There’s no doubt in anyone’s minds that the Niagara Region is a hot spot for tourism. With the beautiful waterfalls, a plethora of top-notch wineries, stunning hiking trails, the fun things to do in Niagara Falls and much more, Niagara will continually inspire visitors and locals to explore. It is a top Ontario road trip destination after all! However, you may not know about the darker side of the region… a haunted Niagara if you will! And no, I’m not talking about the gimmicky haunted houses in Niagara Falls either. Keep reading to learn more about what goes bump in the night with these ten haunted places in Niagara!
SOMETHING TO NOTE: While I’m sure there are plenty of spooky sites on the other side of the river, this post focuses on the Canadian side. I’ll have to plan a future adventure to gather those stories!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links where if you make a purchase, I may receive a kickback at no extra cost to you. It helps keep IBB alive so thank you!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
10 Haunted Places in Niagara
When you take a moment to think, it really isn’t that surprising that Niagara has a spooky side. This area was not only settled a long time ago but it’s been the site of a number of bloody battles. Niagara-on-the-Lake is even one of the most haunted places in Canada! So let’s dive into where you might catch a glimpse of the ghoulish at these haunted places in Niagara.
Old Fort Erie
There are over three centuries of history to be found at Old Fort Erie. The original fort was built in 1764, though it was replaced by a larger version that was being constructed as the War of 1812 raged on. However when American forces captured the fort, they destroyed it in 1814 as the British fought to gain control. It’s said that during this time, over 2000 lives from both sides have been lost.
With the title of Canada’s bloodiest battlefield, it’s a no-brainer that there would be some restless spirits on the grounds! There have been sightings of two American soldiers, though one without a head and one without hands. It’s said that these could be the ghosts of a soldier who was being shaved by another when a British cannonball came barrelling through and killed them. During an archaeological dig, two peculiar skeletons were found. You guessed it – one was headless and the other with its arms missing below the elbow!
Now overseen by Niagara Parks, explore the grounds and their interpretive exhibits in the welcome centre to delve deep into the details of this iconic battle. If you’re looking for an experience of the paranormal persuasion, you won’t want to miss their Friday Night Frights Ghost Tours! They typically occur in late August/early September.
Drummond Hill Cemetery
Located on the south side of Lundy’s Lane, the Drummond Hill Cemetery is situated where the Battle of Lundy’s Lane took place during the War of 1812. On July 25th, 1814, Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond and his army of 2800 men faced off against the American army. The battle lasted six hours until darkness fell and the Americans finally retreated as each side lost over 800 men.
Within the cemetery, you’ll find some of the oldest gravestones in the area with the oldest dating back to 1797. There are some iconic names in Canadian history like Laura Secord, our famous heroine who walked 32 kilometres (20 miles) through American-occupied territory to warn the British forces of an upcoming attack. Close by, you’ll see a monument commemorating the War of 1812. It’s also the site of the Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church. What is now a brick and mortar structure was originally a log structure though it was destroyed during the battle.
What spooky sightings have been spotted here? To start, five Royal Scots soldiers have been seen hobbling in the cemetery. Another account has seen three phantom British soldiers moving up Drummond Hill towards the south side of Lundy’s Lane as this was where the Lundy House was located as it was used as a hospital and rest stop during the War of 1812. If you want to learn more, keep an eye on the Niagara Falls Museums website as they run guided tours of the cemetery every October.
Screaming Tunnel Niagara Falls
Anyone who has grown up in Niagara has heard ghoulish tales about this iconic location in Niagara Falls. The Screaming Tunnel is a 125 feet long, 16 feet high limestone tunnel that sits below the CN Rail tracks. Dating back to the days of the Grand Trunk Railway, this tunnel is used for drainage in order to keep the railway from flooding. It also served as a safe way for farmers to transport animals and goods back in the day. While the train is still running, the tunnel now serves as a route for hikers along Ontario’s famous Bruce Trail. Though it also draws seekers of the paranormal sort…
Why is it called the Screaming Tunnel exactly? Well, there are a number of theories on that one. I’ve been told the tunnel is haunted by the ghost of a girl who died trying to escape a gruesome farmhouse fire. Though there are quite a few other tales that lend other explanations to its unique title. You can read all about it in my full post on the Niagara Falls Screaming Tunnel! Some may think it’s all a hoax but many have tales about ghostly encounters while exploring the tunnel. Whether or not you believe it, you’ll just have to visit and see for yourself!
INSIDER TIP: If you’re hiking over at the Woodend Conservation Area, it’s only a short detour along the Bruce Trail to check out the Screaming Tunnel.
Blue Ghost Tunnel
If you type Blue Ghost Tunnel into Google Maps, it’ll take you to the Screaming Tunnel. Google is most certainly wrong as the Blue Ghost Tunnel is its own devilish destination in Niagara!
