Ghost Soldiers of Old Fort Niagara
With more than 300 years of history, Old Fort Niagara is believed by many to be haunted with the ghosts of soldiers from its past. With a history soaked in violence, death and misery, it is no wonder there are so many claims of paranormal activity at this location. Once occupied by three nations – France, Great Britain and the United States, today Fort Niagara sits along the Niagara River and Lake Ontario perfectly preserved as it appeared in the 1700’s.
Recently, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Old Fort Niagara, and attend the Para-History Festival taking place on site. A number of paranormal investigators were in attendance, alongside members of the TAPS family and former Haunted Collector, Brian Cano. After saying hello to a few friends, I excitedly headed out to explore the grounds and take a step back in time.
A short distance from the building where the festival was being held is a small fenced in cemetery with numerous headstones, many of which are unreadable. Two monuments to honor the fallen soldiers from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 are also in the cemetery. Beyond the cemetery, near the gated entrance to the fort, stands a historic, inactive lighthouse that served a great importance during its operational years.
Filled with excitement, like a kid in a candy store, I made my way over to the fort. My eyes were immediately drawn to the magnificent sight of the French Castle. It is within these impressive stone walls, where sightings and stories of paranormal activity are a plenty. As I stepped inside my eyes were drawn to a stone well. A longtime local legend tells a story of a decapitated French soldiers’ body being thrown down the well and his head tossed in the nearby lake. According to this legend, a bitter feud erupted between two French soldiers over their love for the same woman, ending in the horrific murder. It is said that the specter of this headless soldier has been seen wandering the parade grounds and within the buildings on moonlit nights. * I have found no historical records to validate this story.*
I continued my exploration of the building and grounds, taking numerous photographs; allowing my senses to guide me. I didn’t capture any anomalies on film, and I felt very comfortable throughout my exploration of the fort. At times I thought I heard a few odd sounds, but the winds were fierce coming off the nearby lake and I dismissed the sounds as Mother Nature being the cause. When I returned to the location of the event, I spoke to a number of paranormal teams who have investigated the site before. They told me that they captured a number of clear EVPs in the French Castle. Also, the sound of heavy boots coming from the upstairs level was heard and numerous shadow figures have been seen. Later that evening, a public investigation was being held at the fort. I did not participate and am waiting to hear from those that did as to what, if any, evidence was captured. I look forward to returning to this beautiful historic location in the nearby future.