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Haunted Places Pennsylvania: Brian's Photos of Johnson Road

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Brian has captured some interesting photos from Johnson Road in Monroeville, Pennsylvania—a location which is thought to be haunted by several spirits connected with homocides that occurred in the area.  Brian has a large number of photos from this location, and I've chosen to include ten below.  Brian writes:

Hello, friends, my name is Brian.  I'm a U.S. Navy veteran who believes in the paranormal.  I watch "Ghost Hunters" and "Extreme Paranormal" on the SciFi channel every week.  In fact, they're two of my favorite shows.  These shows are open about the fact that ghosts can be easily photographed with a digital camera.  On October 1, 2009, I bought a Polaroid digital camera and for the next week I took about 75 photos—none of the photos showed any sign of camera defection or discoloration.  On October 6, 2009, my friends Randy Myers, Brian Reed and I decided to investigate Johnson Road in Monroeville, PA.

orb ghost mist photo

The dark history of Johnson Road: On November 23, 1977, 6-year-old Beth Lynn Barr was abducted as she walked home from her 2nd grade classroom at Johnson Elementary School in Wilkinsburg, PA.  Although her killer was never found, her remains were found on Johnson Road, adjacent to Restland Memorial Cemetery.  On August 3, 1988, 13-year-old Penny Ansell and 12-year-old Melissa Baker were murdered by Steven Patrick Mignogna.  Their remains were discovered in a dump in the immediate vicinity of Johnson Road, Monroeville.  Mignogna was apprehended, imprisoned and after a fair trial was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole—he's serving his sentence in Somerset SCI, Pennsylvania.  Since that time, Johnson Road has been rumored to be haunted.

orbs mist

On October 6, 2009 my friends and I went to Johnson Road to familiarize ourselves with the area.  We took 20 photos and every photo was picture-perfect, no defects or discoloration.  On October 8, 2009, at approximately 9:15PM, we went to Johnson Road and began taking photos.  For the next week, we took approximately 120 photos of the area.  Many of the photos are normal, absolutely nothing that could be considered paranormal in any way.  About 10 percent of the photos are mysterious.  These photos reveal what appears to be paranormal activity: apparitions, mists and orbs.


None of the photos have been altered or photoshopped in any way, other than details and copyright notice added via Picasa 3.  Nobody was smoking when these photos were taken.  I held my breath when taking these photos so that it wouldn't be accidentally photographed.  The photos were taken in pitch black (no street lights), and all flashlights were turned off when these photos were taken.  We didn't see any mist or anything, until we looked at the LCD screen.  I'd also like to note that there are no streams or lakes in the vicinity.

A few other details that I would like to add: when we went to Johnson Road, we left the bad attitude at home, we went with good intentions and we made it clear that we weren't there to cause any harm.  Respect spirits and they'll respect you.  My friends and I want to thank Michelle for posting our story and photos to her website.  We hope everyone enjoys the photos.

Brian Keith Haskins
November 5, 2009




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mist and orbs haunted places ghost

Thanks to Brian for sharing his story and photos.  If you have investigated the Johnson Road area in Monroeville PA, let us know by leaving a comment below.  Over the past few weeks, I've received some interesting comments regarding orbs.  Paul sent me a message, saying: "My group believes that the brighter the orb, the less time that person has been dead.  Very dim, see-through orbs have been dead a long time, with less energy since energy [and thus light] diminishes with time."  This is an interesting theory.  It seems possible that spirits who have died a long time ago may have less energy and therefore appear as dimmer, duller orbs.  Some of Brian's photos contain very bright orbs, while others are the traditionally duller (darker) orbs.

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Comments on Haunted Places Pennsylvania: Brian's Photos of Johnson Road

December 7, 2009

Arcturian @ 6:43 pm

Excellent pictures, there is no doubt something paranormal is going on here!

December 10, 2009

Emperor @ 9:02 am

We had a location that was full of 'orbs' on my ghost tour route. However, they cleaned the HVAC…and…well, okay, so they weren't orbs.

But we also have another location that is well maintained. Shakespeare's Tavern. Its down here in Atlanta, and it gives off great orb photos. Check my blog.

December 31, 2009

Taylor @ 12:50 pm

Those look really cool, but some of the orbs could just be bugs or mist.

