Paranormal Yakker with your host Stan Mallow

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Season 1 Episode 11

Kyle Upton. Haunted Niagara.
Kyle Upton is the founder of Ghost Tours of Niagara and conducts ghost tours at haunted Fort George National Historic Site in Niagara-on-the-Lake, one of the most beautiful and yet, one of the most haunted cities in Canada. In his interview with Stan Mallow, the Paranormal Yakker, Kyle explains the historical significance of Fort George and the major role the fort played in The War of 1812. He talks about some of the more well known supernatural occurrences at the fort. This includes reports of visitors seeing the benevolent spirit of a little girl named Sarah Ann, and the recurring sighting of a spirit at the fort known as “The Woman in the Mirror”. Kyle also describes a number of supernatural happenings he himself has personally experienced at the fort. He also details spooky happenings experienced by visitors and staff alike.

Transcript of video Interview

Stan Mallow
Hi, everyone, I am Stan Mallow. Welcome to the Paranormal Yakker. My guest on today's show, who I'll be yakking with, is Kyle Upton. Kyle is the founder of Ghost Tours of Niagara and he conducts ghost tours at Fort George National Historic Site in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Kyle, welcome to the Paranormal Yakker.
Kyle Upton
Hey, thanks, Stan, good to be here, thanks for having me.
Stan Mallow
Since the Paranormal Yakker has a worldwide audience, Kyle, and a number of them may not have heard of Fort George, could you please tell us about the historical significance of the fort?
Kyle Upton
Yeah, sure, Fort George is a War of 1812 fort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, or, I guess, just outside of Niagara-on-the-Lake. So it's been a headquarters for the British military during the War of 1812. But the garrison, the soldiers that were attached to Fort George played a prominent role during the Battle of Queenston Heights, which is one of the biggest and one of the first of the American invasions in the early years of the war. There was a bit of a gap, then, where a lot of the action moved elsewhere along the U.S.-Canadian border but then in 1813, I guess, a renewed front in Niagara that the Americans landed a massive army just on the far side of town and over the course of a day, turned the entire town of Niagara-on-the-Lake as well as the fort itself into one big battlefield. The fort had been been destroyed by American artillery fire the day before and ultimately the American army triumphed. The British army retreated up to Hamilton, Burlington area. But then a couple months later, the British presence moved back into the Niagara region, they re-captured the fort and held it 'til the end of the war. Ultimately, it fell to ruin, it was replaced by newer, better military installations that were outside of artillery range or better positioned on the Canadian frontier. And fell to ruin, was used as farming area and then ultimately in the 1930s was rebuilt as an historic site which is how it runs today, with soldiers and cannons firing and history demonstrations throughout the summer and fringe seasons.
Stan Mallow
I wanna thank you for that, you do make history interesting. I think that's great. Now, Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. It is also one of the most haunted. And thanks to you, your ghost tours of Fort George have become a popular tourist attraction. What motivated you in the first place to develop and organize ghost tours at the fort?
Kyle Upton
Well, I guess it started as a history project that I'd been, in high school, volunteered at Fort George. I guess, teenaged boy, a certain interest in things military so, hey, I can go and shoot off cannons? That sounds like a pretty cool thing. And then during my time there at the fort, got addicted to the history. Had the good luck, the good fortune, of having some fantastic storyteller role models there at the fort and got into history, got addicted to Fort George as a site and then happened to go to Williamsburg down in Virginia, their historic village, on vacation. Took a ghost tour there and thought wow, what a fantastic way of introducing people that don't yet know that they're interested in history, getting them into history kind of by the side door of the hook, the ghost hook, as well as the storytelling aspect of things. So that was kind of the seed of the idea but at the same time, though I really enjoyed the tour in Williamsburg, at the same time, I found that most of the stories were kind of interesting history facts like, "And, yes, the gentlemen of the time because the ladies "really liked meaty calves on their men." But if you weren't so well-endowed, you could get a falsie and just slip it into your sock to still impress the ladies. So I mean, it was interesting stuff like that but not a whole lot of ghost stories and what ghost stories there were, were of the variety of, "That window up there, "or the room behind that window, "the room behind that room is where this happened." So just thinking back to those rainy days at Fort George, where no tourists are coming in so, you know, you're there sharing spooky stories in a old, creaky, cold, damp building, I could think of a number of these accounts, these stories, where what happened happened right where a visitor could be. So at that point, I kind of wrote down what I could remember, contacted the old staff members, explained what my intent was and kind of went, "Hey, you know, look, that story you told me, "was it real or was it just made up? "It doesn't matter, I just don't wanna repeat anything "that's just an article for entertainment kinda thing." And away we went. Approached the federal government, Parks Canada, and said, "Hey, look, this would be a great way "of getting other people that who don't know "they're interested in history into the site." Also, "I was going to university, please hire me to do it." And Parks Canada thought it was a fantastic idea but, being the federal government, cannot confirm or deny the existence of spirits so passed it on so that the ghost tours are now run by the Friends of Fort George, which is the charitable organization that works with Parks Canada to present the history in Fort George and the Niagara region. And here we are, 27-some years later.
