Headless Ghosts, Drownings, and Mysterious Screaming at Niagara

September, 1814 – Fort Erie, Niagara Region – Canada – The battle rages on. British troops maintain their hold on the Northeast corner of the fort and continue to fire cannonballs into the American defenders. The rest of the fort belongs to those flying the Stars and Stripes, but the redcoats continue to fight as the death toll nears 2000 men. Seemingly oblivious to the chaos around him, one young soldier calmly shaves another, chatting merrily about prospects when the war is over. The streaking cannonball takes them both out, decapitating the soldier being shaved and blowing off the hands of the shaver before crushing his chest. Then the powder magazine explodes and the scene gets eerily quiet as he loses consciousness.

Fast forward to today. Fort Erie has been rebuilt and is now a major tourist attraction for those on Niagara Falls tours and visiting other sites around Ontario. But It’s not just the historical significance of the fort that draws people in. Visitors report strange apparitions of American and British soldiers seemingly stuck in time where they once stood, fought and died. One of the most common sights is of a headless man and another with no hands wandering the grounds together.

When you book a Niagara Falls tour you expect to see the majestic wall of water the region is known for, visit some shops for a souvenir or two, and maybe hit one of the many local nightclubs if you’re staying a while. Have you ever thought of checking out some of the haunted happenings in the region? There are a number of them, some sites of the bloody battles of 1814 and others inexplicable and immersed in local legend and folklore. Folks have claimed battle visions at Chippewa Battlefield and Lake George, and others have visited ancient houses and inns that produce moans and creaks seemingly of otherworldly origin.

The Mahoney Dollhouse Gallery at Bertie Hall in Fort Erie, once a stop on the Underground Railroad, is said to have been the site of two terrible drownings. The tunnel into the basement flooded early in the 1800’s and killed a slave coming through to his freedom and later on the same type of incident killed the son of Captain Forsythe, then owner of the property. The tunnel was sealed but apparitions can still be seen in the house and the dollhouses appear to move on their own at times.

Last but not least on any Niagara Falls tour is the Screaming Tunnel, located in the northwest section of Niagara Falls at the end of a quiet road just off Queen Elizabeth Way. Legend has it that a nearby farm caught on fire and a young girl ran screaming into the tunnel only to succumb without being extinguished and burn to death. They say you can still hear her scream late at night. If you dare you can visit the Screaming Tunnel and find out for yourself.

BOLA TANGKAS