The cemetery behind St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake is one of the oldest in Ontario. It’s also rumoured by locals to be one of the more haunted sites in the region.
For centuries the land was used as a First Nations burial site, but all trace of those graves were lost when the Europeans arrived. The first European tombstone on the grounds dates back to to 1794. At this time the city was known as Newark.
With the onset of the War of 1812 the story of St. Marks becomes far more grim. The church has only been established for four years when fighting broke out. It was commissioned as a field hospital and was subject to the horrors of wartime medicine of the era.
Amputations were a common treatment for gangrene and bullet wounds. Some say that tombstones were put to use as makeshift operating tables and that some still bare the scars of the surgeon’s saw. (You can find several images of these online, whether it’s true or merely local legend is up to you).
The Americans took control of the grounds and operated it as a barracks in 1813, that is until they burned the church to the ground along with most other buildings in the town upon their retreat.
St. Mark’s is also apparently home to Brock’s Seat, a rock on which Major General Issac Brock was apparently fond of sitting upon as he plotted strategy and gazed across the Niagara river. I wasn’t able to identify it on the video. If you know where it is I’d love to go back and do a follow up.
There are ghost stories aplenty about the grounds of St. Marks. The infinitely entertaining Ghosts of Niagara-on-the-Lake by Andrew Hind and Maria Da Silva recounts several of them. This past May the site was subject to a profile from some local paranormal enthusiasts.