It was a barbaric war; in an inhospitable climate; with an abundant number of ghost creating opportunities. There were nasty endings from bayonets, swords, musket balls and cannon balls; plus, two huge explosions at Fort York and Fort Erie which resulted in missing bones and unmarked graves.
If you add savagery and death by tomahawk to the following; then death from drowning, freezing, disease, burning and sickness would include a greater numbers of victims than the major battles.
If you thought that being wounded was a better fate, then think again. Instead of a proper pain killer, the wounded were given rum and a musket ball to clamp between their teeth while they braved the most hideous fate possible for wounded soldiers: the barbaric battlefield medical practice of amputation. If a soldier’s last memory on earth was “being wounded” before he died, then that agony might also survive the grave.
Because both America and Britain were not prepared to wage a war with each, there was a shortage of regular soldiers to command in 1812. Therefore, the North American armies were also comprised of militia, Native American Indians and part-time soldiers. Moreover, what started as a political row in the seats of power became more of a personal matter at the local level. In addition to the mounting anger, there was pressure on both sides to increase the number of regular troops in the field as the war continued. The increase in regular troops contributed to a more bitter and violent war, with the final result being several large scale battles and a siege.
Why did the dead remain restless you might ask? Why indeed.
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About the Author
The HauntedForts and Battlefields of 1812
By C.T. Shooting Star
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2011 C.T. Shooting Star
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Haunted Forts and Battlefields of Niagara
(August 2004–July 2006)
Fort Erie August 2004
The night time re-enactment at Fort Erie involves more than just battles. The re-enactors like to give you a realistic taste of military life under stressful conditions. Here's what going on tonight: there's an amputation being performed on a soldier; there's a bargaining session between an American and a British officer; there's a lively interaction between captured British soldiers and an American guard; there's another American soldier who is patrolling along the fort's fortification in search of the enemy; and finally, there's a treat for all the visitors to the fort who find their way to the kitchen.
But what about the phantoms who reside at the fort?
With all of the action going on at the fort during the evening hours, we decided to look for ghosts during the daytime. The summer students who are employed as staff won't normally tell you about the ghost of the British Captain who lives upstairs and doesn't like his bed made up. One of the bravest soldiers at that fort would not go up to the haunted room because the ghostly Captain kept throwing the bedclothes off "his" bed, after it was made up. The young re-enactor soldier finally gave the bed making job to a female staffer who apologized to the Captain and appealed to him for his co-operation in keeping the place fit for the tourists. It worked. The ghost began to co-operate. Perhaps, some of the ghosts at the fort are friendly after all, if you show respect towards them.
Ghost Tours at Fort George Summer of 2004
Kyle Upton started the ghost tour at Fort George several years ago. He collected some fascinating ghost stories and wrote a book about them called "The Ghosts of Niagara." He is also one of the most entertaining ghost tour guides you will ever have the pleasure to meet.
Nevertheless, there are some very bad psychic spots at Fort George which is located near the mouth of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. In fact, you could say that there are a few evil spirits there. There is at least one nasty ghost at Fort George called the "Watcher." His face is so evil looking, it can give you nightmares.
One of the fort staff saw him, after he challenged the ghost to appear. Unfortunately, the ghost did appear, in all of its glory, just for the staffer. The staffer left his job and packed off as quickly as possible, with a word of warning for the rest of us. The word is this. Don't challenge the ghosts at the fort; especially the Watcher. He is truly horrifying to gaze upon.
Kyle might be entertaining; but Mark has a reputation as being the most successful ghost tour guide at Fort George. He can deliver more ghosts than anyone else. We never doubted his reputation. After being on the tour with Mark for all of ten minutes, we saw our first ghost of the evening. While he was doing his routine in bunkhouse one, his two accomplishes stood outside of the bunkhouse, waiting for him to finish. His replacements were two shadowy figures which stood right behind him, as he mentioned the word "spirits." One of the spirits was tall with a pushed up hat; the other one was similar in height to Mark.
The tunnel at Fort George is haunted. According to the fort guides, the little girl ghost who follows the ghost tour around will not go into the tunnel. During the day, the tunnel is passable; but at night it's a dark hell hole for those who are susceptible.
Cathy had gone through the tunnel earlier, during the daytime. However, as she tried to cross the tunnel's threshold with other members of the ghost tour during the evening, she was hit by a wall of pain. She swung around like someone had punched her in the face. Then she darted away from tunnel entrance and kept her distance, until the pain finally subsided.
One of the staff had remained outside of the tunnel. He noticed that there was a problem with Cathy. I told him that we were use to such things and that I would look after it. That was enough to settle his curiosity.
By now, the two boys were already at the front of the group with the tour guide. Even though our tour guide was a re-enactor at the fort, he seemed both serious and nervous that evening. Both Adam and Jacob were standing right beside him at the far end of the tunnel while he told the story of the tunnel. There were stories about ghostly troops running through the tunnel and other oddities. However, the tunnel wasn't the problem this time. It was the stairs. Adam and the guide looked up at the same time and noticed the phantom. Adam swore to me that the guide saw the phantom and tried to move from the tunnel as quickly as possible without causing absolute pandemonium. According to Adam, the spectre that they both saw was just as sinister looking as the notorious "Watcher," who haunts one of the blockhouses.
