Hauntings At The Hoyt Museum in Western Pennsylvania

This looks like a job for Scooby Doo and the Meddling Kids who travel in the Mystery Machine!

I’ve blogged in the past about my favorite spooky podcasts. In fact, here’s my most updated list of 13 Haunted History Podcasts.

My list included Snap Judgement Presents: Spooked. Now, WNYC studios presented the podcast Snap Judgement. WNYC and Snap Judgement originally introduced Spooked to me. That’s why I included the NPR link here.

Spooked later moved to a subscriber-only model on Luminary. However, Luminary occasionally releases former subscriber-only episodes to the public.

My iTunes and Spotify profiles both advised me that Spooked JUST released to the public a former subscriber-only episode titled “Fright At The Museum.” The episode detailed a former museum intern’s allegedly true experiences with ghosts at a museum which she referred to as The Hoyt.

I Googled “The Hoyt” and its alleged ghosts “Alexander Hoyt” and “May Emma Hoyt” and I discovered that “The Hoyt” is actually the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

New Castle is north of Pittsburgh and south of Erie in Western Pennsylvania. If you like to shop at outlet malls, note that New Castle is 16 miles south of the outlet mall in Grove City.

Through this podcast and my Google research, I learned that The Hoyt’s physical location consists of the two adjacent, century-old mansions once occupied by the siblings May Emma and Alexander.

May Emma allegedly lived a Roaring Twenties lifestyle not approved by Alexander. Alexander allegedly burned May Emma’s prized possessions after she died. Hence the ghost stories.

I learned that only very recently did preservationists undertake a major restoration project at The Hoyt. Restoration continues.

I understand. Jonathan and I live in a house built in the 1890’s. Restoration continues at our establishment as well. In fact, I soon hope to blog about a major project at our house!

Once upon a time, I myself worked as a “sort of” intern at an old building-turned-art center in a recovering Rust Belt town. I worked as the “Events Coordinator” at the Bottleworks Ethnic Arts Center in the Cambria City neighborhood of Johnstown. (My placement came from participation in Americorps / Pennsylvania Mountain Service Corps/ PMSC.) The Bottleworks occupied (still occupies) a former bottle factory – hence the name. I never encountered any ghosts at Bottleworks, though. Maybe I just didn’t pay enough attention.

8 thoughts on “Hauntings At The Hoyt Museum in Western Pennsylvania”

    1. Hi Cassandra: Thanks for reading! I don’t know if the story is factual. It’s a fun story. I’m a huge fan of podcasts hosted by Glynn Washington.

    2. So I grew up right by the Hoyt. They were the richest of the town. Never married, never had kids, I’ve also heard the burning of possessions. I’ve been in there a handful of times and to ME it’s erie. When we were kids (I’m in my 30s now) there were stories about the knight, how it would move randomly. Of course as a kid I swear I saw it, but, nothing concrete. It’s a beautiful place and I have a lot of memories outside the Hoyt more so than in.

      1. Hey There,

        You are right that May Emma never married, but Alexander Crawford Hoyt was married to my great aunt June Niederlander. My mother used to spend summers there with Aunt June and Uncle Crawford (as the kids knew him). She corroborated that Aunt May (May Emma Hoyt) and Uncle Crawford had nothing to do with each other. Loved this story and I’m thinking it might be time to ask Uncle Crawford to “bury the hatchet” and move on, ha-ha.

  1. All of the stories on the Spooked podcasted are true – in that the story tellers are expected to be recounting stories that happened to them personally. It’s my favorite podcast by far. This particular story caught my attention which is how I stumbled upon this page. There is another one I want to research – Old Church Rd. Check it out, Cassandra!

    1. I grew up outside of Pittsburgh and now live in Cleveland. Imagine what a great surprise it was then when I googled “Hoyt Museum” and found this was in New Castle! It seems like a stop worth making on an upcoming drive!

  2. I grew up and live in New Castle, so hearing this podcast was super shocking to me, my jaw dropped because I’ve witnessed the creepy things that have happened at the Hoyt. As a kid I took various tours there, even took a couple of classes. The first time I had ever been in the building it was that ‘hair standing up on the back of your neck’ feeling, I was maybe 12 at the time, but even as an adult I’ll never forget the way that building made me feel. During the summer, the program that I was apart of consisted of a pottery class.. in the basement and it was CREEPY! I mean, straight out of a horror movie creepy. It always felt like you were being watched. I remember hearing loud and alarming banging, none of the employees batted an eye, they simply said, “That’s just one of the ghost who likes to throw things.”

    1. Thanks for responding, Olivia! I love the “Spooked” podcast, so I was excited when I Googled the name Hoyt and realized that the venue was in Western PA. I hope to tour it myself in the future.

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