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iPhone calls from the dead

GhostBuzz always looks forward to Tom Bauerle's annual ghost show on WBEN-AM. We look forward to hearing about all manner of apparitions -- children in old-fashioned clothes, women in white appearing at the top of a South Buffalo staircase.

But now we are worrying that technology is killing off these good old ghosts.

You get calls about high-tech ghost detection equipment.  "There was an energy source they were picking up on their machines." "And, like, the thermograms..."

There is less talk of cemeteries and more talk of cell phones.

"And I was on my Bluetooth and suddenly my phone cut out."

And: "My iPhone called my grandmother and my grandmother had been dead for two years."

And: "Every year on my birthday I get a call from a number I don't recognize and nobody's there..."

Well, there is a bright side -- or shall we say a dark and spooky side -- to all this. It puts ghosts within everyone's reach!

Suddenly our cell phone lends a supernatural aspect to our life. It has been known to call people all on its own. Plus, we would not be surprised if we got a message from someone who has been dead for years. Sometimes our phone just sits on the messages and delivers them in its own sweet time.

This sure adds drama to our Halloween.

Our iPhone is definitely haunted!

It's the new lunchtime escape. It's...


The line that separates the gym from kindergarten grows fainter every day.

Yesterday we made it to the noonday PiYo class at the Buffalo Athletic Club downtown. There was a new teacher. She made us do a bunch of ballet moves, where you raised your arm overhead like a dancer and pointed your toes and gracefully kicked your legs.

"You all look so pretty!" she told us. Which made everyone laugh because a lot of the class was men including lawyers and other VIPs (to use Buffalo lingo).

Things eventually morphed into that kind of New Age-y Religion Lite you get a lot in yoga class. We did the Warrior Pose and were told that our front arm was the future and our back arm was the past. We ended up lying on our mats with our eyes closed. Like kindergarten Nap Time.

When we opened our eyes there was this piece of paper on everyone's mat. Buzz took ours back to the office as a souvenir of this quaint episode in our day.

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And now it's time for cupcakes!

Amputation alert


The Jewish Repertory Theater, in a cheery ad in Gusto, describes "The Whipping Man" -- now on stage -- as "Matzah and Mayhem!" Oy vay! They will have their little joke.

The reality is, we hear, somewhat more grim.

News critic Colin Dabkowski, reviewing it, mentions "a raw and wrenching display of emotional pain."

Not to mention physical pain!

A friend went to the play and was horrified to find that there is also, ahem, an on-stage amputation.

"One of the most grisly things I've ever seen on a mainstage," he confides. "It's a pretty good show. But I'll tell ya, I was damn careful about letting my own leg hang into the aisle."

Ow ow ow!! Kind of lends new meaning to "break a leg."

"Believe it or not," our friend said, "I never thought of that."

A bar named ...

Every once in a while Forgotten Buffalo just nails you, you know?

This is the group that runs tours around, oh, South Buffalo, or the Old First Ward, or Polonia, or Black Rock. They take you to old bars and churches and you drink beer and have a great time. Buzz went on the Black Rock ('N Roll) tour once and we are still recovering, we laughed so long and so hard.

Anyway. Forgotten Buffalo likes to remind folks on Facebook of Buffalo's treasures, randomly chosen. This morning, I am sure a lot of us choked on our coffee.

Because Buffalo must be the only city in the world with a bar called...


Adolf's is at 555 South Park Ave. Its fish fry is fabled.

Someone writes: "A friend of mine got stranded there during the Blizzard of '77. By the time the storm was over I think he put on 10 lbs!"

The comments give the impression it is still up and running. Buzz is going to have to stop by and make sure.

Hey, it's our job!

A ghostly Book of Lists, and why not to golf in East Aurora


Ghost expert Mason Winfield cracks us up. He is so sunny and athletic, with his blond hair and his tennis and golf and whatnot. Then the sun sets and Mason sees the unseen.

He has just come out with "The Paranormal Almanac of Western New York." It is a book of lists!

There are "10 Women in White." And "10 Little Boy Ghosts." Followed by "10 Little Girl Ghosts." There are also "10 Vehicle Ghosts." It is a pity that Mason overlooked our ghost Ford Escort. We sold it for scrap, and two months later we got notice that it had been seen and was getting tickets!

We were fascinated by "10 Ancient Battlefields." Our condensed version of Mason's list:

1. Lewiston, where someone once attacked the historic fortress of the Peace Queen. Here is where Mason seems to be occupying a parallel universe: Buzz has never heard of the Peace Queen. Did he mean to write the Peach Queen?

