The Haunting of Dunkirk Lighthouse

The Haunting of Dunkirk Lighthouse

The Smithsonian's souvenir postcard of the Dunkirk Lighthouse When my maternal ancestors left Poland around the turn-of-the-century, they all made their way to the Fourth Ward of Dunkirk, New York. The city has a rich history: it was home to Brooks Locomotive Works during the latter half of the nineteenth century; provided steel for John [...]

Another Year Gone By…

Another Year Gone By…

It's the last week of 52 Ancestors posts for the year, and we've been tasked with sharing our genealogy resolutions. I've never made a New Year's resolution--odd, I know, but my family hasn't kept this tradition over the years. More often than not, we seem to trudge through our day-to-day responsibilities, making an informal resolution [...]

Gimghoul Lore

Gimghoul Lore

The legend of Peter Dromgoole and Gimghoul Castle is an irresistible story of a lover’s spat, a moonlight duel and a secret burial beneath a bloodstained boulder. It's the perfect story to share on All Hallow's Eve--a story that has been passed down from generation-to-generation and to each new Tar Heel who steps onto Chapel [...]

Hotel Henry’s Haunts

Hotel Henry’s Haunts

The Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane opened in 1880 and was considered to be, at the time, a state-of-the-art psychiatric treatment facility. In official publications, the city and the asylum promoted an image of a peaceful retreat for effective mental-health care, and they distributed photographs of the facility's grand pianos, welcoming parlors, well-stocked libraries, [...]

Grandpa’s a Ghost!

Grandpa’s a Ghost!

Casimir & Mary (Witkowski) Marczynski Halloween is my favorite time of the year; growing up, my sister and I would dress as princesses or superheroes--we even had a brief vampire phase in elementary school--and brave the cool weather to go trick-or-treating with our dad. We'd make the long trek around the neighborhood, argue over who [...]