Anyone can go to a haunted house, but only if you lived near Fort Ticonderoga could you go to a haunted fort! There are many legends about ghosts at Fort Ticonderoga, a French and Indian War and Revolutionary War Fort on the shores of Lake Champlain in New York.
The largest and best known battle fought at the Fort was the Battle of Carillion on July 7-8, 1758 during which the British, with more troops and supplies handily beat the French who occupied the Fort at the time, and had many fewer soldiers. The Fort was occupied for many years by troops from varying alliances, and the entire 460 acre garrison grounds are basically one big graveyard full of unmarked graves.
The spookiness and pitch black darkness of the Fort at night coupled with the many ghost stories and sightings from the years made it a perfect place to stage the haunted house of all haunted houses.
Visitors drove down the mile long entrance road, thickly wooded with trees. Jack-o-lanterns winked and flickered on tree stumps. Groups were led by costumed guides with lanterns through the darkened Fort, where they might encounter the ghost of a soldier or his family, or Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys taking over the Fort. The walls were twenty feet high, and walking between them at night listening to the creaking of wood bridges and jangling of chains from long-dead captives sent shivers down everybody’s spines.
Real ghost stories are many. They are also quite convincing. The museum of the fort is mostly housed within its south barracks building. The “museum ladies,” as they are known, clean the cases daily because dust from the parade ground is ever-present. Frequently, they will come in to find collection items in different places in the locked cases. At the end of the evening, as maintenance men lock up the Fort, several sightings of a red coat in one of the upper windows of the south barracks have been reported. At any given time, the person living in the gate house at the Fort’s front gate might hear women crying outside the window when nobody is there. The Pavilion, which is a house down by the lake, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sarah Pell, who lived there in the 1920s and 1930s. She often appears in the window overlooking the King’s Garden.
The Haunted Fort was definitely one of the most interesting and unique haunted experiences in the North Country. You never knew if you were seeing or hearing a real ghost, or just your neighbor dressed up like one.
Visit the official site of Fort Ticonderoga