On the shores of Lake Champlain, New York lies Fort Ticonderoga (originally Fort Carillon) built by the French in 1755. The Fort was one of a series the French built to control Lake Champlain. The site looks over Lake Champlain at a point where it narrows and the shore of Vermont is just a cannon shot away. It is at this point, too, that the waters from Lake George enter Lake Champlain via the La Chute River. Control of this strategic narrows meant control of the north-south water "highway".
On July 8, 1758 the Fort was successfully defended by a French army of 3500 soldiers under the command of Louis-Joseph le Marquis de Montcalm despite being severely out number by an attacking British army of 16,000 troops under the command of General James Abercromby. This was France's greatest victory in the Seven Years' War.
The following year however, the British under the command of General Jeffery Amherst defeated the French at Fort Carillon. The French troops evacuated the Fort but not before blowing up the powder magazine and warehouse as they went.
"It's a very haunted place," says Fort Ticonderoga employee Trisha Melton. She has become convinced the fort is haunted by sightings of what she describes as floating orbs or balls of energy."People have seen red glowing balls moving around in the rooms," she says.
The museum of the fort is mostly housed within its south barracks building. The "museum ladies," as they are known, clean the cases daily because dust from the parade ground is ever-present. Frequently, they will come in to find collection items in different places in the locked cases. At the end of the evening, as maintenance men lock up the Fort, several sightings of a red coat in one of the upper windows of the south barracks have been reported. At any given time, the person living in the gate house at the Fort's front gate might hear women crying outside the window when nobody is there. The Pavilion, which is a house down by the lake, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sarah Pell, who lived there in the 1920s and 1930s. She often appears in the window overlooking the King's Garden.
Others have seen the ghost of a woman floating around the fort and the lake, and visitors have reported hearing her sobbing. As the story goes, she is Nancy Coates, mistress to General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, who also haunts the fort. Thinking Wayne had left her for another woman, Nancy drowned herself in Lake Champlain. She has been seen running along the footpaths near the fort, waiting for Wayne to return to her by the gate at the entrance. Her pale, lifeless body has also been seen floating in the water.
TV's Ghost Hunters recently visited the Fort the episode will be broadcast March 10th 2010. The Fort regularly hold's ghost tour and has a special events programme for Halloween.