"It's a very haunted place" ~Fort Ticonderoga employee Trisha Melton
While there are many haunted places in New York, Fort Ticonderoga is one of the most notable with its numerous reports of paranormal activity that span decades and have been made by employees and visitors alike. The fort has an extensive history particularly when it comes to military conflicts which resulted in many fatalities and include the war between France and Great Britain - more often referred to as the "French and Indian War" - as well as the American Revolution. While Fort Ticonderoga receives thousands of visitors on an annual basis who are interested in seeing this historical landmark, many believe that they have seen or heard what appears to be the ghosts of those who were involved in the many bloody battles that took place here and is one of the reasons why Fort Ticonderoga has become known as one of the many haunted places in New York.
A Brief History of Fort Ticonderoga
The French constructed the fort in 1755 with its original name being “Fort Carillon”. It was strategically located in upstate New York between Lake George and Lake Champlain where a main waterway that was utilized for transportation runs in a north-south direction. In July of 1758 the French successfully defended the fort seemingly against all odds with having only approximately 3,500 men against an overwhelming number of between 16 and 17 thousand British soldiers. However, in the following year of 1759 the British managed to defeat the French and succeeded in their endeavors to gain control of the fort. Early on in the American Revolutionary War in May of 1775 the British were defeated by Benedict Arnold and Ethan Allen along with the Green Mountain Boys.
The Americans retained control of the fort until the year of 1777 when in July the British regained control of the fort. Fort Ticonderoga remained under the control of the British until November of 1777 at which time it was abandoned by the British after the British Army under General John Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga. Early on in the nineteenth century the property was purchased by a man named William Ferris Pell who built a summer home on the property and later in the year of 1840 he opened it as a hotel for the tourists that were interested in visiting what was left of the old fort. The descendants of William Pell began restoring Fort Ticonderoga during 1908 and in the year of 1909 it was opened to the public and has remained so ever since.
Ghosts from the Past
Since the fort has been opened to the public, there have been numerous reports made by the employees as well as visitors of what seems to be paranormal activity on the grounds of the fort leading some individuals to claim it is one of the most haunted places in New York. This is not surprising given the many sudden and tragic deaths that took place here as well as the fact that there are thousands of soldiers buried on the grounds. These reports include many different unexplained sounds such as footsteps, hoof beats, and voices. Some of the visual activities reported vary from glowing balls of light to mists and shadowy figures as well as full bodied apparitions.
While Fort Ticonderoga does have reenactments twice per year of the historical battles that took place at the fort, at other times of the year and after the building has been closed there have been claims made by staff members on several different occasions and in different areas of the premises that they have seen what appeared to be an individual dressed in eighteenth century style military clothing. “Balls of light” or “orbs” are one of the other commonly reported unexplained phenomena seen at the fort. While orbs are more commonly seen in photographs after they have been taken, these balls of light have been seen in different areas of the fort by individuals with only their natural visual perception.
Ghost Hunting at the Fort
The “Atlantic Paranormal Society” or “TAPS” investigated the fort for their television show “Ghost Hunters” which their findings originally airing on the Syfy channel in March of 2010. The team managed to catch several EVPs and also witness an unexplainable illumination of a room that was seen by two of the teams at the same time who were located in two different areas. Based upon the teams’ investigation, Jason Hawes of TAPS stated during the reveal: “I firmly believe that you have paranormal activity going on here” while talking to staff member Christopher Fox. If you are interested in seeking out haunted places in New York, Fort Ticonderoga should definitely be added to your list of destinations. The fort does offer ghost tours at night by reservation only during the summer months.
For more information please check their website: Fort Ticonderoga Ghost Tours