Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Canada's Olde Angel Inn--The Angry Ghost

Captain Colin Swayze, a British soldier who was killed during the War of 1812 still haunts the cellar in this inn.

The Angel Inn is located in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. It was built in 1789 in an area originally known as Newark--in 1902 this area was renamed Niagara-on-the Lake.

The site upon which the Angel Inn was built originally was The Harmonious Coach House. This coach house hosted politicians, military personnel and writers all whom influenced the politics of that time.

Near this coach house Americans and Canadian forces clashed during one battle during the War of 1812. In May of 1813, American troops forced the British to retreat when they captured both Fort George and Newark. The Americans burned many of the buildings in the area.

The Local Legend

One building they burned was The Harmonious Coach House. Local lore states one British solider Captain Swayze didn’t immediately retreat which ultimately cost him his life. 

He was in love with the daughter of the proprietor who ran the coach house. So instead of leaving with his fellow soldiers he stayed behind one night to keep a romantic liaison with this young woman. He hoped to convince her to marry him. Unfortunately, he was there when the Americans arrived.

The captain hid in the cellar but he was quickly discovered. Two American soldiers thrust their bayonets into his chest killing him. The soldiers then set the coach house on fire.

In 1815, John Ross rebuilt the coach house and renamed it Sign of the Angel Inn for his wife. The inn once more became an important social gathering place. 

Over the years this building has been used as a library, apothecary, billet for soldiers and a dental office.

In 1992 the Ling family purchased the building and renamed it once more--Olde Angel Inn. At this time the building was fully restored.

The Angry Ghost

As early as the 1820s ghost stories started to circulate about the inn. Phantom footsteps and the sounds of clicking silverware and glasses were heard coming from the dining area when no one was in this room.

During this time phantom conversations were heard coming from this area. Table settings were often found mysteriously rearranged in this room as well.

But it is the cellar where most of the paranormal activity occurs. Many feel Captain Swayze's ghost is still present. It is believed he still roams the cellar because he is angry he was killed. Others also think he still longs for his lost love.

When John Ross owned the inn he discovered that if he flew the British flag over the inn that the Captain’s ghost settled down but if he forgot to hoist the Union Jack the activity would become more pronounced.

Sign states
Swayze's Cellar
No Admittance
Recent reports about the captain's activity include: crashing sounds, objects being moved and footsteps all heard in the cellar. Swayze's ghost is also heard whistling in this area.

Objects still move in the dining room and in the kitchen. And to this day table settings are still disrupted.

In recent years guests have reported seeing Captain Swayze’s ghost. He enters guest rooms while they are in bed. He appears out of the floor and most often only his upper half is seen for his lower torso appears to be embedded in the floor.

The owners still fly the Union Jack over the Olde Angel Inn. This flag always calms the captain’s ghost.

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