Niagara Gazette


March 5, 2013

Falls' Echo Club's ghostly secrets explored on SyFy channel

Niagara Gazette — The 150-year-old Echo Club will have its moment in the national spotlight tonight, when paranormal investigators from the cable TV show, "Haunted Collector," feature their November visit to the historic Portage Road mansion.

Once owned by a former state assemblyman, Thomas Vincent Welch, and later a Polish community club, the Echo is so steeped in history that it surely seems a likely candidate for otherworldly experiences, even after a couple years of renovations by new owner Deborah Sirianni and her team. The place still feels as if it's been frozen in time, an attribute which Sirianni clearly believes is part of its charm, with ghostly sightings, strange happenings, simply adding more character.

"There's always chaos in the Echo," said Sirianni with a laugh, describing odd sounds, rooms shaking and weird, ghostly, inexplicable events. "People love it."

Sirianni, who plans to reopen the building for the season on Thursday, describes events such as a plate pulling off the wall and landing without breaking in the center of a room several different times, or a little girl spotted in a washroom by a patron during a local high school reunion. The ghostly girl disappeared when others came to check out why she was alone.

The television show, which will air at 9 p.m. tonight on the SyFy channel, features a "demonologist," named John Zaffis, his daughter Aimee, and a small team of paranormal investigators, who checked out the Echo for its spirited energy.

"He believes that spirits attach themselves to articles, and there are over a thousand antiques in the Echo," Sirianni said. She can't say what the episode is about. But, she said host Zaffis confirmed that the spirits in the Echo are likely well intentioned, according to Sirianni.

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