In February 2010, I along with my team spent the night investigating the Mahoney Doll House Gallery in Fort Erie, Ontario Canada. This building was also known as Bertie Hall and has taken a part in the Underground Railroad with the same tunnels being used during prohibition to transport rum into Buffalo, NY. We had been there a couple times in the past with great interaction from the resident spirits so we decided to return to investigate further.
The night started with activity almost immediately as one of our investigators had gone into the restroom and upon walking out began asking who else had arrived to find no one new had shown up yet. While sitting in the restroom he had heard a very faint conversation between a male and a female and when he had gone in there was only one other person in the building and it was a male. Both investigators searched the building and the perimeter find that there were not even foot steps in the snow near the building. As the other investigators arrived they all continued to try to debunk the story the other two told without any success.
Once everyone had arrived, the group walked around the building turning off all the lights in the museum. Upon getting to the second floor, they could not find a light switch to turn off the lights or to turn off the lit doll houses on that floor. One of the investigators took out his recorder and began a brief evp session to see if he could get any help finding the switch. When he asked the question, “Where is the switch?”, he and another investigator close by both heard a disembodied voice. He immediately stopped the recording to play it back and received a response of “George Town”. This meant absolutely nothing to anyone in the group at the time and was discarded until more research could be done. When researching the possible relation that response could have to us or the building, we uncovered something we find quite amazing.
This house was used as a safe house during the Underground Railroad movement. For those unaware, the slaves used the same terminology for the Underground Railroad as everyone used for the normal railroad. Therefore, if you were to lead the slaves through you would be known as a “conductor”. Knowing this, that would mean then a switch on the railroad would be the place where the track deviates from the original course. Our research showed us that the slaves would travel from the Alabama region upward into Kentucky and then would hit the “switch” at Georgetown, KY to then head north east toward NY and then over into Ontario. This is an amazing find because we believe somehow with this simple question worded just right, we managed to bridge the gap between present day and the days of the slave trade.
The rest of the evening continued with the usual interactions we receive such as flashlights responding directly when asked to do so, whispers and faint conversations, and even a dark shadow making it’s way up the main staircase and vanishing at the top. We will definitely return to the Mahoney Doll House again to continue trying to unravel the mystery of the building and to gain a better understanding of the history surrounding it.
Unfortunately since this time, the building has been closed due to a lack of funding and all the doll houses are gone. The question I’m left pondering is if the spirits that were so prominent while we were there are still in the building or were some of them attached to the doll houses displayed and have since left with those houses? I can only hope that one day I will get the opportunity to investigate this historic gem again to find the answer.
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