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October 30, 2012

VIDEOS/PHOTOS The 13 scariest local haunts

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Eureka Mine No. 40 (Scalp Level, Cambria County)

The remnants of this Berwind-White mine in Scalp Level were demolished in 2011, but the small mining community that shot up around it persists today. Many of its original residents who explored the mossy and deserted buildings around the mine entrance claim to have felt as if they were being followed.

Some say they’ve seen a shadow figure “entering” the shaft in the early morning – punching the clock on its eternal shift. “The Ghost of the Old Miner” is what the locals call this specter, and its presence hangs over the nearby railroad tracks, possibly distraught by a sudden, tragic death in the mine.

Baker Mansion (Altoona, Blair County)

The home of the Blair County Historical Society has been embedded in Altoona folklore through generations of ghost stories.

The most famous story, according to Patty Wilson, a Bedford native and the author of “Haunted Pennsylvania,” is that of Anna Baker.

The daughter of iron magnate Elias Baker, Anna fell in love with one of her father’s workers. But Elias wouldn’t let her wed a blue collar worker. Anna died alone in Baker Mansion in 1914, her wedding dress unworn.

They say her bitter, forlorn spirit longed to wear the creme and gold gown and will do so for all time. Wilson said that LIFE magazine named Baker Mansion one of the most haunted houses in the country in 1981. When the LIFE photographers tried to snap some shots of Anna’s wedding dress, all of the cameras malfunctioned or had their film corrupted. BCHS employees claim to have seen the dress swaying side to side behind its glass case, as if the wearer were dancing.

Tours of Baker Mansion are available by calling (814) 942-3916. See our video tour of Baker Mansion on the right sidebar.

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