Fort Fright Seeks 50,000 Victims by Halloween

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According to legend, in 1867 a special traveling carnival rolled into Kingston, Ontario.

Men, women, and children alike were awed by fantastical tricks of blood, knives and death – tricks that seemed a little too real…

After entertaining the crowds, they packed up and left for the next town — but this carnival left something behind. Something that lingers to this day. A dark and corrupt spirit that every year turns the historic Fort Henry into its very own carnival of carnage.

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Along with the traditional tours, that every year exposes visitors to this ancient spirit, in 2010 the Fort also offers up Carnival Diablo – Canada’s oldest-running circus sideshow, with nightly performances by award-winning traveling sideshow artist, Nikolai Diablo.

Keeping with tradition of his grandfather’s own vaudeville tour, Diablo’s twisted show includes fire-eating, sword swallowing, and Russian Roulette with a 9-inch construction spike.

In addition to Carnival Diablo, visitors can wander through Fort Fright on their own… although visitors are recommended to watch their back, because you never know what might pop out. Or when.

Screams and laughs alike echo from every corner of the dark, stone passageways.

The guided “Ghosts of the Fort” tour creates a different kind of tension, as visitors follow their caped guide into the depths of the Fort for a 45 minute tour, listening to true ghost stories by eerie lantern light.


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They learn about the ghost of Nils Von Schultz, who made an ill-conceived attempt to “liberate” Canada from “British oppression” in the early 1800s. After being defeated in the Battle of the Windmill near Prescott, Ontario, Von Schultz was hanged at Fort Henry — and they say he continues to haunt the Fort to this day.

And guests fortunate enough to survive touring the terrifying exhibits and corridors can then go on to enjoy a simulated coffin ride, or check out the merchandise offered in the Shop of Horrors, or even sleep over in one of the Fort’s overnight rooms.

The Fort’s restaurant has also been transformed. Enjoy a delicious meal in The Pirates Den where they offer a variety of ghoulish grub served by scoundrels and scallywags.

Fort Fright is open from 6 pm to 10 pm (entry hours end at 9:30 pm) Tuesday through Saturday, until October 31. The guided tours run on the half-hour and can be signed up for at the Fort’s entrance.

Organizers predict up to 50,000 guests will enter the Fort this year – and hope most will survive to walk back out again at the end of the night.

Additional information about the Fort Fright experience is available on their website at fortfright.com.

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— 3D Photos – view using red/cyan(blue) 3D glasses —

Click here to view the entire set on Flickr