Clifton Hill has become a popular destination for horror lovers. A string of Haunted Houses line the streets near the intense Niagara Falls, attracting thousands of people who are looking for haunted tourist attractions to combine spine-tingling attractions with an extraordinary natural wonder.
What these scare-seekers may not know is that documented ghost sightings and hauntings exist across the Niagara region, from haunted pubs to legendary theatres and beyond. Today, we are counting down our favourite Niagara “haunts” for those seeking a truly spooky time in our region.
Truly Haunted Niagara Spots to Check Out This Halloween
Sobbing Sophia at Brockamour Manor Bed & Breakfast.
If you stay at the beautiful Brockamour Manor, keep an eye out for a pale, crying lady in the hallways or near the armoire. The ghost of “sobbing Sophia is said to haunt this B&B, sadly walking through the halls as she mourns her lost love. Built in 1809, this building was originally the luxurious home of Captain John Powell. His wife’s sister, Sophia, was a frequent guest at the residence. Another person who often walked the halls of this building was the famous General Isaac Brock, today celebrated as the British hero of the War of 1812. While together in the home, Sophia and Brock struck up a forbidden romance and became secretly engaged, despite the disapproval of Sophia’s father.
While Sophia’s family could not get in the way of their love, something far more fatal would ruin their plans: a bullet. On October 13, 1812, General Isaac Brock was shot and killed in the Battle of Queenston Heights. If you visit the site, you can see the massive monument erected in his honour. The sobbing ghost of his would-be widow, however, stays situated in the home where she lived out her remaining years in mourning.
Brockamour Manor is a six-room Bed and Breakfast located at 433 King Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. For more information on availability and rates, click here.
Molly McGuire in Room 207 at the Prince of Wales Hotel.
Guests in Room 207 at the Prince of Wales Hotel have reported many strange occurrences in this room: lights flickering, lingering footsteps, even a showerhead turning on and off without explanation. Once, a guest even checked out of the hotel because the ghostly experiences scared them so! According to the history of the building, the tragic fate of Molly McGuire is behind these hauntings.
During the War of 1812, American forces laid siege at Newark (now known as Niagara-on-the-Lake). A young soldier charged with raiding a wooden house saw a tall shadowy, figure standing in the second-floor window – a British soldier! The man took action, piercing the supposed enemy combatant with his bayonet.
As the person collapsed from the fatal hit, the soldier was horrified to see that he had stabbed an innocent, unarmed woman. Molly McGuire had been standing at the window awaiting her husband’s return home and had not seen or heard the soldier entering the house. She was left to die on the floor in the very location that Room 207 now sits in the Prince of Wales Hotel.
Prince of Wales Hotel is a Victorian-style hotel at 6 Picton Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. For more information on availability and rates, click here.
Captain Swayze at The Olde Angel Inn.
You’re probably noticing that haunted Niagara is rife with love stories – a fitting theme for the honeymoon capital of the world! The story of Captain Swayze at the Olde Angel Inn is another tale of love and loss set during the War of 1812.
The year was 1813, and Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) was ablaze. The attack was led by “turncoats,” would-be British soldiers who had joined the American side of the war and torched their own town. Those loyal to the British were ordered to evacuate as the battle raged, but a man named Captain Swayze refused to budge.
Swayze refused to leave until he was reunited with the woman he loved. As the battle and burning raged, he raced to a wine cellar and sought shelter in an empty barrel. Enemy forces followed, brutally stabbing each wine barrel until he lay dying on the floor.
Despite this tragic end, the determined Swayze appears to be awaiting his love even today. The wine cellar where he died is now the basement of the Olde Angel Inn, and hauntings there are frequent: dishes rearranging themselves, phantom footsteps, and even a man reporting someone using the stall beside him when no one was there. Hauntings are particularly frequent in the basement bathrooms for pub guests at Olde Angel Inn, so keep both ears and eyes open if you venture down those steps.
The Olde Angel Inn is located at 224 Regent Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Menus, the entertainment calendar, and inn reservations are available here.
Ghostly soldiers at Fort George.
If you attend a tour at Fort George and see a little girl suddenly appear and follow behind your group, do not be too alarmed. The harmless ghost of a child, said to be a soldier’s daughter, has been seen on group tours more than once. Other haunted experiences include glimpses of soldiers, knocking sounds in empty buildings, and a woman who frequents to Officer’s Quarters.
Hauntings in the Fort are so prevalent that the Friends of Fort George even offer candlelight ghost tours of the Fort. A great Niagara tradition, the tours get particularly spooky around Halloween season! Learn more here.
The Old Courthouse in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Find a person who has worked in the Old Courthouse, now a renowned Shaw Festival and event venue, and they’ll probably have a ghost story (or five) to share. One young woman reported hearing a loud knocking from the inside of the Court’s original jail cell, despite the fact that no one was there. Another was cleaning a large event room when she witnessed the chandelier aggressively swing from side to side. Built in 1847, this beautiful Victorian structure has played many roles in the lives of Niagara residents. After it ceased being a courthouse in 1862, the building has been used as a market, a fire hall, a library, a post office and even a factory before becoming a Shaw Festival theatre. Today, you can catch a play or attend an event at the site. Just make sure you aren’t alone inside at night!
To hear more tales of Courthouse hauntings, check out the Niagara-on-the-Lake ghost walks here.
Niagara Falls + Haunted Sights = The Ultimate Adrenaline Pumping Trip
For horror junkies, October is a popular month to visit Niagara Falls. With haunted tourist attractions in full swing and special ghost tours available, there is no shortage of ghostly attractions. The water is still nice enough to book a Niagara Falls boat tour and many adrenaline-pumping excursions are still available for visitors, making it easy to book a delightful trip for all. Plus, you can’t go wrong with the flavours of the autumn harvest or the escarpment with fall colours!
Have you ever seen a ghost wandering the Niagara region? Have a favourite “haunt” in the area? Let us know – we’d love to share your story!