When investigating the paranormal over the years it has become apparent that there are certain types of sites that are more prone to being labeled as haunted regardless of their actual history. Places like old theaters, cemeteries, schools and so forth. Then there are places that not only are hazardous locations but often have tragic histories.

There are many daily locations that have numerous tragic events but none as strongly as the railways and railroad stations. All over the world there are accounts of paranormal phenomena associated with the tragedies on the railway lines. The most common accounts are of the ‘ghost-light’ along the tracks at night, the ghost of a conductor walking the tracks, the spirits of children pushing stalled cars over the tracks, passengers haunting the stations and even ghostly porters or conductors haunting the passenger cars of old trains.

Union Station in Utica is no stranger to tragedy.  Originally constructed in mid-1800, the station has been reported to have ghostly passengers and conductors moving about in the late-night hours. One of the most notable tragedies occurred in August of 1844 when a passenger train left the station and ran into mechanical difficulties. As the train was stopped on the tracks for repairs, a freight train unaware of the stopped train collided with the passenger train killing a conductor and a 12-year-old ‘Irish Immigrant’ girl. Over the years there have been hundreds of incidents along the railways both at the station and the surrounding smaller stations like the Remsen Depot.

Shadow Chasers
Shadow Chasers

There are numerous accounts of bystanders and even passenger cars being struck by passing trains on the rural railways surrounding the larger stations due to lack of warning or more often just unfortunate timing.

The most common haunting reports from places like the Remsen Depot are not associated with the tragedies but the emotions that these places represent. Railway stations are places where people are very emotional, they are saying goodbye, they’re ecstatic that someone is arriving or they’re afraid as they’re starting a new life in a new town. These emotions are responsible for many of the late-night ghostly accounts at the stations. Reports of feeling watched in the station, the ghostly figures walking the grounds or the vanishing conductor that greets would-be passengers as they enter the station.

There are more than 280 reported railway disasters in New York since the early 1800’s with thousands of deaths and injuries over the thousands of miles of railway lines. Every railway station, each train and section of track has numerous accounts of ghostly activity.

What railway ghost stories have you heard?

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