Ghost of dead soldier is why this Niagara-on-the-Lake inn still flies the Union Jack

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Published October 27, 2023 at 9:48 am

olde angel inn NOTL
Is the ghost of British soldier Captain Colin Swayze wandering the corridors of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Olde Angel Inn? Certainly, many past guests think so!

The iconic Olde Angel Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake at 224 Regent St. still flies the Union Jack out front but there’s a ghostly reason.

In a town filled with ghostly tales, this time, the spooky story involved a British soldier who got gutted in a barrel in another War of 1812 ghost story.

It seems in May 1813 during an American invasion of the town, one British soldier, Captain Colin Swayze had delayed joining the retreat to rendezvous with a young woman, believed to be his true love. She was the innkeeper’s daughter.

Suddenly, he was surprised by American soldiers sent to search the Inn so he hid in an empty barrel in the cellar. Unfortunately, the American invaders used bayonets to prod into every corner and possible place of concealment and the unlucky lover received a fatal wound.

Yes, the poor guy got skewered by a beer barrel – possibly a great way to drown but a lousy way to die.

Some guests and staff believe the Ghost of Captain Swayze is fated to walk the Inn at night, perhaps in longing for his sweetheart. There have been reports of noises coming from the empty dining room, rearranged place settings, and other unexplained occurrences.

And that Union Jack out front? Well, it is said that his ghost will remain harmless as long as the British flag flies over the Inn, a precaution prudently taken by the proprietor.

The Inn itself believes it caught Swayze on camera one night, saying on its website, “On September 5, 2020, after closing, our resident ghost was caught on camera! The next morning during routine check-up and maintenance, we noticed that the motion sensor was set off the night prior.”

“When we reviewed the footage, we were shocked to see a familiar shape walking around the cottage late at night. The ghostly shape appears to be wearing a militia officer’s uniform.”

Word around picturesque downtown says the Olde Angel Inn is not just the town’s but Canada’s most haunted property with sightings dating back to as early as the 1820s.

Much like Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost, this is another Swayze who refuses to shuffle off the mortal plane.

 

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