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Graveyard Tours The Old Anglican Church


This is by far my favourite topic and by far the most interesting building that I know of.

There is a ton of significant history behind this church. It does not do the history justice, but I will briefly summarize it, because this is my ghost story not a history lesson.

The church was built in 1818 by the British soldiers of Fort Malden. There is a lot of history in this area about the American Revolution and the battles between the Americans, British and the Indian wars. The heavyweight story behind this all is the Fort Malden treasure. For years there has been a rumour that a great treasure was hidden when the Fort was captured by the Americans, during the retaliation battles for the British burning down the White House.

The Treasure was said to be the British counter plan to even the odds against the French funding to support the American revolution. The money was a vast amount set aside to finance an Indian Confederate Army. Chief Tecumseh was the key. He was the most respected Chief at the time and was the voice of leadership for many of the tribes.

The plan was leaked and Chief Tecumseh was killed in battle. This left the Indian tribes fragmented and the whole plan went to ruins. Some of the key people involved at the time were well known Masons. And they all were founders of the Amherstburg lodge. Many remained in Amherstburg long after the wars.

Rumours say that the treasure was hidden in the original Masonic temple. (location lost to history during the fires that burnt down the original town) Or that it was buried by masons just before the Americans occupied the fort. Or that it was buried and the church built over it. (although this one does make some strategic sense)

I find this history fascinating and it provides a new look at that period of time. Imagine if the Indian Confederacy plan was successful? What would that have done? Created many more years of war?

Many people have looked for this treasure. Even John A Macdonald (first Prime Minister of Canada) and other wealthy/ powerful men have bought land in the area at the time in hopes to claim the treasure.

The Orangemen movement in Canada was also rumoured to have been involved in the treasure hunt.

At the center of all this is the old Anglican church. This church has a "Masonic Window" that is rumoured to have secret clues to the location of the treasure. (I have personally seen this window many times and it looks normal to me. However many professionals have looked at it over the years) The original founding fathers of the church were said to be buried under the church. (when I was little they did some foundation work to the church and discovered the hidden remains of the original fathers. It was a big event when they had them moved.)

This church has a little grave yard behind it that is also very old. It is said that the church and the grave yard is haunted by the ghosts of the founding fathers, that they stay guarding the secrets.

My involvement with this church is fairly simplistic. I have attended this church for the most part of my childhood, and have attended it from time to time as an adult. There have been times when I have been there and heard footsteps and through I have seen movement of people that were not there. My biggest experience happened as a teen. We were exploring graveyards and we decided to one night after some drinking to cut through this graveyard and check it out.

...Actually we were ducking out the cops who were watching us as we were publically intoxicated. (Although...we were really just loud and obnoxious and not as intoxicated as I am sure we appeared to be. We (my friend Eric and I) always tended to bring out the worst in each other. I am sure that is why for everytime we went out drinking, we now have a long and incriminating story to tell about it)

So we had a few drinks and were walking home... (at least we were not driving this time) and stopped at the church. We were sitting in the graveyard being quiet and planned on using the excuse that we were checking it out, to avoid any patrolling cops from harassing us. (a sound piece of teenage reasoning)

Although we were not there officially to check out the grave yard, I was actually interested in it. It was very little (20 - 30 graves) but very old and very rustic. Part of the charm of the grave yard is that it is laid out like a garden. It has a small brick break wall along the back with nice budding trees and a circular-ish (swooshy) stepping stone path. The grave stones are in little collections, scattered throughout the area. (A couple of the grave stones were set right into the church foundation at the back of the church.) The graveyard in total is very small and was limited to about 15-20feet deep off the back of the church and about 10 feet to the north side and maybe 20-25 ft to the south side.

It was very odd and unlike any graveyard I have ever seen. As odd as it was, it was very welcoming and peaceful. I often thought that if I had to choose a place to be buried it would be there in that little peaceful place.

The house next door to the church was an old rundown historic home and was part of the church property. It was the target of some vandals from time to time, but it framed in the little graveyard quite nicely and with the trees and wall blocking out the rest of the area the graveyard was very secluded. I never felt threatened, but I did feel watched and the shadows seemed to lurk and move unnaturally especially around the old head stones.

We stayed back in that graveyard for quiet sometime. I constantly felt cold chills and the touch of something that was not there. Be it nerves or be it in my mind but I think spirits walk that area and were interested in why we were there. After we left, Eric told me he felt the same as me. (Eric was one of friends that were far removed from the group of friends that I hung out with that were interested in the paranormal activities of the area.) ...so to have him comment, solidified my belief that we were in the company of spirits. Although we did not see any ghosts, both Eric and I felt that we were in the presence of them and that they were watching and at times touching us.

