Haunted Buffalo: Ghosts of the Queen City by Dwayne Claud and Cassidy O’Connor
Release Date: August 2008
Publisher: History Press
Age Group: Adult (Non-fiction)
Source: Borrowed from Mom who received it as a Christmas gift.
Summary (goodreads.com): Grab pen and paper, a flashlight and a camera and prepare to embark upon the haunted adventure of a lifetime using this comprehensive guide to some of Buffalo's spookiest sites. Avid ghost hunter and paranormal investigator Dwayne Claud and researcher Cassidy O'Connor entertain readers with stories of the city's most acclaimed spooks and spirits, such as Tanya, the five-year-old that can be spotted bouncing on guest beds at the Grand Island Holiday Inn. The book includes twisted tales from the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, as well as stories of roaming spirits at Frontier House- a hotel frequented by figures such as Mark Twain and President McKinley. This gripping collection of ghostly tales is sure to thrill anyone fascinated by the unknown.
First of all, right off the bat, I need to get something off my chest: there are people called proof readers and they should be utilized. In a book that is only 128 pages there should not be a handful of typos. A couple misplaced punctuation marks are fine but when a book is published with words missing letters, names spelled wrong and one case of a name being accidentally substituted for another so it looks as if the ghost is the one hearing the haunting there is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. That being said, I enjoyed this book as much as I could.
I decided to read Haunted Buffalo because I live in Buffalo and I’ve always believed in the paranormal, ghosts especially. It starts out with a history of Buffalo which was incredibly interesting, and then moved into the ghost stories. Each “story” was a brief summary of the history of the place and then a quick explanation of the haunting and/or the investigation that found the most evidence, not exactly the “twisted” or “ghostly” tales that were promised in the summary, but overall the stories were interesting and worth reading. From a historical stand point I have to give Haunted Buffalo a lot of props for not adding the famous tales with no historical evidence backing them. Especially, the tale from Old Fort Niagara. They did not add its famous claim to fame: the headless ghost whose head is in the well (which despite having no historical background is still a great story). It was interesting to read stories about places I pass every day, like City Hall, the Central Terminal, and the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The story about the last one in particular had me itching to explore the old Asylum seeing as its right next to my school. Too bad I would probably get arrested if I tried to set foot in there.
The book is nicely organized into chapters that divide each haunting into their location such as “Ghosts at Work,” “Historic Haunts,” and “‘Spirited’ Theatres” which makes it easy to navigate. Added at the end there is even a handy glossary of terms and a list of paranormal researchers in the WNY area. I fully plan on checking out some of the sights listed in Haunted Buffalo with my mom this summer!