Angel Inn : Haunted Town’s Most Haunted Building

The Angel Inn – – 224 Regent Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada – MAP

Most Haunted Restaurant in Canada’s Most Haunted Town

The oldest tavern in British Upper Canada (now the province of Ontario) once stood here.  Called The Harmonious Coach House and it hosted many important figures when Niagara-on-the-Lake was the capital of Canada, and the location of Parliament.

 

The Angel Inn, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Standing outside The Angel Inn – – Current Day

These VIP’s included…

Slavery Outlawed, sort of – –
In 1793 the Provincial Assembly in Niagara-on-the-Lake (then called Newark) outlawed slavery in Upper Canada.  A law the first of it’s kind in the world.

Not the best version because it didn’t end slavery, just change it for the future…

  1. No more slaves would be brought to Canada
  2. Slaves existing in Canada would remain slaves
  3. The current children of slaves would be freed when turning 25 years old
  4. Children born to current slaves from this point forth would be free

Call it a compromise.  And the men who signed this law celebrated at the Harmonious Coach House.

Current Building – – 
The current building isn’t the Harmonious Coach House.  That was burned down by retreating American soldiers and sympathizers during the War of 1812.

The building today was built on the same foundation.  A continuation of great history when after the war they renamed it The Angel Inn.

Captain Swayze’s Ghost

The Angel Inn is one of a few businesses in Canada proudly boasting their resident ghost.  One of many legends from the War of 1812 that remains alive because of the vivid antics of a ghost named Colin Swayze.

The British Captain delayed joining his fellow soldiers as Americans marched in.  Staying back to see his love, a woman named Euretta.

He showed up at the Harmonious Coach House, but she didn’t.  Maybe Euretta’s family dragged her out of town, either way Swayze’s all alone when they arrive.  Three Americans see him and give chase.

 

Swayze runs into the building and down to the basement.  The Americans follow to a room filled with rum barrels, all big enough for a man to hide.  Moving around, shaking barrels and opening taps, looking for the heavy one with no rum.

Door to "Swayze's Cellar" in the basement of the Angel Inn - - Niagara-on-the-Lake
Door to “Swayze’s Cellar” in the basement of the Angel Inn – – Niagara-on-the-Lake

They found it.  Silently signaling to surround the barrel.  In unison the soldiers stabbed bayonets through the wood, finally stopping when blood gushed from the open tap.

Swayze rotted.  And only when the stench got too much was a young American sent down to bury it, in that basement, barrel and all.

A Restless Ghost

Still loyal to the British Crown 200 years after his death.

Captain Swayze once rose from the basement and caused havoc on the building… for 2 weeks at a time.  Then stopped and it’s quiet for months… then 2 more weeks of havoc!

The owners were frustrated and investigated.  They found out it only happened when the Union Jack (British flag) was taken down for cleaning, which took 2 weeks.

For this reason it’s believed the owners now have two sets of British flags.  One comes down the other goes up, and Swayze stays calm.

**Stand at the Angel Inn for ghost stories, on the
Ghost Walks of Niagara-on-the-Lake

***Book a reservation at The Angel Inn

Poem from Our Own Sir William (aka Bill Hamilton)

ANGEL’S GHOST (winner 2013 Rising Spirits Awards)

The torrent of wind against a storm filled sky, as the enemy sought to know,
Captain Swayze, a soldier, knew his plight and where he had to go
To meet his love, as was the plan, before he made his flight
He’d hold her tight and pledge his love hidden by dark of night.

Carefully concealed, he made his way near the Inn as they had agreed
But, emptiness filled the street and time was a certain need.
And then he heard the dreaded sound of foot march near this place
He hastened through the Inn front door, in panic to hide his face.

To the basement he ran and sought the shelter of an empty wooden cask
His hope was to fool the American foe and escape with this fancied mask.
Alas the soldiers’ thorough search, with bayonets fixed to find
That fateful cask, that Colin chose, to take shelter and hide behind.

They found their mark and Swayze died a slow and painful demise
Our story doesn’t end here though, for our hero would again arise.
It’s said that Captain Swayze still walks the rooms of the Angel Inn
His boots make sound his moans are heard, he moves about within.

He haunts the place where he lost his love and tragically died in vain
Was it worth it Colin to suffer so and endure that awful pain!
He’s harmless they say if the Union Jack flies, high above his host
Swayze lives on in his final place, as the famous Angel ghost!