Raymond Robinson (Green Man)
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October 29, 1910|
Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA
|Died||June 11, 1985
Brighton Township, Pennsylvania, USA
|Other names||The Green Man, Charlie No-Face|
Raymond "Ray" Robinson (October 29, 1910 – June 11, 1985) was a severely disfigured man whose years of nighttime walks made him into a figure of urban legend in western Pennsylvania. Robinson was so badly injured in a childhood electrical accident that he could not go out in public without fear of creating a panic, so he went for long walks at night. Local residents, who would drive along his road in hopes of meeting him, called him The Green Man or Charlie No-Face. They passed on tales about him to their children and grandchildren, and people raised on these tales are sometimes surprised to discover that he was a real person who was liked by his family and neighbors.
Robinson was eight years old when he was injured by an electrical line on the Morado Bridge, outside of Beaver Falls, while attempting to view a bird's nest. The bridge carried a trolley and had electrical lines of both 1,200 volts and 22,000 volts, which had killed another boy less than a year earlier. Robinson survived, defying doctors' expectations, but he was severely disfigured: he lost his eyes, nose, one ear, and one arm.
Robinson lived in Koppel and spent his days at home with relatives, making doormats, wallets, and belts to sell. Because of his appearance, he rarely ventured out during the day. However, at night, he went for long walks on a quiet stretch of State Route 351, feeling his way along with a walking stick. Groups of locals regularly gathered to search for him walking along the road. Robinson usually hid from his curious neighbors, but would sometimes exchange a short conversation or a photograph for beer or cigarettes. Some were friendly, others cruel, but none of his encounters deterred Robinson from his nightly walks. He was struck by cars more than once. He stopped his walks during the last years of his life, and retired to the Beaver County Geriatric Center, where he died in 1985 at the age of 74.
Robinson became a local myth in the Pittsburgh area, and his real story was obscured by urban legend. In the stories, he was the Green Man, an employee of a power company who was hit by a downed power line or struck by lightning, after which he died or hid in an abandoned house. To the disfigurement Robinson suffered in reality, legend added an open hole in one cheek and glowing green skin. Through several generations, Robinson's story has been passed on so many times that his name and his real history have been overshadowed by the ghost story that grew out of them.
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