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The Haunted Fortress at Old Fort Niagara

by jpauly
Tue, Oct 7th 2014 03:00 pm

Haunted Fortress Brings Ghost Stores to Life


Contact: Robert Emerson (716) 745-7611 remerson@oldfortniagara.org

            What's the most famous ghost story in western New York? It's a tough question in a region that is rich in supernatural lore. Among the best known stories is certainly the tale of the headless ghost that reputedly haunts Old Fort Niagara's French Castle. Legend has it that two French officers fought a sword duel and one was decapitated. The duel's survivor threw the deceased's head in Lake Ontario and stuffed the headless body down the well. On nights of the full moon a ghost allegedly rises from the well in search of its wayward cranium.

            The headless ghost is undoubtedly Old Fort Niagara's best known ghost story. Virtually every school child in the region has heard one version of the story or another. Most people aren't so familiar with dozens of other unexplained phenomena that have been reported over the Fort's long history.

            On Saturday nights October 18 and 25 visitors to the Fort will have the opportunity to come face to face with the darker side of the Fort's history. Over the years, the Fort has been the scene of violent death, sickness and starvation. Several of these stories will come to life during the Fort's annual Haunted Fortress. This year's event will add some new stories to the haunted tour. Visitors will travel back to 1687 when the French left 100 men to winter at the Fort and found only 12 left alive when they returned in the spring. They'll also meet a British wood cutting party that was attacked by American militia and did not survive the encounter. There will be a variety of ghosts and ghouls that wander the dark corridors of the French Castle. Visitors can linger by a large bonfire and hear true ghost stories or visit the garrison cemetery. Food will be available for sale.

            The Haunted Fortress is a fund raising event that supports educational programming at Old Fort Niagara. Tickets are $13.00 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling (716) 745-7611. The tour is not recommended for children under age 8. Visitors are urged to wear walking shoes. For more information, visit the Fort's website at www.oldfortniagara.org .

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