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  • Erin Egnatz

Dead Man's Hollow: Pennsylvania

Located on a portion of the Youghiogheny River Trail not far from Pittsburgh, Dead Man's Hollow is well known for its paranormal activity. Legends of dead bodies, ghosts and even a supersized snake have all been reported in the area of Dead Man's Hollow.


Once a quarry then, later on, a factory, this area was not always the nature trail it is today. It was a busy spot at the height of Pittsburgh's industrial days. As the years went by and industries dispersed, the area slowly became abandoned. Today you can see the skeleton's of old businesses along the trail that once flourished more than a century ago.


You may also see a few ghosts. It's said that the ghost of a man who claimed to wrongfully be convicted of murder haunts the area. He was sentenced to death by hanging in the late 1800's for his crime, or supposed crime. His apparition has been seen for well over a century in Dead Man's Hollow.


There is also an angry spirit who is said to draw hikers close to the Youghiogheny River in hopes of pulling them in. There isn't a whole lot of back story on this ghost, so I'm not sure why it's so angry, or possibly homicidal, but I do believe I will be staying clear of the river bank...just in case.


Another legend speaks of a group of young boys who were playing in the area way back in the 1870's, when they found a man's body hanging from a tree. It's not clear who the body was but it is said that the spirit of this man shows himself from time to time. Some times he is standing on the ground with a rope around his neck, while other times his ghostly figure is hanging from a tree. Pretty eerie I'd say.


Possibly the most terrifying legend of all, at least to me, involves a snake as long as 40 feet that slithers Dead Man's Hollow. It has been said to have been sighted several times over the years, though no pictures. So, hopefully, it's just a legend.


Dead Man's Hollow is part of the Allegheny Land Trust. If you'd like to visit, and hike the area, check out their website for maps and hours.




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