Hogwarts School Discovered in Buffalo, New York?

I gave a talk at SUNY-Buffalo at noon on Thursday last week to the community at large and then had a long conversation with Prof. Lydia Fish’s Folklore class later that night. In the hours between, I walked around the beautiful Buff State campus with Prof. Fish’s sister, who traveled from Virginia for the event (for more on her Harry Potter concerns, check out HedwigLives.org!). The highlight of the walk for me was the remarkable castle that overlooks the campus, the once ‘Buffalo Psychiatric Hospital,’ now the ‘H. H. Richardson Complex.’ If you hop and skip over the jump and click on the links there, you’ll get a visual tour of the closest thing to what Hogwarts might seem like to Muggles underneath its cloaking spell — an empty and dangerously neglected fin de siecle stone palace, a city block broad and at least 100 yards long, built to house the mentally disturbed. And the towers!

Seriously folks, if Donald Trump wanted to build a resort devoted to the Hogwarts Saga (using the billions he will waste running for President) and if the ghosts of many generations of patients could be exorcised, this would be the place for all future Potter Conferences. Let me know what you think!

Click the links to see more shots of the inside and outside of the former hospital.

Buffalo State Hospital / H.H. Richardson Complex


Buffalo State Hospital – the H. H. Richardson Complex


  1. Take some time to read a book called City of Light by Lauren Belfer. It is set in Buffalo in 1901. The Buffalo Psychiatric Hospital is in a few of the scenes – along with many other fascinating buildings that still exist and some stunning Olmsted Parks. You’ll want to come back!

  2. I already want to come back! Thank you, though, for the encouragement and for the book recommendation.

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