I understand this was a lot of history and very little ghost story and that these encounters are not really scary at all but I will conclude this story with the comment; that the time I spent in that graveyard has left a lifelong impression on me.

Never have I felt as religious, or in the presence of holiness. (if that makes any sense) as I did in that place. There has always been such a strong pull both in my heart (for feeling in the presence of history, spirits and a peaceful spiritual afterlife) and in my mind (for the curiosity as to the secrets that that place holds.) If there is such a thing as a good ghost encounter... Than surely this was it.

Today the old historic house has been torn down and the property (along with most of the old graveyard) has been replaced with a parking lot. The church felt that the lack of parking in the area was significantly reducing its dwindling numbers. So they moved the graves, dug out the garden and created a large dirt pad for parking. The church too has undergone some cosmetic upgrades and the old side entrance was removed and bricked in. The foundation at the rear has also been redone and the set in headstones were removed. (I think 1 or 2 may still be left) The stone wall at the back was removed and the garden expanded to the north.

Although so much has changed. If you stand there and look at what it left of the graveyard and the church... You can feel the connection to another time and significance to the history and spirits there.

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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, old_dude, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

GreenGhost1985 (15 posts)
4 years ago (2019-11-02)
I really enjoyed the history lesson! Once again great story!
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1090 posts)
7 years ago (2016-10-03)
Greetings, old_dude.

I couldn't help but think of Joni Mitchell:
"Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got until it's gone?
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot."

In rueful appreciation of historical sites that are now merely history,
old_dude (16 stories) (111 posts)
7 years ago (2016-09-30)
sorry for the garbled story I am super exhausted tonight and on my way to bed... Still something to think of... I encourage all to investigate the deeper you look into it the more you find is true... Fun stuff eh?
old_dude (16 stories) (111 posts)
7 years ago (2016-09-30)
I'll let you all in on a little secret of mine. In high school I delved into a history project about the Fort. I got into the town Library and into some old books. I even had some collectors books on the area. I wrote my project but it was some of the personal journals that got my attention. If you dig you can find them the soldiers tell about thier times. And through their stories you discover things... Horror stories about Indian attacks that cut the unborn babies from a settler woman's bodies in front of her husband... Stuff you would never hear about in media anywhere!. I have been looking at this history to discover just how significant Amherstburg really was and how it almost became famous. I am convinced there is a hidden British treasure in Amherstburg. I know is sounds crazy but it has been this treasure hunt that sprung forth all the crazy ghost stories that we heard about and investigated. (giving me my adventures in the paranormal world).
I am still piecing together the clues. But I do know that British Admiral North was given a large sum of money from the Queen to finance a Confederate Indian Military to counter the American reinforcements of Fort Detroit and the great lakes areas. The Key people involved was Chief Tecumseh as he was the only man for the job of leader of the confederate army as he had the blood lines, respect of the tribes and the ear and friendship with William Cadwell. (meaning he was civilized enough to follow orders) the treasure was brought to Fort Malden to be delivered to Tecumseh. But the US got rumor of the treasure and invaded to capture it and pressed hard to eliminate the threat by hunting down Tecumseh and killing him.
The treasure was placed in a safe place. Most of the government men and founders of the town were masons (I know... Another Templar tale... But look into it. It is true) The masonic temple (the original one) was burnt down and it's location removed from all historical texts. The church, the fort and most of the town was built by the masons. At the fort today on display is a treasure chest labelled Chief Tecumseh's Treasure chest. (it is empty) But the money was hidden in the basement of the first masonic temple that was later burnt down with a majority of the town. The records of the time read that the American soldiers did not know what started the fire only they were not quick to put it out. Tones of stories line up to support this from ships in the navy yard to soldiers traveling to Fort Detroit and back to Amherstburg they all seemed to know about it. But after the death of Tecumseh and the occupation of the Fort the treasure disappears from history. Only a few of the key individuals survive the wars. Even some of the first Prime Ministers of Canada bought lands in the Amherstburg area as the hopes of finding the treasure on your property was a popular word of mouth rumor. I bet that is why we have had so much paranormal activity
old_dude (16 stories) (111 posts)
7 years ago (2016-09-29)
yeah change has been bad lately... Amherstburg has been loosing so many historic buildings and sites. It is a shame.
LaurenAKK (7 posts)
7 years ago (2016-07-13)
Just want to say I am thoroughly enjoying your stories old_dude! I can relate to almost all of them. My grade school best friend and I used to go down to this church all the time back in 2007/8. We would always sit on top of this above ground concrete coffin. It was really just a random one we picked the first time and it became our spot. The writing on top of it was mostly un-readable. The only words you could make out were at the top. "Mary Ann who died". We would "fantasize" about who she might have been and how she died. We think she must have been a child because we would lay on top of the coffin and our feet would hang over the edge. I was about 5'2". There was also a crack on the bottom of it, about 4 or 5 inches wide at the bottom and went up into a point. We tried to look into it but never saw anything, even with the light of our cell phones.
Tweed (33 stories) (2463 posts)
7 years ago (2016-05-13)
FOOLS, blue ribbon fools. We gots a historic church with an enchanting olden day graveyard on some lovely grounds. Attendance is at a low, that's a bit of a worry. Oh I know, we'll pave over everything with a CAR PARK. Yeah, that'll work.

