Halloween Mystery: Are two Niagara-on-the-Lake hotels ‘haunted’ by war-time ghosts?

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Published October 19, 2022 at 10:40 am

Doe the spirit of Molly McGuire, who was waiting at the window of her home for her husband, a British soldier, only to be killed by an American soldier still inhabit Room 207 at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake?

Given its history and geographic location in The War of 1812, Niagara-on-the-Lake has a couple of significant ghost stories about dead soldiers and wounded lovers in its past.

Now that Halloween is creeping upon us like a ghoul, will these ghosts revealed themselves to unsuspecting guests at two separate Niagara-on-the-Lake hotels and inns?

Let’s look back at the spooky history as All Hollows’ Eve approaches.

First up is the Prince of Wales Hotel at 6 Picton St. You’ll noticed a British flag out front of this beautiful establishment. There’s a reason for that but first some history.

Built in 1864, the three-storey 110-room hotel went by several names (Long’s Hotel, Arcade Hotel, The Niagara House) and was renamed with the current name in 1901 after royal guests The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York stayed overnight.

The recently-passed Queen Elizabeth II also stayed at the hotel during her visit to the area in 1973.

So it’s got some royalty associated with it. Now as to that British flag our front. During the War of 1812, Molly McGuire was waiting at the window of her home waiting for her husband, a British soldier, to return. Apparently, an American soldier, unable to see her face, saw a tall figure in the window and believed it to be an enemy British soldier.

The American swiftly pierced who he believed to be his adversary with his bayonet, and poor Molly fell slain to the floor. Legend has it that Room 207, her old bedroom and the location of her death, has been haunted ever since.

Guests have since reported hearing footsteps through the room and waking up to lights that have been turned on during the night. Not surprisingly, bookings for Room 207 are probably the most popular at the beautiful hotel.

Here, You-Tube’s Queen of Halloween “Celina Spooky Boo,” a Toronto-based paranormal hunter, checked into the Room 207, looking for Molly’s ghost. (We’d tell you what happens in the video… but that would take away from the spookiness.)

Next up is the creepy case of the Olde Angel Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake at 224 Regent St. You’ll notice that much like the Prince of Wales Hotel, it, too, has a Union Jack waving in the breeze out front.

But 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 in order to rendezvous with a young woman, believed to be his true love.


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!

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.

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 they caught Swayze on camera one night, saying on their 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.”

Once again, vlogger Celina Spooky Boo was on the paranormal case and came back with this report!

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