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Hometown Haunts

Paranormal activity around Beaver County spooks locals

A+woman+who+was+killed+when+she+fell+73+feet+from+the+edge+Summit+Cut+Bridge+supposedly+haunts+the+area.
A woman who was killed when she fell 73 feet from the edge Summit Cut Bridge supposedly haunts the area.

A woman who was killed when she fell 73 feet from the edge Summit Cut Bridge supposedly haunts the area.

A woman who was killed when she fell 73 feet from the edge Summit Cut Bridge supposedly haunts the area.

Jessica Palakovich, Editor-in-Chief (FHS-Press.com)

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Whether it’s the wind whistling through the trees, making the leaves rustle or the moaning branches that stand guard over tombstones in a cemetery, Halloween is the time for the best spooks and scares. Beaver County is home to some supposedly haunted sights. So kick back, relax and read a few tales of the paranormal.

After visiting a couple of these haunted locations, I decided to create a system that is a fear factor rating called the Spook-o-Meter, ten being the most scary, and one being the least.

One eerie spot is Summit Cut Bridge located in Beaver Falls. Just off of Shenango Road, this bridge has been known to give locals the chills. Some even say they’ve witnessed lights and shadows that seem to disappear after a glimpse. It is said that on a dark, stormy night in the 1940s or 1950s, a woman had driven her car over the edge of the bridge because of the torrential downpour. Striking the train tracks 73 feet below, she was killed instantly.

At the time, the bridge was made of wood. The bridge that is currently standing replaced the wooden one in the 1970s. Before it was replaced, there were numerous other accidents occur along the 110-foot-long bridge. As for the ghost sightings, a few reports have gone as far to say that on rainy evenings a person can spot the woman still wandering the tracks in a white dress.

I was unable to stay very long when I visited this spot. I also wasn’t able to go during the night, which is when most of the activity is said to happen. Although I didn’t visit the bridge at night, an early morning fog created a dreadful feeling. I would rate the bridge as a two on the Spook-o-Meter; however, it definitely would be creepier at night while peering over the edge to look at the tracks below.

Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Center Township is another reportedly haunted location. Accounts of paranormal sightings were so frequently occurring in both the night and day that they lead the Pittsburgh Ghost Hunters Association to investigate this spot. Investigators allegedly had creepy sensations while in the vicinity of the cemetery. Others have stated that they’ve experienced seeing orbs, hearing disembodied voices and even saw a face on the tombstone of a man named John Erwin. A few claim to have been pushed away from graves by invisible hands; they noticed hot and cold spots and saw mists and blurs appear across the cemetery.

Mt. Carmel was the next place I visited. The entrance to the cemetery was sort of hidden. Once you get past the initial entrance, the cemetery is situated in the center of a grove of trees. Surrounded by trees in every direction and standing among the tombstones produced a chilling sensation, as the area is eerily silent. Many of the tombstones placed next to the trees are being pushed up by the roots. Some are even embedded into a few of the tree trunks. The oldest graves date back to the 1700s. I would rate this cemetery as a six on the Spook-o-Meter. While it has a lot of history and a creepy setting, being in the cemetery wasn’t the scariest location I’ve ever been to.

If you’re looking for something scarier still, the Quaker Cemetery in Independence might be right for you. The history behind the sightings goes back to the time of the Quaker Pioneers in the 1700s. At one time, it was said to be a place to kill alleged witches. Because of this, it’s thought to have an evil presence. Witnesses have described apparitions and multi-colored flashes of light.

Though it’s a bit of a drive, in the small town of Avella, nearby Pittsburgh, there is an additional paranormal site. When mentioned, Shades of Death Road gives many people the chills. The origin of the name dates back to the 1880s, before the time of streetlamps. Hemlock trees tower over the road, shrouding it in dark gloom even in the daylight hours. Reports of hauntings didn’t begin until after 1922 when miners became trapped beneath the ground. While several versions say the miners’ bodies were never recovered, a few people say they are buried alongside Shades of Death Road in unmarked graves. Due to high levels of alleged paranormal activity, including sightings of apparitions, cries and screams, there have been many car accidents on the road.

While the debate of whether or not ghosts are real or fictional may never be solved, urban legends alive when people speak of events that get the heart racing and the blood pumping. While you may not believe in the paranormal, there’s no question that spooky legends can spike your pulse during the Halloween season.

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