Part of the third Welland Canal, the Merritton Tunnel (as it’s actually called) was constructed in 1872. However, it didn’t see any action until the canal itself was completed almost a decade later. Though the site wasn’t without its incidents as a number of serious accidents occurred during construction that resulted in at least one death.
However, paranormal investigators have questioned the legitimacy of the Blue Ghost Tunnel’s claims. Back in the late 90s, a local teen by the name of Russ started sharing online about ghostly encounters and a “blue mist” at the entrance to the tunnel. Sparking intrigue, it spread like wildfire and gave rise to the Blue Ghost Tunnel’s reputation.
So is the Blue Ghost Tunnel actually haunted? Well, you’ll just have to visit yourself and make your own verdict!
Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Old Courthouse
As one of the oldest settlements in Canada, it’s no wonder that Niagara-on-the-Lake has a haunted history. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the town’s Old Courthouse is haunted as this building has seen its fair share of sketchy politics and bone-chilling trials. While Niagara-on-the-Lake once held a position of power in the region, the Welland Canal brought the economic growth of St Catharines and thus overpowered the town. However, some just haven’t seemed to get the memo… like the ghost of Judge Edward Campbell.
Ron Dale, a project manager at Parks Canada who now has their offices in the building, works in what was the late Judge Campbell’s quarters. The Judge used to complain about how the cold stone building would be the death of him and oddly enough, he did die of pneumonia at the age of 54. While the chill didn’t bother Ron, he has found his thermostat turned up on more than one occasion despite not touching it himself. Apparently, Judge Campbell is still working away on his own plane of existence but continues to insist on a warm office!
The Courthouse was also the original location for the Shaw Festival when it began in 1962 and many are still quite fond of the cozy vibe it embodies. However, some not-so-cozy happenings have occurred over the years. From cold spots to the feeling of being watched ruthlessly, the second floor has often been a hot spot for paranormal activity. An angry spirit even sent a chandelier crashing down on a poor innocent janitor! While it hasn’t been confirmed which spirits might be causing these nasty instances, it’s only logical to think they could be tied to the trials that have occurred back in the day.
RELATED: Looking for more fun activities to enjoy in town? Don’t miss my guide to all the best things to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake!
The Breckenridge-Hawley Estate
Built in 1796, the Breckenridge-Hawley Estate is no stranger to paranormal encounters as reported sightings date back to the late 1800s. It was owned by Major Charles Stanley Herring during this time, a member of the British Army who was stationed in India. He claimed to see a woman in a long grey dress appear and disappear as if she was made of smoke.
Fast forward to 1953 when Aileen and Frank Hawley purchased the property. Unbeknownst to these ghostly instances, they quickly became accustomed to their front door knocker being tapped with no person in sight as well as knocks at their back door. Frequent visits from “the lady in grey” soon began and became so common they named her Elizabeth. The Hawley’s invited a psychic to investigate and discovered that she had died in the 1800s after devoting herself to taking care of her parents who lived here.
For the most part, it seems as though Elizabeth is quite friendly and typically never went out of her way to bother The Hawley’s. However, it has been said that she wouldn’t be the kindest to unwanted visitors! While Aileen and Frank no longer live here as the house has changed ownership, chances are Elizabeth is still keeping tabs on things.
This house is private property so please respect the current homeowners and refrain from trespassing.
Brockamour Manor Bed and Breakfast
In 1809, Captain John Powell built this home for his wife Isabella which is now known as Brockamour Manor. Son-in-law to Aeneas Shaw, he was a frequent visitor to the property. Since his wife’s sister, Sophia, lived with them, it wasn’t long until she met a young man by the name of Isaac Brock, yes, THE Sir Isaac Brock, and they quickly fell head over heels for each other. It even led to a secret engagement!
FUN FACT: Before it was acquired by Captain John Powell, this property belonged to Mohawk Chief Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant).
However, during the early hours of that fateful October day in 1812, Brock raced toward the sounds of battle as the Americans attacked Queenston Heights. He only stopped to hastily say goodbye to his darling Sophia. It wasn’t long after that he fell victim to the shot of an invading American soldier and the two would never be reunited. Upon hearing of this, Sophia was inconsolable, eventually dying at a young age which many claim was due to a broken heart. Her unending love is what influenced Brockamour’s name as it signifies the love of Brock – a tribute to Sophia’s loyalty and affection for him.
Guests have spotted “Sobbing Sophia” wandering the halls of Brockamour Manor and you can still hear her crying to this very day. Dare to spend the night and see if you catch a glimpse of her? Book a night at the Brockamour Manor Bed and Breakfast!
Olde Angel Inn
This iconic pub is a staple of Niagara-on-the-Lake and has been a part of the town’s landscape since the early 1800s. While many go for their fantastic British pub fare and their beautiful outdoor patio, some go to see if they can catch a glimpse at the infamous Captain Colin Swayze.
