A spooky guide to Western New York
A map of the area’s paranormal hotbeds
Halloweekend is notoriously one of the best weekends for going out, but don’t miss out on the scary action because of that. Break out the flashlights and experience the unsettling history of Western New York this Halloween.
For those looking for a spooky Halloween night, here are several spots in the Buffalo-Niagara region sure to make the hair on your neck stand on end.
Buffalo Central Terminal
On the East Side of Buffalo stands a 17-story vacant train terminal. Built in 1929, the station lasted through the Great Depression and is arguably the most haunted place in Buffalo.
The last train to depart from the station was in 1979. The station eerily awaits its visitors, calling those that dare to enter. Ghost Hunters, a ghost hunting group, stayed an entire night at Central Terminal. There are $20 ghost tours every night until November, according to the Buffalo Central Terminal’s website.
Dan Klaes, co-founder and CEO of the Greater Western New York Paranormal Society, said the terminal is a hotbed for paranormal activity. Klaes was able to get a picture of a spirit on the second floor, he said.
“We picked up a lot of noise in the lobby,” Klaes said.
Old Fort Niagara
Less than 40 minutes north of UB stands a fort in Youngstown, NY. Fort Niagara resides on Lake Ontario. The fort was used during the War of 1812 and according to the Assistant Director and Curator of Fort Niagara, Jerome Brubaker, people have felt chills go down their spines while walking its grounds.
“There are reports of people sensing something. Those people sense something happened in that area of the fort,” Brubaker said. “I believe a ghost will show themselves to someone who has interest.”
If you have interest in ghosts, there’s great potential for a run-in with a ghost. Fort Niagara is extremely active, according to Klaes.
“We got a picture of a full-body apparition,” he said. “We heard people talking and walking in underground tunnels.”
Tours of the fort are given daily.
The Town Ballroom on Main Street looks like just another concert venue in downtown Buffalo, but the building has a history many may be unfamiliar with. The Ballroom was the town casino during the early 20th century, according to assistant Jeremiah Pauly.
It acted as the premier entertainment hub and at the time Buffalo was bigger than New York City and Toronto. Visitors included Al Capone and Frank Sinatra, according to Pauly.
“It is definitely an interesting building and there have been some reports of some unknown activity,” Pauly said.
Radisson Hotel in Niagara Falls-Grand Island
The Radisson Hotel sits on the Niagara River, facing the city of Tonawanda. According to Michelle Wazbowski, a staff member of the Radisson Hotel, guests and cleaning workers have reported seeing and hearing some “unknown noises and phenomenon.”
Spend a night at the Radisson Hotel and you too could experience what the cleaners reported.
Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park
The Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park is home to multiple decommissioned Naval vessels and possibly ghosts.
Amanda Yauch, a staff member of the naval park, believes the park is haunted.
“There’s plenty of reports. This park is 100 percent haunted.” Yauch said. She has experienced “unknown phenomenon” herself.
“I work in the main building of the park and most mornings the elevator will open on its own,” she said. “Upstairs doors will open and close all by themselves.”
Yauch also had an experience on one of the ships, the USS Little Rock.
“I saw something in the galley that I can’t explain,” Yauch said.
The naval park offers two ghost hunts per month.
Klaes and the Greater Western New York Paranormal Society also investigated the naval park and heard a “growl-like” noise on the USS Sullivans, he said.
Statler City may be one of Buffalo’s premier wedding venues, but the building also has a creepy side.
“We have evidence of rocks being thrown on certain floors,” Klaes said. “We actually close down rooms during tours because they are dangerous for tourists to enter.”
Klaes said there’s a lot of history in the hotel, pointing to famous guests like former President John F. Kennedy.
Brandon Brozillire is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.