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Tours provide look at Carnegie's ghostly stories

| Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, 5:45 p.m.

Last year, The Flying Squirrel owner Melanie Luke took her first trip to Gettysburg and explored the battlefields as well as the town's haunted history on a ghost hunt.

This trip sparked her creativity to bring a unique, walkable tour to Carnegie.

With her love of Halloween and the rich history of Carnegie, the Carnegie Haunted Lantern Tours was created.

“I love Halloween and I wanted to dig a little deeper into the history of Carnegie,” Luke said. “There are plenty of tragedies and well-known incidents that have occurred in town and these tours will showcase Carnegie in a different way.”

Luke says one of the most known incidents to occur in Carnegie was in 1923 when a Ku Klux Klan march attempted to take place, but residents rallied together and stopped it from happening. Someone was murdered during the riots, a local man was arrested but never charged, and the case has remained open ever since.

This story, along with other historically accurate stories, told at the Chartiers Creek, the railroad tracks, the former post office (now home to the Carnegie Coffee Co. and the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy of Carnegie), Ross Cemetery with gravestones dating from the 1800s, and the well-known haunted Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall will be highlights along each tour.

Maggie Forbes, executive director of the library and music hall, says there are many ghost stories associated with the building.

A regular appearance is a man on the balcony in the music hall. And when the Civil War room in the library was emptied for renovation, a photo captured what appeared to be a soldier guarding the room.

Library Director Diane Klinefelter remembers 10 years ago when she walked into the library to find a haphazard pile of books on the floor. When she questioned the staff, no one had left them that way.

After checking to make sure the shelf wasn't broken, she noticed that the book “Ghost in the Dollhouse” was sitting on top of the pile open. She says she's never getting rid of that book, although it's currently missing from the shelf.

“Libraries are inviting to everyone, including ghosts,” Klinefelter said.

The Carnegie Haunted Lantern Tours will be held every Friday in October. The cost is $20 per ticket and will cap at 25 people on each tour. Tours start at 7:30 p.m. and last about an hour.

They will be walkable, led by a tour guide and transportation will also be made available.

Each ticket includes a $5 coupon for a featured restaurant of the week: Oct. 6, Riley's Pour House; Oct. 13, Bakn; Oct. 20, Apis Meadery; and Oct. 27, The Flying Squirrel.

In addition, official ghost kits featuring a notebook, pen and commemorative pin are available to purchase for $12.

“Sometimes it takes a ghost trigger to get people to go somewhere and we are happy to get as many people into Carnegie as we can,” Luke said.

For more information and to reserve tickets, call The Flying Squirrel at 412-276-2535.

Sarah Sudar is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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