ELEONOR @ 5:04 pm

Brian, the pictures are so real. I believe it's something in another side of our world. you were very intelligent to take these pictures….very good job…..

January 9, 2010

jeslie chua @ 8:32 am

amazing pictures…ive never seen paranormal activity up close. i wanted to ask if you actually had the flash on in the camera. my classmates and i are assigned to do some ghost hunting in our school and i want to be able to capture them…so far i've only seen one but he was good as real.

January 26, 2010

Mike Clark @ 4:28 am

Excellent activity. The orb at the top of the first photo shows a tremendous amount of energy. What a spectacular shot. Good job.

February 11, 2010

brittany welch @ 1:35 pm

i am looking at these pictures because i am doing a project on parnormal activity and these pictures are amazing. Even my english teacher was amazed. now this is for my senior project and i really think that these pictures are going to help me get a really good grade.. so there. i thank Brian and his crew for going out there and showing people that they shouldn't be scared of ghosts.

February 24, 2010

GPS_Hella @ 9:12 am

interesting pictures. But because I am an experienced ghost hunter myself, I just don't take everything for granted and try to find natural explanations first.So here a few questions:
What was the actual temperature that night?
Did it rain before the pictures were taken?
October is usually a time with mild temperatures during the day, but as soon as the sun sets the temperature drops, which means that the humidity in the air is condensing rapidly, causing mist, which is often invisible for the human eye. But when a flash of a camera is reflected by the tiny water droplets in the air, it creates the most fascinating misty shapes and beautiful orbs.

Our team has hundreds of pictures like that. When it comes to the orbs in your picture…. they actually confirm my thoughts about the humidity… most of them are definitely moisture orbs… the rest are bugs. The only real interesting orb on the whole picture is the very bright one on the first pic.. it almost looks as if it is glowing …. but that could be also due to it being right in the center of the flash light.

Enough lecture now :P … I am sure you know this all… but I thought I explain a few things about mists and orbs for the other viewers, who obviously are very quick to jump to conclusions.

April 6, 2010

Amy @ 8:03 am

I know this place very well. The local kids from Pitcairn used to go up there at night for under age drinking. We would walk up to the reservoir, and the garbage dump to skip school. There were many trips up and down Johnson's road in my life. In my experience, I can definitely say there is something going on up there. What the story above doesn't tell you is that it used to be an open well used road. After the murders of Penny and Melissa in 1988, they closed the road permanently. No matter what time of the day, it is a very creepy place. It can be sunny and the birds will be chirping, but once you get past the gates where the "road closed" sign is, there is a definite difference in the whole "feel" of the area.

I wish I had known you were going up there, I could have shown you some of the more "creepier" places up there.

April 15, 2010

Mandi @ 10:59 am

I love everything about ghost hunting. I find your website very cool.

May 8, 2010

Nikki @ 5:36 pm

Hello my name is Nikki & I'm glad I found this! My husband & I just moved to Monroeville PA & we had a team in Somerset PA & investigated the mansion In somerset and mine 40 in Johnstown! Since being down here I wanted to do an investigation. This seems to be a hot spot! We have really good equipment just as seen on t.v. Yes big fans of GH! The only thing about your pics I see that you have captured mist which almost looks like cigarette smoke, was someone smoking a cigaretter? The orbs can most likely be bugs that's the bad thing about being outside! I went up to flight 93 Shanksville where I am from & took pictures & got alot of orbs too most of them bugs. I'm sure being outside but then there were some in different shapes from the round ones so we blew it up & you saw a face. I'm not saying it is cigarette smoke but being an investigater I have to look at all options & Im a smoker & have taken pics of me blowing out smoke in dark area to see what it may look like & some of the pics look like that but some others that don't! Well with our stuff we have, I will check with the crew to see about checking it out & prob post it up on website!

May 14, 2010

randy myers @ 7:55 pm

me and my crew would like to know where around here is haunted

June 14, 2010

Brian Haskins @ 12:59 am

I am the photographer who took these photos, and I want to answer a few questions about these photos. First, I want to assure you that I was not alone when these photos were taken; I always investigate with two friends of mine, Randy and Brian. Second, I want to assure you that no one was smoking when I took these photos. We are also fans of GH, an excellent show. Third, we carried 1 Rayovac flashlight with us, and it was off when I took these photos. Four, bugs, even lightning bugs, are not capable of producing such luminescence as seen in these photos.

