This particular place almost deserves to be in our "under investigation" area BUT it's so rare that we have a chance to give a first-hand, authentic report that we decided to share it in the proper spot.
We have yet to do the historical work-up on this lovely inn (rest assured, it is coming,) but in the very "haunted" Niagara region, the Pillar and Post offers up yet another ghost for us.
A good source near the inn has told us about "another person" who has quit their job due to the disappearing person. A former waitress who is an acquaintance of our contact, had a run in with the resident ghost that sent her packing vowing never to work there again.
The Pillar and Post features large wooden pillars throughout it's dining area and apparently, it is not uncommon for the staff and patrons to round one of these pillars (no one in particular,) and walk through the person who was/is behind it. Needless to say, this is an alarming experience for those that "stumble" across it.
The apparition has also been seen to walk through these supporting beams.
UPDATE: October 22nd, 2001 An e-mail report from a visitor from the US...
I promised my girlfriend I would take her to the Pillar and Post for a night's stay on Sept. 2nd for American labor day.
I called to make reservations and the receptionist talked me into spending an extra $80 and taking a room with a fireplace. I did not request any special room as I have little knowledge of the lay out of the Pillar and Post.
We left our home in Western New York on September 2nd at around 11:00 AM and after a leisurely drive and some sight seeing we arrived at the inn at around 2:00 PM.
I asked the hostess if we could check into the room a little early as normal check in is 3:00 PM. She said this shouldn't be a problem as long as we had no particular room preference. I told her any room was fine as long as it had a fireplace. After a couple minutes of punching computer keys she said that for some odd reason the computer had us locked into a room and she couldn't get us out, she asked me if I had requested a particular room and I told her no, but we were going to walk into town and eat a late lunch and we would just check in when we got back.
The hostess then booked us in our room and told us to ask for the keys to 118 when we got back.
We walked into town and had a nice lunch at the Kiely House, looked around some shops and headed back to the inn. We picked up our keys at the front desk and went to our room.
The room was beautiful, almost a mini suite, and I was glad I paid the extra $80. We turned on the fireplace and looked around the room, ate a couple $5.00 candy bars from the honour bar, and decided to go use the outside swimming pool for a while. As we were leaving to go swimming I asked my girlfriend to turn off the fireplace, which she did and off we went to swim.
We swam and "hot tubbed" for an hour or so and then went back to our room.
When we opened the door the room was dark except for the fire from the fire place. I said to my girlfriend, somewhat snidely, "I thought I told you to turn the fireplace off", she said she had and I was pretty sure she did but we didn't really think much of it.
We dressed and decided to ride into town with no real plans except to have some fun. My girlfriend remembered we had seen an advertisement somewhere for a candlelight ghost tour of Fort George. It was around 7:45 PM and I thought it was probably too late but we took the 2 minute ride to Fort George and found out that although the tour had just left they were going to run another at 8:30 because a number of people were interested.
We bought the tickets and sat in our car and waited for the tour to start, we had little idea of what to expect, I thought it was probably going to be like the haunted houses they have in Buffalo around Halloween where people are in coffins and jumping out from behind tombstones trying to scare you.
As the tour started to form up at 8:30, Kyle, our tour guide, quickly disabused us of that notion, he said the tour was really more like a history tour of the Fort and its roll in the war. He said sometimes on the tour people encountered strange things.
Kyle started the ghost tour by leading us into a wooded area around the Fort where he talked a little about ghosts at different location around Niagara-on-the-Lake. He asked if anyone was staying at The Oban Inn and described a ghost that supposedly haunted it. He talked about several other hotels and asked if anyone were staying there. He mentioned a ghost at the Kiely house and we laughed to ourselves because we ate lunch there.
He then asked if anyone was staying at the Pillar and Post and even though we were standing at the back of a group of about twenty people I raised my hand. He then said there were reports of a couple of ghosts one in room 222 which was kind of nasty and there were two elderly women ghosts in room 118. My girlfriend let out a little gasp and buried her head in my chest and said half jokingly "Oh, No." We had a little laugh with the rest of the crowd as we told them we were staying in room 118. I am not sure how many rooms the Pillar and Post has but the odds we were in one of these rooms was at least fifty-to-one.
