Posted by junketseo in San Francisco Ghost Tours
Livermore - Photo

Interested in exploring abandoned places haunted by ghosts of the past? Then, drive down Route 22 West and take the Livermore exit. It will lead you to a single, unpaved road that ends in the woods. The once prosperous town that stood here is no longer reclaimed by nature. Or, if you believe in such tales, the town of Livermore was swallowed up in a witch’s cure!


A Case for Witchcraft


Ever since William Penn presided over the state’s only official witch trial in 1684, witchcraft and folk magic have been a part of the history of the Keystone State. A woman living near the small village of Livermore along the Conemaugh River in the late 1700s was accused of consorting with the devil himself and sentenced to death.

According to the legend, she was burned at the stake for her crimes against God. But as the flames lapped at her skin, she cursed the town, assuring them that one hundred years after her death—to the day—flood waters would consume the area in the same way fire consumed her mortal body.

A century after her death, a flood did indeed inundate the land. We call this deluge the Johnstown Flood.

Livermore was once a prosperous town built around the railroad and mining industry. It had a busy train station and a hotel in its heyday. For those who resided in Livermore, the town had a school, baseball team, church, and residential homes. That is until it first flooded in 1889.

It was such a ferocious inundation that a legend says a witch had inhabited this town over a century ago. The residents, fearing her magic and communication with the devil, took it into their own hands to rid themselves of her. It was said they burned the witch at the stake, sending her and her influence to Hell. But as she succumbed to the flames, she cursed the town.

As she burned, she burdened the town with the threat of a flood on the anniversary of her death. On May 31st, 1889, her prophecy came true. The same flood that destroyed Johnstown also washed away Livermore. The destruction was so terrible that the only logical conclusion was that a witch’s curse must be behind the brutal force of nature.

In 1952, the town was forever buried underwater as a precaution that such an event would never happen again. But the memory of the imagined curse lingers. To this day, Livermore is sometimes called Satan’s Seat, as if a real evil resides here.

And maybe it does. Paranormal investigators have reported a slew of activity, and psychics have witnessed many ghosts throughout the site of the former town.


Here Be Demons


A demonic entity is said to haunt the fringes of the former railroad tracks, now converted into a walking path in a section of the West Penn Trail. It has been seen as a slumped-over shadowy figure, more animal than man. It walks with its knuckles to the ground, its eyes burning red like the flames allegedly consuming the witch.

On several occasions, it has been reported stalking those trespassing into its domain at night, lurking in the darkness, and following closely behind. It has even been heard snarling a vicious bestial warning to those brave enough to leave the parking lot and venture into the depths of Livermore at night.

A Native American, appearing to be a guardian of the land, has been seen in the same area as the phantom beast. By all accounts, this ghost is a protective spirit centuries older than the first white settlement. One psychic researcher referred to him as “Monogehelian.”

This is the original culture that occupied this area, but it mysteriously vanished before the presence of the first white man in the area, which came to be known as Westmoreland County. This ghost is described as visually quite handsome, with long black hair and a chiseled face of prominent features.

He is dressed in buckskin and wears a shell necklace around his neck. He has been seen wandering through the desolate regions of this place, perhaps endlessly stalking the demon that is said to reside here.


Trains of the Dead


But these are not the only ghosts along this trail. Indeed, ghost trains are seen on numerous occasions. One often scares walkers off the path, its light piercing the night as it races silently toward them, only to vanish before reaching them.

Another ghost train, this one much more ominous, has been witnessed racing along the tracks that are still in use. This train glows an eerie green as it rushes along in a swirling fog, blocking the only egress from Livermore. Witnesses have been stricken with terror as the ghost train, filled with ghoulish passengers whose faces are no more than rotting corpses, blocks their only exit.

A house, possibly the former residence of the supposed witch, has also been seen at Livermore but never appears in the same area. When approached, the house disappears.

Keep in mind the witch herself has been reported in this vicinity on several occasions. Sometimes she is described as a beautiful young woman and, when approached, transforms into a withered, hissing hag before dematerializing right before your eyes. Other times witnesses report seeing a hunchbacked older woman picking her way through the forest at sunset.

But when darkness quenches the last ray of light, then she is heard. The chants of a woman have been recorded here, as well as a cacophony of voices that shatter the silence like thunder.

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