Cover Photo is of Sarah Pell
With many of us opting to do staycations due to COVID, I thought it would be good to explore some haunted places that were easy to explore by car in Upstate NY. Located at a narrows near the south end of Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga has a long and often violent history. The large 18th-century star fort, formerly called Fort Carillon, was constructed by Canadian-born French military engineer Michel Chartier de Lotbinière, Marquis de Lotbinière between October 1755 and 1757, during the action in the “North American theater” of the Seven Years’ War, often referred to in the US as the French and Indian War. The fort was of strategic importance during the 18th-century colonial conflicts between Great Britain and France, and again played an important role during the Revolutionary War.
Interior of Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, New York, United States French Military on Parade
The Fort was the scene of the bloodiest day of battle in American history prior to the Civil War when on July 8, 1758 nearly 2,000 British and Provincial soldiers were killed or wounded during a day-long battle attempting to capture the Fort from the French army. During the American Revolution nearly twenty years later thousands of American soldiers died of sickness while defending the United States from British invasion from the north.
With all the battles surrounding Fort Ticonderoga, it should be no surprise that a few spirits have remained behind. The ghost of a British soldier has been seen looking out from the upper window of the south barracks, and red orbs have been spotted throughout the fort.
One of the more known legends says General “Mad” Anthony Wayne’s mistress Nancy Coates drowned herself in Lake Champlain when he left her for another woman, and her apparition can be seen running after Wayne or floating on the water.
The apparition of Sarah Pell, whose family helped restore the fort after it fell out of use post-war, is said to haunt the Pavillion. She stares out a window at the King’s Garden, watching one of the two areas she personally restored from inside the other.
Others say they’ve heard sobbing or seen artifacts in locked cases moved around. Throughout the months of Sept. and Oct., the site offers several corn maze events (including night tours by moonlight for extra fun). With Halloween around the corner, perhaps Fort Ticonderoga, should be on your list for a weekend getaway.