“Ghosts are all around us. Look for them, and you will find them,” via Ruskin Bond.
There’s something about a good ghost story that draws people in. The fear, goosebumps and anticipation for what will happen next is the adrenaline rush that some people long for year round — not just around Halloween.
Washington County is known to have a ghost or two in it. Read below for a list of our favorite hometown “haunted” places.
West Alexander Scare at the FairBack to Top of List
You'll find one of Western Pennsylvania's premier haunted attractions at the West Alexander Fairgrounds every year on Friday and Saturday nights in October.
The West Alexander Scare at the Fair was created in 2013 as a fundraiser to benefit the West Alexander Agricultural Association. It includes 8,500 square feet of all-indoor haunted fun. If you plan to attend with a group of 20 or more, you can even reserve a fire pit and picnic tables to relax before entering the haunt. Parents beware though, this attraction isn't recommended for children under the age of eight.
Shades of Death Road in AvellaBack to Top of List
Located just outside of the small, quaint town of Avella, PA, Shades of Death has been a frequent stop for paranormal researchers throughout the years.
The origin of its name is unknown; however, it might be because of its ominous name that Shades of Death Road has become the backdrop for numerous terrifying stories and urban legends.
One story tells of miners who, in 1922, became trapped deep underground in a mine. Some versions say the miners' bodies were never recovered while others state their bodies were buried in unmarked graves on Shades of Death Road. It is said that their spirits roam the road and startle drivers with their darting shadows and terrifying bellows in an attempt to get them off the road full of tragedy or their unmarked graves.
Another local story tells of a man strolling down Shades of Death Road on a moonless night when he stumbled over a log. As he fell to the ground, he discovered a dead body. Some say the spirit of that dead body remains on Shades of Death Road.
Many others who have travelled this road record hearing screams, seeing hazy white figures and billowing shadows that cause them to lose control of their vehicles.
No matter if you believe the local lore of Shades of Death Road, your drive down the dark, winding path will be sure to be an ominous one.
Demon House in MonongahelaBack to Top of List
Located in Monongahela, PA, this Halloween seasonal attraction actually has a much darker history than just the tricks it displays each year.
Built in the 1870s, by Carla McCue for her family estate, the mansion is believed to have been built on an ancient indian burial ground. In fact, more than 70 unmarked graves were discovered in the initial building of the house. Since this region of Monongahela was not well organized at the time, the remains of these lost souls were left unknown. Another story from the nearby railroad camps told of how the Spanish had a torturous prison at this location, and these were the reminders of this era.
During her lifetime, Carla's "healing powers" drew visitors from all over the US and from as far away as Scotland, all in search of healing from illness, disease and evil spirits. Additional folklore states that Carla had asked to keep some of the unidentified remains on her property for these activities.
In 1894 the McCue family mysteriously disappeared. Despite a lengthy police investigation, they were never found. The house remained empty until 2004.
The Demon House now welcomes thrill-seekers annually for a traditional haunted house, fire pits and classic movies. Are you brave enough to enter the McCue mansion?
The LeMoyne House in WashingtonBack to Top of List
The stately stone house, located at 49 East Maiden St. Washington, PA, was built in 1812 by John Julius LeMoyne, the father of Francis Julius LeMoyne. Both father and son were practicing physicians, but it was the courageous Francis Julius LeMoyne who, despite the strict Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, risked his personal freedom and fortune to do what he knew was morally right — take a stand against the institution of slavery.
This successful 19th Century doctor, reformer and builder of the first crematory in the western hemisphere, opened his home and properties as stops along the Underground Railroad, the series of safe hiding places for runaway slaves as they traveled north. The LeMoyne House is now a museum filled with period artifacts and dedicated to Dr. LeMoyne's memory; however, many believe there are more than just physical artifacts left by LeMoyne there. In fact, many refer to the Lemoyne House as “the most haunted place in Washington County.”
Many people report hearing voices in the house, but it is not as simple as hearing a single voice — it is more of a buzz of a crowd or a group of voices together. Many people also report hearing footsteps throughout the house, as well as seeing a woman in civil-war era clothing running from room to room.
Could the ghost of one of Francis Julius LeMoyne’s five daughters still be in the house? Could it be the spirit of one of the people who utilized the house as part of the Underground Railroad? Stop by the Lemoyne House to see if you have a paranormal experience.
Collectiques Shop in MonongahelaBack to Top of List
Collectiques Shop, located in Monongahela, PA, is a classic, well-known antique shop; however, many believe that collectables aren't the only thing to see at this historic location.
Built in 1869, many patrons believe the ghost of a young girl sometimes provides a chill when present, and her voice can often be heard by shoppers. In addition to her traditional hauntings, this ghost has also been photographed throughout the years.
Think you can capture her presence? Head to Collectiques Shop in the Mon Valley.
Haunted History Walks with the Bradford House MuseumBack to Top of List
If you ask the local historical experts at the Bradford House Museum, the streets of Washington are haunted. If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket to their annual “Haunted History Walk,” you can hear ghastly tales and strange happenings in Washington County.
The tours happen every October — be sure to mark your calendars.