. Some people believe the money is still in the hollow. This story is undocumented. Duquesne University Archivist Thomas White has explained that it was common for newspapers to avoid printing certain stories to remain business-friendly in the public eye. A story such as this could have damaged the reputation of the bank and hurt business.
An elderly man by the name of Charles Brown went for a walk in Dead Man’s Hollow on a hot August day in 1893. He took with him a walking stick and chose a shady path for his stroll in order to stay out of the summer heat. He heard a strange noise in the brush and paused before he saw what he believed to be a massive snake. Brown fainted at the sight and upon awakening, ran into town and announced that he had seen a snake he believed to be over forty feet long.
Numerous reports dating back to the 1860’s describe a snake between thirty and forty feet long that lives within the woods at Dead Man’s Hollow. The snake has become a local Loch Ness Monster as people have reported sighting the creature.
In 1887 Edward Woods drowned in the Youghiogheny River and washed ashore at Dead Man’s Hollow. Some suspected it was foul play and believe his spirit still haunts the area.
Mike Sacco was leaving work on September 25, 1905. It’s been reported that he pulled the rope to lower the elevator, but it began to rise instead. He foolishly jumped from the elevator in an attempt to reach the second floor. His body became wedged between the second floor ceiling and the floor of the elevator. He was rushed to the hospital, but died before arrival. Some believe his spirit is still haunting the area.
Legends aside, Dead Man’s Hollow is an eerie place. The 400 acres of land hold grim reminders of the past tragedies that occurred within the woods. Perhaps the only way to discover the truth about the legends is to pay a visit and draw your own conclusions. Visit Dead Man’s Hollow on your own but be sure to grab a copy of a trail map here so you don’t become a local legend!