Hunting for ghosts in allegedly haunted buildings has obvious and not-so-obvious risks. The ghosts may not want any company -- thus they cause problems ranging from scares to physical attacks and more. The human occupants or owners may not want visitors either – leading to arrests, gunshots, physical attacks or worse. Then there’s the haunted building itself – many of them appear to be possessed and cause problems for visitors who have managed to avoid ghosts or angry human owners. That’s what one woman in New York may have experienced recently when she fell through the roof of Buffalo’s Central Terminal – a long-abandoned building many believe is one of the most haunted places in both the city and the state. Who hunts for ghosts on the roof?
“Buffalo police said two individuals – a man and a woman – were ghost hunting without permission at the terminal when the 35-year-old Kenmore woman fell through a substation roof near the back of the property. She fell about 15 to 20 feet, police said.
Ferry-Fillmore District officers and other emergency personnel responded to a rescue call just after 10:30 p.m. The woman was transported by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center, where she was treated for multiple injuries. The man with her was not injured, police said.”
The Buffalo News reports the incident occurred on July 31 and did not name the woman. There’s not much else the pair could be doing on the roof since the Central Terminal has not seen any trains for quite a few years, and the only activities in it today are homeless people seeking shelter, ghost tours … and ghosts. Central Terminal opened in June 1929 and was one of the largest switching systems in the world – making it a major hub during World War II for soldiers shipping out and the caskets of the fallen returning for burial. Built to handle over 200 trains and 10,000 passengers daily, its use dropped as cars become the primary mode of U.S. transportation. The final passenger train departed the Buffalo Central Terminal in October 1979, a mere 50 years after it opened. By the 1990s, it was abandoned.
Except for the ghosts.
According to ghost hunting tour companies and the "Ghost Hunters" TV series, which once broadcast a six-hour live show from there, one good place at Central Terminal to possibly encounter a ghost is in Anthony Fedele’s apartment. Fedele owned Central Terminal from 1979 to 1986 and made many frustrating attempts to revive it – some say he still roams the place looking for ideas. Other hotspots are the basement, terminal offices, the baggage claim area and the former liquor store – yes, the terminal spirits like spirits. There have been reports of a woman named Rose in the baggage claim area, and two children, one named Zachary, playing in the upstairs offices.
You may have noticed that none of the sightings listed were on the roof of either the 14-story main building or the roof of the substation where the woman opened up a portal into the underworld – so to speak. Was she a victim of the building? Ghost-hunting exuberance? Anthony Fedele’s spirit dealing with a trespasser? Was she even ghost hunting at all or was this a convenient excuse for something more nefarious? After all, she was there with a man – was this a terminal rooftop romantic encounter?
Walking on roofs should be left to roofers and movie stunt performers. Ghost hunters should follow the rules of the tour or the owners of the haunted building. If they don’t … a hole to the underworld may be their fate.