Blue Myst Road
Blue Myst Road There’s something about headlights casting shadows on the road at night that stimulates the imagination. Roads, especially dirt roads with no streetlights, reveal shadows that could contain any kind of mystery—a wild animal, a ghost, a malevolent cult, anything strange and threatening. Of course, if you happen to be driving along such a road with a group of friends, the tales get all the wilder. And that’s exactly what has happened with Blue Mist Road in Pittsburgh’s North Park. To some, the mystery is more important than the mist, and they spell it Blue “Myst” Road. The experiences that surround this stretch of road are as varied as western Pennsylvanian imagination. Like the Trojan War or Mount Olympus to the Greeks, it has become a convenient receptacle for any tale, ranging from obvious campfire yarns and recycled urban legend to legendary material with more heft and style. But always, it comes back to a rolling mist that appears at night, on a dirt road near the lake in North Park. After the mist rolls in, the tales diverge in the woods. The classic local legend about Blue Mist Road is that the KKK used to hold rallies there at night and would lynch people on a gnarled tree by the side of the road. It’s a good scary tale, but it lacks the ring of truth. Given the strong, centuries-long abolitionist tradition in the Commonwealth, it seems unlikely that a group like the Klan would have established a stronghold here. Besides, the tree that’s most often associated with this tale seems to be singularly unsuited to the task, with no strong low-hanging limbs to throw a rope over. There are several houses on the road, one of them now a ruin with only the foundation intact. In the ferment of storytelling, legends have sprouted up about the houses, too. One, they say, used to be occupied by a witch and another, called the Midget Farm, by a little person. All the usual Midgetville stories applied to this house, including the one in which groups of angry and armed little people would attack your car. As far as we can tell, these tales are just good ways to scare your carmates, though apparently a resident of one of the houses would load rock salt into shotgun cartridges and fire them at nighttime trespassers. This type of attack is loud, scary, and will cause expensive damage the paintwork of a car. But it causes no serious personal injury...at least, nothing more serious than you’d get from falling onto an asphalt surface. It stings, grazes, and teaches you a lesson without causing actual bodily harm. The lesson in question is “Stay away,” a message that is reinforced by the Road Closed signs at both ends of the street. Nevertheless, people do drive and hike down the road at night, and drivers claim that if you park and honk your car horn three times, the engine won’t start up again. When you consider that people live off the road, it’s antisocial to honk your horn at night anyway. All of these stories are pretty much standard fare for the nighttime traveler with a car full of thrill-seekers. But one is a little more unusual. There is a cemetery near the road with tombstones that lean toward each other. They say that the occupants of the graves were thwarted lovers, and that the stones are trying to kiss to consummate the love between them. In some tales, the stones actually do meet once a month on the night of the full moon. In other variations, the stones do not meet, because if they did, it would bring about the end of the world. These tales are all well and good, but to most people who visit North Park, Blue Myst Road (or Irwin Road, to give it its proper name), is just a great hiking road. It’s marked as closed at both ends, though it’s car-accessible for a few hundred twisting yards before the barricades block it off. Past the barriers, it degenerates quickly into a winding gravel path by the creek, with the occasional “No Trespassing” sign and notice about buried petroleum and gas pipelines. On a quiet spring day, you can see deer and wild turkey on or near the road, with only the murmuring of the creek to disturb them. A dark and moonless night, however, is another story altogether... Three Roads Diverge... I have walked Blue Myst Road at night and there are houses back off the road. I came across three paths leading off the road, with one rusty mailbox. My companions told me that one of these paths leads to the Midget Farm and the Witch House, but nobody was able to confirm that. We saw car headlights coming our way from the driveway, so we got out of there as fast as we could. –Mysterian Tales of Mist and Imagination There’s an old tale of the North Hills I once read called the Legend of Blue Mist Road, but it reads more like a campfire ghost story than a real story. The area was always surrounded by horror stories, some about a rabid dog roaming around, some about tales of cults and mutilated animals being discovered, and so forth. But this didn’t put off teenagers going to the quiet road to park. One young couple went there and for a joke, the boy honked the horn three times before they began to make out. As if in answer to the horn, a clanging bell began to ring out, and the boyfriend panicked and tried to start the car. The engine was dead. Nothing happened, and the clanging went on. Thoroughly rattled, the boy popped the hood of the car and went out to see what he could see. When he slammed the hood down again, a white hunting dog leaped on it and began dashing itself against the windshield, terrifying the girl in the car. It dashed itself unconscious, or dead, on the hood. All was silent for a while, and the girl got out of the car, too frightened to stay alone, but also afraid of what she might find outside. The car began clanging, and she turned to see a dark mark on the roof of the car. She looked up to see her boyfriend hanging from the limb of a nearby tree, his blood dripping onto the car roof. I know...it sounds too good to be true, but it’s a great way to get in the mood on the drive up there. –Eddie Blue Light Special I parked up at Blue Myst Road and waited with some buddies to see what would happen. We weren't kidding around honking the horn; we were just out shooting the breeze on a summer night and observing. On a few occasions, we thought we heard something, but nothing conclusive. But we did see some unusual lights. The only light we could explain, except for moonlight, was the little green light of fireflies. The lights I saw were larger and blue, hovering in the distance and then fading away. It couldn't have been a flashlight because it faded out in a very distinctive way, like a firefly or a Klieg light. –A. Oakley ** We investigated the cemetery near Blue Myst Road is old, with worn-out and very thin gravestones. You can’t read the names on them. My friend took some of us there, and we saw two gravestones leaning towards each other, which were supposed to be the stones of two former lovers. They weren't touching, but the way the ground was subsiding, it looked like it was only a matter of time before they did. They are set apart by a few inches, and they said that they touch whenever it’s a full moon. We also split up and discovered the mysteries of the three pathways -- Lindy found the midget farm and got some really unique oddities, my path was nothing special, and Deedee found the witches coven -- her home sweet home. This piece was found within the old shack home -- and the spirit of the witch is within it. The powers within this piece are amazing and will allow you to cast ANY spell, of white or dark magic, as Remea, the witch, was a powerful dual master of power! The symbols and signs of imperial experience upon the road was showcased by her spells, as she wanted to see who would not be scared, and thus allow them to forecast her energies and powers! You will get to carry forward her amazing skills --- very unique piece of unquestionable magic and spell cast powers!