Author: Andrew Zebrun III
Halloween is here again – that dark, spooky time of the year where everyone gets a big fright, with a side of good cheer. Or maybe a serving or two of beer, or wine, spirits… Or a ghoul; for those who over imbibe often act the fool.
Whether out in search of a good party, or some sugary treats, just about everyone is looking to blow off a little steam as we approach the holiday season, starting with the spookiest night of the year.
Thinking back, about Halloween in Western New York, many will think of Old Fort Niagara – a place of mystery, history, and flat out terror! Young school children are often taken there around Halloween to hear mythical tales of headless ghosts, and other haunted stories that are sure to have them sleeping with one eye open.
Parading around the Old Fort, peering down the well, looking for headless ghosts was great fun as a child. To me, that place is spook central. It’s just one of the many places that people flock to when they are in search of haunted hangouts.
Other seemingly mundane places can be just as terrifying, and also hit closer to home. Unwittingly, I found such a place in Buffalo, and to my surprise, I happened to be living in it. My first home was an old two-family in South Buffalo that needed a lot of love. I put in a new bathroom cabinet upstairs, where there was none previously. So I cut a hole in the wall where I found a Pabst Beer bank full of pennies. I’m still at a loss to explain it but that’s when things started to get interesting. My tenants upstairs complained of ghosts haunting them; my wife claimed a strange man was walking around in the dining room late at night; a friend of my tenant attempted suicide in that bathroom leaving a blood trail all through the house (and right down the street).
What became of my haunted house? I sold it, and it later burned down and no longer exists. But I still have the bank full of pennies, all of which mysteriously date back to 1913.
We were ultimately saved of course, but such things really make you think. Does incarnate evil exist? Does pure goodness exist? Then there’s the big question: Does the so called God particle exist – will science ever solve this? Maybe that’s another story for another time.
Getting back to scary haunts in WNY, Buffalo has been a go-to place for plenty of national TV shows that feature ghost chasers. The Central Terminal has been a center of this sort of activity for years. Word on the streets is that mobsters would travel through the Central Terminal, but some of them became unwilling travelers in the trunk of cabs. I wonder if the Central Terminal is haunted by some of these notorious gangsters?
Then we have the Iron Island Museum, and the J.N. Adam facility in Perrysburg, NY. How many people know that the oculus from the Temple Of Music (where President McKinley was assassinated) was incorporated into the J.N. Adam Hospital? Everyone knows where Teddy Roosevelt was inaugurated afterward… and now you know the rest of the story.
What makes WNY such a haven for ghosts and goblins? Some say that it’s the natural energy from Niagara Falls. Others say that it’s all in the stars. Might some of these queries best be answered by the Greater Western New York Paranormal Society?
If you really want to know what goes bump in the night in WNY throughout the year, then you should get to know Buffalo’s resident paranormal, supernatural, folkloric, psychic, and sacred historian, Mason Winfield. Also be sure to check out Franklin LaVoie, who is ena expert in this region’s enchanted landscapes. Enthusiasts like Mason and Franklin take the art of these types of haunting mysteries to an entirely different level.