This isn’t about the investigation. This is about the events surrounding my trip to Buffalo. A review of the trip, if you will.
The crew I traveled with consisted of five total: a coffee junkie, a channeler (first trip with the group), a fiftysomething conspiracy theorist, a IT tech turned disgruntled leader, and me, the night terrorist. We took two vehicles. I rode with the disgruntled lead and coffee junkie, while the channeler and conspiracy theorist took their own vehicle. (Quick note. Everyone was pretty much awesome, and the labels I use are not the sum of their parts)
Twelve hours’ driving time is a long time to spend with anyone. Starting at six in the evening, twelve dark hours is almost too much. We talked about video games and movies until we hit Columbus, OH, where we stopped for food (Steak N Shake) and I skipped it because of my d’betes. Coffee Junkie’s absolute need to smoke/drink coffee (about a cup an hour, I’d guess) landed him in the driver’s seat. I ran shotgun and navigated the route via an iPhone GPS.
The night was long, uneventful, tedious. Day broke while we were still on the road and as we entered Buffalo we drove over the skyway. The skyway was a bridge over an industrial wasteland, where behemoth dilapidated factories loomed over little waterways connected to dirty tributaries that emptied in Lake Erie. Upon driving over the skyway I was struck with a strange sense of vertigo (I’m not terrified of heights, but I am afraid of them. And narrow bridges. And this was both): the skyway snaked like a ribbon over hard, solid ground and ended like some massive mutated race-car game you got for your eighth birthday.
It was awesome, and left a lasting impression. I didn’t even know those things existed.
The second fascinating thing about Buffalo was the old churches. I’m not talking about fancy plaster-walled parishes. I’m talking about stone-and-mortar, twin spires, imposing oak doors with a patina. Stained glass windows and darkness within. And, there was one on every corner.
We finally get to Holiday Inn, traipse up to the hotel rooms (they made them available to us way early: six oclock was a no-go for them, they said, until they heard where we came from). The crew wanted food. I wanted sleep. For some reason Midwesterners prefer to eat a lot. I don’t. It’s pretty much a no-go. So they go eat. I get some sleep in a currently unoccupied King bed I would share with Coffee Junkie. Leader had a room with two queen beds, which confused me at first. But things quickly fell into place as the weekend continued. I slept to the good-natured goading of a crew of night-owls cat-calling for companionship.
I’m relatively new to the group. Coffee and Leader are old friends. Conspiracy has been around for about a year or two. This was Channeler’s maiden voyage. I had investigated with the rest once.
This was Friday morning. We had an investigation that night, so we slept and putzed around, walked the town a little, sampled food at Coulter Bay. Channeler was—somewhat strangely—not around for most of this, along with Conspiracy Theorist. Leader grumbled something about her needing a babysitter. He was half right.
I took photographs of some of the architecture, seeking out inspiration for a book cover. We met up with a pair of girls from an investigation crew native to the area—School Teacher and FDA Inspector—and began building plans.
Dinner was Anchor Bar (for anyone who knows anything about Buffalo wings, this is apparently where it began. The food was pretty decent. The wings were perfect. And amazing. Imagine the patina on the ancient church doors as actually a delicious semi-hard glaze on perfectly moist, cooked wings). I was slightly embarrassed by the rowdiness of the crew, but had expected it.
On the way back from the bar, I was informed that Channeler had started talking to someone at the park she visited, and just-so-happened to be talking to the groundskeeper for the two Naval Vessels we would be investigating later in the night. She got a free tour, a lot of information, and walked away from the encounter much better informed than we were. I found that brilliant and incredibly intelligent.
They saw it as “diluting the evidence,” and therefore rendered her “expertise” wasted as a psychic. My opinion on it was, they were dumb to ignore the windfall. I spoke to her, now and again, and realized she didn’t care for Leader much due to his aggressive, untrusting nature. I understood her side.
We met up with a second investigating crew at the naval vessels, ran into no less than four bystanders who wanted to share their ghost stories and ask for assistance, and did our investigation. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, even though I spent six hours investigation from a myriad of different strangers. Everyone awesome.
Some heard footsteps. Some saw dark figures. I freaked myself out by staring at a chair in the dark for too long, but saw/heard/sensed nothing out of the ordinary except, “this feels wrong,” and that isn’t evidence.
Afterward we broke down camp. Everyone went out for food (again) while I went to bed. Leader joked about me missing out on all the fun. He wanted me to be out with them more often. I had the sneaking suspicion I’d be a waste the next day.
Thus ends the first half of the trip. Part two has copious amounts of alcohol.