Figures like Sasquatch and the Chupacabra are more commonly recognized urban legends. But there are numerous lesser known monsters that haunt various parts of the United States. For instance, the Bunny Man of Virginia, the Rougarou (werewolf) of Louisiana, and the Michigan Dogman are all examples of local creatures that are well known within a particular geographic region. Sometimes the origins of these legends are rooted in indigenous oral tradition, a one off sighting that snowballed into truth, or a strange and unexplainable incident that inspired the curious. One such legend, that of Charlie No-Face, is centralized to the Pittsburgh area.
The urban legend of Charlie-No Face (or the Green man) takes many forms, but often comes back to similar tales of a horrifying incident that resulted in permanent disfigurement. One iteration claims he was struck by lighting multiple times, another that he was shocked by a downed power line, and yet another that his face was splashed with acid at his factory job. Despite all of these origin stories, they all concur that after the incident, Charlie No-Face has green tinted skin and a melted complexion.
At night, so-called dare devils could get a chance to see Charlie No-Face if they were brave enough to wander out on State Route 351 for a glimpse of the legend himself. Some folklore claimed that he stayed on the roadside, trying to stay out of site, while others suggested that people could find him by his glowing green skin.
While much of the story may seem a bit far fetched, Charlie-No Face is based on a real person and his name was Raymond Robinson.
In 1921, when Robinson we 8 years old, he climbed a pole that held electrical lines to see if a bird’s nest that had been built up there had any eggs. As he climbed the pole, he was electrocuted with lines that held 1,2000 volts and 22,000 volts respectively. A direct current from only 50 volts is enough to kill a human being. Despite this, Raymond survived the electrocution. He permanently injured his nose and right arm and lost both of his eyes. Because of his accident, the features of Raymond’s face disturbed townsfolk, so he didn’t go out during the day in order to avoid attention. Accordingly, Raymond would walk a quiet stretch of State Route 351 at night to enjoy the outdoors in peace.
Although he died in 1985, Raymond was regarded by his family and friends as an overall nice guy, someone who would spend time with his loved ones and make household goods to sell for income. While navigating the road with a walking stick, Raymond was known to engage in friendly conversation with people and would even take a picture in exchange for beer or cigarettes. But after being assaulted and harassed by by a number of people, Raymond became more and more elusive.
Raymond Robinson miraculously survived a terrible accident. While, the aftermath made him somewhat reclusive, he did not let his experiences stop him from leading an independent life and occasionally greeting daring strangers on State Route 351.