By Jenah Schwabel
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Imagine traipsing around an 18 floor, 450 roomed building searching for spiritual existence that has been rumored to haunt one of Buffalo’s most historic hotels. For 72-hours, hosts of TLC’s “Paranormal Lockdown” documented their journey of the Statler City Hotel, which premiered to the public last Friday night.
After hearing about intense activity that takes place in the Statler, Ghost hunters, Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman, decided to bring the show to Buffalo.
Groff said the 95-year old building is one of the coolest and most active buildings they have ever explored. It is roughly 950,000 square-feet- making this the largest site they have ever investigated. It may be true that thousands of guests have entered the Statler Hotel since its opening in 1921, but legends say that not everyone has left. He also stated that the hotel is rated one of their top ten favorite investigated locations because of the activity, history, and stories behind it.
Many believe ghosts linger throughout the hotel to this day, leaving many visitors with a story or two to tell. Employees- along with many wedding goers- speak about the many encounters they have had with the spirits. The activity has drawn a number of paranormal teams- including Groff and Weidman- to investigate.
“The stories that came out of there are possibly tied to some of the history, which I always find fascinating when you can tie certain activities to the past,” Weidman said. “It makes a stronger case that maybe a spirit is somebody who passed away and is coming back to communicate somehow.”
During the investigation the team experienced most activity in the Terrace Room, the Ballroom, the lower floor nightclub, along with the Turkish baths- a pool room located in the basement. They concluded that their findings validated claims from people who previously saw or heard unusual things.
The Statler City Hotel was once the site of Millard Fillmore’s home on Deleware Avenue. After the property was sold, the hotel was built as the largest of its kind, being the first hotel in the United States to have bathrooms in each room. Thousands of guests have stayed at the Statler over time but some stand out more than others. John F Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt held many closed-door meetings at the hotel, famous mobster Al Capone was a frequent guest, and Elvis Presley was even stayed a time or two.
“Paranormal Lockdown” launched back in March 2016 and is the first paranormal TV series to conduct multi-day investigations. Hosts, Groff and Weidman, walk amongst the dead in some of America’s most haunted places. The group said they are interested in returning to Buffalo in the future for another visit. Doors have been opened to many hidden secrets that linger within the Statler City Hotel- secrets that have yet to be answered.