Never 'accept change' if it's motivated by idiocy.

There are loads of things the church could've done to get peoples attention. Sounds like the wrong kinds of people were in charge. Really sorry and angered to hear about what happened to that location. It sounded like a magical place. You guys were lucky to experience what you did. 😊

I know this is years old but thought I'd comment anyway.
chapulin1234 (guest)
8 years ago (2015-11-11)
I know we have to accept change but,...building a parking lot in such a lovely place?, I feel that church-going people is dwelling, parking lot or not...anyway, lovely story, thank you for sharing:)
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
12 years ago (2011-11-17)
Terrific story! I love the history and your connection to the history, at least the feeling of connection.

God Bless!
quixoticqt (5 stories) (104 posts)
12 years ago (2011-09-30)
As always I'm never disappointed about reading your stories. 😁 The way you write your stories is incredible; so much to the point where I can't wait to read the next one.

taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
12 years ago (2011-09-28)
old-dude another interesting post
Hope you have plenty more for us to enjoy reading.
Have to agree with the comments here it sounds like such a shame that the graveyard was turned into a parking area and with it being such a historic place too, it is criminal.
Also have to agree with jav the way you told yoe story has got me thinking about going to the graveyard I used to when I was a bit younger to just sit and relax in the peacefulness of the area.
old_dude (16 stories) (111 posts)
12 years ago (2011-09-27)
I was thinking the same thing... A confederate army of Indians at that time would have been a large army. And the indians did not fight by standard military training. If there was a Confederate army established... I don't think it would have changed the outcome of the wars, but I agree there would have been a lot more casualties.
It truely is an interesting time in history, (being it is not that long ago)
There were also rumors that a confederate army built of slaves and mercenaries was being formed in India & Africa. It was to be launched from the south. It really gives you a sense of what the early Americans were facing. Britan was very large, powerful and wealthy. The could afford extravagant military costs.
Moongrim (2 stories) (871 posts)
12 years ago (2011-09-26)
Fascinating story. Nice bit of history to purview and learn about. Indian Confederacy? I think that there'd have been a lot fewer Indians nowadays, if such had worked.
old_dude (16 stories) (111 posts)
12 years ago (2011-09-25)
I think the one theroy was that the church was built on top of the original masonic temple. (the suspected location of the treasure.)

The new temple built in the late 1800s is still on Murray St. In Amherstburg and I have been inside it. (both the meeting rooms and the basment/celler) I didn't see anything suspicious but I wasn't particularly looking at the time either.

But these therories are all incomplete. What I do like it that there is a lot of facts that back up this treasure.

Nothing concrete but there is journal entries that mension equipment and men and cargo moving. (not that it is unusal just probable.)

Also the higher level time line works out seeing that the Confederate Indian army was a factual plan and the money and key people involved actually existed and were very closley involved with Amherstburg.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
12 years ago (2011-09-25)
This was a wonderful read. I felt like I was sitting there with you in the church graveyard. I could almost feel the cool night air. I have no doubt the spirits were wandering the grounds and watching as you sat there.
Thank you again for your experiences with us. This one makes me want to go out graveyard hunting, or rather sitting, myself.

lynrinth (guest)
12 years ago (2011-09-25)
Nice story, hate what they did to the church grounds. They meant well, but sometimes it's just not the same.
Nysa (4 stories) (685 posts)
12 years ago (2011-09-25)
I am a little confused by the timeline. If the treasure was hidden to keep American soldiers from getting it & the church was not built until a few years after the end of the war of 1812, is the idea that the church founders stole the treasure & kept it for themselves after the war? That would explain why their ghosts were believed to have stuck around to guard things. While it's debatable whether the presence the two of you felt was ghostly, divine, or the weight of history acting on alcohol-relaxed minds, your description really conveys a sense of not being alone. It's a shame the graveyard was altered so.

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