Stan Mallow
Now, over the years, there have been hundreds of paranormal sightings at Fort George And what I would like to do now, Kyle, is ask you about some of the more well-known supernatural occurrences at the fort and have you give us the backstories on some of them, here goes. Many a visitor to the fort has reported seeing the benevolent spirit of a little girl named Sarah Ann. Do you recall when she was first seen, who she is, and what her connection to the fort might be?
Kyle Upton
Sure, yeah, certainly one of our most popular, if that's a proper word for it, but yeah, the story of Sarah Ann was introduced to us, I guess, the very last tour of our first season of ghost tours. The end of the tour, as people are wont to do, would come up to share any experience they may have had. So on that particular night, there was a couple, introduced themselves, the woman explained that she was a psychic, she had this sixth sense, special gift, whatever, and that she had a new story to share that while we were in the barrack buildings, the living quarters for the fort, the silhouette of one of the barrack buildings here behind me, that as she was watching the tour guide sharing the stories, that she had seen a little girl, five, six, seven years old, come down the stairs, sit there for a time, listening, then come the rest of the way down the stairs to take up a position just behind the tour guide as they finished up their stories. And as the tour exited the building, this little girl tagged along, following us about Fort George for about two-thirds of the remainder of the evening. So, the psychic explained that, I guess, the vibe that she got, that this little girl's name was Sarah Ann and that's how we were introduced to her. Now, we don't just, you know, take anybody's story and then jump it onto next week's tour. That storytelling, especially ghost storytelling, there's always the danger of the fish getting bigger and bigger with each re-telling. So we're in the lucky, enviable position, anyway, that with almost three decades of recorded accounts at Fort George, we do have the opportunity to, you know, I guess piece together difference so that it's not just one person's experience because we hear a lot of weird stuff. So we do like to have a little bit of confirmation from multiple people. So, the years following, we had, well, I guess, 1995, trios of women, it was always three women at a time that would see this little child figure on the stairs connecting with the tour and then by 1996, you didn't have to bring two fellow ladies with you, it seemed that the phenomena had expanded out and other people were reporting a little girl or a little figure following us about. So we added her story to the tour.
Stan Mallow
Now, the most recurring sighting of a spirit at the fort is that of a figure known as a woman in the mirror. Why is she called that? What does she look like? What was she doing at the fort?
Kyle Upton
Well, Stan, we're incredibly uncreative when it comes to naming our spirit encounters. So the woman in the mirror, as you guessed it, is a woman in a mirror. So inside the Officers' Quarters, so the fancy housing at Fort George for the rich guys in command of the garrison, that there is a historical, an antique mirror that hangs in the junior Officers' Quarters, and over the course of, well, that story is probably the earliest documented ghost story that we have so it predates the ghost tours by 20 or 30 years. So we have numerous accounts, and those early reports, of course, were during the day while the fort was open, daytime visitation of people reporting the image of a woman inside of the mirror. In some cases, confusing the mirror or mistaking the mirror as a portrait, as a painting so, for some folks, this was not just, "Oh, there's something weird in the mirror." That this was, "Hey, who's the lady in the painting then?" So, that's how she got her incredibly uncreative name. Now, we may have to change that, I don't know. In recent years, it seems that the reports to this woman has expanded and expanded beyond just being there in the mirror, it seems she has found her way out of the mirror and is now reported within the room inside the building and in some cases, just out the front ramp, out the front door of that building as well.
