With all of the rumors surrounding the large property, it was surprising that a contracting company would want to restore it to its former glory, but apparently they had a big time buyer from the Boston area who wanted to return to his home town after making millions.
The plan was to incorporate a sporting area in the basement – a basketball hoop, hockey net and small pool. He was also a paintball enthusiast and wished to construct a paintball field in the courtyard area.
They broke ground in the early spring months so they could get as much completed on the outside as possible, work through summer and fall, and avoid working outside during the brutal winter months.
At first, the workers just had strange feelings. The air was best described by the foreman when interviewed for a local paper as heavy. Every construction worker on that site felt a darkness surrounding the place.
The incidents started as innocent even childish pranks at first. Buckets of tools would tip over, electrical cords would be unplugged, even cars would turn on and off randomly throughout the day. To stay relaxed and focused, the workers blamed these mysterious anomalies on a playful spirit they aptly named Junior after the Kirkbride’s son. Over time, they realized how bad of an idea this had been.
As work progressed into late summer, the paranormal experiences increased and reached dangerous heights. In two different situations, overhead scaffolding collapsed. Luckily, during the first accident, the overhead workers were strapped to the rooftop. The second collapse led to a severe injury of one of the crew members, even though they claim they were tied off on the roof. The rope was in perfect condition. He was hospitalized with a broken leg and fractured arm.
A dump truck carrying gravel and stone smashed into the east wing of the hospital. This crash took out a corner of the building causing the brick which was just repaired to shatter like glass, fragments burst all around the job site. Two workers were thrown off balance, one of whom slammed through an upper picture window, fracturing three vertebrae upon his fall. Bricks don’t shatter like that; they crumble or smash into small bits, but shattering is just unheard of. The driver claimed the brakes gave out and would not budge. A later inspection showed that the brakes were in perfect working order.
Once the Pittsburgh storms began in early Fall, the workers made their way inside to clear out some of the remnants and debris. The taunting of Junior continued all the while. Four of these workers ventured into the basement where the murder-suicide occurred almost ten years before. Shuffling feet and whispers echoed throughout the pitch black halls. All that lit the workers pathway was their flashlights which bounced light beams off the dank walls causing shadows to jump and bounce about. What they found down there supported local lore from the past century.
A single dark brown leather bound journal was set under a rusted out operating table. The workers glanced through it quickly, noting the dates that stretched back to the very opening of the asylum. The word “deceased” was found 423 times throughout the book. The crew members knew immediately that they had stumbled upon something disturbing. They made a pact right then to turn in the book to the authorities…after they each took a turn skimming through it.
The remainder of the week they passed the book around, sharing stories as they went. Before they went to turn the book in, they decided to meet up one last time and share some of the most disturbing entries. The idea was to just hang around after work – that opportunity never arrived.
A sudden collapse of the east wing roof sent two men to their deaths and crushed the other two underneath the rubble. The journal was not recovered; the stories they found were shared minimally with their friends and family, who passed it on to their friends.
Two weeks later, the owner was on his way to visit the job site when he hit a brutal and unpredictable ice storm. He lost control and plummeted to his death. The job site was closed the following week as his heirs refused to touch the asylum.