Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a big fan of "Ghost Adventures" on the Travel Channel. I don't know what it is, but I just absolutely love that show. If, for some reason, my DVR fails to record it while I'm gone, it's upsetting, and sadness ensues.
Recently, the "GAC" (Ghost Adventures Crew) did a segment at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in the Old Town section of San Diego. I've been there a couple of times, and it was kinda' cool to see the GAC go through these areas where I'd already been.
Now, while these guys have travelled the globe, they do most of their ghost hunting here in the United States. A lot of it is done in New England, and that's where I'm working now. Why not visit more of the places that they've investigated? That's my new quest. When they investigate someplace in New England, it's going to go on my list of places to visit. No, I don't know why, other than I think it would be cool to go shooting in the same places they've investigated.
So, yeah, maybe I really am a geek.
The first of these places would be Old Fort Niagara. Old Fort Niagara has been occupied (at different times, of course) by three different countries. The French established the post in 1679. The British took it from the French in 1759, and the United States took it from the British in 1796. It was captured by the British during the war of 1812, and was ceded again to the United States in 1815. It sits at the mouth of the Niagara River:
|The Niagara River, as seen from Old Fort Niagara...|
This is a fort with over 300 years of history behind it, and there's a lot to see. For me, one of the cooler things to see was the United States flag that was captured by the British in 1812. It's had some minor repairs done to it, but it's much the same as it was 199 years ago:
|The US Flag, now stained (yet very well preserved), which was captured by the British in 1812...|
The entry way into the fort is impressive. It's a massive stone archway which, at one time, housed a working draw bridge. While the workings of the bridge are still in place, the bridge has been replaced with a deck for visitors to enter on:
|The entrance to Old Fort Niagara...|
The most imposing structure of the entire compound is known as "The French Castle". The French built the four-floor castle in 1726. When GAC was here, they determined that this was the most haunted site in the entire complex. That doesn't really surprise me. This is a massive structure which has certainly seen its fair share of violent activity:
|The French Castle, built in 1726...|
With four floors to explore, this would take some time. The second floor was the place to go, as it contained everything from officer's quarters to a chapel:
|The chapel, located on the second floor of the French Castle...|
One of the more reputedly haunted areas is near an old well, which sits just inside the main entrance to the castle. As legend has it, a French officer had his head handed to him (literally) in a duel, and his decapitated body was thrown into the well. Now a headless apparition roams the castle looking for its head:
|Here a French officer met his demise..|
There isn't a big military presence at Fort Niagara anymore. The only active duty military still here is the US Coast Guard, which is on hand to perform maintenance. I guess if you have to be stationed somewhere, there are worse places to be:
|The US Coast Guard Station at Old Fort Niagara...|
As I was driving out, I noticed a small cemetery just outside the main grounds of the fort. Now, even though I have a thing for old graveyards, I opted not to get out and walk around. It was cold, I was tired and,w ell, I just didn't have it in me. Besides, this isn't the last time I'll be able to visit here. Even still, I did take the opportunity to snap a quick shot:
|A cemetery at Old Fort Niagara...|
With a full day behind me, I figured it was time to head back to my hotel, and get ready to drive to Toronto on Monday...