Stan Mallow
Now, have you yourself experienced any supernatural happenings at the fort and if you did, Kyle, what were they?
Kyle Upton
Well, I would definitely be the most boring ghost tour guide in history if I had to say, "Yeah, I'm there, like, three times a week "in the last 30 years but, yeah, I tell the stories, "nothing's happened to me." So, yes, I guess, lucky enough, that I wanna say fairly regularly, but of course, when it comes to ghosts, being something that ordinary life doesn't recognize as being existing, that regular doesn't really mean anything, I suppose. But when I started doing the tours, 1994, when I started doing the tours, I believed in ghosts. If you asked me, "Kyle, do you believe in ghosts?" I would definitely say yes, I believe in ghosts. Now, the, I guess, insight over a couple more years, has led me to the current belief that there is a big difference between believing in ghosts because you choose to believe. At that point, I'd done the research, I'd talked to the people. People had convinced me that they weren't just messing around with me, that they weren't crazy. So I believed in their stories and therefore I believed in ghosts. But it wasn't until I had a "Oh, uh, oh" kind of moment on the tours, I guess three or four years into the ghost tour when, in doing my stories, I'm looking beyond the group and I saw a little figure looking back at me that I couldn't explain away by anything else. So it was at that moment where I suddenly realized that not having the choice but to believe is completely different than choosing to believe or stating that you believe. So if you've had this kind of experience, if your viewers have had this kind of experience, you know exactly what I'm talking about. For those of you that haven't had the experience, I probably sound like a nutcase right now. But it is exciting thing when, over the course of a split second, your reality, your paradigm, the universe that you live in, changes dramatically and becomes far bigger. So it's a experience that I I guess I recommend, I'll recommend it. That I think everybody should have that experience. But I know that not everybody is comfortable with that experience.
Stan Mallow
Now, some of the unexplainable paranormal phenomena at the fort has included door latches opening and closing with the aid of no human hand, phantom soldiers in full dress of the period. Could you give us some other examples of paranormal activity that has been witnessed by visitors and staff alike?
Kyle Upton
Sure, yeah, we've got it all. We've run the whole spectrum of haunted phenomena from the bumps, groans, "Ooh, I felt weird," "Somebody was watching me," "Suddenly I felt uncomfortable or ill." The cold spots, the weird breezes through to the apparitional phenomena in terms of "I saw someone, I saw something." And that has a range as well from the, you know, "Caught motion out of the corner of my eye "but can't really say one way or other what it was." From glowing, foggy figures, shadowy figures in the darkness, figures composed of shadow. Right through to the phenomena where you don't know it's a phenomena, that it seems like an ordinary experience until you turn around and that person that you were talking to is no longer there. So that's kinda cool and then if you want the psychokinetic kind of phenomena, things moving that should not be moving, we've got a fair range of that as well. From the tugs on the jacket and "Somebody was playing with my hair" and "They kept knocking my gloves off the bench" through to the furniture moving, tour guides starting the story standing up and finishing the story lying down. And to happily very few things in the way of bruises. But those people that have left a ghost tour bruised, it seems it was a very positive experience for them. "Look, check it out, bruises, that's awesome!"
Stan Mallow
That was good. How do folks on your tours react when they actually see a spirit or some other out-of-this-world type phenomena? Does it freak them out? Are they pleased that a spirit saw fit to appear to them? Or do they have some other reaction?
