Haunted Places: Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga is an 18th century military fort built during the time of the seven-year French and Indian War in Ticonderoga, New York. This particular stretch of land has seen countless battles, with more suffering and death than one could fathom in a lifetime, including many that have failed to reach our history books. Thus the stories of the Fort Ticonderoga haunting don’t seem nearly so far-fetched.

For centuries past, tens of thousands of years in fact, the territory that is now occupied by Fort Ticonderoga was the home of varying Native tribes. Of this past history, we have little knowledge as to actual events that took place, but the era itself speaks for the hardships likely endured over that amount of time.

Then about 400 years ago, Samuel de Champlain discovered the terrain after a long voyage from Europe. It wasn’t until 1754 that the French began constructing Fort Ticonderoga to defend what is now upstate New York, at the southern end of Lake Champlain. The fort, completed in 1757, was detrimental in the defensive stance of the French and Native American armies as they battled with Great Britain for control of the new land.

The French were able to resist a massive army of 16,000 British with a mere 4,000 within Fort Ticonderoga’s walls in 1758.

There was one crucial mistake that the French did not foresee when they chose the location for the military stronghold, and that was the high land in the distance. Not once, not even twice, but three times, the defenders of Fort Ticonderoga were forced into surrender when the highland was immensely occupied, threatening the fort and all of its inhabitants. The British pulled this off in 1759, and it happened again in 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. Two years later, the British took the fort back from the Americans with the same high-ground tactics.

The British had little use for the fortress by 1781 and, for obvious reasons, it hasn’t been used for military defense since then.

In the 1800’s it became a mere tourist lure and has remained so, restored by private owners in the early 1900’s. Fort Ticonderoga now serves as a research center, museum and tourist attraction.

It is immeasurable the sheer multitude of men who lost their lives upon these grounds, within and surrounding Fort Ticonderoga. So much anguish, distress and torment would certainly have left the mark of its forceful energy scoring the land.

Fort Ticonderoga is haunted beyond appraisal. Paranormal investigators have caught a plethora of ghostly activity and have yet to begin an estimation of just how many specters haunt Fort Ticonderoga. A troop of soldiers with a distinct French accent can be heard in the night air. The marching footfalls and rhythmic beat of hoofs echo across the grounds. Red coated apparitions march the hillsides. Shadows and silhouettes appear in the windows.

The fort actually hosts a Ghost Tour on most Friday and Saturday nights so that guests can come and have a chance to experience the haunting of Fort Ticonderoga. The tour includes recounts of the stories of hauntings as told by staff and visitors, tracing their steps along the grounds in all places where paranormal activity was most frequently reported.

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