The Most Haunted House in America

Today, enjoy an excerpt from The Horror Addicts Guide to Life 2. In D.J. Pitsiladis’s fascinating essay, he describes a haunted house in his hometown, Pittsburgh.

Allow me to visit a legend from my old hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. The Congelier House, often referred to as “The Most Haunted House in America” and “The House the Devil Built,” was built in the 1860s in the Manchester neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side by Charles Congelier, a gentleman who made a fortune in the South. Charles lived in the house with his wife, Lyda, and their maid, Essie. According to the legend, in 1871, Lyda discovered her husband in bed with the maid and snapped in true Horror fashion. Grabbing a knife and a meat cleaver, she ended the affair by brutally stabbing Charles and decapitating Essie. Lyda was discovered by a family friend several days later in her rocking chair, gently stroking Essie’s severed head.

After that, the home remained empty for almost twenty years before being purchased by a local railroad company in 1892. The company converted the house into several living quarters for their workers, but shortly after, stories circulated about strange sounds and other activities, including ghostly figures. By the turn of the century, the home sold again, and the legend only gets stranger.

In 1900, an immigrant by the name of Dr. Adolph C. Brunrichter purchased the Congelier House. True to a serial killer profile, Dr. Brunrichter was a quiet man who kept to himself in a reclusive manner. Then, on August 12, 1901, a woman’s scream and the bright explosion of light from the house prompted neighbors to call the police. They discovered a woman’s decapitated corpse and a secret laboratory in the basement containing five heads. According to his notes, the good doctor was experimenting on methods to keep the heads alive after their removal. Unfortunately, Dr. Brunrichter vanished without a trace. In 1927, a drunken man claiming to be him was arrested and later released when police could not corroborate his story.

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Author Bio

D.J. Pitsiladis is an author, voice actor, and lover of anything strange, weird, and horror-related. He currently resides in Willow City, ND with his horror loving partner, Shawnda, and has five sons whom he is trying to instill a love of macabre humor. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,, and on his Casa de Pitsiladis blog.

Do you love the horror genre? Do you look at horror as a lifestyle? Do the “norms” not understand your love of the macabre? Despair no longer, my friend, for within your grasp is a book written by those who look at horror as a way of life, just like you. This is your guide to living a horror addict’s life. 

Our month-by-month almanac with important dates, movie lists, puzzles, crafts, articles, and recipes will guarantee your whole year is occupied with delightful horror activities. Don’t miss our monster guide with articles about vampires, zombies, ghosts, and some creatures that just can’t be categorized. Enjoy interviews with creators of horror content and hear perspectives from different cultures and backgrounds. Read stories of real hauntings, nightmares, and vile vacations. 

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With articles by: A. Craig Newman, A.D. Vick, Alyson Faye, Angela Yuriko Smith, Brian McKinley, CM Lucas, Camellia Rains, Carrie Sessarego, Chantal Boudreau, Courtney Mroch, Crystal Connor, D.J. Pitsiladis, Dan Shaurette, Daphne Strasert, Dee Blake, Emerian Rich, Geneve Flynn, H.E. Roulo, H.R. Boldwood, J. Malcolm Stewart, James Goodridge, Jaq D Hawkins, Jeff Carroll, Jonathan Fortin, Kate Nox, Kay Tracy, Kerry Alan Denney, Kieran Judge, Kristin Battestella, Ksenia Murray, Lee Murray, Lionel Ray Green, Loren Rhoads, M.D. Neu, Mark Orr, Martha J. Allard, Michael Fassbender, Mimielle, Naching T. Kassa, Pamela K. Kinney, Priscilla Bettis, R.J. Joseph, R.L. Merrill, Rena Mason, Renata Pavrey, Rhonda R. Carpenter, Russell Holbrook, Selah Janel, Steven P. Unger, Sumiko Saulson, Tabitha Thompson, Theresa Braun, Trinity Adler, Valjeanne Jeffers.

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67 thoughts on “The Most Haunted House in America

    1. A haunted hotel, yes. A haunted BnB, yes. As for houses, a poltergeist (as opposed to a ghost) has encroached a time or two at a house where i used to live years ago. Thanks for commenting, Audrey!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I may no longer read horror fiction, but I’m fascinated by true crime. Funny how the gory details of crimes don’t bother me like fictional horror does. Odder still since I used to love the genre. Shrug. Anyway, interesting post. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was chatting with my pal Courtney about true crime stories. I said I like the cold cases best because I like to think the victims weren’t forgotten. Fresher true crime bothers me! And fictional, eh, I can close the book and leave it there. Thanks for commenting, Marie!


  2. That’s crazy that a doctor moved in and focused his experiments on heads after the maid was beheaded there.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, I love this! Thanks for sharing the excerpt, Priscilla and D.J, now I’ll have to look into this place. Such a gruesome history, and that doctor experimenting in the basement reminds me of the first season of American Horror Story. I do love a good ghost story! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think how much people believe in a legend makes it scarier, whether or not it’s true. I wonder if people can believe so much in something that it actually comes true. (Hey, maybe I’ll write a story about that!) Thanks for stopping by, Rami!


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