Kyle Upton
That's a fabulous question. And, unfortunately, it's not an easy answer, either, because it very much depends on the individual person. As you can imagine, we get all types out on the ghost tour. We've got those folks that are there for the history. We've got those folks that are there for the ghosts. We've got those folks that are dragged along by the people that are here for the history or the ghosts. And some people are very much, okay, I'll back up on that. Probably a majority of people, their goal for the night is they want a fun, kinda unique experience. Storytelling is kind of a dying art. So, we're addicted to the screens and that form of storytelling, and the orators seem to be less common. And sometimes our craft is being forgotten, maybe not forgotten, anyway, so I think that that's the majority of people, they're there for that experience. And they don't really have any sort of expectations one way or the other in terms of the ghosts because they just see the ghosts as a hook for the entertainment kind of thing. But we do have, in the minority but certainly an enthusiastic minority, that we do have those folks that are there hoping to have an experience. Whether that's just because they're curious, whether they have an emotional stake. Some folks having lost loved ones, that they want that confirmation that we're not alone. That those folks are not as far away as you could imagine, I suppose. So they're looking for that sort of confirmation that way. And then there are people that are just curious, the skeptics that are true skeptics and that they're open to the experience and they're investigating because it is a mystery but it's a mystery that affects every single one of us. Every person who goes through Fort George, we're all gonna die and we're kind of united in that, there's a big mystery there at the end of the line or the beginning of the line depending upon how you see it. So we're very curious that way. So some people, that's a very positive experience, that it's like, "Oh my goodness, I can't wait "to share this with my friends and loved ones" because this is a, it can be, a very life-changing confirmation, life-changing experience. Your world does get a lot bigger. So that's cool, those folks are great but certainly from my point of view, the more entertaining folks are the folks that go in it with the opposite bias, that they are there because nothing's gonna happen because they don't believe in ghosts and therefore the ghosts don't believe in them. Or the ghosts, you can believe them out of existence, I suppose. So certainly the most, I don't wanna say enjoyable, but there is a certain amusement to it when you get the "I don't believe in ghosts, I can't believe you brought me "on this event, what is this crazy guy "that's carrying a lantern gonna tell us next? " Oh my goodness, unbelievable." When something happens to them and suddenly they go to a very, very strange place for them where ghosts now do exist, and have taken a personal interest, there's often screaming, there's often crying and I think that it's a growing experience for them. But for some, it's not very comfortable. I have relatives who, you know, "Kyle does a ghost tour, "we should go on the ghost tour and support him" and see what it's all about. And they're very supportive, I think I've got a great family but I have certainly been told in no uncertain terms, "Kyle, that was a great tour, you did a fantastic job, "I'm never coming again because I'm not ready "to step into that world or jump into that world "with both feet as unfortunately the case often is." That answer the question?
Stan Mallow
Mm-hmm, oh yeah, plus, yeah. I think it's great. It has to be a gotcha, not necessarily a gotcha moment but when somebody's there, they don't believe, they're making fun, and, boom, they have an experience.
Kyle Upton
I sometimes feel that almost the ghosts are there watching and it's like, "What did she just say? "Oh, hold my beer, we're gonna take care of that right now."
Stan Mallow
So they do have a sense of humor.
Kyle Upton
Yeah, yeah, sometimes. You couldn't have picked a more perfect person for this to happen to so you almost suspect that somebody out there is watching out and going, "Oh, yeah? "She doesn't believe? "Okay, yeah, let's... "What are we gonna do now? "Come here, this is what we're gonna do."
Stan Mallow
"We'll show 'em." Have any spirits at the fort attached themselves to a visitor on your tour and followed them home? And if they did, what did they do to send that spirit back? Did anybody ever share that experience with you?
Kyle Upton
That's a hard one. Obviously there's no way I can prove it, right? It's like, please return the ghost in the postage-paid box here. We certainly have had a number of people who have made reports of that kind, that their ordinary life, and then attending a ghost tour and then they started noticing things out of the ordinary that seemed to be happening. We've had some people that felt so strongly about it that they've come to return the ghosts after the tour. But I think in some ways, too, that it may not be our spirit caught a ride out of Fort George and is now haunting your bathroom. But in some cases, I think it might be that perhaps the experience here just made people a little more open so that perhaps paved the way for experiences that either they've been ignoring or that somehow just didn't have the energy to punch through to our world, that with that little bit of encouragement, that then could manifest. One of our tour guides of years past, Marc Loger, was felt very strongly that he was okay with working with the ghosts at Fort George. But did not want to risk having ghosts at home. So there was a period of time where he would take a different route home after the ghost tour just to make sure that nobody was figuring out where he was living.
Stan Mallow
Cool. Now, have you ever had a seance at the fort where mediums tried to contact the spirits who roam the grounds?
