As has often been the case in our now eight years as a band, the members of Deathwhite are currently spread out across the eastern portion of the United States. While it is not an ideal situation, we do benefit from the fact that we are primarily a studio band and have the ability to trade files when working on new compositions. Pittsburgh, though, is where all four of us have spent the bulk of our lives and is considered our “home-base,” if you will. We have seen the city transform from a steel and manufacturing hotbed to a technology and university hub, which explains why it’s usually ranked near the top of various “America’s most livable cities” lists. But Pittsburgh, like some of its so-called Rust Belt peers, does have a darker side, one that appeals to a band of our variety. With that in mind, the intrepid folks at Decibel asked if we could summon a list of our five “Most Haunted Places in Pittsburgh.” Here’s what we conjured up, with added assistance from a few of our significant others:
5. Green Man Tunnel
Located in the suburb of South Park (not to be confused with the television show of the same name), the Green Man Tunnel bears the legend of a power company worker who was burned while on the job, thus disfiguring his face and turning his skin into a dark, deep green color. The curious and brave — including members of this band and assorted friends — would drive in the middle of the night in hopes of finding it, all without the benefit of a GPS. (This was the 1990s, after all.) Once you reached the chosen destination, you would park your car, turn off the lights and honk your horn in hopes the “Green Man” would pay you a visit.
4. Congelier House
Tales of adultery, murder and unexplained disaster surround the Congelier House, which was located in the North Side of Pittsburgh. The house — as legend has it — was built by Charles Congelier, a wealthy man who migrated his way up to Pittsburgh after the Civil War. Mr. Congelier decided to engage in an affair with the maid of the house. The two of them were subsequently murdered by his wife, all but making the house unlivable. Twenty years later, in the early 1900s, a reclusive doctor moved in. One night, police were summoned to the house after an explosion and discovered several decapitated bodies. The doctor was apparently performing experiments on the heads to see if they could survive after decapitation. Another twenty years later, the house was purchased by a gas company. A gas storage tank sprung a leak and created a massive eruption — only two blocks from the Congelier House. The residents were convinced the house had something to with it, and was soon demolished.
3. Carnegie Library of Homestead
Today, the Carnegie Library of Homestead doubles as a concert venue — the likes of Kamelot and Nightwish have graced its confines, the two bands often perplexed by the seating arrangement that is at eye-level with the stage. Nevertheless, the Carnegie Library of Homestead was founded in the late 1800s after a battle between the steelworkers’ union and Carnegie Steel Company. Planet manager Henry Clay Frick and Carnegie decided to lock out the workers by erecting a barbed-wire fence. But the workers came back armed with weapons and a fight broke out leaving 12 dead. Feeling a sense of remorse, Carnegie dedicated the library bearing his name to the fallen workers and their families. Allegedly, the library remains haunted by the ghosts of the 12 people who died during the strike — books randomly fall from the shelves, odd shifts in temperatures occur throughout the building and whispering voices can be heard inside the music hall.
2. Blue Mist Road
Nestled deep in North Park, a park as you can likely surmise, is situated north of Pittsburgh, Blue Mist Road is a fairly long stretch that runs through the park. Due to heavy forestation and surrounding bodies of water, a “mist” often hangs over the road, but, the road is littered with unfortunate vestiges of the past, namely, an old rusted mailbox that has “KKK” scrawled upon it. Rumor has it that a witch used to occupy a house near the road, while others have said various lynchings have taken place, where, if you drive your car to a certain point and honk your horn three times, you may be visited by some of the spirits who perished in the woodlands.
1. Dead Man’s Hollow
Located near the Youghiogheny River in the town of McKeesport, Dead Man’s Hollow is identified by the abandoned Union Sewer Pipe Company building. The area earned its legend after a group of young boys supposedly discovered a man hanging from a noose on a tree. Later, several workplace-related deaths (explosions, elevator accidents) and bodies washing from the shores of the river only added to its reputation for being haunted. Like so many places with a sordid past, a night spent in the Hollow may result in some unexplained voices and figures in the dark.
** Deathwhite’s new album, Grave Image, is out now on Season of Mist. Order LPs, CDs, and made-to-order t-shirts from the band via Bandcamp by clicking HERE. Or, order directly from Season of Mist’s U.S. shop HERE.