A British officer who was dispatched to what is now Canada, Swayze’s story predates the Olde Angel Inn. He was having a drink at its precursor, the Harmonious Coach House, whose foundation the Olde Angel Inn currently stands on. It was here that he fell in love with the innkeeper’s daughter. When the British were retreating, he knew he had to see her one last time and snuck his way past American soldiers to do so… or so he thought. They quickly surrounded the building as Swayze made his way to the basement to try and delay the inevitable. Unfortunately, he was found and met his demise, but not before he was able to say goodbye to his beloved as he perished in her arms.
The Olde Angel Inn is said to be one of not just the town’s but Canada’s most haunted properties with sightings dating back to as early as the 1820s! Take a seat inside the pub and you might just catch a lasting chill or a dark shadow out of the corner of your eye. If you’re brave enough, you can always test your wits and stay overnight in what’s said to be the most haunted of all the rooms – the General’s Quarters. However, with recounts of furniture being moved around and rambunctious behaviour occurring well after the Olde Angel Inn has closed for the night, you might not sleep much at all! See what others have had to say about their stay or click here to book your adventure.
Prince of Wales Hotel
The Prince of Wales Hotel is an iconic destination in the Niagara Region. Not only is it one of the most sought out after hotels in Niagara-on-the-Lake but its elegance is a draw for locals and visitors alike. Although, many don’t know about the young soul that lingers in its halls.
During your visit, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the ephemeral Molly McGuire. During the dark days that accompanied the First World War, Miss McGuire found the bright light that comes with falling in love. Head over heels for a soldier training at Camp Niagara, they both spent as much time as they could together knowing he would soon be called away to war. As that day drew nearer, they decided to make their love eternal by getting married at the Prince of Wales Hotel. It was the only luxury they could manage under the circumstances, but he insisted on making the day as special as he could.
They spent every moment they could together before he was called to the vicious war overseas. He promised to return to her once the war was done but you can surmise how his story ended. Molly was in disbelief upon receiving the news of her beloved’s demise – she thought it was a lie. But as the weeks passed and she slowly succumbed to the horrid truth, she began to withdraw. She barely left her room and eventually, was found deceased as she clutched a photo of her beloved soldier. Her determination to wait for her husband is what continues to tie her to the Prince of Wales to this very day.
While she’s been spotted in a number of places such as the grand lobby as well as sitting by the bar, Room 207 is said to be your best chance if you’re planning to stay overnight. If you’re brave enough, book your stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel now!
Fort George National Historic Site
Serving as the headquarters for Sir Isaac Brock during the War of 1812, Fort George was a military fortification used by the British Army. In May of 1813, it was captured by the Americans who in turn, built their own fortifications before it was retaken by the British just seven months later. While it was just a shell of its former self and abandoned in 1815, it has since been reconstructed under the guidance of Niagara Parks to later become the Parks Canada National Historic Site you see today.
The most distinct building on the grounds, the Officers’ Quarters, is no stranger to paranormal sights and sounds. Tended to by junior officers back in the day, it was actually quite the treat to be stationed here. Before the war, the young men who resided here enjoyed an atmosphere more like a gentlemen’s club than a military post. While the ensuing battles would take many of their lives, it’s no wonder they stick around to remember those golden days of plush furniture, top-quality food and the finer things in life. There have even been accounts of ghostly music and late-night singing, possibly an ode to that time!
One of the most encountered ghosts would be that of little Sarah Ann, a child of one of the higher-ranking soldiers stationed at Fort George. Cheerful yet mischievous, she’s been spotted a number of times including playing games of peek-a-boo, tugging on clothing and even skipping between guests touring the old fort. While little is known as to why she haunts Fort George, she lies at rest in St Mark’s Cemetery.
With so many deadly conflicts occurring on the grounds, it’s understandable to have a number of spirits lurking in the shadows. It’s possibly the most haunted location in all of Niagara!
Ready to Experience a Haunted Niagara?
Well, it’s no wonder that there are some areas of Niagara that go bump in the night! While I hadn’t thought about it much growing up here in the region, it’s certainly come to mind as I continue to delve deeper into where I’ve called home for over half my life. Here’s a map of these 10 haunted places in Niagara so you can plan your own adventures!
As I said, this post is all about the spooky destinations on the Canadian side. If you’re looking for haunted spots in Niagara County or Niagara Falls USA, you’ll have to stay tuned for a future post! I have heard that destinations like Niagara Falls State Park, Legends Bar & Grill in the Quality Hotel & Suites, the historic Holy Trinity school or book a night at the Red Coach Inn. You may also want to check out the Haunted History Trail of New York State if you’re interested in learning more!
Have you had any paranormal encounters at these locations? Maybe you caught a glimpse of a ghost at one of Niagara’s haunted tourist attractions? What about a Maybe you’ve gone on a Niagara ghost tour and saw something unexplainable? I’d love to hear in a comment below!
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