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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.