"Things Fall Apart, The Centre Cannot Hold."

- William Butler Yeats, The Second Coming

One of the great things about Niagara-On-The-Lake is that nearly every building has a story and nearly every story inevitably leads to a ghost story. 240 Centre St. is no exception, but while most haunted sites in N-O-T-L are simply a venue for ghostly apparitions, this place is a ghostly apparition. I don't know if this house actually is haunted, but it sure looks and feels like it.

Located at the southeast corner of Centre and Mississagua [sic] Streets in Niagara-On-The-Lake's historic Old Town and facing the Presbyterian Church cemetery across the street, 240 Centre St. stands out amongst the other houses around it by not standing out at all.

Whereas most other buildings in N-O-T-L have been maintained or restored to a pristine appearance, the house at 240 Centre St. is conspicuously run-down, while surrounding trees and underbrush cloak it's street-front sides, making the building almost invisible to passing motorists and pedestrians.

Much like the house itself, information on its history is very hard to find. According to page 35 of the 2004 Niagara-On-The-Lake Visitor's Guide, the building, known as the Breakenridge-Ure House, was built circa 1823 and was the third brick house built by John Breakenridge, a well-known Niagara lawyer. When Breakenridge died in 1828, the house was used as a school by his widow through the 1830s.

Even while standing directly in front of the building's corner, it manages to completely hide from view.

The way the tree's branches all seem to bend to create a screen of foliage around the building is really eerie.

Even where it is possible to see through the brush to the walls behind, not much is revealed besides brick and boards.

This was an interesting find. The entire house is securely boarded to prevent trespassers from entering. Every door and window was sealed up tight except the one second story rear window with a small open slot at the top. The tree's branch seems to reach right up and touch that very spot. Which begs the question, what's coming and going through that hole and how on earth did the tree manage to grow directly towards it? Probably better not to ask . . .

Around back is the barn and a covered well and further along behind that is a tiny (yet thickly overgrown) forest.

Coming back around to the front of the house, I noticed a peephole had been punched through the boards covering the door . . .

Niki dared me to peek in, but there was no way I was putting my eye up against that hole, so I did one better by simply placing the camera over it. Once the camera lens covered the hole entirely, the viewfinder focused to reveal this creepy staircase lit from above (I'm guessing from that one rear window that was slightly open).

Looking at the viewfinder, I felt a chill run down my spine as I was reminded of a line from Stephen King's third Dark Tower novel, The Waste Lands:

"All is silent in the halls of the dead . . . All is forgotten in the stone halls of the dead. Behold the stairways which stand in darkness; behold the rooms of ruin. These are the halls of the dead where the spiders spin and the great circuits fall quiet, one by one."

After that, we decided we'd had enough of these rooms of ruin and quickly headed back to the car and went straight home before it got dark!

Online information about the Breakenridge-Ure House is scarce, but if you'd like to see more, there are a few pictures to be found at the Right In Niagara blog and Flickr.



  1. the house was built in 1794, you can see the year on the first step at the very bottom to the right(1794)

    1. This has been boarded up for 60+, even when my father was a kid in the early 1950s, this was alway boarded up....very werid!!!!!

  2. How do i find out the history on this house? Like who use to live there and why no one has bought it??
    I find it very strange that when i take photos of the house i see a lot of orbs... and a little girl. (very scray looking at the photos!!) I wanna know more but HOW????

    1. Orbs are a sign of spiritual activity. Having a little girl is even scarier, her spirit (or whatever it is) is making itself very present. I would be curious to see these photos. I went there last night and took pictures but there was nothing out of place in mine. I plan on going again to take more pictures, Please read my other comment to learn more.

    2. I would love to see your pictures, I have family that lives two blocks from that house, if you could send me pictures please, i am very interested in seeing in them.

    3. I know it's quite late but apparently theres always been supernatural happenings there.
      My mothers friends husbands company had been working on site and apparently found a couple unmarked graves.
      The couple that had bought the house when it was first being sold (I believe) had moved out only a couple weeks into living there and wouldn't resell it saying to much crazy stuff had happened there.
      There have been many reported injuries from workers and even a death apparently.

      The site is just haunted and I would love to hear more if possible.
      Im going to see if we can get onto the property and possibly inside the house and do some taping (:

  3. Supposedly what happened (according to a ghost tour I went on) is a family in the middle of the night grabbed what they could and left the house several decades ago to never return again. They refuse to sell the house because they never want another soul to experience whatever it was they experienced in that house...especially on that night. The owner of the house was offered 1.5 million dollars for the land and turned it down. The only comment he made was: "that house has a life of its own." Everything is boarded up very tight. It's a creepy sight for sure and it honestly scares the crap out of me.

  4. The house is for sale http://www.niagaraadvance.ca/2014/12/17/haunted-house-for-sale

  5. I walked by this house years ago with my step father and little siblings, as we were walking by, i was never told about this history of this house or anything, but i got chills immediately as i turned my head to this house. I was immediately drawn to it and had the nerve to go to the stair case and look through the hole in the white door, i caught a ton of orbs on camera while being there for like 5 minutes. My step father had told me that this house is crazy haunted and that it has been abandoned for almost 200 years. I don't even need to know the history to know that something evil and demonic manefests in this house.

  6. We just came back from there and I couldn't even get my camera to take a photo of it. I tried every setting and the flash but the shutter would not go. I tried turning the other way which was even darker and the camera worked fine! Weird!