Mad Mike The Ghost they Hired to Scare People on Mt Washington

Seems Pittsburgh has had its fill of phony ghosts over the years but one legend which some claims to still exist to this day is a character by the name of Mad Mike
who was hired by the Duquesne Incline supposedly to scare people into not using the 1300 step Indian path down Mt.Washington and instead use the newly Opened incline for 5 cents

You have to go back to May of 1877 and the newly opened incline was just not getting enough riders so the owners hired some local disabled people to make hissing and other noises at night  to scare people .Especially since the trail had no lights .

One such actor who became known as Mad Mike was so good many would run but if they did not he would jump down from the tree he was hiding and hit people with a stick.

Well it worked and soon the incline was making a profit..

But to this day they claim if you decide to check out the remains of the old trail near the big Sprit sign which shines down from mt Washington you can still here mike trying to scare you.


Even More Ghostly activites on Pittsburghs South Side

Another ghost story dug up by Donna Gunton  on Face Book Page  South side History Buffs

About the Fate of a  Poor Widow.

Pittsburgh Dispatch 1890

A Walking Ghost which Terrified Pittsburgh South Siders in the Late 1800's

Having spent a lot of time in the South Side in my youth I never heard of this story till now
which I found in a  Face Book Group  South Side Pittsburgh History Buffs  posted by Donna Gunton
Excellent research Donna. 

Seems Residents where frightened by the site of a ghastly ghost looking figure was tall and thin with heavy slouch hat and cloak   first seen at a local cemetery walking among the graves  at 15th street . While police where quick to dismiss it as some one playing games after the 2nd such time it appeared

 But not so fast He appeared
many other times and in different places mostly on moonless nights.
Never uttering a word and often accompanied with a ghost dog.

One man even supposedly striking the dog with a stone he threw at it and it made no noise as to indicate it was even hit. People got so scared there was a call for it to be shot.

 So who or what was this ghostly figure seen walking around the South side  was it a real ghost looking for something it lost  ? or some one playing games ?
Unlikely we will ever know as all those involved are now long gone and so is many of the areas the ghost walked being replaced by the steel mill and housing .
The South Side  has completely changed since the  mills are no more so many structures have been ripped out and replaced .

Update: The Strange Unused Tunnel along Carson Street in Pittsbughs Southside has an even Darker History and good reason why it was closed it became known as The Murder Tunnel

With some further research that mysterious Brown Tunnel as it was known along Carson Street which was closed  and bypassed with a set of stairs around 3rd street was done so for a reason.

It became known as the Murder Tunnel
after 2 Italians and 1 workman's remains where found in the tunnel which allowed people to get to homes on other side of railroad tracks to Manor St. which are now long gone.

According to a 1885 description in the Pittsburgh City Directory, Manor street ran from Brownsville (Arlington) ave. to South 17th. Manor street along with a school  was razed in 1932 to make way for the lower extension of McArdle Roadway, from the Liberty Bridge to South 10th Street.

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The Forgotten Morewood Massacre in Westmoreland County

As you ride down US119 near the Pa. 981  Mt Pleasant exit you will pass by an old YMCA and Sports complex . If you get the sudden feeling of sadness or grief there is a good reason.
7 Coal Miners would loose there lives near this intersection during the Morewood Riot as it was known  across the street from Morewood Coke Ovens which where on the site at the time.
They where a thousand strong protesting wage and labor conditions in a prolonged Labor Stoppage at the all too well known and Infamous Henry Clay Frick coke ovens ,when Sheriffs deputy's let loose a volley of fire killing the 7 Coal Miners instantly and 2 who would pass from their wounds on April 2nd, 1891



  There is nothing left of the town of Morewood or Coke Ovens only the superintendents office to see  and a road with a name.
It was all but forgotten tragedy .But luckily it has been remembered by a handful of people who helped to get a state marker in place and a memorial where they are buried. 
One of a handful of bloody and deadly encounters between lboir unions and management .

It seems even today unions only know one way to negotiate and thats with force,threats and intimidation .
 Which has gotten hundreds killed. and why groups like the Iron & Coal Police, Pinkerton's and Baldwin Felts detectives  where formed in the first place. You have a right to strike , stop working for some one  and  to protest you do not have the right to destroy property and when you do the results seems to always be the same and so was the Morewood Massacre or Riot as it is some times known. 
Instead of working with management to make things efficient and increase production so wages and benefits  can rise its always strike and destroy . This is why unions get very little support or sympathy from the general public.

Dont Miss it Another Fantastic Paranormal Event

Our annual Hill-Con Paranormal Convention will be September 21 from 11am to 6pm this year. We are looking for vendors and entertainment for the event. Interested? You can sign up for tables at

A most Unusual and Mostly Forgotten War memorial on Pittsburgh's North Side

If you walk thru West Park on Pittsburgh's North Side and walk behind the National  Aviary
you will find one of the most unusual War Memorial in the area .
Built in 1914 as a remembrance of the  Spanish American War

an actual Torpedo Tube  of the USS Maine   which was sunk in Havana Harbor in Cuba and which started the war is on display ,as well as one of the 3 plaques is dedicated to Lt Friend William Jenkins  who was Killed  on the USS Maine and only Pittsburgher aboard it at the time. Only 2 other city's have a piece of the Maine as part of their memorial displays

While it was originally believed to have been an Exploding Mine in the harbor which sunk the ship more  modern explanation  is believed to be a  fire in a Coal bunker on the ship caused it to sink when the fire broke thru the bunker into ammunition bunker nearby.

While the truth may never be known we do know many served and perished during the war and we have a permanent naval base on the island of Cuba as a result.

I grew up in Carrick and one of my Neighbors Charles Martin was a Spanish War Veteran and actual Roosevelt Rough Rider who charged San Juan Hill  who was 101 years old when I spoke to him and he always thought our own government was behind its sinking.
Mr martin was present during the ceremony for the memorial

Special thanks to Jaison Viglietta  For the excellent pictures he recently posted on Face Book of the Memorial  below.