State’s Urban Legends: Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is home to the birthplace of the United States of America – a birthday we celebrated about a week ago. But the state is also home to some urban legends that even home state spooky filmmaker M. Knight Shyamalan couldn’t have dreamed up.

Charlie No-Face/The Glowing Green Man

Some legends are made so much better because they turn out to be absolutely true, just like this Pennsylvania legend.

Pennsylvania's Glowing Green Man

Ray Robinson. The basis of the Pennsylvania legend of Charlie No-Face.

Charlie No-Face – of The Glowing Green Man – has no face and glows green as he walks the state’s byways nightly. The most popular spot is the Piney Fork Tunnel – an abandoned railroad tunnel around Hillsville. Should you encounter the ghostly stroller, don’t let him touch your car. The engine will die and you might join it in death soon after.

Now, here’s where the fun begins. The legend is true. There once was a man with no face that strolled the roads in Western Pennsylvania during the night. And he did “glow” too.

Back in 1919 a young boy named Ray Robinson stopped to examine a bird’s nest. Unfortunately, he made contact with a high-voltage trolly wire. A year before, another child had died in a similar accident in the area. Ray, depending on how you look at it, was not so fortunate or he might have been very lucky.

He survived the accident, much to the surprise of the doctors that saved his life, but at great cost. He lost his right arm, his nose and both eyes. The rest of his face was almost melted. During the day he remained inside his family’s house, making belts, wallets and other items to make a living, even into adulthood.

At night, he would walk along the road with a walking stick to navigate with. The “glow” was due to the huge amounts of petroleum jelly he used to coat his skin.

He often posed for photos and was said to be a very nice person, despite not always being treated nicely in return through the years before his death. The photo shown here is of Ray.

Blue Myst Road

The actual name on the map is Irwin Road and you can find it in Pittsburgh’s North Hills area. Of the many legends attached to this innocent-looking road the blue mist that legend says shrouds the road some nights is the most popular.

Pennsylvania’s Blue Myst Road.

A nearby cemetery hosts the graves of two doomed lovers. Their tombstones are connected by a full moon, creating the mist. According to one legend, that is.

Another says that an old building’s foundation once lay beneath the home of an old witch while a nearby house is said to be inhabited by little folk who’ll chase you away. Toss in a bizarre half-deer/half-human creature who wants to be alone and you’ve got yourself a heck of a road.

About the only thing ghost hunters find when they investigate Blue Myst Road are the irritated people in this Pennsylvania suburb who actually do live there. They are getting a little fed up with the attention.

The Bus To Nowhere

Whispered among the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the legend of the Bus to Nowhere. Its bus that only stops to pick up a passenger who is at the end of their rope and needs to get away from it all.

Once the passenger has shaken off what ails them and is ready to tackle the world again, the bus will stop and let them off. Only thing is, the passenger will have no idea how long they’ve been on the bus. In some cases it is only hours. Some times days or weeks. Occassionally, years.

Hmmm. A place where the person or persons inside are unaware of the passage of time in the outside world? Sounds vaguely familiar to me

About the author

Richard Paolinelli