Fort Ontario: A long history with a spooky background


Fort Ontario is one of the most haunted locations in the United States, according to some of the country’s best known ghost hunters. 


IMG_0716                                                                              Fort Ontario

Fort Ontario is one of the United States’ most prolific military forts. The famous landmark has been involved in every major war in America between the French and Indian War and World War II. As famous and historic as this landmark is, it also has one characteristic that could possibly make it standout more than other national landmarks. According to several ghost hunting groups, Fort Ontario is one of the most haunted locations in the United States.


In fact, the site is proclaimed to be so haunted, it was actually aired on an episode of “Ghost Hunters” on SciFy in 2012. Paul Lear, the site manager of the fort, and Caroline Lamie a seasonal employee/volunteer and also a member of a local ghost hunting group, tell stories about what they heard and/or experienced involving the ghostly activity that occurs on the site.


The site is now closed down for the season as of October 14th. However, as a special way to prepare for Halloween festivities, managers and directors open up the fort for one more weekend to host their annual “Ghost Tours”. This fundraiser provides the opportunity for curious tourists to tour the site and to see firsthand how haunted the site really is. In addition to that, directors of the site allow tourists to conduct their own ghost research and see if they can find anything new.

Screen Shot 2013-10-18 at 4.42.07 PM                                                                       Marilynn Smiley, Distinguished Professor in Music Dept. at SUNY Oswego

Not everyone believes in stories involving ghosts but some still would take part in the “Ghost Tours” because it strikes their curiosity. For example, Marilynn Smiley, a professor in the music department at SUNY Oswego says that she would definitely take part in the annual tours, even though she is not a firm believer in ghost stories.


The “Ghost Tours” will be taking place at 1 E 4th Street in Oswego, NY on October 15th, 7-10pm and October 19th, 6-10pm. Tickets to this event sell out quickly and must be paid in advance. To contact the site about tickets call (315) 343-4711, or visit