The Statler (now Statler City) in Downtown Buffalo is known for a lot of things, from hosting famous visitors to its vast and unprecedented amenities such as “a bath in every room, piped ice water, a closet with a light, a towel hook next to each sink, free stationery, newspaper, and later, telephones and radios” (see more on buffaloah.com). At the height of Buffalo’s height of Buffalo’s economic boom, The Statler was considered the epicenter of it all, with 77 hotel rooms (1100 rooms total), grand ballrooms, lavish amenities, impeccable services… The Statler was built as Elsworth M. Statler’s flagship hotel.
These days, there is mounting life within the hotel, as it continues to be a hot spot for weddings, and recent news indicated that owner Mark Croce was entering into a new development phase that will see “masonry repair, canopy repair and renovation, window repair, and storefront renovation and repair on the Niagara Square landmark’s first two levels.”
If there is one person other than Croce that knows the ins and out of the hotel, it’s historian Conor Hawkins, who, among other things, keeps a close eye on the building’s resident Ghosts. The following is a Q&A with Hawkins pertaining to the Statler City as is relates to the Halloween season:
You are involved with running ghost tours in the building? Is there one coming up?
For the 5th year running we are having public ghost tours where members of the public can come and assist some of the finest paranormal investigators in WNY on a public host hunt.
Tell us more about these tours.
Ghost Tours last 3 hours and they take you through parts of the Statler where members of the public don’t get to see. You are able to see some of the floors that had the original layout of 77 hotel rooms per floor. The Statler Hotel, when it first opened in 1923, had 1100 rooms and was Elsworth M. Statler’s flagship hotel. You also get to hear some of the history of the old building and some of the famous people who stayed at the hotel.
With good times comes bad times, and stories are shared of some of the guests that came to hotel to end their lives and stories of members of staff whom died of natural causes while on the job and perhaps are still roaming the hallways, still doing the same jobs, unaware that they’ve passed on.
One of the events coming up, along with our ghost tours (next one is during The Witches Ball), is this Sunday October 20th from 1pm – 6pm – it’s the Statler City Psychic Fair. We have 25 psychic mediums giving private readings, 25 vendors selling all sorts of interesting stuff, and most important we a famous psychic coming in to do a gallery reading from 4pm to 5pm. Chip Coffey is internationally known and has been on TV with Paranormal State and Psychic Kids both on the A&E Channel. He will also be on the Travel Channel’s Haunted Salem Live coming up next month. We will have gallery readings from Rev. Tim Shaw, Chelsea Gill, Alonnie Milligan, and Tessa Del Zoppo. We will also be holding mini ghost tours the day of the event. We are also excited to be holding two mini ghost tours during Buffalo Rising’s Witches Ball for VIP’s and later for general admission guest.
How haunted is Statler City?
It was just a few years ago the Statler City featured on the TLC channel with Paranormal Lockdown were investigators Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman spent 72 hours locked inside the Statler to capture evidence and they caught on camera a chair move on its own inside the Terrace Room
Statler City is getting some spooky press, I hear?
Statler City will be featured on the Travel Channel in December in the new program Destination Fear which features Dakota Laden (previously from the popular Ghost Adventures). She investigates with 2 others, some of the scariest destinations in the US. The show was shot in June and they captured some great evidence of the paranormal – we can’t wait for that to air.
Finally for the season, working along with Mysterious Journeys, we are bringing in Chris Smith and Mike Goncalves from the Tennessee Wraith Chasers who are featured on the Travel Channel’s Haunted Towns and Haunted Live for an 8 hour ghost tour and meet and great on December 8th – tickets for all events are on sale now and are expected to sell out.
How can people learn more?
We recommend every checks us out on our Facebook page to see some of the old newspaper articles and old photographs of yesterday and beyond.