The Ghost of Lakeview Cemetery?

There are some reports of a ghost who inhabits Lakeview Cemetery near Thorold. 

Lakeview Cemetery, established in 1886, is hidden in a secluded, wooded, natural setting, on the east side of the Welland Ship Canal, near the brink of the Niagara Escarpment. Within view of ships in Lock 7 to the west, where they begin their descent down the escarpment, Old Lakeview has a spectacular view of St. Catharines to Lake Ontario, and on a clear day, Toronto’s skyline rises above the horizon of the Lake to the north.

With more than a dozen meticulously cared for flower gardens, countless shrubberies and trees, a mausoleum and columbarium with a terraced landscape overlooking a willow-lined creek, Lakeview,home to a variety of wildlife, provides a serene and dignified resting place.

A number of years ago, human remains were also found there by an “amateur historian”. The site was a cemetery for a Lutheran and Presbyterian church – sometimes referred to as The Old German Church – once stood on the property where the bones were found. It’s not known exactly when the church opened its doors, but it welcomed its first minister in 1801. Prominent Thorold settler Jacob Ball donated land to be used as a cemetery beside the church in 1802. The log church ceased functioning and was replaced by St. Peter’s Anglican Church in 1838, which continued to use the adjoining burial ground. Because of its small size and out-of-the-way location, St. Peter’s was replaced by St. John’s Anglican Church downtown in 1856, and St. Peter’s was used only occasionally afterward for funerals and special events. In 1886, the cemetery was closed to new burials when nearby Lakeview Cemetery opened. Remains in the old church cemetery were move to Lakeview in 1923 when the land changed hands and was to be made into a reservoir for the fourth Welland Canal. One report pegged the number of graves in the old cemetery in the 900’s, and it is possible all remains were not removed.

Stories of hauntings in this area reportedly claim a ghost will walk past the flagpole in Lakeview every night at 10pm. It appears to be a woman holding a candle, and looking to be from the 1800’s. Stories of haunting have been around this aea for decades, as shown in this old newspaper article:

Niagara Falls NY Gazette 1965 Oct Grayscale - 1172.psd

Recently, some people I know visited the cemetery and snapped this photo of what may be the ghost:

Photo taken with ghost in the background

Photo taken with ghost in the background


Close-up of the ghost

Of note, one of the notable names buried also at this cemetery is a Donnelly. The Donnelly family emigrated in 1840s from Ireland and settled in the township of Biddulph, ON. Family gained the nickname ‘The Black Donnellys’, and were subject of a massacre in 1880. Son, Patrick is buried in the cemetery (not killed in massacre). James, Johannah (parents), John, Thomas and Bridget were all killed in 1880. Their family story is noted as an unsolved mystery of Canada.

About James Takeo

Tattoo and Fine Artist, Founding member of artist group The Black Lantern Experience (BLX Welland), orgainzer of the Welland Zombie Walk, winner of the Welland Arts and Culture Ward for Literary Arts and Visual Arts (with BLX) for 2014, arts opinion columnist/freelance writer/poet/blogger
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1 Response to The Ghost of Lakeview Cemetery?

  1. ksantone says:

    I missed this post when you published it a month ago. I’m very happy to see you’re blogging about history again! Though I’m sceptical of ghosts, this is a great story! Perhaps the ghost in the photo is a companion of the Merritt Island monster?

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