Originally constructed some 300 years ago on the eastern bank at the mouth of the Niagara River, Fort Niagara is one of the most haunted sites in New York.

Originally built as Fort Conti in 1687 for New France, the fort endured harsh winters and severe disease that led to countless deaths and setbacks. In 1726 the "Maison a Machicoulis" was constructed and the fort was expanded as tensions increased between the British and French colonies.

It's most significant role came in 1759 at the Battle of Fort Niagara during the French and Indian War when it fell to British forces and remained under their banner for the next 37 years before falling into American hands for the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

After congress declared war in June of 1812, Fort Niagara was faced with hostile troops stationed at Fort George less than 1200 yards away. The opposing forces spent much of the summer gathering forces and in the fall, open conflict gave Fort Niagara one of it's bloodiest days in its history leaving more than 4,000 dead in a few short days.

 

The most significant moment of the battle was when the powder magazine at the fort caught fire and soldiers reported seeing a 200 foot tower of flame shoot into the air with debris and dead.

Old Fort Niagara's blood-soaked history undoubtedly has much to do with the numerous ghost reports of activity that can still be experienced to this day. There are reports of a headless ghost that haunts the French Castle, unexplained shadows, slamming doors and mysterious orbs of light that many have reported.

These ghostly accounts have led many paranormal groups including national ghost hunting shows like Ghost Adventures, Ghost Lab and even the original Ghost Hunters to attempt to document the activity with interesting results.

Fortunately for everyone, Fort Niagara openly accepts the reports and even offers other the chance to experience some of the phenomena for themselves through "Haunted Fortress" tours each year. The Fort challenges participants to try to capture evidence and learn more about the history that could have created these ghosts. Unfortunately, they do tend to scare the staff on occasion as well.