Sunday, May 25, 2014

1943 Train Wreck: The Death Car


In August of 1943 an engineer at the controls of a Lackawanna train out of Cleveland, Ohio was traveling along an upstate New York line. He was 20 minutes late as he hit a bend going 70 miles an hour--this is when he saw another locomotive pulling onto the track.

1943 Wayland Wreck
The two trains collided.

An engineer and others in the Wayland rail yard thought the Lackawanna train had already passed through when they pulled out on the track.

More than 171 people died or were injured when these two trains collided. Those who did not die directly from the impact died when one passenger car connected to the Lackawanna locomotive turned over--steam then spewed into this car killing more people.

This passenger car in 2013 was at the old unused Baltimore and Ohio train roundhouse getting a fresh coat of paint. The Midwest Railway Preservation Society uses this old roundhouse in Cleveland Flats to restore old train cars in order to sell them.

Fresh coat of paint
While this old passenger car was at this yard being renovated many people connected to this society began to believe it was haunted. In fact, the volunteers at this yard dubbed this car--the ”Death Car.”

One volunteer, Charlie Sedgley who works for the society restoring cars believes he encountered at least 17 separate ghosts in the 1943 wrecked passenger car.

The society gives tours of the old train cars they restore. A trustee of the society, Steve Karpos was leading one of these tours when he led his group into the Death Car.

Inside Death Car
As he spoke a female member of his tour group interrupted him to ask why he didn’t let the other man behind him speak. Karpos didn’t know what she was talking about. She then asked about the “man dressed in the funny suit.”

Karpos recalls that, “Everyone else was saying there was a ghost in the car.” When the tour exited the Death Car several members saw, “a ghost sitting on the roof with his feet hanging over.”

The activity became so pronounced that the society decided to let several professional paranormal groups investigate. One group recorded some interesting sounds coming from the Death Car.

The volunteers at the old train yard took this activity in stride. Most felt that if the passenger car was indeed haunted by the victims of the 1943 wreck-- their ghosts were more than welcome.

The society today no longer owns the restored Death Car--they found an interested buyer.

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