I thought the whole thing was kind of cool but I didn't really believe in ghosts and my girlfriend is very well educated (she has a masters in psychology and early childhood education,) and I don't think she believes in ghosts either, but I thought we could have some fun with it and I would tease her and try to scare her.
As we went through the tour we went in and out of a couple of the Fort's buildings and Kyle told us interesting facts about the war and the time period the Fort had been built along with a couple stories about employees who had claimed to see ghosts that had haunted the soldier's barracks.
After that we walked towards the back of the fort where Kyle explained much of the ghostly activity takes place. We walked down a long, dark, underground tunnel, My girlfriend made sure we stayed close to Kyle and the lantern as he lead us down the tunnel. We ended up in a small room lit only by the candle and Kyle told us another story about the Fort and its history and some of the things people had claimed to have seen. He then walked to the back of the tour group and started to lead us out of the tunnel.
I figured now that it was a bit dark with Kyle leading the group out of the tunnel that this would be the perfect time to throw a little scare into my girlfriend and asked her if there was anyone in the group behind us as we walked out. I thought it might be fun to hang back a little and fool around in the tunnel. She looked behind us and let out a scream, not a fooling around fake kind of scream but a real shout of terror, I have been a police officer for fifteen years and had never heard a scream like that before. We were holding hands and she tried to take off running, I tried to slow her down but she dragged us into the couple in front of us. I could barely see this couple in front of us, but the woman had long frizzed out blonde hair that picked up what little light there was in the tunnel and I had noticed them standing next to us in the little room at the end of the tunnel. My girlfriend pulled me into this woman and her boyfriend in her attempt to get out of the tunnel. (I stepped on his foot hard, and I noticed him limping the rest of the tour.)
As we emerged from the end of the tunnel, my girlfriend was laughing but I could tell she was kind of shook up. I asked her what happened and in a loud voice (as she pointed at the blonde and her boyfriend) she said " They snuck up behind us and ran past". The blonde and her boyfriend (who looked kind of cheesed at me for stepping on his foot) looked at my girlfriend as if she were nuts and I told her they were in front of us the whole time as I had seen them exit the room ahead of us and I could see her hair ahead of us as we walked up the tunnel. My girlfriend had insisted someone had rushed past us and she had felt her hair blow back as they went past. She was a little upset (hysterical ?) as she asked me if I hadn't felt 'those people' rush past.
By now I figured I had better not tease her or try to scare her after all as she already seemed pretty scared. The rest of the tour was very interesting and my girlfriend calmed down (some) and nothing else scary happened for the rest of the tour.
As the tour came to a close we finally had a chance to talk to Kyle about room 118 at the Pillar and Post. He told us as far as he knew guests had never seen the ghosts but staff at the hotel had reported strange occurrences in the room such as the fireplace and radio going on by themselves. He talked about one maid who claimed the radio had gone on by its self and continued to play even after she unplugged it. Supposedly the hotel manager had come to the room and seen it playing unplugged and asked the ladies to turn it off and it went off.
On the way back to the hotel, my girlfriend and I talked about how funny it was that we ended up in room 118 and that we couldn't get the computer to let us out, and how the fireplace seemingly went on by itself. Also we talked about how if we hadn't gone on that particular ghost tour we wouldn't have thought anything about it. My girlfriend said if the fireplace is on when we get back to the room she is "NOT" staying there.
Well, when we got back to the room, my girlfriend put her ear jokingly (I think,) to the door and listened. Her face went white and she told me to listen at the door. I didn't think I would be able to hear anything so I opened the door instead. The radio was on and she let out another loud scream (in fact several doors opened to see who was being murdered). I figured we must have accidently hit the snooze button or someone who had the room before us set it and forgot to turn it off. But I checked the radio and it was et to off and the alarm had no snooze and was set to 12:00 AM and it read 11:47 PM (the correct time).
