Fort Battleford, Northwest Territories


Built in 1876, Fort Battleford was the 6th fort to be constructed in the Northwest Territories, and played a major role in the North-West rebellion of 1885.

The fort saw much action during the war against the Native Canadian tribe known as the Cree. It was at this fort that Cree Chief Poundmaker (real name Pîhtokahanapiwiyin) was arrested and hung alongside 6 of his men and 2 men belonging to the Nakoda tribe. They were responsible for the Frog lake massacre of 1885, when they attacked the settlement and killed all they could find.

The fort was originally placed here because it was to be a defensive for the then chosen capital of the North-West territories, though this was later changed.

It is currently garrisoned by the North-West mounted police and is also open as a tourist attraction. Please check with the venue directly to check any seasonal opening times.

Is Fort Battleford Haunted?

Since the fort has seen its fair share of tragedies and deaths, it certainly has the foundations for a good haunting. As you may expect, the spirits who linger here are those of the Indians and Canadian forces who died during the conflict, the most terrifying of which was during the year of 1885.

This was a peak year for confrontations between the Native tribes and the settlers, with the most well known of which being the frog lake massacre. Chief Poundmaker and his men stormed the settlement there and killed all nine of its inhabitants. After being captured they were executed by hanging within the forts walls.

It seems that this is the main source behind the paranormal activity that people have claimed to witness here, which includes disembodied voices and things moving on their own to name but a few.

The officers quarters are thought to be the hot spot of the fort, with its ghostly inhabitant being that of a past surgeon who served here. During the early months of 1885, the fort was attacked by a sizable Indian force, which saw the forts occupants being pushed back to and being trapped inside the commanders headquarters. Many lost their lives during what seemed to be the last stand and the pressure got to some more than others.

Not wanting to be taken captive the forts surgeon locked himself in the upstairs office, loaded his rifle and shot himself. Eventually Lieutenant-Colonel William Dillon Otter led his militiamen to the fort and broke the attack, saving the few who managed to survive.

The whole of the headquarters is thought to be quite haunted but its within the office that the most activity can be found. Everything from objects flying across the room and the felling of having a hand placed on ones shoulder have been reported here.

Apparitions are also a common sighting within the walls, with ghostly mist like figures often being reported by visitors the fort.

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