Historic Echo Club to Reopen on Friday With Lots of Entertainment on Menu

 

 Deborah Sirianni ...ghostly mansion reopens Friday.

Deborah Sirianni
…ghostly mansion reopens Friday.

The Echo Club at 341 Portage Road in Niagara Falls, a five-story stone building steeped in history and allegedly the home of spirits from long ago, will reopen its doors this week, beginning Friday (Oct. 14), just in time for the Halloween season with a full plate of entertainment on tap for one and all.

“I adore this city [Niagara Falls] and I’m so excited and looking forward to seeing people come here and come alive for this building,” says owner Deborah Sirianni, who made the decision to reopen the Echo Club full time just a few months ago and has been busy ever since.

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The action will begin at 7 pm Friday night and will include Karaoke with Dave Miso, a surprise band, movie mania featuring part one of the Saw horror movie franchise, as well as Frankenstein burgers and skeleton fries, and a candlelight tour of the mansion, which was completed in 1892 by Thomas Welch, a former state assemblyman who was the first superintendent of the Niagara Falls State Park.

According to a story in the Am-Pol Eagle, the Niagara Falls Historic Preservation website states that in 2003 it approved Historic Landmark status for the building “which for years was the home of Niagara Falls Polonia’s premier social organizations.”

Historians say that the stone used for the walls and foundation are Lockport dolostone, the same type of stone that is behind the falls and that came from a canal dug by the Niagara Falls Power Company.  Niagara Falls historian Paul Gromosiak has said that Welch personally went to the site and chose each stone himself.  It is all there for all to see at the Echo Club, filled with history inside and out and still a bit eerie and exciting at the same time.

The mansion became the subject of national interest when it was visited by paranormal investigators from the television show Haunted Collector back in 2012, with one of the investigators saying he believes that spirits attach themselves to articles. There are over 1,000 antiques in the Echo, according to Sirianni.

Many visitors over the years swear they have seen ghostly activity inside the brooding mansion, and guests looking for a good time beginning Friday at the allegedly haunted club can draw their own conclusions on whether it is still inhabited by spirits from the past.   But perhaps new visitors will be more interested in enjoying the sights and sounds of today, and Sirianni promises they won’t be disappointed.

The Echo Club reopens as one of the premier clubs in Niagara Falls

The Echo Club reopens as one of the premier clubs in Niagara Falls

There’s even a jail in the basement that once was the home of debtors who were unable to fulfill their obligations.  See it for yourself as part of the candlelight tour, as the Echo Club gets ready for a Halloween extravaganza coming up that will feature plenty of activities for kids, including a pumpkin carving contest and a costume contest as well.

There have been many famous visitors to the Echo Club over the years, including President William McKinley, who is said to have had dinner at the club just four hours before he was fatally wounded in Buffalo.

Possibly the most historic property in Niagara Falls, the historic Echo Club had so many famous men and women visitors that when you visit you will feel immersed in the ambience of greatness

Possibly the most historic property in Niagara Falls, the Echo Club had so many famous men and women visitors that when you visit you will feel immersed in the ambiance of greatness

Debbie Sirianni is all aglow talking about reopening the club full time, and you can see it in her eyes and in her expression as she gives a tour of the many nooks and crannies of the mansion, giving it a flavor of yesteryear in its dark and moody look.  One expects to meet a spirit right around the corner of one of the crevices, but then, magically, a familiar sight, a bar, appears and it is within easy reach to calm shaky nerves.

Quite a place, the Echo Club, a vision of the past right in the middle of Niagara Falls, a stately mansion once the center of activity for Polish immigrants, and now, once again, a place to come and enjoy a variety of sights and sounds and entertainment of all sorts.

We wish Debbie Sirianni much success in her efforts to offer an escape of sorts from today’s busy world, to a warm and friendly place of the past that would seem to be a “can’t miss” attraction for Niagara Falls.

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