September 30, 2013
World War I photograph of the Red Cross Reading Room - Library at Fort Ontario State Historic Site. During the First World War, Fort Ontario served as one of the largest post hospitals in the United States. Thousands of wounded soldiers from overseas were treated at the fort, as were tuberculosis patients and victims of the Spanish Influenza. As a veteran, Dr. Mary Walker was eligible for and treated at Post Hospital No. 5.(Photo courtesy of Fort Ontario State Historic Site.)
OSWEGO, NY - TheCentral New York Ghost Hunters and Friends of Fort Ontario, along with other ghost hunting groups,will host their annual Ghost Tours event at Fort Ontario State Historic Site Friday and Saturday evenings, Oct. 18 and 19.
Tours are by advancereservation only. Tickets are $13 and may be purchased by calling (315) 343-4711, or stopping in at the fort's museum shop Wednesday through Sunday. The tours are scheduled in 15-minute intervals and run from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday evening, and 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday evening.
"Fort Ontario is purported to be one of the most haunted locations in the United States and was the subject of an episode of the SYFY Channel's Ghost Hunters in the fall of 2012," said Fort Ontario Superintendent Paul Lear. "Ghost sightings and soundings have been reported at or in association with the fort since the 19th century." During guided tours, evidence gathered in the fort's buildings and underground casemates will be presented in the rooms or areas it was obtained. The public is also invited to bring their own ghost hunting equipment and seek new data under the guidance of experts.
The tour is not recommended for children under the age of 8. Footwear suitable for uneven ground, clothing appropriate for cool, wet, and windy weather conditions, and flashlights are encouraged. The event will take place regardless of the weather.
"Fort Ontario'smost famous ghost is George Fykes, a loyalist soldier who died in a fever epidemic in 1782," said Lear. "During World War I a member of the garrison may have become the only soldier in history to escape court martial for abandoning his guard post by reason of being scared off by a ghost; when other members of the garrison testified that they had similar experiences, the case was dismissed."
Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego. The fort is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. The fort will close for the season on the Columbus Day holiday, Monday, Oct. 14.
For information call Fort Ontario State Historic Site at 315-343-4711. For Oswego County visitor information, go to visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4FUN (4386).
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