She was freaked out but I talked her into staying and we ordered room service and she calmed down some again. When the waiter brought the food I told him what had happened, he went very pale and told us the staff had seen things but weren't allowed to talk to guests about it and he took off at almost a run down the hall way.
I still thought the whole thing was kind of cool and after calming my girlfriend down and eating the food, etc., I went right to sleep. (I wouldn't let her leave a night light on and she said it was a long time before she fell asleep.)
Well I have to admit that around 4:45 AM I didn't think it was so cool anymore. After I awoke for some unknown reason I was a little disoriented, then I felt what seemed to be two or three sharp tugs on the blanket from the foot of the bed. It was dark and I couldn't tell if my girlfriend was awake, but I thought maybe she was trying to scare me and pretending to be asleep, but from what I could see and hear she was asleep. so I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep only to feel three or four sharp tugs on the bottom of the blanket. That was it. I said to my girlfriend, "Are you awake" and shook her just so she got the message. I then told her I had to turn the light on for a minute, I turned the light on and looked around but saw nothing. She asked me what was wrong and not wanting to scare her (or admit that I was a LITTLE scared) I told her nothing was wrong but if SHE wanted we could leave a light on till morning. I didn't sleep more than 10 minutes for the rest of the night but nothing else happened.
After having a few months to reflect on what occurred it seems to me that a pattern was in the room that really might suggest an old woman or women. As we all know most older women are easily chilled so this might explain the fireplace and somebody trying to steal my (their) blankets for themselves, and old people get lonely when left alone so this might explain the radio.
As for me I don't believe in ghosts and in the light of day I am not afraid of them, but I WON'T be staying in room 118 anytime soon.UPDATE: October 22nd, 2001 An e-mail rebuttal from a gentleman from Niagara-on-the-Lake...
Please note: The rebuttal below was sent in before we posted the report above. It was sent in when this story was strictly about the dining room story...
I'm so terribly sorry to disparage your beliefs, and to ruin a good tale but having lived in the little town of Niagara On The Lake for 25 years, and worked at The Pillar And Post for 8 of those years I can whole-heartedly tell you that there is no such thing nor have I heard of such rumours, I've worked with staff members that have worked there since the early seventies who have never heard of such a thing.
One a lighter note its a great hotel with great food and great staff. The closet thing to a haunting you will find will be the smell of the staff lunch, a few creaky floorboards and maybe some bellhops that might be roaming aimlessly like the undead.
I'm just sick and tired of every Inn, bed and breakfast and pub owner in this town coming up with haunting stories to make there establishments more profitable, ten years ago only the Olde Angel Inn was haunted now its Fort George and everyone else.
UPDATE: October 22nd, 2001 An e-mail rebuttal about the above rebuttal from the fellow that sent in the report about himself and his girlfriend above...
I am not sure if the rebuttal you printed was in response to my e-mail or the ghost in the dining room story, but I am not affiliated with the Pillar and Post (I am an American) and when I tried to talk to the management about what happened they didn't want to hear about it. I don't think you can make a statement like "all the hotels are claiming to have ghosts to increase profits" when from what I can see the management was doing everything possible to keep it quiet.
I am not saying what happened to myself and my girlfreind was a ghost, I am sure it was probably just an amazing string of coincidences. But it surely gave me a more open mind on the subject. Believe me, in the light of day I would never tell my co-workers about this experience, but in the dark of night with something tugging on your blankets, see if you can sleep.
Update: November 13th, 2005 The following was submitted to us by a reader...
