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Five Top Haunted Spots Near Niagara Falls, NY
Five Top Haunted Spots in Niagara Falls, NY
Niagara Falls is one of the seven wonders of the world and draws over twelve million visitors each year. Some of them, however, are no longer among the living. Throughout the Niagara Frontier there are stories and rumors of places where the spirits have made themselves known through sounds, moving objects, conversations and acutal apparitions. Through this lens you will discover the most haunted locations around Niagara Falls, NY. You might want to stop by and mingle with the ghosts on your next visit.
Photo by Rick Doan
The Haunted Niagara Frontier
All along the Niagara River ghost stories have circulated down through generations of residents on both sides of the US/Candian border. The area is known for its myths and legends. The Seneca Nation has always believed that the Niagara Frontier is a doorway to the spirit world. The area mystified early white settlers and a strong psychic energy continues to surge through the region to this day.
The Niagara Frontier begins with the upper Niagara River which flows 22 miles (35 km) from Lake Erie to the cascade rapids 1 km upstream from the falls. The Niagara River cuts a swath between Southern Ontario and Western New York, circling around Grand Island, before plummeting over the falls, (188 feet or 57m over the Horseshoe falls and 110 feet or 34m over the American Falls.) Once over the falls the lower portion of the Niagara River turns northward, careening through the gorge between Canada and the US until it reaches Lake Ontario. It is along and near this route that the most haunted places in Niagara Falls, NY can be found.
Learn more about the psychic energy of Niagara Falls, NY and the ghostly beliefs of area residents.
Clet Hall, Niagara University
Clet Hall at Niagara University ranks as the fifth most haunted place in Niagara Falls, NY. It was the first building erected following the purchase of the campus in 1856. The actual building dates back to 1862 and was named for French missionary Frances Regis Clet.
Over the years there have been several fires in which students have died. Thomas Hopkins died in the fire of December 5, 1864 and many living students have claimed to see him walking the corridors of Clet Hall. Whispers, strange noises and shadows of others who died in the many fires have been experienced by several students over the years in the dorm room and the adjacent Louise Leary Theatre and the Elzabeth Ann Clune Center.
This is one place where the dead study side-by-side with the living.
Photo from Niagara University
Fourth on the most haunted spot list is The Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, NY. It was built as the Bellvue movie theatre in 1921, an opulent movie and vaudeville house with columned walls, sculpted ceiling and a grand balcony. Store fronts shared the first floor with the theater and offices occupied the second floor. As the Bellvue, the building hosted many stage and screen performers including the Three Stooges.
Several decades and several owners later, the theater was purchased by the Cataract Strand Theatre Corp. in 1961 and renamed the Rapids Theater. Over the next few decades the theatre closed and opened under new ownership several times; usually reborn as a dance club. In 2007, Niagara Falls native, John Hutchins purchased the theater in a tax forecloursure. In 2009, after extensive renovations, he reopened it as The Rapids Theater, a concert and event venue. What he didn't know when he purchased the building was that he was also purchasing the resident ghosts.
A story surrounds the old theatre about a distraught actress who hung herself backstage after losing her lover to another. Paranormal claims include sightings of the woman, the sound of high heels walking on the floor, whistles and moving shadows.
In the fall of 2011, TAPS, (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), from the TV show Ghost Hunters on the Syfy Channel, investigated The Rapids Theater. Their evidence findings revealed whistles, voices, footsteps and a moving shadow.
If you go to The Rapids Theater for a concert, wedding or other event, enjoy yourself, but watch who you may be dancing with. Your partner may not be alive.
Photo courtsey of Rapids Theatre
The Rapids Theatre and TAPS
The third most haunted spot in Niagara Falls, NY is Devil's Hole, located on the American shoreline of the Niagara River Gorge. It is the site of a 1763 bloody massacre of British soldiers by Seneca Indians. Devil's Hole is said to have paranormal activity occurring day and night. Visitors claim to have seen apparitions, heard voices speaking in different languages and have been touched by something unseen. It is accessed through Devil's Hole State Park. Steep stone steps and flagstone pathways lead down into the gorge. It was here that the British soldiers were forced over the precipice to their deaths. Most of the paranormal activity is said to take place in and near the cave which the Seneca's calls "the cave of evil spirits."
I took this photo about five years ago. No, I'm not brave, just curious.
