If you’re a tourist visiting Ontario, Canada, or New York, Niagara Falls is the go-to attraction. But while they’re stunning to look at, it’s easy to be wary of certain aspects of the spectacle, like the sheer volume of water cascading over the Falls. Surprisingly, though, one of the scariest areas can be found on land, hidden away in a gorge.
As we mentioned, some people might already feel a little reluctant to get too close to the Niagara Falls. For instance, did you know that over 3,000 tons-worth of water passes through it each second? Most of that comes from the Canadian side, which houses one of the location’s three waterfalls.
This cascade is known as the Horseshoe Falls, while the other two are the Bridal Veil Falls and the American Falls. The former is the biggest part of the attraction, standing at over 160 feet in size. Keeping that in mind, here are some additional figures to wrap your head around.
The falling water at Horseshoe Falls plummets at over 30 feet-per-second. As a result of this, the sheer impact has been measured at more than 2,500 tons of force. However, while those numbers can be pretty unnerving, the scariest part of the Niagara Falls is arguably located on land.
However, before we get into that, let’s take a closer look at the surrounding area of this famous attraction. On the American side, visitors are given the chance to enjoy incredible views of the three waterfalls at the Niagara Falls State Park. This spot is found in Niagara County, New York.
The park itself was founded back in 1885, so it’s subsequently been recognized as the country’s longest-running state park. The area sprawls over more than 400 acres. And if that wasn’t enough, over nine million tourists travel to the location every 12 months, according to state officials.
As we highlighted earlier, though, this attraction isn’t just known for its majestic waterfalls. In fact, if you’re an adventurous tourist, you might already be aware that the Niagara Falls houses a downright spooky area away from the water. The locale in question is called the “Devil’s Hole Cave,” but it has another unnerving title as well.
Indeed, it’s also referred to as the “Cave of the Evil Spirit.” This cavernous spot is situated on the American side, in Devil’s Hole State Park. Just like Niagara Falls State Park, you’ll find it in the Niagara County area, spanning over 40 acres. It was established back in 1924, and offers plenty of activities — such as hiking, fishing and skiing — for visitors to enjoy.
However, while some people take full advantage of those fun pursuits, there are others who will feel drawn towards the Devil’s Hole cave. After all, with a name like that, certain individuals won’t be able to stop themselves from taking a peek. If it piques your interest then the history behind its moniker might just send a shiver down your spine.
The Cave of the Evil Spirit to use its other name — isn’t the only creepy attraction near the Niagara Falls. Unsurprisingly, its popularity has overshadowed some of the other places on offer, so they’re easy to miss. Should you be curious or brave enough, though, here are a couple of places to look out for.
Let’s start with the “Screaming Tunnel,” which is situated in the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario. The small limestone passage was built at the start of the 19th century. Originally built as a drainage tunnel for farmlands, it stretches over 120 feet, and was ultimately used by farmers to transport goods and livestock.
Of course, you’re probably wondering how the tunnel earned its chilling nickname. One story claims that a girl from a local farm became trapped in a fire. Her clothes were set alight but she eventually managed to escape the blaze and ran into the tunnel, where she passed away due to her injuries.
Meanwhile, there’s an alternative tale that describes a disturbing encounter between another young woman and an attacker. The story goes that the girl was sexually assaulted in the tunnel, before being set on fire. If that wasn’t grisly enough, one more urban legend has been doing the rounds too, as we’re about to discover.
That particular story was covered when The Omar Gosh YouTube channel produced a video on the subject in June 2018. In the clip, Omar travels to the Screaming Tunnel to recount its mysterious history, as well as try out a creepy experiment. Much like the previous two tales, this one was just as harrowing.
As Omar says, “The story goes that at the end of this tunnel, on the other side, there was a village. And this husband and wife, they’d split up. A little girl was living with her dad and he lost custody over her. Now during this time that he lost custody over her, he was very, very stressed out.”
“[So] the little girl went running out of the house,” Omar continues. “I think [her dad] was in a really, really bad mood. I’m not sure if he was trying to attack her, or whatever the case, but she came here to hide. And she was just all balled up in the middle of this tunnel.”
At this point, the YouTuber then sheds light on the story’s horrifying conclusion. Omar adds, “[The little girl’s dad] came here looking for her. And when he found her, he put gasoline on her and lit her on fire in this tunnel. There’s stories of that little girl haunting this place, and sometimes you can see her in this tunnel.”
Regardless of whatever tale you might have heard, each one suggests that the stricken girl’s cries echoed through the tunnel when she died. As for the experiment that we mentioned earlier, Omar claimed that if you light up a match inside the structure, it will quickly go out. And then you’ll hear ghostly shrieks.
Omar tried it out with a lighter in the video, but it ultimately didn’t work. After that, the YouTuber visited another spooky location near the Niagara Falls, this time on the American side. Similarly to the Screaming Tunnel, this place was said to be haunted by a terrifying spirit.
The place in question is called the Red Coach Inn, which can be found in Niagara County, New York. Specifically, the hotel’s “Victoria Suite” is believed to be home to a female ghost. Omar detailed the room’s tragic history when he arrived, and its unnerving reputation.
