Niagara Gazette — John Koerner feels an obligation to track down the truth. As a history professor at Niagara County Community College, he describes himself as "obsessed" with the challenge of deciphering the truth, sifting through history to learn which happenings are true and which are false.
The quest has led Koerner to develop a series of paranormal walks throughout Western New York, where the professor guides tour groups throughout area locales and educates on the mystical history of each town.
One of Koerner’s first projects has been Lockport, where he is currently guiding a series of walks for the second consecutive year.
The Lockport walk, as part of Koerner’s "Paranormal Walks" series, is offered each Saturday at 7 p.m. and takes about 90 minutes. Koerner begins each tour by introducing himself and his credentials, then leads a walk up and down Main Street, where he touches on the ghoulish history of the buildings along the street.
Koerner, who previously wrote two books about aspects of the paranormal, said he feels a duty to teach the public about mysterious happenings in the area, if he can.
“I thought it would be appropriate to bring some of these stories to the public in a walk,” Koerner said. “I’m kind of obsessed with trying to figure out things about the unknown, that are closer to the edge. I want to figure out what is true and what’s not true, and to bring that to the public.”
The tour this past Saturday was attended by about 60 guests, most of whom were from the Lockport area. Most walkers said they didn’t have much experience in the paranormal realm but were intrigued by the subject and wanted to learn more about the city’s history.
A few guests made the drive from southern Erie County. Boston resident Robert Yung said the drive was well worth it.