Niagara is rich with history and with that brings my favorite thing about history…. Ghosts. There are many places in Niagara that are haunted. Let me share with you a few of my favorites and a couple of my own experiences.
Let’s go Ghost hunting!! Hehehe! I get so excited!!
Niagara-on-the-lake has many places that are haunted and even have ghost walks which gives you a little insight to the history of the town and hopefully an experience with a friendly ghost. From the walls of Fort George and the little girl in the barracks that will poke you and pull your hair to the woman in the kitchen waiting for the soldiers to come to dinner the Fort is filled with the spirits of the past. The hotels and the cemetary, the ghosts walk among the people of this little town.
One of my favorite stories is the ghost in The Prince of Wales Hotel in which a lady named Molly Mcguire lived with her soldier husband during the war of 1812. One evening standing by the window, watching, waiting for her husband’s return a young enemy soldier crept through the house. Seeing a shadow standing at the window he believed as a British soldier he ran her through with his Bayonet only then realizing it was an unarmed woman. He left her on the floor to die in what is now room 207. It is said that if you dare to stay in Room 207 guests have experienced, lights flickering, the shower turning off and on and linger footsteps as she is still there, waiting for the return of her husband. A love that will never die!
Just down the street is The Old Angel Inn. A quaint little Inn, quiet and charming and a harmless ghost unless the British flag is not flying above the Inn doors. In 1813 Captain Collin Swayze was in the Inn when enemy soldiers entered. As he hid in the cellar, inside a barrel they combed the Inn looking for soldiers running their bayonets through what they could not see. It is believed he was killed as he hid in a barrel. Strange things occur at the Inn, noises, movement of objects. They even caught the ghost on film. Go to their website to check it out. This might be a Kim and I have to rent a room one night place because that is just darn cool.
Down the road a piece in Thorold is the Screaming Tunnel. An old limestone tunnel built in the early 1800’s. It was constructed initially as a drainage ditch under the railway to keep the tracks from washing away. It became a walkway for the farmers to get to town. There are 2 versions of the story of why if you light a match in the Tunnel at midnight you can here a girl scream. Both of these are of the pain of a girl caught in a tragedy. One night a farmhouse caught on fire and as the house burned a young girl ran from the house, her dressing gown afire towards the Tunnel. Maybe running to the small amount of water inside, but as she reached the middle of tunnel she succumbed to the flames and those are the screams you hear as she lay dying. The other is frankly too tragic for me to think about.
Now not all ghost stories are built out of tragedy as in the story of the curse of Hopkins Tomb in Wainfleet. In Oakwood cemetary is a tomb that stands alone. Surrounded by a small stone fence with its iron gate it is foreboding in stillness of the cemetary. Samuel Hopkins was said to be a quiet but nice man. He would stroll through town with his faithful dog by his side. The people of this little village had never seen him without his dog. On Oct 12, 1899 Samuel passed away. He had a tomb built to hold the remains of him and his faithful companion. It is said on the nights of a new moon you can sometimes see the dog on the steps of the tomb still protecting his master.
So where does the curse come in?
In the 1960’s three young men thought it wise to break into the tomb to steal what Samuel had taken with him. Unfortunately that turned out to be a mistake. They broke the door in and one young man stepped in. Another put his arm through the door opening to try to push it open and the other just stepping into the tomb when they felt a feeling of dread. So much so they turned and ran. A few months later the first young man to enter the tomb died in a car accident, the man who reached in lost his arm and the other who stepped in lost a leg. The curse was born. Now the story is if you feel the dread as you go near you have to run around the tomb 7 times stopping to knock on the door each time. If you reach the the 7th time the curse and hear nothing the curse is removed. Some young men tried it and on the third knock something, or someone knocked back. They ran hard as the story goes! Lol! Yes I have ran around the tomb and knocked but no one was home I guess! Lol!
Those are just a few of the tales of Niagara but I do have a couple of my own.
If you have been a reader of my blogs you know I love cemetaries. One cemetary I like to go to is Overholt Cemetary. I like the feel of it, if you know what I mean. Ghosts can not only be mischievous or sometimes dangerous they can also give a warm feeling. Some cemeteries you enter can feel cold and foreboding and some nothing at all. But some have a warm welcoming feel about them. One Saturday afternoon after driving into the cemetary, having some lunch and making a coffee I went for a stroll to enjoy the welcoming spirits I felt there. After some time it was time to leave and as I prepared I got the feeling they really did not want me to leave. As I started the van the gauges started to jump. Now I know it could have been an electrical issue but it had not done it before and as I moved through the cemetary stopping at the edge to tell them they could not come with me, I pulled out onto the road they stopped jumping. I have been back a few times since and although I still feel the welcoming warmth it brings, all my gauges in the van have stayed still. It was a cool experience! Check it out on my YouTube channel.
Kim and I decided to go to the edge of Lake Erie to watch a lunar eclipse. As it turned out we did not see an eclipse but it turned out to be a freaky night.
Going to one of my favorite spots which by chance is across the road from the cemetary that holds Hopkins Tomb, it was a clear warm night. There were stars in the sky and as we sat and listened to the waves and chatted we also took a few pictures. As Kim put her camera in a certain spot she saw something through the camera lens that was not there when you looked straight at it. A small green orb floating across the water and seemed to be coming closer with each picture we took. As we sat and watched the orb grew brighter but not bigger until it looked like it was sitting in the tree branch right in front of us. One picture it was there and the next it was gone. You could not see it at any other angle than the one we found. Sitting right beside her it ook a picture of the exact same spot and it was not there. It was only when I placed the camera at the same spot she had hers I could see it.
These pictures are from 2 different phone cameras. Whatever it was disappeared. Was it Samuel Hopkins out for a stroll or a curious ghost? We will never know!
I hope you enjoyed my haunting good time!
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventures!
See you next week!