Brian Haskins @ 1:38 am

Hello, Brittany, I'm glad to hear that my photographs helped you with a school assignment. Who knows, my friend, maybe someday you'll take some photos of paranormal activity, and maybe those photos will help someone else. You never can tell. Anyway, I'm happy for you, and I'm glad that you enjoyed them. Take care and have an awesome summer.

Brian Haskins @ 2:14 am

Some people have asked me where these photos were taken. I'll tell you exactly where, but I advise you to take at least one or more people with you, and I advise you to take a flashlight or two with you as Johnson Road has no street lights, and it's a dark road. Now, about the location:

Starting at the intersection of Wall Avenue and Third Street in Pitcairn, PA, head west up Third Street until you come to Third Street and Kenny Avenue. At the intersection of Third Street and Kenny Avenue look directly to your left, and you will see a road, not much of a road anymore since it was closed in 1988. About 40-50 feet ahead is a gate. This gate is open to pedestrian traffic, but in order to get beyond the gate you have to walk to the left side of the gate, then walk down a grade and around to the other side of the gate. Be careful, because at that point it's mostly dirt and rocks. Once you are on the other side of the gate, follow the road and it will bare off sharply to the right and up a hill. Follow that hill up about a quarter of a mile. There's where these photos were taken. You'll see an old abandoned house to your right, and if you go farther up the road you'll see a red gate. We believe that entire area to be haunted.

As I said earlier, Johnson Road is open to pedestrian traffic, but be careful at night because there are no street lights farther up the road. We welcome any paranormal investigator with better equipment than ours to investigate the area with their equipment, the area has been rumored to be haunted for many years. This isn't a new story, we've heard the rumors for many years and decided to check it out for ourselves. I advise any group to stick together.

June 15, 2010

Tawnya H @ 7:29 pm

i don't have a comment about this place but a place in the town where I grew up at. The place is called "Haystack Landing," out on the edge of town in Petaluma, CA. You can find it on the internet, my dad told me about it when I was growing up

July 27, 2010

darlene @ 5:28 pm

Like Amy, I also used to drink alot of alcohol and smoke alot of weed up there as kids, the place is just weird… it seems to just have bad blood aura about it , like not from there, dont go there. but if you have to, be sure to take a couple friends.

August 9, 2010

Lorrie @ 2:31 pm

I have pictures from lake Tawakoni Texas of orbs with faces in them, I like this. Thanks Brian for the pictures=]

September 12, 2010

Rose @ 10:13 pm

I know just about all the details on the murders of Melissa Baker & Penny Ansell. Melissa's mother was a great friend of mine! She also has passed away. Two more friends that helped looked for Melissa that night, have died suddenly at a young age. I sat in on the whole murder trial.

I know someone wrote a book about the murders, & was trying to find it on the internet, came on this websight. I definately, believe in the paranormal!

One of the most disturbing thing that came out at the trial, (there were many) was that Melissa was still alive when her body was dumped on Johnson Rd. She fought her way out of the garbage bag! I've never been to Johnson Rd, but if anything can be done for Melissa to rest in peace, I pray for it!!

December 13, 2010

dave @ 3:28 am

I grew up near Johnson Road. I played and rode my bicycle there many times. I had friends that lived on Johnson road. I use to play at the old abandoned airport and in Restland cemetery. A friend of mine was the one to find Beth Lynn Barr body. The location you describe is not where she was found. If you go to the corner of Johnson Road and Patton Street, turn onto Johnson Road and go up the hill behind the cemetery. At the top of the hill the road turns to the left. Park your car and go into the woods about 50 feet. That is the area where her body was discovered.

January 9, 2011

Kelley @ 11:01 am

Interesting pictures. Back in the mid-80's I used to date someone who lived on that street, and went to his house one time late at night. I didn't see anything, but the area was non-the-less creepy. This was only a few years after Beth Lynn was found there, and I asked my date about the murder but he wouldn't talk about it. It was an off-limits discussion to him. Of course this was still fresh to the neighborhood's memory, so I can understand why.

