Above: The Old Allegheny Library will be a stop on the haunted tour.
by Mark Powell
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host several free tours of haunted buildings in the Northside starting October 5.
The tours will begin at the Allegheny branch on Federal Street and visit Allegheny Center as well as several other haunted locations in the Northside before ending on the Community College of Allegheny County’s campus.
The tour will include cider, treats and a slideshow of the haunted Northside locations.
“We’ve always had a tradition of trying to draw from the history of the community,” said event organizer and Carnegie Library employee Sam Wagoner. “It just makes sense.”
The Carnegie Library hosts a number of local history programs, including various scavenger hunts around the city. Organizers say this free event is extra festive, however, with Halloween right around the corner.
The tour will visit 15 haunted locations such as Allegheny County Medical Hospital, the old Allegheny Library and the New Hazlet Theatre.
The most famous stop on the tour is the Byers-Lyons Mansion, which is located on the CCAC campus in the Allegheny West neighborhood. The mansion is over a century old, and was named the most haunted house in America several years ago.
At the turn of the century, the mansion was split in two. One side belonged to Alexander Byers and his wife, while the other belonged to his daughter.
Byers’ granddaughter was often left with a nanny. One day, she suffered a four-story fall from the top of the mansion and died while the nanny wasn’t paying attention. In the next few days the nanny, overwhelmed with guilt, took her own life. It is said that when the body was discovered, the ghost of Byers’ granddaughter was standing over the nanny.
To this day, many believe that the nanny and Byers’ granddaughter still occupy the Byers-Lyons Mansion.
The Carnegie Library will host this event on four dates. However, as of October 3, only the October 19 tour remains open. Participants 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
While the event is almost filled this month, there will be plenty of time for ghost hunting next year.
“This is our most popular event,” said Wagoner. “It’ll be back by demand.”
To register for the haunted house tour visit carnegielibrary.org and click on the event, or call the Carnegie Library at 412-237-1890. Space is limited to 15 people per date.
The Carnegie Library is located at 1230 Federal Street. The October 19 tour begins at 1 p.m.