I would like to comment on the stories about the Pillar and Post Inn. I work for the Vintage Inns and used to work at the Pillar and Post. I have heard many credible stories from employees who have been working there for many years. One account was about 6 years ago. One of the bussers in the Dining Room had forgotten her name tag and found one in the hostess stand so she put that on for the night. That night, she felt as if someone was pulling on her hair (which was in a ponytail). She didn’t think anything of it. She then felt as if someone was tugging at her shirt when she was climbing the stairs. She was serving a drink to a table, holding the drink on her tray, when all of a sudden the glass was knocked over. She had been completely still and the guests also saw her at the table and said that it was weird it was knocked over like that. The busser had said it felt like someone just knocked the tray from her hands.
Later that night she was cleaning up in the dining room and telling a server what had happened earlier that day and the server turned to look at her nametag. She said that there used to be another busser working in the dining room years before and the same things had happened to her. She had felt as though her hair was being pulled or someone was tugging on her shirt every shift that she came in. She couldn’t take it anymore so she quit. Her name was Diana, and the name tag that the busser had on that day, was Diana’s. She then took it and threw it away in the garbage.
I also used to work in the Lounge at the Pillar and Post and have many stories about Colonel John Butler. There is a portrait of him hanging on the wall beside a doorway. One night I was closing the Bar. When the bartenders closed the bar at night we shut the door leading up to the dining room. So I had shut the door and proceeded to count the till for the day. I thought I had heard something coming from the doorway, so I looked over and saw that the door was open. I went over to see if someone was there but there was no one in sight. The dining room was closed and no maids or anyone were in the room. So I closed it and started to walk to the exit when I tripped. Now I know this may not be significant to people when I say I tripped, but it was the location where I tripped that is the key. I had stubbed something right in front of the portrait of Colonel John Butler and there are 2 armchairs in front of this painting. Now I’m not a very superstitious person, but the tale is that the portrait hanging in the lounge was the Colonel’s favourite portrait of himself and he sits in the chair admiring it. I have tripped at the same location many, many times!
These are my accounts of the so called "hauntings" at the Pillar and Post. I love the company and love the history of the property as well as the town. And just to let you know, the stories that the American woman had told are actually true. I have heard the radio go on and off in Room 118 myself, and like I said, I am not a very superstitious person. The Pillar and Post is DEFINETELY worth a visit!
Of note, this past week (Week Ending Nov. 13th) we received an e-mail from a former employee saying that they had worked in the establishment for a few years and although they are believers in ghosts and hauntings, they had heard nothing nor experienced anything at the Pillar and Post themselves.
January 23rd, 2006 We received the following e-mail from a Mr. R. Book...
Hi: I am a Manager at the Pillar and Post Inn. I have been with Vintage Inns for five years, two at the Pillar and Post Inn. I have never heard of any ghost stories. I have been in every room and in all the crawl spaces under the floor. I ,nor any of my staff have experienced anything unusual.One of my team has been at the Pillar for fourteen years and has no stories to tell. As for the rooms 118 & 222; it seems unlikely that they would be haunted as they were constructed in the seventies of this century. I wish that I did have a story or two to pass on to you. I find the subject very interesting and I do believe in Ghosts. I could share a couple of really good stories with you but they do not involve the Pillar and Post Inn. I am sure that the couple that stayed with us experienced something in their room 118, could be natural or perhaps not. I believe completely in the experiences that I have had and it sounds as they believe in their's as well. I will keep a watch on this site for further stories. I will also ask other team members if they have any stories to share. I have only been at the Pillar and Post a short time and may not know yet that the Pillar is Haunted!!!
October 23rd, 2016
The following was submitted to us via our reporting form. It's from a number of years back...
"My husband and I returned to our room after dinner. He was asleep, I heard a door close I the hallway. A few minutes afterward I felt pressure on my side of the bed ( like when one is in a very dark room and is checking the bed for the unoccupied side. This woke me up completely and after I opened my eyes I saw a tall figure at the foot of the bed dressed in black garb , sort of a long black coat but facial features totally not visible. I started shaking my husband and when he awoke the apparition was gone. A bit of humor, when I told my husband what happened, he said, I hope it was Casper the friendly ghost. He does not believe in such things but I on very rare occasions dating to when I was quite young do."