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Ghosts and Other Beliefs


Nick Massini discusses a ghost at Clyde Mine in Fredericktown, Pennsylvania. "The Old Clyde Mine was haunted by a fire boss that was killed years before. He was seen regularly sill making his run at the Ross Shaft area." Richard Marcavitch recounted a ghost he saw at Vesta Five owned by the J and L Steel Company. He saw this ghost sitting in his dinner hole every day about the same time.

Along these same lines, George Monas said that if a sound was heard without knowing its origin, it was "Big John," or the man that saved lives in the popular folk ballad.

One other belief is one that only Richard Marcavitch noticed. Perhaps he noticed this because of his involvement with the safety department. He said that "around five am there are more fatalities usually in the gob area." He explained this that the tides affected the movement of the coal. This is because this same problem happens about five pm as well.

Some other beliefs that were discovered by the Patch/Work Voices project included a few that had to do with not working. A continous miner

"Some miners believed that it was bad luck to have an alarm clock fall from a mantle. If this happened, the miner would not go to work for one day. Some miners would not go to work if they happened to put their shirts on inside out. Sometimes, if a woman crossed a miners path while he was on his way to work, he would go home and miss work that day."

According to the Brownsville (PA) Telegraph (March 31, 1986), there is a tradition that "Hanging falls in the gob area of the mine tend to fall around midnight because the Earth is upside down." Perhaps this is a tradition that has some roots in reality.