Devil's Hole History
- Devil's Hole Cave
Discover more about the massacre and the cave at Devil's Hole.
More About Devil's Hole
This historical book has all the details of the horrible event that has left Devil's Hole haunted.
Paranormal Investigator Equipment
Here is some favored equipment of my paranormal team and other investigators.
Frontier House, Lewiston, NY
Located seven miles north of Niagara Falls, NY, the Frontier House, on Center Street in the town of Lewiston, ranks as the area's second most haunted place. Built in 1824 as a hotel, it also served as a stagecoach stop. Governor DeWitt Clinton, Edward, Prince of Wales, Jenny Lind, and Henry Clay are among the famous guests who stayed at the Frontier House. During its history it has been a private home, a fine dining hall, a museum and, most recently, a McDonald's restaurant.
In 1826 William Morgan, a Masonic brick layer, was kidnapped and brought to Frontier House by other Freemasons who were against a book he published that exposed their secrets. He was held in a carriage behind Frontier House before being imprisoned at Fort Niagara. Rumor persists he was brought back to Frontier House and murdered. His ghost is claimed to have been seen numerous times within the building.
Another story surrounding Frontier House is that of a construction worker who fell from the third floor to the basement and died. Fearing they would be blamed for his death, his fellow workers stuffed him into the stonework of the basement wall to cover up the evidence. During renovations for McDonald's, workers claimed their tools and equipment disappeared right before their eyes. The dead construction worker received the blame.
Over the years paranormal claims have come from employees and patrons alike. These include doors and windows opening of their own accord, strange sounds, the ghoslty appearance of an elderly man in the pantry, and the silhoutte of a woman walking on the second floor. McDonald's patrons were reluctant to use the restrooms, which were located in the basement, as they heard voices and felt as if they were being watched.
Frontier House is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has remained vacant since McDonald's moved out in 2004. A Culinary School is currently in the planning stages. It will be interesting to discover which spirits will join in on the cooking lessons.
Photo from the Town of Lewiston.
Boo-tiful Lewiston, NY
If you want to do a paranormal investigation, you must contact the owner of the property. Never Trespass!
Fort Niagara is the number one haunted spot in Niagara Falls, NY. The fort has stood on the bluff above Lake Ontario since 1726 and has been occupied by the French, British, and Americans. Numerous deaths have occurred over the centuries. Many died in battle. Others died of illness or the severe winter cold.
Grim tales of torture and death have been accompained by heavy paranormal activity, especially in the French Castle where mysterious whispers can be heard even during the day. Other claims range from strange reflections, dancing lights, battle sounds, and voices to moving chairs, hair pulling, footsteps, and the feeling of being watched.
It is at the fort that William Morgan, a Masonic brick layer, disappeared from his locked cell in the powder magazine and was thought to have been murdered at Frontier House in Lewiston. The lighthouse keeper, a French Count and Onondaga Chief Aaron all died in the fort and are said to appear on the grounds at any time. Activity occurs day and night. Visitors to the French Castle never linger after experiencing hair pulling, whispered conversations in French and cold spots.
The most famous story linked to the fort involves a duel within the French Castle between two French soldiers over an Iroquois maiden. One of the men was decaptiated by the other who shoved the corpse's body into the well. The story goes that the winning duelist threw his competitor's head into the Niagara River before running off with the maiden. The dead man supposedly still walks about the castle looking for his head.
In the chapel sounds of heavy benches that are not there are heard being dragged about. Footsteps and floating candles are also some of the claims.
TAPS from Ghost Hunters investigated Fort Niagara in the summer of 2011 and were able to capture some interesting evidence.
With such a long and violant history it is no wonder that the spirits still haunt Fort Niagara.
This photo was taken from Fort Niagara park.
Fort Niagara Items
Some of my favorite research guides to Fort Niagara.
Do Things Go Bump in the Night at your Home or Business?
Local professional paranormal investigators can help.
Local Paranormal Investigators
- Southern Tier Research Into Paranormal Events
Serving all of Western New York, this group of investigators take their job seriously. Investigating since 2006, they can help you find the answers to your paranormal problems.
- Beyond Ghosts
Paranormal Investigarors who also hold learning events at many of the locations found in this lens.
- Buffalo Paranormal Investigators
Specialize in private residences.