The spectre was extremely evil looking, according to Adam. He was pointing a musket with a bayonet directly at them from his position on the staircase. Adam could also make out the length of the bayonet as an American issue. He claimed that it was shorter than the British bayonet. I'm sure that this spirit made his point, as far as Adam was concerned.
Fort George Octagonal Blockhouse August 2005
The octagonal blockhouse, located at the most southern point of Fort George, is possibly the most haunted place in the fort. This blockhouse has three levels. It starts in the tunnel with the spiral staircase. The staircase takes you to both ground and top levels. The ground floor has a gate which allows you to return to the fort above the tunnel. This gate is usually not left open, so visitors can enjoy their visit to the tunnel instead. We noticed one odd thing there, just before the incident took place. It seemed strange that the gate was not open before we entered the tunnel; but after we had gone through the tunnel, the gate was left wide open for no apparent reason. Even though the open gate seemed irregular, we proceeded to climb the stairs up to the top floor which has a look-out.
The look-out is where all the fun takes place. Cathy claims that she is drawn to a particular loophole with a view of Fort Niagara. However, the same loophole makes her feels queasy when she uses it. She also feels a strong sense of unease when she stands by this loophole. She claims that both sensations are caused by something that stands behind her whenever she is looking out.
This time, both Cathy and Adam were looking out of the same loophole towards Fort Niagara. They could plainly see two American ships and a major battle going on. When they looked through another loophole, they could see a peaceful landscape. After they had witnessed the vision, Cathy began to feel very poorly and I was forced to assist her from the look-out. I shouted to the boys to come down from the look- out, as we approached the ground floor. Obviously, Adam couldn't tear himself away from looking at the battle. As I shouted, Adam said the cannons went off, along with a barrage of muskets. At the same time, the outside gate to the fort slammed shut. No living person had been near it.
Could we have just witnessed a ghostly re-enactment of 1812; or were the spirits of American and British soldiers facing off against each other once again? More than likely, the armies, the ships and the battle sounds were ghostly imprints of a bygone era. The slamming of the gate was another matter altogether which I'll leave to your imagination.
Fort Mississauga and Fort Niagara January 2005
We travelled to Niagara-on-the-Lake today. It was less than an hour to dusk and the weather was clear. Best of all; there was no snow on the ground. We parked along side the golf course and walked towards Fort Mississauga which is at the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario. While approaching the old derelict fort, we could clearly hear the muskets firing from across the river at Fort Niagara, in the United States.
Fort Mississauga is a home for pigeons. They coo from their metal perches which bar the window frames and fly off, if you get too close to them. But the innocence of the pigeons in a rather large bird cage is just another decoy for the ghost hunter. It's not just the pigeons or the building that the tactful hunter needs to be aware of; it's the grounds of Fort Mississauga that make this place one of the most haunted.
On a lonely winter's day, at the edge of the lake, with the sun going down; you can feel it. Even if you're not sensitive, you know that something ominous exists here. Whatever it is; it surrounds the vacant building and penetrates the frozen ground.
Jacob and I decided to explore the haunted grounds of the fort, upon arrival. We went through the lake side tunnel, leading out to Lake Ontario. Young Jacob said something about the first settlers in Canada living on these shores. Jacob's comments made me think about how attached the first settlers were to the land.
After about five minutes, I turned around to see Cathy standing there in agony. She asked me to hold onto her because she was feeling dizzy and sick to her stomach. The dizziness and nausea got worse and she couldn't move. I had to escort her back through the lake side tunnel, by the arm. She said that this area was particularly bad and she wanted to go to the other side of the fort. The pigeons took off in a loud flap, as we passed below one of the fort's open windows. Cathy felt much better on the other side, for a little while. She showed us her purse and asked us to feel the bottom of it. She said it was vibrating, until she realized it was her hands that were tingling and vibrating. Within a few minutes, she had excruciating pain in her legs. It came from her feet, to her ankles and it spread upwards. I asked her what was wrong and she told me to leave her alone. Now, it really was time to leave.
Jacob noticed the other tunnel near the front entrance. He said he wouldn't go into it because it didn't seem right. As we passed in front of it, Cathy was practically in tears. Great waves of sorrow and psychic grief almost overcame her. We rushed out the front entrance and the psychic phenomena subsided. Cathy had no further problems outside of the fort.
The moat around the front of the fort was filled with mossy pools of water. Soon they would be cutting down the long dried-out yellow stalks of old plants and tall reeds. The earth mounds were well manicured and easy to walk upon.