2. The Iroquois and the Eries duked it out on what is now South Park Avenue, near downtown.

3. They found a bunch of clubbed skulls in Cambria in 1823. Cambria is a creepy place! Mason hits Cambria again and again.

4. The Senecas beat up their enemies in Delaware Park.

5. "Just a bit south of Elmira is a cursed hilltop known as Spanish Hill."

6.  A stretch called "Witches Walk" in spooky, spooky Salamanca.

7. East Aurora, which Frederick Larkin, 19th century talking head, guessed was "the scene of a terrible conflict."

8. Palmyra. "The general picture of ancient culture-clash is not an impossibility, even if the exact site was not here."

9. Zoar Valley. "Seneca legend is not to be sneezed at."

10. Back to East Aurora (it's as creepy as Cambria). A siege, a bloody battle, and many deaths took place long ago, all in sight of the East Aurora Country Club.

Advises Mason: "Think of that next time you throw your clubs at the twelfth hole."

The Skyway Sixteen

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"Save the Skyway," check it out. It is one of the fastest-growing groups on Facebook!

First there were 0 and next thing we knew, there were 16 people who "liked" it.

Buzz was delighted to find this group. We love how it mentioned the Marine Drive Apartments, as we did as well. Plus, we just like the ol' Skyway. It looks just fine from where we sit, which is right in front of it. Cars and trucks go over it. Freighters go under it. There is green space beneath it. It is not like a highway on the ground. It does not cut us off from our waterfront.

Only in Buffalo would this bridge be a problem, you know?

Funniest comment on this group's Facebook page, a guy complaining: "The Skyway's just not fun anymore -- now you have too many young drivers, raised by soccer moms, riding their brakes for the entire thing."

Hahahaaa! "Save the Skyway," got to love it.

Got to like it!

Lawn job

You know how everyone is always saying that no one can possibly be undecided when it comes to the upcoming election?

They are wrong!

Buzz has located the one undecided household in the country and it is on Eggert Road.


A downtown hotel's restless dead

GhostLast night when Buzz was at the Hyatt listening to Jackie Jocko we ran into George and Anne, a medium and a clairvoyant respectively, who were on their way to the Statler to take part in Paranormal Pursuit. 

We asked the clairvoyant to brief us on what restless spirits they found! Herewith, her report.

One of the Investigators was telling stories in the Ballroom. There was a bar and a few concessions. I had red wine and chocolate. 

Upstairs we went on our own tour. We found the spirit of a man who was looking for his lost bride as we were standing in the upstairs hallway. I helped George channel out the story and he got the name Ida Clare. ... We then noticed the energy of two men fighting on the stairway over a key to a room. There was a woman waiting in the room. 

After our own tour we were led into the Oriental room by the investigators' tour at 11 p.m. We were in the dark with eight other guest tourists and four investigators with their EVP detectors which pick up energy. ... There was a slamming door detected on the computer and a flashlight that turned on by itself. They were very excited about that. 

Wow, all these goings-on at the Statler. Who knew?

Got to wonder what spirits lurk @ the Lafayette.


Waterfront wonder

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It was fun to step outside the office today and see a tugboat pulling in a gigantic freighter, the English River.

The English River comes from Quebec and it flies a Canadian flag. It was a beautiful afternoon, warmer than predicted, the sun shining, the water like glass. The tugboat and the freighter both glided along in perfect silence. There was no sound but the honking of a herd of geese, flying south.

I looked up the English River. It was launched in 1961 and it hauls cement. Notice below that on its side, it says "Lafarge." Sure enough, it was headed for Lafarge Cement.

We will call this shot "Still Life With Skyway." It is kind of cool to watch big freighters like this pass under the Skyway, gracefully clearing the bridge.

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This sight sure beats the waterfront sights of yesterday, that is for sure.

It melts away the stresses of the work week!

The Bills game heard 'round the world

Normal people, they go to Italy and meet Italians.

Buffalonians are different.

To Buzz's ears comes a classic tale from a woman by the name of Denise DeNisco. The name sounds poetic, Italian, so you figure she could go to Florence and become like one of the Florentines. But no!

It happened September 30. (Italian time, she specifies.)

She and her husband, Michael, were standing in front of their hotel, talking to Michael's friend Jerry D'Alfonso, a former Boston Globe editor, about, you guessed it, the Bills. The Bills were about to play the Patriots.

A young couple passed by and, to their astonishment, asked in perfect English, "Are you Bills fans too?"

The couple were Anna and Matthew Munn of East Amherst! 

Of course everyone kept in touch, discussing the game (which, alas, the Bills lost) throughout the next few days.

Marvels Denise: "What are the chances the Munns would pass by that hotel, at that time, on that day???"

Hey, this being Buffalo, those chances are 100 percent.

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