(Buffalo, N.Y.) – A group of Buffalo area investigators say they’re searching for evidence of paranormal activity in western New York.
People have always seemed to be fascinated by ghost stories, but more recently, cable TV shows such as Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal State, have popularized paranormal investigations.
Dan Klaes and Ashley O’Brien, from the Greater Western New York Paranormal Society (or GWNYPS), joined the Buffalo Review Feb. 22 to discuss their research of haunted sites in the Buffalo Niagara region.
“I usually don’t even call it proof, I call it unexplained,” said Klaes. “It’s something that I can’t explain. It’s there and I usually let my fans determine what they want to think.”
Klaes said he and a friend formed the GWNYPS after he saw an unexplained “blue orb” in some photos he had taken in Gettysburg, Pa.
“You know if we get a picture and there’s a picture of a ghostly figure, I don’t call it a ghost, I don’t call it anything really. I just call it an unexplained phenomenon,” said Klaes.
“I always tell people: ‘you either believe, or you don’t.’ I’m not here to prove anything or change your mind,” said O’Brien, who is a self-describe psychic medium.
There are an estimated 3,500 paranormal groups in the U.S. and at least seven of them are in the Buffalo area, where there are a number of sites that are rumored to be haunted.
For example, the Buffalo Navy and Military Park, including the U.S.S. the Sullivans, was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters in 2014.
Additionally, Shea’s Performing Arts Center, the H.H. Richardson building (on the old Buffalo State Asylum site) and Central Terminal, have all been reported to be haunted.
The GWNYPS has recently conducted investigations of Statler City in downtown Buffalo and the Echo Club in Niagara Falls, O’Brien said.
“That was kind of my first real investigation,” O’Brien said of the old Statler Hotel. “Western New York is probably one of the most active places that I’ve been.”
O’Brien said her role is not to persuade people of the legitimacy of paranormal occurrences, but rather to objectively describe and provide information about her experiences.
“This is what I do. This is who I am. We’re paranormal investigators and here’s proof and you take it wherever you want, you do whatever you want. I’m never here to change anyone’s mind or convince anybody,” she said.
O’Brien said she feels people are interested in the work the GWNYPS does, because it provides a lot of historical insight about people and places.
“It’s interesting, it’s unknown,” O’Brien said. “There are so many different aspects to it and I think, a lot of what our team does is the paranormal, but it also brings in the history of the places that we’re doing and I think that just makes it even more interesting.”
Klaes said he’s drawn to the camaraderie of paranormal investigations. “It’s like I’m with my family,” he said. “We’re helping people. It’s fun for me.”
O’Brien said people often contact a medium, because the want to know their loved ones are at peace after death.
“I am upfront and honest,” she said. “I have noticed that I say things that people need to hear and not necessarily want to hear. It’s what I need to do. I love to do it. I truly believe it’s what I’m meant to do.”
* Producers Dan Almasi, Maris Lambie and Clifton Robinson contributed to this report.