February 4, 2011

lisa kincade @ 3:06 pm

i use a canon powershot sx130. any coments on your shooting?

February 24, 2011

Jane @ 8:58 am

Anybody out there know about a movie being shot at 860 Patton Street? This address is just down the street from Johnson Road.

James E. @ 11:07 pm

If you look closer, you can make out an outline of a figure, in the mist!

March 16, 2011

Lizzard @ 12:34 am

I have a restaurant on Lake Tawakoni, and we have Karaoke on Friday & Saturday nights. I have taken many pics with & without Orbs. Some with full or partial bodies not even in the Orbs. If you don't mind me asking, where on the Lake did you see these? I am in the process of doing research on deaths on the Lake and match faces. There are stories that the Land around the Lake is Sacred Indian Grounds? Have a Blessed day.

March 23, 2011

Damian S @ 10:36 am

Are there any haunted places in Darby Pa?

April 4, 2011

Brian Haskins @ 12:35 pm

None of these photographs were taken on a lake.

Brian Haskins @ 12:37 pm

I've never been to Darby, PA. Sorry, but I can't answer your question, Damian.

April 22, 2011

Kathy @ 7:31 pm

Rose, I sat on the jury for this murder trial and it was the worst experience of my life listening to how those beautiful young girls were killed. I can't even imagine how hard it was for their families and my heart still goes out to them. I know time can fade a memory, but I don't remember hearing anything about Penny trying to fight her way out of the bag. I do remember that Steven had a hard time killing her though and tried to cut her throat several times in the bathtub.

I can still remember them quoting Steven as asking her "why don't you die?" and Penny responding "Penny never dies." I do remember them saying in the trial that it was very possible that she was still alive when her body was dumped there, so you could be right. This also tells me that she had a very strong spirit. I heard that Missy's mother took her own life several years later. I know the defense attorney died a painful death in some rest home and the head of the jury died young of a heart attack. I didn't know that a book was written about all of this. I am going to try to find it. Do you know the name?

May 31, 2011

Lisa @ 5:37 pm

Brian, I am very familiar with this spot. We used to live on Kenney Ave in Pitcairn. I have recently ran into a strange situation at the church located on the corner of Highland and Sixth Street. I was wondering if you have ever looked into anything at that location? It is the First Reformed Church dated 1915.

If you have any information or can tell me where to look I would really appreciate it!

June 15, 2011

Alex J. @ 10:54 pm

I think the sixth picture is very well shot. I noticed the mist had a humanoid shape to it. It looked as if you asked the ghost for a posed side view. Very impressive!! (i have no knowladge of the things posted. Im a beginner.)

July 30, 2011

Alannah @ 9:53 pm

I was wondering if it all you could contact me about this? i am a relative of Penny and just recently was looking to see if anyone has gone there and got anything. i myself will not go there.

August 17, 2011

Marlana @ 12:14 pm

My brother and some friends went up there, and snapped a few shots themselves a few weeks back and also caught some images. They were being silly, cooking hot dogs and such at nite, but what they got on camera actually got their attention. They even went back another night after they got the images.

September 13, 2011

Simon Helmsley @ 4:30 pm

Great pictures (and post)… I just saw a video today that had a ghost hunting investigation team in Pennsylvania checking out The Sun Inn.

It was crazy… showed the actual footage on the news and everything.

Just odd running into to Pennsylvania stories at the same time. LOL

October 1, 2011

anthony tamburo @ 3:04 am

when we were teens, we drank up there all the time. even then there were rumors of haunting.

karrie @ 11:21 am

@kathy my name is karrie. i was very good friends with missy and penny. i didnt know that missys mom passed away the day they were found dead. i will never forget the funerals. i hope some day missy and penny will be at peace. they were great friends of mine and i will always miss them. thank you for putting that s.o.b away where he belongs.

October 9, 2011

Debbie @ 2:36 pm

We went to Johnson Road last night, Oct 7th 2011. It is indeed a very creepy place. We caught alot of what u call orbs. All orbs in the pics are actually dust particles and the reflection off your camera. However about a quarter mile down Johnson road, on the right hand side, we took some pics with a red face which cannot be explained. Would love to go back again for another investigation.