As Omar explains, “This is called the Victoria Suite, aka the Honeymoon Suite. Reason being that [a groom] ended up killing his wife on their honeymoon [here], for what reason I have no idea. People from all walks of life that have spent the night here have sometimes heard cat noises, they’ve felt things crawling into bed with them.”
Following this, Omar then recounts an unsettling tale. “There were two workers in this hallway, and they were doing maintenance stuff,” he says. “They [saw the ghost of the bride] at the end of the hallway. When she looked at them, half of her face was mutilated, it was just like a disfigured face.”
“[Then the ghost] kind of starts charging towards [the workers],” Omar recounts. “As if she felt like they murdered her. And they like ran out of there. This is a legit ghost story.” After announcing that he would be sleeping in the room that evening, the YouTuber’s video finally comes to a close.
Since being uploaded to YouTube in June 2018, Omar’s video has earned over 157,000 views and around 13,000 likes. In addition to that, it’s generated in excess of 1,300 comments — some sharing their memories of the hotel. Thanks to Omar, viewers now know that there’s more to the Niagara Falls beyond its three famous waterfalls.
Meanwhile, let’s switch our focus back to the Cave of the Evil Spirit. As we mentioned earlier, the spot is located within Devil’s Hole State Park and its reputation stems from its troubling history. One particular story dates back to the 17th century, and involves the famed French fur-trader and explorer René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle.
It’s believed that La Salle traveled to Niagara County at the end of 1660s, with a member of the indigenous Seneca people as a guide. The pair eventually worked their way over to an opening in the cliff face, which turned out to be the cave. As a renowned adventurer, La Salle’s curiosity was piqued.
However, La Salle was quickly pulled back by his companion, who claimed that the cave was home to the “Spirit of Evil.” Apparently, the guide also described stories of people hearing strange sounds coming from the opening, ranging from screams to claps of thunder. However, the explorer ultimately couldn’t resist.
You see, the story goes that La Salle headed back to the cave later in the week. He made his way inside the cavernous opening and caught sight of an icy surface, before a mysterious disembodied voice emerged. This mysterious presence advised him to “return” to his house, which was in Canada.
If La Salle followed the voice’s instruction, he was promised a “long life” and an enduring legacy. If he chose to ignore the words, though, the Frenchman was warned of an unceremonious death. Although La Salle made a swift exit after hearing the spectral voice, the following years proved to be financially ruinous for him.
Unfortunately for La Salle, the voice’s dire warning eventually came to fruition in 1687. That year, he was killed by a member of his own exploration team near the Mississippi River. Once La Salle drew his last breath, the adventurer was then left in the wilderness. He was 43 years old at the time of his death.
Given the supernatural elements of that story, some of you might find it hard to believe. However, that’s not the only cautionary tale associated with the Cave of the Evil Spirit. In fact, the following account is very much rooted in historical fact, as it occurred in September 1763. That fall, a supply train of around 350 British redcoats were passing through the area.
When the troops stopped to eat, the Seneca people took the opportunity to launch an attack. The engagement led to the deaths of 81 British soldiers, while the rest managed to escape. The incident was subsequently referred to as both the “Battle of Devil’s Hole” and the “Devil’s Hole Massacre,” but that’s not all.
Indeed, it’s believed that the Seneca attackers were hiding inside the Cave of the Evil Spirit before launching their ambush. Prior to that, other Native American groups had utilized the spot for similar reasons, hiding from outsiders. If any interlopers got too close, they were unlikely to escape the area with their lives.
Due to those deaths, the surrounding area earned the title of Devil’s Hole, which it still holds today. Meanwhile, there’s a further superstition linked to the cave. To explain, an adventurous YouTuber named Unkle Heavy took a closer look at the infamous attraction in the fall of 2019.
In the video, we’re treated to a clear view of the cave’s exterior, which is covered in various bits of graffiti. Those painted tags can be found in the entrance as well, just before we get a better look inside. It’s an incredibly cramped space, with very little room to move around in.
From here, Unkle Heavy reveals an interesting piece of information about the cave. He says, “Legend has it that if you take a souvenir stone back with you, it will be cursed and bring you bad luck. So, superstition aside and wanting to leave things the way they are, I’m gonna go ahead and just leave here with the video I took.”
A couple of online users have also shared their own experiences of the cave via the Haunted Places website. According to them, they both encountered strange sights while exploring the mysterious space. “Today my girlfriend and I went hiking at Devil’s Hole State Park,” begins the first account from user Matt.
“We were venturing and came upon two caves in the area,” he continues. “[We took a picture] of the caves with what looks like a greenish blue ‘light glare,’ and what also looks like a few orbs appearing in the glare. None of the other pictures I took in that few second interval had the anomaly.”
Another user, John Currie, also recounted a similar story. “It took a while to find the cave itself, but we were surprised once we found it,” he wrote. “The cave is huge and goes up for a long distance. We [saw] a lot of orbs in the cave.”
However, while the Cave of the Evil Spirit certainly has a sinister reputation, there is one final thing to consider. Records indicate that between 1850 and 2011 around 5,000 human bodies have been recovered from the bottom of the Niagara Falls. So it could easily be argued that this famous attraction’s past is just as dark and deadly as the weird places we’ve examined.