This magnification fort is known as Fort Henry. It was built during the war of 1812. The first one was built in between great Britain (present day Canada) and The United States. It is part of the reason Canada/Great Britain won the war. It’s said that the american soldiers would sail up to one of the neighbouring thousand islands and check it out to see if it was safe. However, great Britain always had soldiers on post. Great Britain believed the fort would get attacked because it was near Royal Naval Docks (current day Royal Military College.) It was a secluded fort at the opening of the St. Lawrence River. The american’s believed it would cut off our trading route and communications with the rest of the city of Kingston and anything to the east of the city. The present day fort is the one from the picture above. The new one protects 3 bodies of water, The St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario and The Rideau Canal for the trading routes.
In 1870 the British troupes abandoned the fort and Canadian troops took over until 1891. The fort was left abandoned and unmanaged until 1936 when it was claimed and as of 1938 it became a museum.
I have been to the fort 4 times. Twice for the historic tour of the museum and twice because in October every year they turn the fort into a haunted house for Halloween. (Would highly recommend both if anyone visits the city). During the last Fort Fright, we had the opportunity to do a haunted walk and learn about the hauntings of the fort.
On the slope of the hill where the fort stands, there used to be the gallows. A man by the name of Nils Von Schoultz who was from Finland, met his end at these gallows. He considered himself a romantic and freedom fighter. After his work in Poland’s revolution he relocated to the U.S. He joined an organization by the name of The Hunter’s Lodge. They recruited Americans who wanted in invade Canada because they believed Canadians were being oppressed by the British. They believed Canadians would join their side in rebellion. They were wrong. Von Schoultz and 200 men arrived in Canada and they fought against Canadian’s in a place known as Prescott. The battle is now known as the battle of the windmill. Von Schoultz had a trial and pleaded guilty. He was then hung in the Gallows in Kingston in 1838. It’s said his spirit still lingers at Fort Henry.
In officers quarters 3, something unusual seems to be happening. The rocking chair in the room has been seen rocking back and forth. No one is able to touch it as the room is hidden behind a giant glass window. In the hall in front of the room reports have said they have seen a blue orb floating or sometimes floating above the rocking chair. Many people say they feel as though someone in the room is watching them. Its always reported as a negative feeling. Most feel as though it might be Nils Von Schoultz, which would make sense due to how the old fort was laid out. Children are usually the witness’ to the uncomfortable presence that haunts Guard Quarter # 3.
In 1865 a man was escorting “ladies” home and on his way back to the fort he fell into a large ditch which was about 30ft deep and died short after. The man’s name was Enseign Godfrey.
In 1849 a man was thrown from his carriage at The Penny bridge, into a ditch. He also died.
A caretaker of the fort was to fire the noonday gunshot and he was in a hurry to leave and get to town so he reloaded the gun after shooting it off. He didn’t let the gun cool off before ramming it with more gunpowder. It went off and killed the man.
Another gunner named John Smith in 1838 was ramming home a cartridge into a big gun on the wall. He was using a paper cartridge which tore and ignited before he was in the clear. He was blown into the inner wall of the fort and then the outer wall, where he fell into the 30 foot ditch and died 6 hours later.
To add to the list of hauntings, Canada held prisoners of war from both world wars at Fort Henry where some of them died.
The kitchen of the present day fort, has experienced poltergeist activity from what is believed to be a young child of a solider who had to stay at the fort. Things have been seen flying around the kitchen and doors slamming and locking on their own. Tourists have reported feeling someone touching their hands. Next to the kitchen is the school room.
my photo of part of the kitchen
In 1997, tourists parked in the parking lot of the fort and took their dogs for a walk around the outside of the fort. The fort was empty. They went to the back of the fort and heard loud noises coming from inside. The sounds of a dozen men or so yelling. They reported seeing a few bonfire lights as the men were yelling. They assumed a special event was taking place so they went back to the front to talk to security who told them all the workers had left for the day already.
A few years ago a security guard was making their rounds around the fort when he heard voices and as he drew closer to the lower fort area where they were coming from he heard glass break coming from the school room, which was across the parade yard. He yelled out to whomever was there saying the gates are locked and they can’t get out. There was no reply so he radioed his partner for help. They investigated and heard multiple voices in the distance and more glass breaking. They called the police who did a sweep of the entire fort and found no one, and no broken glass. They joked saying the security should take a night off. As the police pulled away, the noises came back with footsteps in the parade yard. The security called the police back and after begging for awhile they came back for another search. They found nothing again. As they were about to leave they heard glass shatter about 20-30 ways away from them. The police drew their guns and called for backup. They all searched the fort once more and found nothing. They told security to lock up and go home for the night.
my photo of the school room
My photo of the parade yard
A man named John McAuliffe might be one of the angry spirits roaming the fort. He was known as a violent man and when almost arrested by the soldiers, he cursed at them and struck one solider with his rifle. He stabbed another solider. He was hung at the fort in 1835.
In one of the guard rooms a tall man with a dark beard is often seen but know one knows who he is.
one of the upper ranked guardsmen room
Another guard room. Note: the blue light is my flash
but then realized no one Another Guard room
Voices can be heard in the dry ditch where John Montgomery’s victorious escape from his imprisonment at the fort happened in the 1838 rebellion. Several others tried scaling the walls in the middle of a rain storm with Montgomery. Maybe Montgomery returned to where he had his victory or maybe its the voices of those who died in the ditch.
The most occurring spirit is nicknamed the ‘Wandering Ghost’. In 1990 a senior member of the Fort Henry guard was doing his nightly routine and as he looked for any cigarettes or candles that may still be lit he would often get chills on the back of his neck. Making his hair stand up each time, he walked through the dark rooms. He always felt as though someone was watching him but he grew used to it. He was used to seeing people walking around the fort in the old uniforms so he wasn’t surprised when he saw a man with a dark beard wearing one. He ignored him at first but realized no one else should be left in the fort. He thought it was his own reflection when he thought about it but then he saw the uniformed man walk passed the window and walk to the outer wall. when the guardsmen went outside the man in the uniform was gone.
In 2001, one of the tour guides was giving a tour through the barracks rooms when she and several customers saw a shadowy figures reflection in the window. The shadow appear to look like a man marching in the middle of the parade square. When she and the tour group reached the doorway the figure disappeared. Guards have also reported seeing a figure in the square who appeared drunk or badly injured. The same figure was also seen back in the 1960’s.
Who are all of these spirits? We may never know.