Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Last Weekend for Fort William Henry Museum Ghost Tours

Ghost Tour - 2013There are some things that are out of my comfort zone and actively seeking all that is terrifying leads the list. Recently I attended Fright Night at Tucker’s Great Adirondack Corn Maze and did my best to look brave around a bunch of 12-year-olds. My daughter didn’t need my moral support and soon let me catch my breath at the bonfire and ponder my fears.

Though there are still haunted wagon rides and Fright Fests to be found around the Adirondacks this Halloween weekend, Fort William Henry’s Ghost Tours offer scary stories tied to paranormal experiences. It isn’t the shock treatment that some people crave, but a trip through history that is weaved with people’s real experiences with ghosts. Whether you believe in the hauntings is completely up to you!

According to Fort William Henry Museum Director Melody Viele the last ghost tour of the season is on Halloween, which will also be the final tour until the museum reopens in spring. Overlooking the lake in Lake George Village, the current structure is a replica of Fort William Henry on the original site from the French and Indian War. That has not stopped visitors and employees from witnessing unexplained phenomena throughout the years. The stories have been documented by the SyFy channel’s “Ghost Hunters” as well as featured as a destination in Glory Haunt Hounds, Para X Radio and Beyond Ghosts.

“We have an earlier family-friendly tour starting at 7:30 pm with a more adult tour at 9 pm,” says Viele. “The only difference is that the adult tour has the scarier stories. If the guides have younger children [age 10 and up] on the tour, then they gear the stories more toward that audience. If there aren’t any children then they stick to the regular tour.”

Day tours continue this week with a live military demonstration, audio tour and musket ball molding. The guide is on hand to explain military objects found on site as well as period warfare. Any children attending are welcome to “join” the King’s Army, given a uniform and able to participate in drills. After the guided portion of the tour, participants are welcome to a self-guided museum and exhibit tour.

“We also have a special exhibit at the museum thanking people for their service,” says Viele. “We have a binder where veterans can list their name and military rank or their loved one’s who have served. We are having flags made for each veteran and placed on the west lawn. We are creating a Field of Flags for Veteran’s Day. People are welcome to call to have a flag made in honor of anyone who served. There is no cost.”

Halloween is always about the possibility of ghosts and Fort William Henry’s tour is supposed to help your imagination run wild. Of course, if you’d rather stay home and just read about “Adirondack Ghosts,” there’s a book for that. Happy Halloween!

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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