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Five Top Haunted Spots Near Niagara Falls, NY

Updated on April 1, 2013

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 upper Niagara River heads down to the falls.
The upper Niagara River heads down to the falls.

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.

Psychic Energy

Learn more about the psychic energy of Niagara Falls, NY and the ghostly beliefs of area residents.

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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

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Rapids Theatre

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

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Devil's Hole

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.

More About Devil's Hole

The Devil's Hole Massacre
The Devil's Hole Massacre

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.

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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.

WARNING!

If you want to do a paranormal investigation, you must contact the owner of the property. Never Trespass!

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Fort Niagara

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.

More Haunted Places in the Niagara Falls, NY Area

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Winery at Marjim Manor was another spot investigated by TAPS. With a rich history as private residence, a summer convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph, and finally a winery, Marjim Manor has spirits of all kinds. Voices, moving objects, apparitioBuilt in 1842, Ontario House, aka The Stone Jug Bar, sits on the Niagara River in Youngstown, NY right on the doorstep of Fort Niagara. They are serving up spirits here in both forms. Still functioning as a hotel as well as a tavern, Ontario House isRumours of hauntings at the Van Horn Mansion in Newfane, NY have been around for many years. Built in 1823 by Judge James Van Horn, it is the site of Newfane's first meeting. The grave of Malenda Van Horn, wife of James Van Horn Jr., is located in thA little girl named Tanya keeps employees of the Holiday Inn on Grand Island, NY on their toes, especially at night. She's a friendly little spirit who runs down the halls, jumps on the beds and plays in the indoor pool. Guests have claimed to hear a
The Winery at Marjim Manor was another spot investigated by TAPS. With a rich history as private residence, a summer convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph, and finally a winery, Marjim Manor has spirits of all kinds. Voices, moving objects, apparitio
The Winery at Marjim Manor was another spot investigated by TAPS. With a rich history as private residence, a summer convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph, and finally a winery, Marjim Manor has spirits of all kinds. Voices, moving objects, apparitio
Built in 1842, Ontario House, aka The Stone Jug Bar, sits on the Niagara River in Youngstown, NY right on the doorstep of Fort Niagara. They are serving up spirits here in both forms. Still functioning as a hotel as well as a tavern, Ontario House is
Built in 1842, Ontario House, aka The Stone Jug Bar, sits on the Niagara River in Youngstown, NY right on the doorstep of Fort Niagara. They are serving up spirits here in both forms. Still functioning as a hotel as well as a tavern, Ontario House is
Rumours of hauntings at the Van Horn Mansion in Newfane, NY have been around for many years. Built in 1823 by Judge James Van Horn, it is the site of Newfane's first meeting. The grave of Malenda Van Horn, wife of James Van Horn Jr., is located in th
Rumours of hauntings at the Van Horn Mansion in Newfane, NY have been around for many years. Built in 1823 by Judge James Van Horn, it is the site of Newfane's first meeting. The grave of Malenda Van Horn, wife of James Van Horn Jr., is located in th
A little girl named Tanya keeps employees of the Holiday Inn on Grand Island, NY on their toes, especially at night. She's a friendly little spirit who runs down the halls, jumps on the beds and plays in the indoor pool. Guests have claimed to hear a
A little girl named Tanya keeps employees of the Holiday Inn on Grand Island, NY on their toes, especially at night. She's a friendly little spirit who runs down the halls, jumps on the beds and plays in the indoor pool. Guests have claimed to hear a

What do you think about Niagara Falls, NY's most haunted places?

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    • secondhandrose lm profile imageAUTHOR

      secondhandrose lm 

      4 years ago

      @Teenie5454: Red Coach would be on my top ten list for haunted rumors. The owners will not paranormal teams investigate, so there is no actual confirmation of a haunting.

    • secondhandrose lm profile imageAUTHOR

      secondhandrose lm 

      5 years ago

      @Teenie5454: The owners are not receptive to paranormal investigators, but I have heard

      rumors of activity there.

    • profile image

      Teenie5454 

      5 years ago

      The Red Coach Inn

    • profile image

      Teenie5454 

      5 years ago

      Check into the red coach inn...

    • secondhandrose lm profile imageAUTHOR

      secondhandrose lm 

      5 years ago

      @evfan2267: That is very true. We live 4 miles from the falls and work in the city. We are never surprised about the people found in the gorge. Unfortunately, the falls is not just a magnet for romance, but also for suicides. I had a few experiences in the Frontier House myself. Unnerving.

    • profile image

      evfan2267 

      5 years ago

      i am not even surprised by any of these, living in the falls you know a thing or two about haunted locations especially when a lot of death occurs down at the waterfall itself, people committing suicide and people accidentally dying there death is kind of an everyday thing here and it doesn't surprise me in the least that these locations are haunted plus ive seen things in the frontier house that i didn't know existed at the time!

    • secondhandrose lm profile imageAUTHOR

      secondhandrose lm 

      5 years ago

      @anonymous: We have, but we did not have any results. That doesn't mean it isn't haunted, it just wasn't active that night. The sites listed here have consistent activity.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Ever look into the Stone Jug in Youngstown?

    • secondhandrose lm profile imageAUTHOR

      secondhandrose lm 

      5 years ago

      @CaztyBon: Thank you.

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 

      5 years ago

      I went to Old Fort Niagara many times over the years for different reasons I myself never heard or saw anything. I did go for Halloween one year and took the tour it was real spooky and at the same time fun. I really enjoyed learning about the other places I will have to go and see them. I really enjoy your lenses.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      I live in youngstown so I frequently hung out at fort Niagara growing up and you defiantly feel like you are being watched especially after dark walking to your car. the same goes for the basement of the old McDonald's in lewiston

    • reserve123 profile image

      reserve123 

      5 years ago

      I wondered about hauntings in such a historic location. Great lens. I appreciate the information.

    • willybinns lm profile image

      willybinns lm 

      6 years ago

      Devil's Hole sound amazing. I just recently came back from Old Fort Erie in Canada and I was wondering if any there were any hauntings or such. My next trip to Niagara Falls will certainly include some of these sports. Great Lens!

    • QuiltFinger profile image

      QuiltFinger 

      6 years ago from Tennessee

      OMG! These are so creepy!! Great lens!

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 

      6 years ago

      Nice Lens. Thanks so much for sharing. See ya.

    • profile image

      puddytat101 

      6 years ago

      very nice lens

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 

      6 years ago

      This is great fun! I knew about Fort NIagara but the other places are new to me. Learned something here today!

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 

      6 years ago

      I had heard of Ft Niagara but not the other places... I love a good ghost story. We visit the area every few years. Next time I'm going to make sure we visit some of these spots.

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