6650 Niagara Parkway, niagara falls, on

Status: Natural Wonder; Iconic Waterfall



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By <a href="//" title="User:Saffron Blaze">Saffron Blaze</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, CC BY-SA 3.0Link

Niagara Falls 1911.jpg

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Underneath Niagara Falls.jpg

By Metropolitan Museum of Art - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href=""></a>, CC0Link


Approximately 10,000 years ago – give or take an eon or two – the Wisconsin Glacial Period; the last Ice Age – retreated from what we now call North America; mainly the future Nation-states of the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada. This warming event left behind massive glacial meltwater lakes which would become what we call the Great Lakes today.

The meltwater of the upper Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan and Huron – poured into Lake Erie and made it’s way to Lake Ontario (and eventually the Atlantic Ocean) by creating what we call the Niagara River. The underlying rock did rock bed did not erode eventually resulting in what we call the Niagara Escarpment.

Where the river poured over this escarpment it created a gorge and a massive waterfall which has eroded it’s way over thousands of years to the three waterfalls – Horseshoe, American and Bridal Veil – we know today.

The three waterfalls known collectively as Niagara Falls have the highest water flow of any waterfall in North America. During it’s peak – when the most tourists are watching – time 168,000 cubic metres (5.9 million cubic feet) of water go over the falls every minute.

At the current rate of erosion – 30 centimetres (1 foot) every year – in 50,000 years or so the falls will dig their way all the way to Lake Erie and collapse ceasing to exist.

Until the 17th century no European set eyes on the falls. In 1604 the falls were described to Samuel de Champlain by other members of his exploration party - apparently the description wasn’t impressive enough for Samuel to go to the falls himself – and he described them in his journals. The first famous European – meaning we remember their name today – was either Jesuit Missionary Paul Ragueneau or Belgian missionary Louis Hennepin.

During the 19th century the falls first became a place to go on holiday. Access to them, though, was difficult with trails blocked and many looking for money to actually see them. In the 1870’s both New York State and the Province of Ontario took steps to preserve the falls and allow everyone free access.

New York created a State Park and Ontario formed the Niagara Parks Commission.

In 1918 an iron scow got stuck in the rocks near the edge of the falls. The 2 men were rescued both the rusted out hulk remains to this day. In a storm in October 2019 the ship remains shifted 50 metres.

In the 20th century both Canada and the United States built massive infrastructure to harness the hydro-electric power in the falls. This infrastructure provides a large amount of the power used in eastern North America.

People used to be able to go onto the Niagara River below the falls in the winter when it froze completely. This ended in February 12, 1912 when the ice broke up unexpectedly resulting in the deaths of 3 people.

The arched metal walkway on the US side is actually all that remains of the Honeymoon Bridge which was severely damaged by an ice jam in January of 1938. The bridge collapsed due to the ice but there was enough warning so that no one was on it when it fell into the ice filled river.

The existing bridge near the falls was built in 1941 and is called the Rainbow Bridge. It brings together the cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario. It also provides a breathtaking view of the falls; although, stopping on the bridge is illegal of course.

Many people have either attempted the cross the gorge on tightropes or go over the falls in some kind of contraption. Perhaps it is more remarkable to say some of them actually survived their attempts then say some of them died. In actual fact on average 70% of the attempts to go over falls end in the survival of the person.

The economic value of Niagara Falls to both Canada and the United States is in the billions plus.


Paranormal Activity

The haunted locations in the Niagara Region – even just sticking to the Canadian side – could fill an entire website on their own. I’ve been lucky enough to lead investigations at most of these locations on both sides of the border but this article will focus on the horseshoe falls themselves; the hauntings, legends and ghosts as well as their continued effect on the living.

The Screaming Tunnel and Blue Ghost Tunnel (see below) are both covered on this website as of 2022. The remaining haunted Niagara locations are planned for the future.

There are at least 2 versions of the legend of the Maid of the Mist. One is a blatant untruth involving human sacrifice which was never practiced by the Origiaras (and frankly insulting to their living ancestors). We will not be writing up the fake legend.

This legend is said to be the one handed down by the Tribal Elders:

From the beginning the 6 Tribes were at one with the Earth and all it’s animals and plants; more importantly the all got along with each other and worked together in harmony.

They were taught this by the Thunder God who lived in the falls.

In time the people forgot how to listen to the Earth and stars; forgot how to listen to the animals and plants. Then they forgot how to live in harmony and became mistrustful and selfish. They stopped listening to the Thunder God.

The maid was a young girl who fell asleep beside the Niagara River. In a show of the selfishness her people had fallen to an older lady saw a snake crawl up the girl’s dress but just walked away without waking her and telling her.

Oblivious to what happened, the girl grew up and became a young woman and got married. Her husband died very quickly. In total she married two more times but both times her husbands died quickly; most importantly, before she could have a child.

The maid, understandably, became very distraught and – with no one to help her as her people had become selfish and separated from one another – took a canoe into the Niagara River with the intent of going over the falls to her death.

She went over the falls but the Thunder God reached out of the falls thus preventing her death. The Thunder God told the maid about the snake and removed it for her. The maid lived with the Thunder God being retaught his teachings for a period of 4 years.

She then returned to her village and taught them how to live together and in harmony with nature returning them to happier times. As a bonus she married for a fourth time to a husband who remained healthy and they had many children.

The spirit of the Maid of the Mist is seen to this day most often as an apparition walking on the shores of the river below the falls or walking on the turbulent waters of the river itself below the falls. People have also witnessed her going over the edge of the falls while standing in her canoe.

Far less frequently her face – or entire head – has been seen in the mists – for which she is named – that hovers over the falls 24/7/365 as well as above the whirlpool further down the Niagara Gorge.

I have personally seen her walking on the Canadian side of river near the base of the falls. What made her so obviously out of place was her native attire from long before the European colonizers made it so far into the North American continent.

The voice of Thunder God can be heard in the falls. In North American 21st society with it’s obvious selfishness and lack living in harmony with each other let alone nature and the world around us his voice is getting louder and easier to hear to those who wish to listen for it.

The apparitions of many of the victims of the falls – be it accidents, suicides or daredevils – have been seen in and around the falls. Most of these “ghosts” look much like living humans and are thought to be lost in the huge crowds around the falls and often not even noticed by a general visitor.

Taking this into consideration its not surprising that most reports of witnesses seeing something or someone that doesn’t quite fit is either late at night or on days on of very inclement weather when the almost constant crowds are absent.

The final paranormal aspect of the falls is the uncountable reports of the falls themselves seem to call to people making them want to either get in the river at the top of the falls or jump into the falls themselves; of course, either act would – in almost all cases – be quickly fatal.

It is estimated at least 40 people go over the falls every year on average. While accidents account for some of the these the majority of them are suicides and attempted suicides.