Cathy and I stood at the front entrance of the fort as Adam and Jacob walked up to the top of the earth mounds to investigate the fort's defensive structure. Adam was eleven years old at the time and Jacob was only eight; yet, they were pacing back and forth like a couple of old soldiers. That's when something uncanny took place.
Adam claimed that the other forts were all built correctly, except for Fort Mississauga. He appeared very distinguished like Napoleon with his hands behind his back, as he continued on. He maintained that the government had agreed to the original fort plan which included how the structures were to be built. Finally, he blamed the engineers for not following government specifications.
Cathy seemed amazed that Adam would know so much about how the fort was suppose to be built. Perhaps, something did happen in the past that needed to be righted; but there was not much to be done about it now.
Do you think it's possible for a senior British officer from the War of 1812 to come back as a boy to inspect his old command and to see the injustices that were committed by those who failed to hold the torch? Do you believe that he could be joined by a "bold and enterprising" junior officer who was once a guerrilla leader in the same conflict?
There was too much intrigue here for a single trip. We all agreed to investigate Fort Mississauga again in the spring.
Fort Mississauga and Fort Niagara April 2006
The day was bright and clear. We were a little naïve to think that the weather was the reason we could see Fort Niagara as a vivid close-up from Fort Mississauga. It wasn't until later that we realized that you can't normally see the soldiers on the other side of the river from Fort Mississauga with the naked eye.
A spectacular battle took place across the river at Fort Niagara that evening. Yet, there were no events scheduled after 6:30pm on that day at the fort. Moreover, nothing remotely related to the French/Indians Wars had been planned for the afternoon. Even a Hollywood movie studio would not have been able to reproduce the nightmarish scene of savagery which we witnessed.
The French were defending the fort from British attackers, in a bloody and brutal show of force. Many of the British soldiers looked like battle weary highlanders. They were dressed in rags and they were backed by British Grenadiers. This is a sample of the mayhem that we saw.
A French officer with a large tricorn, sliced up a British soldier and kicked him off the fort's fortification. The officer himself became an easy target. He was shot by another British soldier and fell from his lofty position. Then a group of British soldiers stabbed a French soldier in unison with their bayonets. Several more soldiers were shot and fell from seemingly dangerous places. Throughout this hellish display of realism, muskets could be plainly heard from a particular vantage point at Fort Mississauga. Adam stated bluntly that he could barely stand to watch the hideous violence and bloodshed caused by the bayonets and the swords.
We were convinced that we had witnessed a psychic imprint of a major battle, fought almost two hundred and fifty years ago. Much of the fortification at Fort Niagara, such as the earthworks and stone buildings are similar to what they are today. A major battle took place there during the 20 day siege from July 6th until July 26th in 1759. Approximately, 2500 British soldiers attacked 486 French soldiers. Could our vision be an imprint of the Battle for Fort Niagara?
During the battle a few people came into Fort Mississauga and appeared to not notice what was going on. In one case, someone with a dog approached the earthwork on the Fort Niagara side. The dog started to go up the earthwork and looked up at something; then immediately changed directions. The owner said something about leaving and that the dog really didn't want to go up there anyway. Adam told me later that the dog saw something which prevented him from going to the top of the earthwork.
Stoney Creek June 2006
After the Americans attacked Fort George, they got as far as Stoney Creek. There is a monument overlooking the battlefield there which is similar to Brock's monument. The energy fields at Stoney Creek are mixed and the bad pockets aren't as overwhelming as Queenston Heights.
On the twenty-fifth anniversary of the re-enactment of the Battle of Stoney Creek, the re-enactors and perhaps the spirits of the dead had created a high energy level on the battlefield and positive feelings all around, in spite of a wet and dreary day.
The historical Gage House was also full of energy. There was a real psychic sense that Sara Calder, the lady in the picture upstairs, was still around and looking after things. The basement also looked good. Whereas, the kitchen re-enactors were putting on a great show of cooking biscuits, no one stayed very long to observe. Sadly, the kitchen had a negative psychic feeling attached to it.
Fortunately, it wasn't strong enough to disrupt our enjoyment of the event.
Queenston Heights July 25, 2006
We were prepared to leave for the Niagara area once again; but our digital camera was missing. The whole family looked for it, to no avail. Normally, it was at the bottom of the staircase on the main floor which is the most obvious and easiest place to find anything in our home. I stared at that place a few times like I was expecting it to materialize. Then Adam put some sweets down on the table and turned his back. He went to pick up the sweets again and the camera was right there beside the sweets.
Everyone got into the car. I went back to lock-up and as I did so, I thanked the spirits for their help. They must have known that I was going to need it for something important.
Excerpted from The Haunted by C.T. Shooting Star Copyright © 2011 by C.T. Shooting Star. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
ContentsPart One Haunted Forts and Battlefields....................1
Illustrations of Forts and Battlefields....................89
Part Two Paranormal Phenomena at Home related to the War of 1812....................131
Appendix I Cycle of War....................157
Appendix II Cycle of Negativity....................158
Appendix III Cycle of Negative Energy Imbalances (Spirit World)....................159