From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night…
It’s that time of year when the sun goes down early and the leaves begin to fall. The cooler weather brings to mind old stories of haunts that go bump in the night. And, most popular of all, are the ghost stories that are passed from generation to generation wherever a spooky building resides.
Below are the stories of four steel buildings with alleged ghosts that survive to this day.
The Spirit of the Steel Mills at Two Shop and Slag-Pile Annie
The J&L Steel Mill has its share of ghosts.
At the SouthSide Works it is said that in 1922 a worker named Jim Grabowsky tripped over a hose and fell into a foundry ladle full of molten metal. He was immediately liquefied. His screams for help and cries of anguish, as well as maniacal laughter, could be heard in the shop until it was demolished in 1960.
To this day, whenever a steel worker dies in this manner, a portion of the “tainted” steel is cooled into a nugget and presented to the family since there is no body to bury.
At the Southside Mill Complex of J&L the workers relate a story of a student running a train beneath the furnaces who came upon a young woman standing near the tracks. She was dressed in coarse clothing with a red bandanna over her hair. When the young man told her to move or she would be killed she replied, “I can’t be killed. I’m already dead.”
Needless to say, the student high-tailed it out of the tunnel and told his foreman what he had witnessed. No word on whether he returned to his job.
This apparition is known as Slag-Pile Annie. Supposedly she was a young woman who ran the same small train in the mill during World War II. She had an accident and was killed in the very spot she was seen that night.
The Ghost of the Empire State Building
Tall structures are magnets for all things ghosts; the Empire State Building is no exception. Before an embedded fence was put into place around the observation deck there were at least 30 suicides. In 1947 five people jumped to their death in a three week period.
One of them apparently stuck around.
Reports are still heard about Evelyn McHale, a 23 year old former WAC who moved to New York to become a book-keeper. For reasons unknown, after a birthday dinner with her fiancé she wrote that she didn’t think she would make a good wife for anyone and took the elevator to the observation deck.
There she neatly placed her coat, bag, and some family photos against the rail and then jumped. Amazingly a photographer was nearby when she crashed onto the roof of a United Nations Cadillac limousine. He took an iconic picture of Evelyn who appeared to be lying at peace in the dented top.
People still report seeing Evelynn place her things near the rail and jump as though the new barrier wasn’t there. Some have watched her go through these motions repeatedly in a single night.
Murder at the Eiffel Tower
Paris is the city of lovers, including at least one who was loved to death.
The story goes that a woman arranged a date with her beau so she could break off their relationship. Unfortunately, she selected the top of the Eiffel Tower to tell him this. Worse, her message was apparently in response to a marriage proposal from him.
Allegedly he threatened to throw her off the tower if she didn’t agree to marry him. She didn’t, so he did. Now it is a story of another tragic romance.
Sleep Well Tonight
Do you have a story of a haunted steel building? Tell us, we’re “dying” to know.
* Excerpted from Haunted Houses by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow