Category Archives: Strange People of PA

Creepy Clown Sightings Spike in PA

Pennywise - Stephen Kings IT

Like something out of a crazy urban legend horror film, sinister clowns are walking off the silver screen and into reality on the backstreets and main drags of towns across America. Now, as we get closer to Halloween, they’re moving into Pennsylvania…

In late September York College students reported seeing other students, on and off campus, dressed as clowns. These reports included one in which a car-load of clowns was allegedly seen, and those clowns may have been carrying guns.

Pottsville Police received reports by Schuylkill County residents of two men dressed as clows who yelled at children at a playground and then sped off.

Creepy Roadside Clown Mercer, PA or Virginia?What’s going on people? Feels like we’re inside a Stephen King movie.

Penn State “Clown Hunt”
Students at Penn State University went on a clown hunt after reports of a creepy clown began circulating around campus. It was a mob of student vigilanties against an unseen adversary, since there were no eye-witnesses, just rumors of mysterious clown sightings. One student tweeted, “CLOWNS have caused riots and clown hunting at penn state this is the end.”

16 Year Old Student Stabbed to Death in Clown Mask Dispute
What was previously just rumors and creepy sightings of clowns has become all too real following the death of a 16 year old Reading high school student on the night of September 25.

The Reading Eagle reported that police found the body of 16 year old Christian Torres on the front porch of a row home in Reading following an incident in which a fight broke out with someone “wearing a clown mask” according to District Attorney John T. Adams.

Subsequent information released by police indicates that Torres was in fact the person wearing a mask, and that this generated some sort of “controversy” in the neighborhood resulting in the fight which led to the stabbing incident. The mask is reported as being similar to one seen in the film The Purge. However, according to quick research, masks in the film do not really resemble clowns.

13 YO Girl Fesses Up to Murderous Clown Threat Posts
A 13 year old girl and her accomplice have been arrested following threats made against students in Philadelphia which stirred more clown terror among local residents.

A few different Instagram accounts — phillyclown215, phillyclowns215, clown_of_philly and clownsofphilly — are attributed with clown-related Philly school posts, which could be copycat posts, but the 13 year old suspect and her freind apparently posted using phillyclowns215 and clown_of_philly.

Those accounts are responsible for posting clown images with the captions, “clown_of_philly Coming to Neuman Goretti on Monday!! Gonna shoot all the kids and teachers” as well as the phillyclowns215 threat, โ€œthe gang is in philly. (skull image) watch ya mans or you’ll get kidnapped. (skull image) The schools we’ll be at on wednesday, thursday and friday are Hopkinsin, nueva, edison, mba, spruance, and northeast hs. y’all ain’t safe. it’s 12 of us yaheard.”

It seems that we’re looking at a form of hysteria prompted by a combination of social media rumors, hype, hoaxes and maybe a few real sinister incidents involving clowns with ill intent.

As always we should exercise caution, play it safe, and avoid dangerous situations, but let’s not go beating up on people just because they happen to be dressed as a clown. The likely reason is that they are just playing a prank. So, just walk away.

However, if you suspect serious criminal activity at the hands of a clown-clad villain call the police and get yourself to safety.

Oh, and if you’ve got big enough tassels to dress as a clown this Halloween, do it right, but don’t get yourself into trouble!

And if clowns aren’t your thing, check out some of these other creepy Morphsuits Halloween costumes. This Zalgo costume is cool.

The Green Man Ray Robinson

Ray Robinson the Green Man

Ray Robinson the Green ManThe Green Man legend was born of a very unfortunate accident. In the summer of 1919, 8 year old Raymond Robinson was walking with some friends when they stopped at the Morado Bridge near Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Morado Bridge crossed Wallace Run, a portion of Beaver River, and was part of the Harmony Trolly Line, an electric trolly commuter service that ran from the northern suburbs into Pittsburgh.

The boys had become interested in a bird nest they had seen in a tree near the bridge and Raymond climbed up onto the side of the bridge to get a closer look.

Young Ray was electocuted when he accidentally touched a high voltage line. Miraculously he survived, but he sustained severely disfiguring injuries which remained with him for the remainder of his reclusive life.

The electrical current sent such damaging voltage through Ray’s body that he lost both of his eyes and his nose, an ear was deformed and his left arm below the elbow. His face was completely disfigured and he suffered severe burns from his waist up.

Ray lived with his family, seldom venturing out during the day. If he did he would remain on his property, walking the woods behind the house.

Eventually he began taking Nighttime walks along Rt. 351 where he would occasionally encounter others walking along, or be seen by people driving by. His disturbing countenance led to local tales in which he was referred to as Charlie No Face or the Green Man.

It is not certain where the Green Man reference originated, but may have had something to do with the clothing he wore during the 1950s and 60s, at the height of his nocturnal jaunts and subsequent sightings.

Some claimed he had an erie green glow about him, but this was hardly the case. He was not some radioactive monster from a horror film, just an unfortunate victim of a tragec accident.

Raymond Robinson apparently lived out his years in his family home in Beaver Falls, PA, eventually moving to Beaver County Geriatric Center before passing away in 1985, at the age of 74. 66 years after the date of his life-altering accident.

Sad story indeed. Ray left public school in the first grade. Can’t help but wonder what he might have done with his life if he hadn’t suffered such a disfiguring injury.

Learn more about Raymond Robinson, his story and his family, at these resources:

Lawrence County Memoirs – Raymond Robinson

Wisecraft or Witchcraft in Philly

In the early 1970s Dr. Edward Turner, a Philadelphia-based psychiatrist and practicing Druid, made some headlines in interviews regarding his beliefs. He claimed, at the time, that there were about 20,000 practicing witches in the United States, spanning many professions including doctors and lawyers.

Instead of “witchcraft,” Turner felt that “wisecraft” was a more suitable term for those practicing Druidism, which has gained a dark reputation and affiliation with satanism over the years. Turner, and modern practicing Druids maintain that their belief is nature-based, for good, and the improvement of the creative and spiritual self, as well as charity to others.

There are varying beliefs among Druids, some keeping to a more realistic view with a strong foundation in nature, and others with a belief in a higher, spiritual world, reincarnation, and some form of magic.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure I’d want a psychiatrist who believes in magic diagnosing me, just as I wouldn’t want to be under the advice of a medical doctor who believed casting magic spells, or homeopathy for that matter.

Here is a link to an original newspaper articles featuring Dr. Turner:

Philly Psychiatrist Tells of Druid Religion

Stewart Traill and The Church of Bible Understanding

I wouldn’t consider this “mysterious” but it is part of PA legend, and cults are part of fringe strangeness…

Stewart-Traill-House-FloridaNothing says “free country” more than the guy who reaps the rewards of others’ labor and rest happily in a Florida mansion owned by a church organization he founded and leads himself. Stewart Traill is one such man. Now in his late 70s, Traill resides in a sprawling mansion in southern Florida, owned by The Church of Bible Understanding, formerly the Forever Family.

Stewart Traill was born in Quebec, Canada in 1936, to Donald Stewart Traill and Lorraine Lillian Tanner. His father Donald, a Presbyterian minister, disapproved of what his son had created with the Forever Family, and ultimately disowned him.

In the late 1960s Stewart Traill, then a self-employed vacuum cleaner salesman, claimed to be an atheist with every intention of discrediting the Bible. He turned to Christianity when he decided he could not adequately explain miracles.

His was a form of self-taught Christianity, as he attended no church. Instead he began to mingle with Christian youths who would gather at Robin Hood Dell, also known as Little Lehigh Park, near Allentown, PA. In true cult-leader fashion he began to gain these young people as followers.

Though some of the crowd thought Traill was up to something, and didn’t agree with his tactics, one Christian group member, George “Skip” O’Neil, began spending time with Traill and forming what would become the the Forever Family.

They would meet at the Message Coffee House in Allentown, with other young Christian friends of O’Neil. There they would engage in Bible studies, discussions and evangelizing, with Stewart Traill leading and teaching the group as it grew.

Initially Traill enlisted some group members to help him find used, broken vacuum cleaners to repair and sell, continuing with his original business. But eventually his “church” was able to sustain him, with members living in a communal arrangement, working and giving most of their income to the church.

Traill lived well, giving up his vacuum cleaner business, but his family saw none of the church profit. They lived meagerly, and Traill is also known to have treated them cruelly. Especially his wife, who was made to weigh herself and was spanked by Traill, as witnessed by one church member, if she her weight was not to his satisfaction.

The cult spread, as Traill had members set up satellite groups, or “fellowship houses,” in other states, eventually spreading to New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Aside from being a cult-leader, Traill was also a licensed pilot and bought a plane with church money so he could travel between these locations. Over the years The Church of Bible Understanding amassed quite a fortune, and Traill purchased other planes including a jet.

Stewar TraillTraill was a natural leader, though harsh and domineering. Through various forms of psychological control — the only way one can really build a cult — he managed to keep a growing flock to support him. He also established quotas, and any member not bringing in sufficient new members through evangelism, not meeting their quota, were accused of faithlessness.

Is Traill a wack? Is he completely self-deluded, egotistical and able to control others, or a smart man with no integrity or conscience who had an idea to earn a living without having to work? He apparently started out as an atheist after all.

Maybe he was just clever enough, albeit devoid of compassion, to see how far he could take it. Maybe he’s sitting in his Florida mansion with a big smile on his bearded maw, knowing how he took so many people for a ride and got a free ride of his own. Traill not only brings in money from members, the church has established businesses which profit the cult.

Among them, Olde Good things, worth over $7.4 Million with locations in Scranton, NYC and LA, and Dallas. Cult member Paul Szostak manages the Grand Ave., LA location; S&G Photographics and Christian Brothers Carpet Cleaning.

The apparent good work Traill’s organization does in Haiti is likely just a front to lend legitimacy to a cult that rakes in big bucks, and much of it tax free.

The story of trail and his cult is a long one, too long for me to get into here. Below you will find some references, which I used to put together this post. You can also google it ๐Ÿ™‚

The History of the Forever Family and the Church of Bible Understanding
Stewart Traill, the Al Capone of the 21st Century!
My Church of Bible Understanding Story
Ex-Members Tell of Poverty, Powerlessness
On the Traill: Difficult To Peg Reclusive Lead