Four Haunted Places to Explore in Western New York

While Halloween and its associated haunted houses only come around once a year, these four Western New York places – wineries, train terminals, mansions and forts among them – are, according to local legends, haunted throughout the year.

1. Buffalo Central Terminal

If the attention paid to it by the TV show Ghost Hunters is any indication, the Buffalo Central Terminal could be the most haunted place in Buffalo. Built in the late 1920s, the Terminal was destined for greatness until Wall Street crashed three months after its opening; it limped through the next 50 years, with the last train leaving the Terminal in 1979. The Terminal is currently undergoing an extensive restoration, and hosts numerous events throughout the year. Ghost Hunters spent Halloween 2010 at the Central Terminal, broadcasting live for six hours. It has also been the subject of two other Ghost Hunter shows, including the spin-off Ghost Hunter Academy. Most recently, it has been the backdrop for the new Goo Goo Dolls video "So Alive" and filming of the movie "Marshall."

2. The Winery at Marjim Manor

A winery located in Appleton, Marjim Manor's history dates back to 1834, and the ghosts associated with the home all have one thing in common: their deaths are linked by a day and time – Thursday at 3 p.m. Deaths included the owner's son (the first on record), the owner, the owner's daughter and Dr. Charles Ring and his wife Hannah; Dr. Ring was the first director of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center. The winery has also been the subject of a Ghost Hunters show and hosts a variety of ghost hunts throughout the year with local paranormal investigators.

3. Old Fort Niagara

Old Fort Niagara, a historic fort in Youngstown, is said to be home to the headless ghost of a French officer who lost his head during a duel. The soldier has been seen roaming the grounds since the 1830s on full-moon nights. The fort was also the subject of a 2010 cable television special, part of Discovery Channel's Ghost Lab series. The fort hosts the "Haunted Fortress" each year around Halloween.

4. Van Horn Mansion

Located in Newfane, the Van Horn Mansion is said to be haunted by the wife of James Van Horn Jr., Malinda, who died at the age of 21. Cars have skidded to stops to avoid hitting a girl running from the mansion who then disappears; restoration workers saw faces in the windows and saw lights flicker. Malinda's grave is located on site in the rose garden.

More from Paula Thompson:

Five Places to Grab a Hot Dog in Buffalo, NY
Take "The Natural" Tour of Buffalo, NY
Five Great Ice Cream Parlors in the Buffalo-Niagara Area

Paula Thompson is a freelance writer and photographer from and lifelong resident of Williamsville, NY, a northern suburb of Buffalo.