Sitting at a fork in the road in Allegheny County, positioned between USS Clairton Works and the Mon Valley Works Irvin Plant steel mills, on the outskirts of Clairton, Pennsylvania is the historical and haunted Valley Hotel Bar & Grill where barge employees, steel workers, locals and music enthusiasts flock for libation, a return to equilibrium after putting in long hours, live musical entertainment, and paranormal experiences that are undeniable to anyone that has witnessed the ghosts at the Jefferson Borough bar. Built in 1863, the Valley Hotel Bar & Grill is not only regularly packed with dedicated patrons, it is filled with a deep history that includes a name change, renovations, fire, and a flood.
The Valley Hotel Bar & Grill was at one time merely a building filled with quiet sleeping quarters for weary workers back when it was originally named the Hotel Granger. The Granger family was the original owners of the Hotel Granger that catered to local riverboat crews, railroad workers and miners. The hotel displayed their name up until the Traphalis family took over ownership of the historical building that sits near the Monongahela River. The building is no stranger to change, especially after the third floor of the hotel was completely destroyed in 1971 when a fire ripped through the wooden structure. The gutted interior was never replaced, forever changing the features of the historical establishment which was later converted into a two-story building.
Today the Valley Hotel Bar & Grill is owned by Jo Ellen Oggier and Bill “Duel” Deemer who purchased the haunted establishment in 2004. The couple is constantly receiving reports on unexplained paranormal activity and strange incidents from various sources concerning orbs, ghosts, moving objects, and eerily haunting voices from friendly ghosts attempting to join the party. The paranormal activity seemed to heighten in the 1970s during the time of renovations to which paranormal investigators claim go with the territory of periods of transition. Investigators from the Pittsburgh Paranormal Society were asked to take a deeper look at the reality of ghosts on the premises and found that activity coming from the spirits was a definite possibility after they captured the evidence on film.
After spending a whole night at the Valley Hotel, the paranormal team discovered a spirit sitting next to one of the investigators after studying pictures taken at the bar and random orbs were found all over the photos in various locations throughout the building. The group also discovered that faces suddenly appear in the large mirror and disappear before you can wrap your mind around what is happening right in front of you. While in the basement, which is described by most visitors, including local maintenance man, Bert Wright, as unequivocally eerie where strange activities take place, including sightings of dark shadows and disembodied voices. Other incidences involving the basement occurred during a paranormal investigation when the team heard what sounded like a mirror shattering.
The spirits and their phenomena are evident in just about everything from the phantom footsteps that can openly be heard even though nobody is physically there to floating balls of light that glow. The biggest mystery surrounds objects disappearing and then reappearing weeks later and the unexplained ghost voices coming from the basement that sound as though a couple are arguing. The owners claim that there are no evil spirits or unfriendly ghosts lurking about, but try telling that to local resident Elliot Jones, who was scared so badly by the ghosts that he refuses to come back. Elliot had a standing monthly appointment at the hotel to which he would collect aluminum cans from the basement’s recycling chute. Never in his wildest dreams did he expect to hear the blood curdling scream coming from a female ghost calling out for help. Elliot lost all composure and fled the area. He never looked back, but felt he needed to report the incident to the owners as many other visitors to the bar has done over the last decade.
Infrared cameras have picked up floating formations that appear in an arc position spreading out from the bar to the kitchen and almost appear as if there are ghosts partaking in a friendly game of volleyball when studied closely. The second floor is famous for footsteps coming from the third floor which is no longer there, and unexplained voices from unseen entities are a constant companion despite the area being void of humans and it is now used for storage. The history of the Valley Hotel Bar & Grill is somewhat a mystery as very little has been documented in the way of death, disaster or other reasons that the ghosts have taken up residency at the historical establishment, but the owners and patrons really don’t mind and feel that it adds to the character of the building.
Live Entertainment & Bands: The Valley Hotel Bar & Grill is the very essence of Steel City pride where the musicians come to play on a brand new stage complete with Duel’s awesome guitar collection and an array of equipment. Popular local bands play every Saturday night and musicians are welcome to stop in for open stage jam sessions on Friday nights. Bands: Contact Duel at 412-233-9800 for scheduling a gig.
Sports: Come join the party on game day and watch your favorite team on the Valley Hotel’s 150-inch screen television.
Location: 1004 New England Hollow Road, Clairton, Pennsylvania 15025 Phone: 412-233-9800 Hours: Monday thru Saturday 7:00 am to 2:00 am and Sunday 11:00 am to 2:00 am.