The Angola Horror train wreck occurred on December 18, 1867, just after 3 p.m. when the last coach of the Buffalo-bound New York Express of the Lake Shore Railway derailed and caught fire in Angola, New York, killing approximately 49 people.
As the train neared the truss bridge over Big Sister Creek just east of Angola at 3:11, it ran over a ‘frog’ (the crossing point of two rails). The front axle of the rear car was slightly bent, and the frog caused a wheel on the defective axle to jump off the track, derailing the rear car, which then swayed violently from side to side. The brakes were applied, but the train still traveled at considerable speed as it crossed the bridge. The last car uncoupled from the train and plunged down into the icy gorge. The second-to-last car also derailed, but made it to the other side of the gorge before sliding 30 feet down the embankment.
Just a few minutes away from Big Sister Creek is Holland Road (a.k.a. Pigman Road) This heavily wooded stretch of asphalt runs under two different train bridges, both one lane only. The road twists and turns and could be very dangerous at night, especially for those unfamiliar with the area. During the day, especially in the fall, this stretch of road between Route 5 and Hardpan is colorful and majestic. Something about the “energy” of the area draws visitors regularly.
Both locations are considered haunted and if you stop in town & find a local, I’m sure they will have a story for you.
Learn more: Angola Horror
Learn more: Pigman road [pdf]