Weird stories from the Northside of Pittsburgh

Bill Gandy
3 min readOct 31, 2021

Blue Mist Road

The isolated part of Irwin Road that runs parallel to Babcock Blvd. is known as Blue Mist Road. This area was known as a place for hanging people in the 1800’s according to legend. The name comes from a blue mist that sometimes covers the road. There are rotting away gallows there today.

Gravity Hill

There is a hill in North Park that defies the laws of physics. It’s at the corner of McKinney & Kummer Road. Put your car in neutral at the Kummer sign and you will drift backwards, uphill. This is real.

National Aviary

Some of you know that the original site of Western Penitentiary was where the Aviary is today. During the Civil War (1860’s) the prison was used to incarcerate Confederate prisoners. The conditions were harsh and many soldiers of the Confederacy died in there. The prison was dismantled and some of the stones were used to build the retaining wall on Perrysville Avenue where it comes off of Federal Street. Employees of the Aviary reports sightings of Confederate Soldiers roaming the hallways at night.

Congelier Mansion

It was once called the most haunted house in America. Congelier Mansion was located at 1129 Ridge Avenue. According to legend the house was built in the 1880’s. The address would have been 149 Ridge Avenue prior to Allegheny City’s annexation by Pittsburgh. Stories begin with Mrs. Congelier killing the nanny and decapitating her husband for an alleged affair. There was also a story about a dark figure named Dr. Bunrichter who also lived at the property. He is accused of trying to keep the heads of decapitated victims alive. Some witnesses say that a spark caused by spiritual activity in the property is the reason for the gas explosion of 1927. I have read stories online debunking many of these claims however, the gas explosion is real.

North Shore — The Dark Place

The North Shore has been transformed many times over the years. At one time it was part of a neighborhood called the 1st Ward and part was Manchester. The Native Americans, prior to the Europeans called it The Dark Place. The area was dark, swampy and scary. In the 1700’s the Shawnee told the French that they used that area exclusively for torcher & execution of enemies. They also told them that many spirits roamed that land. The area was always filled with stories of hauntings, gang activity and violent deaths. When gangs did drive byes in the 1920’s, it was done with sticks of dynamite.

Mysterious Giants

Next was the mysterious Allegewi culture. This is interesting because it is filled with legend and lore. The Lanape tribe (Delaware) kept a written history called the “Walum Olum” or Red Score. This book dates back to when Lenape crossed the land bridge into America. According to their records between 700 and 1100 A.D. they ran into a settlement of giants that populated what we call the Allegheny mountains and river. They called them the Ancient Ones. They described them as not being savages nor nomads. They were a great culture of fixed habitation. Created fortified cities along the river, lakes and mountains. The Shawnee and Mengue also attest to their presence. War broke out between the Lenape (Delaware) and the Allegewi and over land and hunting rights. The war lasted for many years and the Lenape (Delaware) suffered great losses and recruited the Mengwe for assistance. Together they were able to drive the Allegewi down the Mississippi river. There is a writing called “There Were Giants on the Earth” compiled by Glen Chapman on October 2, 2004 that references the Allegewi.

The Delaware (Lanape) and Mengwe divided the territory between the two. In the latter half of the 1600’s control of the valley switched between the Shawnee and the Iroquois. The Iroquois was known as the 5 Nation League. It was comprised of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Onieda, Cayugas and Seneca.



Bill Gandy

Preserves and promotes the history of Allegheny City / Northside of Pittsburgh. Medical Marijuana Consultant