A haunted library!

As all of you awesome readers know I’m a writer. I have one book published and about a million others in progress. So, I love books. I also love libraries. I love ghost stories.

So a haunted library is AWESOME!

Industrialist Andrew Carnegie founded the Carnegie Library of Homestead. It was the 3rd one built in the country and the second for the Steel Valley. The library was meant to serve the workers and their families of the Homestead Steel Workers. He did it to make amends after a deadly riot broke out during the Homestead Strike of 1892 which pitted the workers against private security from Pinkerton Company. The deadly strike left 40 wounded and 9 killed on the workers side and 20 shot, seven killed and 300 injured on Pinkerton’s side. A man named Robert E. Peebles was found dead in 8 feet of water on November 28, 1899. It was reported he died “under mysterious circumstances”.

Pittsburgh architects Frank Alden and Alfred Harlow designed the Homestead library, William Miller and Sons did the construction. The library not only held 34,000 volumes but also contains a 1,000-seat music hall and an athletic wing with a heated indoor swimming pool.

Awfully generous.

In early years, the library held class for immigrants preparing for naturalization, and later for women entering the work force. In the 1900s, the library’s football team was composed of many former star Ivy League players and was considered one of the top semi-professional teams in the country. Hall of Famer Rube Waddell played for the baseball team. In the 1920s and 30s, four Olympians trained in the library’s swimming pool, Anna Mae Gorman, Susan Laird, Josephine McKim, and Lenore Kight.

The Carnegie Library of Homestead survived in large part due to the support of USX Corporation, a successor to Andrew Carnegie’s own steel venture. When the Homestead Works closed in 1988, the library passed to the community of Munhall, Pennsylvania who was experiencing economic hardships after losing its single-largest employer and tax base. The library remained open and operational thanks to several volunteers who worked to secure grant money. The boiler was replaced, a new slate roof was installed, and new windows replaced the hundred-year-old wooden sashes. While other libraries donated by Andrew Carnegie have either closed or been demolished, Carnegie Library of Homestead has remained operational for over a century and some believe it may be haunted.

Could the tragedies be the cause of Carnegie Library’s haunted status? There have been reports of books flying off of shelves, apparitions of former steel workers dressed in dirty clothes, shadow figures and voices (both male and female). Perhaps some steel workers are still fighting to be heard.

It was actually featured in one of the Ghost Adventures episodes. A really creepy episode.

Also SyFy’s Ghost Hunters took a trip there.


5 thoughts on “A haunted library!

  1. Heather and all, we are having another paranormal tour this weekend. Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm-12am. $15, bring your own camera and flashlight. Beer and wine for sale before your tour and you can watch the Ghost Hunter’s episode 715, featuring the library!

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