Kyle Upton
No is probably the easy answer. We try not to delve too much into the realm of spiritualism because it gets close to religion and it can become a politically sensitive kind of thing. But we have had some private bookings where people have basically rented the fort in order to have an event so that they can have a little more focus that way. So we have had that sort of thing happen at Fort George. I can't really say if any of them have been overwhelmingly successful in that regard. And I guess it's similar but maybe with less of the spiritualism sort of influence that some of our investigatory tours that people do bring the bibs and the bobs, the different tech for ghost hunting. So we've had spirit boxes, so this is like a random jumping through radio frequencies to give, I guess, the theory being is that it then, the ghost doesn't have to talk themselves but they can basically just adjust the electromagnetic spectrum to make things heard. A lot of people have been very excited about what they were getting out of these boxes. I can't focus it out so I just hear a lot of fuzziness and things like that. But certainly there's been some enthusiasm over that and some of the other kind of tech recordings. I love the ghost hunting bear, the stuffed bear that's got infrared switches and recorders and fancy technology for recording the ghost.
Stan Mallow
Did you ever give any thought as to why certain spirits have chosen to remain at the fort instead of leaving the earth plane and ascending, you know, hopefully upstairs?
Kyle Upton
Yes, no. I really like the way that you termed it being a choice. And that's certainly my feeling there 'cause I don't feel that, you know, that any of our ghosts are incredibly unhappy here. I mean, I'd feel bad about that, both from the point of view of my coworkers being unhappy but I guess also to extent that we're exploiting that in some way. So, I guess there's a lot of different theories on why ghosts might hang around or maybe more broadly, I guess, why we have ghosts in this particular area itself, whether it's something about the geography. I mean, Niagara has been a hot spot going back even pre-European colonization days. Whether it's the area, lay lines, the proximity of the lakes, Niagara is a peninsula and in some cases that's the water that somehow echoes things. Certainly, you can point to the historical events of Fort George and go, "Okay, well, people lived here. "People died here, terrible things happened." But, over the course of history, it would be hard to find a square foot anywhere where people haven't lived, something terrible hasn't happened. So why is it that we do seem at Fort George to have a bit of a hot spot here? And I don't really have an answer to that. Sometimes I feel that, well, one, if these are spirits of the War of 1812, this is familiar ground. We have a historic site so it looks familiar, it has the familiar feel so does that pull the spirits or make them more comfortable in manifesting here? And we do bring believers through, right? That we tour through ghost tour groups who are, to a certain extent, pouring out a certain amount of "Hey, it's okay to be a ghost. "We like the ghosts, please come on out," kind of vibe. So is that just an opportunity to be seen in a not I'm-manifesting-inside-your-house and-you-don't-like-that kind of thing. But where both the witnesser and the witnessed can come out in a positive way. Wow, that got really philosophical, I'm sorry.
Stan Mallow
No, I think that's it 'cause since we don't know definitive until that certain time when we'll know firsthand about it. It's a good a theory as any. I think you did a very good job of explaining it. Certainly makes sense that basically we don't know why they're choosing to do it and that's a good answer. That's probably what it is. Maybe your tours is why they don't wanna leave 'cause you are very good at what you do, Kyle. Anybody I know that goes on the tour you were there, is like, "Incredible." So, maybe the ghosts like it too, you know. You're making them look good so that's another theory. You don't know. Now, have certain buildings or areas around the fort had more spirit activity than the other?
