The Central Terminal Will Make You Scream [BUFFALO: THEN AND NOW — HAUNTED EDITION]
At the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo was a completely different city than it is today. It was the second-largest city in New York and on the Great Lakes (only second to New York City and Chicago, respectively) and 10th-largest city in the United States; everyone wanted to be in Buffalo.
And who can blame them? Buffalo was the first city with electric street lights, powered mainly from the hydro-beast of Niagara Falls. It held the World’s Fair in 1901, built the Erie Canal to open the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes for trade and even had one of the largest railroad stops in New York State – the Central Terminal.
Built in 1929 on Buffalo’s East Side, the Central Terminal is an extravagant, art deco-style mammoth that was meant to accommodate up to 3,200 passengers and 200 trains per day. It was the center stop between New York City and Chicago, and the complex consists of a main concourse, a 17-story office tower, a four-story baggage building, a two-story mail building – all along Curtiss Street – as well as the now-detached train concourse. It sits on 17-acre site in the middle of Buffalo’s Polonia.
After World War II, the station’s activity began to decline, and New York Central – the building’s owner – put the terminal up for sale in 1956. In 1979, all train traffic to the terminal ceased because Amtrak opened its new Dick Road station in Cheektowaga and reopened the downtown Exchange Street station.
In August 1997, Scott Field of the Preservation Coalition of Erie County bought the abandoned building for $1, and the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation was formed. The corporation is working to restore the building to its former majesty and released a $75 million master plan in March of 2011.
In 2010, the building was featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters Halloween Live, and paranormal experts spent a six-hour live Halloween broadcast exploring the abandoned treasure. Ghost Hunters, along with the Trans-Atlantic Paranormal Society, searched for paranormal activity with their “state-of-the-art” ghost-hunting equipment. All areas explored are not usually open to the public.
The now-abandoned building is massive, filled with dark, damp and untouched spaces that would make the toughest men wet their pants.
Many volunteers who have walked through the halls have felt the presence of those who inhabited the building in the early 20th century – many of whom may have died in the terminal or have found a resting place in its vast confines.
If you’re looking for a real-life haunted house, the Central Terminal will make you scream.