Gettysburg. Salem. New Orleans. These are the places that come to mind when you think of all things that are spooky. However, the Niagara region certainly should rank among these more well-known haunts.
I have seen this first-hand researching material for my books, and the Paranormal Walks I have been leading since 2012. We have such a broad paranormal footprint here in the Niagara Frontier.
I have been teaching social sciences for over a decade at Erie Community College North Campus and my students are constantly amazed at the depth of our local heritage and folklore.
I have had the honor of having several members of the Iroquois Confederacy take my classes. In my tours we explore the legends of the stone monsters, little people, and false face masks. The Iroquois are so intrinsic to any understanding of local folklore in Buffalo, which the Iroquois called Place of Basswood, perhaps their most sacred tree.
My Paranormal Walks, now in their eighth year, are unique in many ways. Usually when looking for a haunted tour one typically finds either a standard ghost walk for storytelling or a ghost hunt which is for investigation. Also, the stories are confined to hauntings. My walks are a hybrid ghost tour/ghost hunt with extensive historical context for each site to understand why a place is reporting paranormal activity.
During each tour, I bring detection equipment, including spirit voice communicators. This makes each tour unique. The other main difference is that I embrace the broad range of the paranormal world in each of these tours. I discuss ghosts, patterned hauntings, demonic possession, remote viewing, miracles, aliens, crop circles, strange creatures, secret societies, conspiracy theories, secret tunnels, and anything else that fits into the paranormal spectrum. Most of the stories are spirit related, but the paranormal world has so much more that intrigues, so I bring that broad approach to the walks and in my books. I have written four books that center on religious mysteries, and three books that deal with conspiracy theories.
I am leading walks this year from the last weekend in September to the end of October. Hamburg and Medina are on Friday nights, while the Cobblestone District and Lockport are on Saturday nights. At the beginning of each walk we deputize some shadow hunters and encourage everyone to download some apps that we use during the walk.
The Lockport Paranormal Walk is the oldest walk I lead. At the end of each walk, we head down into the locks and I present what is the clearest evidence I have ever seen of a full-bodied apparition.
The Lockport walk is filled with tales of love, suicide, Civil War heroes, demonic possession, remote reviewing, secret tunnels, and trapped spirits. It is the product of nearly a decade of cumulative research that I have conducted with the helpful people of Lockport, many of whom were my former students. The two owners of Lake Effect Ice Cream, where the Lockport tours begin, have been supporters from the beginning. I can’t thank them enough.
There are also walks in Medina, a beautiful village filled with tales of Iroquois legends, haunted theaters, bizarre deaths, Masonic secrets, alien contact, and Civil War spooks.
All are welcome to any and all of the walks, including those from this world and the next.
I will be at the North Tonawanda Library at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21 to discuss “Niagara County Haunts.”
The Lockport Paranormal Walks start at Lake Effect Ice Cream, 79 Canal St., at 7 p.m. every Saturday from Sept. 28 to Oct. 26. The fee is $10 per person aged 7 and older.
The Medina Paranormal Walks start at Fitzgibbons Public House, 429 Main St., at 7 p.m. each Friday from Sept. 27 until the end of October.
For more information, go to www.paranormalwalks.com.