Debbie @ 2:39 pm

Was steve mignona ever executed for murdering the girls, and what was his motive?

November 1, 2011

john @ 1:20 pm

When I was about 10-11 years old, my friend lived on Johnson road. him, his mother and step father were the last people to live on that street. I can tell you for sure that weird things go on on that road. I remember we used to use Johnson Road to go to the convenience store in Pitcain. One day, walking down, we encountered a man walking past us. its hard to explain but me and my friend both got the feeling that something wasn't right. I'm not sure if that was a spirit or something else but I'm almost sure it wasn't a live human being. There are weird things going on back there. just wanted to tell you guys to never go there yourself, by any means!

November 18, 2011

amy lim @ 7:23 am

wow! amazing photos here! Actuarian, I agree with you! There's something paranormal here!

November 23, 2011

Plank95 @ 11:32 am

My friends and I have been walking Johnson's Road since we were 9. Once the sun goes down, nobody ever feels safe there. Last night, my cousin was walking the road and saw a figure run across the road in front of him.

I myself have found some creepy stuff, dead crows, strange sounds and I have seen the mists that are in your pictures. I'm going up to the road sometime this week again and bringing a camera to see if I can find something.

January 4, 2012

Connie Prucka @ 2:22 am

You can also get phone calls from the other side. No, it is not white noise. I found an ex-husband on the net, sent him a letter by mail and my phone number. He returned my call, but his brother said he was dead at the time. I was shocked. He sounded soft, like he was trying not to wake someone. He said he had something important to tell me.

I called him back the next day, only to find out he was dead at the time he called. His brother is a minister and he didn't believe me. I played the recording back to my daughter and she recognized his voice. I also have photos like the ones on Johnson road, wherever that it. They are all over — and some of them are not so nice. Most of them are nice though, and are wanting to find out something. So help them as much as you can!

January 15, 2012

Jeff @ 12:37 am

Hey, does anyone know what happened to the broken down house down the road? My friends and I went last summer and couldn't figure out what happened to it.


January 22, 2012

Patrick Mignogna @ 2:14 pm

Debbie…I am Steve's cousin. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about his sentence and/or motive.

January 27, 2012

Debbie @ 7:32 pm

I dont mean any disrespect, but I was 15 when that happened and was wondering what his motive was and what caused him to kill those 2 girls. We read the papers but they dont ever give the whole story. I tried to find some articles on it, but had no luck. I didnt see him on state prison page and was wondering what ever came of him? thank you, and again I mean no disrespect to you or your family. Is there an email to contact you personally Patrick? please feel free to contact me at Thanks Patrick.

March 20, 2012

DatedSis @ 3:20 am

Years later I dated Penny's sister for about a month. Her sister Penny was her entire world, and the devastation was obviously evident even some years later. I am not entirely sure what happened, but I would like to know. I heard rumors that Steve said 'Whats fair is fair' after a court appearance, to the media. I also heard rumors he was involved with Melissa and she was pregnant with his baby at one point and had an abortion.

April 27, 2012

Ally @ 10:45 pm

Patrick if you could please email me, I have got some questions for you. much appreciated.

June 7, 2012

melissa @ 7:01 pm

I went with this ghost hunting team to johnson road. i'm not saying i'm psychic, but i went there and no one told me about this place or what was going on – and the name melissa came to me and the date 1988. i repeated whatever came to my mind and every one heard me say melissa, 1988. As soon as those words were said, branches started falling and no one was throwing them, and no other trees were around to make their branches fall. oh! and the wind was not blowing. so she "communicated" with me. her energy was sooo strong and i cried. that's what she made me do!

Further up the road, i got a sense of a little girl wearing a yellow dress. she wanted to play with me, as if she never died! she was a happy girl but i never got her name. i did however get a date, 1977. it's good to know her name!

There's a presence there that is no good. It's a tall man, a straw hanging out his mouth, and kinda big boned. i don't like him. He's more like an advanced spirit. And then, theres a "jackal." That's what i call him, because hes always around, but yet he hides like he's running around really fast. He likes to run, and one time i was the last person, walking behind the group and i could sense him, but i never ever turned around (never look back). i sensed him, didn't look back, and the next thing i know i was running. it was like he said boo to me. it was just weird!

Blessed Be