Kyle Upton
I guess yeah is the easy answer. And there has been an evolution in that over the years. When we started the tours, 1994, so we basically, probably about 20 years of backstories in terms of research, you know, here are our accounts and things that have happened 20 years prior to running the ghost tour. So at that point, when we did our very first ghost tour, we figured about 12, 13 good stories that we were rolling out on the tour. But of those good stories, they were very much focused on two or three specific areas. So, the barrack building, the living quarters, of the fort. For the common soldier at the fort. The Officers' Quarters, the living quarters for the not-so-common guys, the officers, the guys in command of the garrison. And then I guess another one of our barrack buildings, blockhouse number two is the big building, it's the one that's open to the public as a soldiers' barracks. And then blockhouse number one, which is basically set up as a museum so you can go in there but it was a museum display. So, it was basically, the good stories were focused on just three areas in the fort and we kind of assumed, okay, those are the haunted places at Fort George. Yeah, there's a smattering of other kind of experiences here and there and everywhere. But they didn't have the same sort of meat to it. And we kind of expected that would be it. Okay, we expected that as we started telling the stories, that people would show up and go, hey, you know, yeah, I worked at Fort George or I broke into Fort George as a teenager or I was on the lawns crew or I had some experience and that now I wanna share it because there's somebody who's listening. What we didn't kind of expect is that we'd have new stories, like new, new stories, like, "I just finished the ghost tour "and I wanna tell you what happened to me 20 minutes ago." So, over the course, between 1994 and 2020, areas of the fort which we didn't have any stories about, suddenly seemed to open up. I guess, like, 1995, the cottage at Fort George, we suddenly had stories there. We started having stories with the guard house. So now, of the buildings at Fort George, I would say that yeah, the officers' kitchen, I don't feel I have any good stories for the officers' kitchen. But every other building, we've had stuff happen. And over 30 years, we do have an ebb and flow. The cottage was active for about five years and then it got very quiet and then two years ago, we started having cottage experiences again. So, I wish I knew what's going on. Has somebody moved in? Have we woken stuff up? Where did they go to? Did they head home with a visitor and then come back a couple years later when it gets boring? I don't know but it certainly keeps it interesting and it makes our life very easy in terms of they're always providing slightly new content for us. So it keeps the experience fresh for sure.
Stan Mallow
Can visitors on your tours bring cameras and take photos? If they can, have any of them captured any orbs, ghosts, spirits, apparitions, or other psychic phenomena which they shared with you?
Kyle Upton
Yeah, I guess on all levels. Now, the caveat to that is that flash photography really kills the atmosphere of a ghost tour. It's a storytelling experience so a staccato of flashes, not so cool. And there is a reason why we do ghost tours in the evening. That darkness is good for ghost story telling. It's not so good for camera photography. So fairly early on, after the introduction of digital photography, we had to make a no flash photography rule just because, out of too much enthusiasm, people were, you know, killing the experience and killing the atmosphere for other people. So we certainly say, hey, look, you're more than welcome to take pictures. If you get something cool, please let us know. But, yeah, please disable the flash so you're not blinding the people around you. Both from a comfort, atmosphere, quality of storytelling experience point of view. But there are some nights when it can get really dark at Fort George, too. So people having their night vision, there is a health-and-safety factor in there, too, in terms of negotiating dark, 1812 forts to make that sure everybody's comfortable and safe. In terms of what people have shared, we have had that. Despite our discouraging of people taking photos, people come through during the day and take pictures. In some cases, that's cooler because if you get something during the day, you can eliminate a whole lot of power of suggestion, strange shadows, the ordinary things that people might mistake as something not so ordinary. People love their orbs. There's a lot of ways that orbs can happen. Just in terms of camera physics. So I've seen some pretty cool orbs but I don't know where I stand, really, in terms of the, "That's a ghost" kind of thing. But we have had some pretty cool things. There was a cool video that was done a video of a guy in a cape. Which I insisted, okay, what's the easiest answer? I caught a video of a guy in a cape on a ghost tour? It's like, "I'm the guy in the cape, "I'm the guy in the cape." Whereas the people who had watched the video were like, "No, no, no, it's not you, the boots are different, "there's buttons on the things and the coats." But it's like, Occam's Razor, I am the guy in the cape, I'm probably the guy in the cape on the video. But I was convinced after seeing it and we did some test runs with filming me. It's not me on the film, which makes it like the most awesome ghost video ever. So we do have that on our Facebook page. Just two years ago, we had a pretty fantastic image, too, of a little girl that seems to be in some historic costume in the barrack building so we suspect that that may be Sarah Ann. Now, could there be another explanation? Yeah, kids do come on the tour and maybe what we're seeing in the darkness of the image as a historical type clothing might just be a weird Dora the Explorer windbreaker. But the gentleman who took the picture on the tour, he doesn't remember there being a kid in front of him. He was taking the picture for a different reason and had the image set up differently. So he doesn't remember a kid being there and was quite surprised when, upon developing his film, it was like, "This doesn't look the way I remember it "looking when I pressed the button." So, yeah, there's some pretty wacky stuff out there. Both from the point of view of, there can be some really cool stuff that has a purely natural explanation. The period of time where the camera technology, that we were getting all this weird flying skeletal snakes on the video, it was like these flying skeletons of snakes. It was just really wacky and cool. But it was just June bugs, hence their wing flaps would be caught by the night vision on the camera and that's how it came out on the video. Which is pretty cool but kinda boring if you're hoping for supernatural stuff.
