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Fort George

 

I have submitted 3 stories to YGS. My story of the Olde Angel Inn spurred a reader to ask more about Fort George, which I mention in that story. So here it is. My previous stories have been personal accounts; this tale however, consists of two events recounted by family members.

Fort George was built by the British Army in 1802 and became the headquarters for the British Army and the local militia. Fort George was captured by U.S. Forces in May 1813 at the Battle of Fort George. The American Army used the fort as a base to invade Upper Canada (now Ontario), but was repelled at the Battles of Stoney Creek and Beaver Dams. The fort was retaken by the British Army in December of that year after U.S. Forces abandoned the British side of the river. The retreating Americans, at this time, burned down much of the town of Niagara on the Lake. Many of the now homeless inhabitants froze to death over the next few days as a severe snowstorm swept in.

All of this tragedy is said to have created the perfect incubator for ghostly phenomenon. Some claim that Niagara on the Lake is the most haunted place in Canada and that Fort George is the most haunted site in Niagara on the Lake. I don't know about that but I do have a few tales from the fort.

In 2005 my wife and I were visiting Niagara on the Lake (see my story Olde Angel Inn). We went to Fort George during the day for the regular historic tour. Later that day we returned for the evening ghost tour. Since Parks Canada does not acknowledge the ghostly aspect of their holdings they let a third party do this, namely, The Friends of Fort George. Http://www.friendsoffortgeorge.ca/ghost-tours/index.html.

When the lantern clad tour guide began the tour I hung back to chat with the tour guide at the back of the line. As I had been on this tour before I did not need to hear the stories again. He told me of seeing ghostly people both day and night while working at the fort in other capacities. This included two period dressed chaps that were trying, at three in the morning, to move a large speaker set up for an outdoor concert. When they were approached they looked up and vanished.

There was also an account of children, dressed in clothing of two centuries before, playing a type of ballgame in the field. Regular tourists thought that they were part of the "show". They also wondered where they had gone in such a hurry after they vanished when one tourist had her back turned to them for a moment. (Yes, children and wives lived with their husband soldiers at the fort.)

In one of the blockhouses a young girl in a white night gown is said to appear on the stairs. She is somewhat dirty with blond hair and says nothing to anybody. Eventually she fades away.

There are many more "official" accounts, some quite scary, that I won't go into but I will now tell you my wife's and niece's tales.

My wife's tale is not very impactful but on the tour she did see the crossed white bands of a British soldier's uniform in the distance. It was fairly dark by this time so he was not very clear. She also assumed he was part of the show. At the end of the tour when she finally mentioned this to the tour guide, he said that they absolutely do not have people in costume running around to scare or convince anyone, "it is not that kind of tour". He told her that what she must have seen was genuine.

A few years later I was at a Thanksgiving dinner at my mother-in-law's house. Afterward I was talking a bit about Fort George when my niece said, "I stayed overnight at Fort George." I was intrigued. Without mentioning anything supernatural I asked her to tell me more. Unbeknownst to me, it is an optional part of the Ontario grade 7 school curriculum to spend a day at one of the Forts. This includes a sleep over. I asked her to tell me about this in detail. (She was in grade 11 at the time she was telling me this story.)

They spent the day watching and participating in the life of a soldier of 1812. There were people in period costumes and they were allowed to interact with them. When evening came, however, they were told that if they saw anyone from outside their group they were not to go to them. They were not to wander away from the blockhouse, where they were to sleep, and on no account were they to interact with anyone in period costume.

She said that the instructions seemed odd to her. I asked her if she saw anybody dressed up. She said that there was one man that looked strangely at them from the doorway. He was strange enough looking that they did not want to talk to him anyway. She then told me that they talked to a little girl sitting on the stairs of the adjoining room. I asked if she was blond with a dirty nightie. She said, "YES... HOW DO YOU KNOW?" I didn't answer, I just asked more questions. Did she talk back to you? No. Did you take a picture of her? Yes, but the picture did not turn out. Did you see her mother? At this she paused and said, "No... No, we did not see her mom." They said that the girl mostly just sat there quietly and that they left her there, for an activity in the next room. When they returned the little girl was gone.

I then told her about the haunted history of the place and she was flabbergasted. She said that so many pieces of the evening fit into the haunted theme. From the instructions not to mingle, the appearance of the quiet little girl and the odd looking man at the doorway.

A few days later she went back to her grade 7 teacher, who had escorted them on this field trip years before, and asked her if she knew the fort was haunted. She admitted that she did know but could not, of course, tell this to a class full of 12 year olds. The teacher also admitted to being very afraid when she saw the girl and the strange man but had to keep her fear to herself lest she frighten the children.

Anyway, sorry, just the two encounters I know of from family members. If you are ever in the area of the Fort I encourage you to go. The ghost tour is very good with lots of interesting ghostly as well as historical accounts. Maybe you will gain some fresh stories to tell.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Kindly_refrain, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jazzisepic (2 stories) (18 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-05-02)
Hi Kindly refrain,
Very creepy story! Loved reading your story.
Jazzisepic
Kindly_refrain (12 stories) (148 posts)
 
1 year ago (2016-04-29)
AugustaM, you're welcome. I will look the reenactment up. I would love to see it. I would also do another ghost tour of the Fort.
AugustaM (2 stories) (355 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-04-29)
Thank you for sharing, Kindly! I am going to send a link to this story to my husband - I really hope he can go to the Niagra reenactment this year... Now I want to go too!

How tragic about the burning of the city... I can imagine watching everything I own burn to ashes knowing that the winter was coming... How hideous...
Kindly_refrain (12 stories) (148 posts)
 
1 year ago (2016-04-27)
RedWolf, I am glad you enjoyed the account.

My niece was initially shocked but then said she felt kind of cheated. She said that she would have liked to have known about the ghosts.

When I reminded her that she and the 29 other girls were just 12 years old at the time and that a teacher and two parents were trying to manage all of them in that situation, she understood why they were not told.

I suspect she would be too afraid even now in the same situation. Bravery is very easy in retrospect.
RedWolf (27 stories) (1232 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-04-26)
Kindly_Refrain
I enjoyed your story very much. You're poor niece finding out that she really did see ghosts must have been a great shock to her.
Regards
Red
Kindly_refrain (12 stories) (148 posts)
 
1 year ago (2016-04-26)
Seraphina, thank you for the compliment.

I have just now read several of your stories. You write very well and your accounts are chilling.

I, like you describe your husband, have almost no ability to see, hear, or sense spirits. I sometimes wish I did but I fear I would be uncomfortable in too many places (maybe in my own home).

In that context I can understand that you would rather be able to tone your ability down.
Seraphina (7 stories) (147 posts)
+1
1 year ago (2016-04-26)
Thank you for sharing this fascinating tale, Kindly__Refrain. You write so clearly and provide such great details! ~Seraphina

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