Among Pittsburgh natives the story of the spectral Green Man is a staple of local lore, but unlike many folk legends, this one is essentially true.
Alternately known as “Charlie No-Face,” the Green Man is said to have been an electrical worker who was in an accident that melted his face and killed him. His ghost has subsequently been seen near the site of the accident which is thought to have occurred in one of Pennsylvania’s abandoned railroad tunnels. The most popular candidate and location for viewing the spirit is at the tunnel in South Park Township. His shimmering green form has been said to have been seen late at night stalking the tunnel.
The surprising truth about this ghost story is that Charlie No-Face was a real man by the name of Raymond Robinson. Robinson was tragically disfigured while climbing some power lines as a boy, which left him with no eyes or nose. As he grew older, he took to taking midnight strolls to keep in shape and keep out of view of some of the more cruel townsfolk. Unfortunately this nocturnal wandering only served to add to the urban legend that was already growing around him. Eventually Robinson gained a small amount of notoriety and people would bring him cigarettes and beer on his walks. A legend in his own time.
Despite Robinson’s death, the legend of the Green Man’s ghost still haunts the rail tunnel in South Park where the city generally keeps its road salt. This tunnel also shares the legend of another man, one who killed his family in its depths with a hatchet. Ghosts and murderers aside, the Green Man’s Tunnel is not for the faint of heart.