Ghosts Of Pittsburgh: Cathedral Of Learning’s Ballroom

With one week to go until Halloween, we’re looking into some of the ghosts that may inhabit Pittsburgh’s landmarks.

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – On Monday, Rick Dayton shared the story behind one of the Nationality Rooms inside the Cathedral of Learning.

However, the ballroom has a legend all its own.

This is a ghost story that sounds more like a soap opera.

It starts in the 1830s with a father, William Croghan, and his daughter, Mary.

“He built a mansion, and in that mansion he had a ballroom for her coming out party,” Pitt’s Nationality Room Program Director Maxine Bruhns said.

Mary grew up fast. At the age of 15, she eloped with a 43-year-old captain in the British Army.

His name might be familiar – Edward Schenley.

“Her father was absolutely, just totally distraught because his daughter was gone and he disowned her,” Bruhns said.

According to this ghost story, Mary would not be denied – not even by death.

The mansion’s ballroom is now inside Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning.

“It’s actually two rooms there – the ballroom and the oval room that are connected by a secret passageway,” Haunted Pittsburgh tour guide Haydn Thomas said.

One story involves an electrician, who heard piano music while he was working in the room.

“The next day he asks an employee there about this strange music he had heard. She said, ‘Oh? Piano music? Yeah, we think that’s Mary. We hear it all the time,'” Thomas said. “Mary makes herself known to visitors by making the very heavy chandelier in the ballroom start to sway on its own.”

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