Ghost House: Nabbing a Strip District Two-fer!

outline of 2-story "ghost house", Pittsburgh, PA

Ghost house (East), Strip District

We’d been after this pair for a while and yeah, we bagged them. It was a ghost house hunter’s ultimate score–side-by-side impressions of the same disappeared structure left right (and left/right) next to each other. With a little imagination even a dime store gum shoe could put the pieces together. The whole picture is right there in front of you, guilty as the day is long.

Cruise down Penn Ave. from the Strip to town and you can’t miss the western-facing member of this pair. She’s a platinum figure built like a brick (row)house, answering to this mathematician’s favorite dimensions: 24′ x 24′ x 36′. The dirty gray, ruffled skirt told us everything we needed to know about how the last century had treated her. Centered in what must have been one lovely attic space is an intriguing 1936, tattooed in red and beginning to flake away.

Her old man didn’t have the same distinction but the outlines were all there. The bruises across his midsection told us the block had been around him more than a few times and he could give as good as he got. On top of his pointy head sat a bonus ghost sign so far gone it’s now just a blur.

outline of 2-story "ghost house", Pittsburgh, PA

Ghost house (West), Strip District

Even though we’ve been down this particular stretch of road a zillion times, it was never quite the right time to make the grab. Some bozo would leave a car right in my shot [“Get out of the way, you bozo!”] or some dude would be parallel-parked on Penn Ave. and throw off the foto shui (look it up) of the bigger scene [“Beat it, pal!”].

But who’s this blogger kidding? These pictures ain’t for the museum, and they’re not getting pinned up in some teenage hair-farmer’s gym locker. No: we’re here to put this couple up on the blog wall faster than you can say “son now here’s some little something”.

Catching ghosts turns about to be a lot like nabbing bad guys. You order up some take-out coffees [“Black for me; two creams for my partner.”], get giant sandwiches from a place called Sal’s [“That bastard owes me!”], and then you wait [“I’ll take first watch. You get some shuteye.”].

And wait we did. Days, weeks–hell, it was months sitting on these perps. Just biding our time until they made a move. Oh, and what move they made. Another perfect, glorious, unseasonably warm November day; the sky so deep and blue it looked like the water from the prow of a skipjack off Dewey Beach. Me: all the time in the world to set ’em up and knock ’em down. Yeah, The Orbit got the collar. Put it in the books, Jack.

4-story brick building with outline of 2-story "ghost house", Pittsburgh, PA

Bonus (unreadable) ghost sign above the ghost house!

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