Charlie No-Face

Raymond 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 tourists would drive along his road in hopes of meeting 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 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 Pennsylvania area, and his real story was obscured by urban legend. In the stories, he is the “Green Man”, and as a boy, he wanted to see into a bird’s nest so he climbed an electric pole and managed to shock himself. He fell to the ground and lost his eyes, nose, mouth, one ear, and one arm. The story states that when he grew older, he hid in an abandoned house. The famed nickname of “Green Man” came from his skin, which was purported to be green because of the electrical shock he suffered in the stories. 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.

What are your thoughts?