One of my favourite things about the Niagara Region is the amount of ghosts. It is said that Niagara-on-the-Lake is the most haunted town in Canada, due to the fact that thousands of soldiers died in the forts and barracks in town. However, the forts aren’t the only haunted places. The Olde Angel Inn is the oldest running pub in “Upper Canada” and also very haunted.
Since it was established in 1789 there are many stories involving the Angel Inn and its history. It was once one of the many British pubs in town, and now it is the only one. It has 3 fireplaces, a snug room and a dining room and 5 guest rooms upstairs. It’s a lovely old building that makes you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time and into London when you walk through the door onto the original 1815 hardwood floors.
Many historical figures have been hosted by the Inn such as Prince Edward and John Graves Simcoe. However, the most famous historic visitor is named General Swayze, and he is still there today. In the War of 1812 General Swayze was an officer of the regiment stationed at Fort George. He blossomed a romance with a local bar maiden at the Olde Angel Inn and would sneak out to see her during their free time. American troops wandered into the pub one night and caught word that a British officer was hiding in the wine cellar downstairs. Instead of searching for Swayze, the Americans just burned the inside of the pub down, killing Swayze at the same time.
Today the wine cellar is the women’s washroom, and can be quite eerie to use. Things such as doors opening on their own, a thick warm feeling in the air and the sense that you’re being watched makes it adventurous. Upstairs in the bar drinks are known to move by themselves, and every night a bottle of the General’s favourite Rye is moved and drank from. Those who are able to stay the night in one of the guest rooms without screaming, crying or leaving receive a “certificate of survival”, which makes for a fun night.
I suggest if you’re ever looking for somewhere new to eat, or just want to grab a few drinks with friends, to check out this historical gem in Niagara-on-the-Lake.