Stan Mallow
You have enough of the good stuff so that's great. Now, you have tours of the fort throughout the Spring and Summer as well at Halloween. Are there any differences between them in what you cover, the stories you tell, and how you present them?
Kyle Upton
Yeah, a little bit. Our Summer season goes May through September. And then we've got three weekends, essentially, at the end of October where we have our Halloween tours coming through. Halloween, it is a longer tour. It is a darker tour. It's often a colder and wetter tour. But those aren't necessarily the pluses but you certainly have more atmosphere at midnight on October 31st than you do at 7:30 on July 8th or whatever. So, Halloween tours, we do go into different areas, internal areas of buildings that we don't access through our Summer season. So, during the Summer, when we're telling the woman in the mirror story, we're peering through the windows of the Officers' Quarters, because for a variety of different reasons, we just don't access the inside of the building at that time. Those rules are changed for Halloween. We access the upper levels of the barracks. So, again, during the Summer, when you're sitting downstairs and hearing about how John went up the stairs to the upper floor to make sure that they weren't locking in anybody and experienced this up there, in our Halloween tours, we're up there. These are the stairs that John came up. And he was looking at that back corner when he saw. So, one, it makes the tour a little bit longer, it allows us to share a couple of stories that we just don't have time for or just don't tell well if you can't actually be in the physical space. And as the side benefit, that means more inside time on the tours because weather conditions at the end of October can be dramatically more uncomfortable than in mid-July. So there's a balance there, of both more stories and creature comforts.
Stan Mallow
Now, when tourists visit Niagara Falls, which is counted as number-one tourist destination, I researched it and it is, high on their to-do list after visiting the Falls is to tour the wineries in the area, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and of course, one of your ghost tours at Fort George. When all is good with the world again, and folks start traveling again, hopefully I pray sooner rather than later, how can they purchase tickets for your ghost tours and learn what they're all about?
Kyle Upton
Fantastic, yeah, that's, I mean, Niagara Falls is the tourism destination for Niagara. A bazillion people visit Niagara Falls and less than a bazillion people then make the 20-minute trek north, which is a terrible shame because Niagara Falls is great but the Niagara-on-the-Lake area is a very different tourism experience. And it's a shame when people just check the boxes for the Niagara Falls experience and miss what the rest of the Niagara region has to offer. In terms of accessing information about the ghost tour, niagaraghosts.com is the website for the ghost tour. It's got our hours of business and all that sort of stuff there. You can also access that information from the Friends of Fort George website which is friendsoffortgeorge.ca. And this was supposed to, 2020, was supposed to be our year of getting back into online ticket sales again. So, in theory, in future years, we will have that technological aspect of just being able to purchase your tickets ahead of time. Where you can also purchase before the tour as well. But all the information is both on the niagaraghosts.com website as well as the Friends of Fort George so if you google "ghost tour Fort George," you'll find us pretty quick.
Stan Mallow
Great. Kyle Upton, I thank you for being my guest on Paranormal Yakker. It was a pleasure yakking with you about historic Fort George and your wonderful ghost tours. And I hope the Chamber of Commerce there gives you a medal or does something for you because I don't even know if you have any idea how much tourism you help bring to the whole area because of the reputation of your tours. So continued success with it and I thank you for being a great guest.
Kyle Upton
Okay, thank you.
Stan Mallow
Hi, everyone, I hope you enjoyed the interview you just watched. So you don't miss any upcoming shows, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel. I would love for you to join me and my guests as I yak with them on Paranormal Yakker.