Located on Yates Street, the Merritt House was built in the 1820s and owned by Mr. William Hamilton Merritt, the builder of the Welland Canal. Fire destroyed the house in 1858 and the second version of the beautiful white house was built approximately two years following.
From 1918 to 1930, in the midst of the First World War, the house’s main purpose was serving as a recuperating rest stop for those in the military. Shortly after the war, the house briefly served as an Inn and a brewery before transforming into a radio station.
Perhaps the most fascinating detail of this house lies underground, where tunnels were built to connect the main building with the carriage house. As one extension of the tunnel ran north right up to the river, another extension emerged next to the river in the very location that the Burgoyne Bridge stands today. Originally serving a large role in the underground railroad, these tunnels were made very useful to bootleggers during the Prohibition, but for safety reasons were filled in and sealed up in 1967.
Yet underground tunnels and a prominent history are not all that this house is well known for. Several reports of ghost like activity in recent decades have lead many to believe that this house is still someone’s home.
Doors that open and shut by themselves. Trophies, chairs, cups and other random objects have been seen moving from one spot to another by translucent hands. Electrical equipment has been known to malfunction, including radios broadcasting peculiar sounds such as bells, a sighing woman and a man laughing.
Apparitions of a woman standing in the former waiting room, which today is a studio, as well as a man standing before the studio doors until vanishing have also been reported.
Some have even spoken of an aura, a strange feeling as if something was trying to restrict their movements. The sounds of a baby crying hysterically from a room on the second floor have been reported as well, hinting to some that there is some form of life, or lack there of, that refuses to leave this house.
by: Chase Kell