By Doug Sitler, Haunted History Trail of New York State
There was no denying it. Every one of the 20 people in the room heard a cat’s “meow” coming from the hallway. The sound of the meow had the room reeling: there was no cat inside the Iron Island Museum last Friday night. Those in the room were told earlier in the evening that the place has a few specific spirits and yes, a ghostly cat.
Anna and I traveled to the Lovejoy District of Buffalo last weekend to visit the Iron Island Museum’s “Family Spirited Fun Night.” I’ve been hearing and reading about this place for years, so we were thrilled to finally visit. Upon walking into the building we were greeted by the warm, and friendly museum ringleader, Linda Hastreiter. The museum is a former church and funeral home, and now serves as a community history museum of the surrounding neighborhoods. It’s a very neat place and one that also must be visited in the daylight hours to see all the cool history items. When the volunteers took over the building in the early 2000s, it quickly became apparent that the place was haunted with all sorts of activity, including full-body ghosts making themselves known.
The format of the Friday’s event was watching the 2008 episode SYFY Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” when they filmed a show at the museum, followed by a ghost hunt around the museum. Two groups of attendees for the event were divided up into viewing rooms. We were in the chapel, which featured a gothic wooden church altar. We quietly sat in the dark and watched the Ghost Hunter episode on TV. At the end of the show, the Ghost Hunters crew emphatically agreed that the Iron Island Museum was haunted based on the compelling evidence they collected.
After a little break, everyone gathered into the chapel room and sat in a large circle. Three members (Patrick, Gina and Tom) from Buffalo Paranormal Investigators were onhand to showcase their ghost hunting equipment and expertise. The BPI crew along with Linda Hastreiter and her mother were very engaging and willing to answer any question you may have. The BPI crew said
that Iron Island Museum is basically their home base, and the reason is the consistent evidence and experience they collect at that location. They said that a majority of the evidence at Iron Island comes from EVPs.
With the lights out, the team led the room through an EVP session by asking questions and hoping catching a response from a spirit. The team would then replay the recordings in front of the crowd, looking for evidence. There were a few instances where it seemed as if there were a few ghostly responses to our questions. It was during this time where the group clearly heard a ghostly “meow” noise from the hallway. I have to admit I am a “got see it to believe it” guy and hearing the cat was pretty cool.
Over the course of the next two hours, the BPI team and Linda led attendees to try experiments with all sorts of gizmos in the kids room and military room. Again, there seemed to be some evidence that caught the attention of everyone in the room. The evening ended around 11:00 p.m. with the investigators, the guests and all involved feeling that it was a great night at the Iron Island Museum. We had a blast. Anna and I were still talking about our visit well into the next day. Can’t wait to go back!