The Bloody Run massacre of the British near the Whirlpool, Niagara Falls during the French - Seneca war

Crossing the suspension-bridge we arrived at the _V. R._ custom-house, where a tiresome detention usually occurs; but a few words spoken in Gaelic to the Scotch officer produced a magical effect, which might have been the same had we possessed anything contraband. A drive of three miles brought us to the whirlpool. The giant cliffs, which rise to the height of nearly 300 feet, wall in the waters and confine their impetuous rush, so that their force raises them in the middle, and hurls them up some feet in the air. Their fury is resistless, and the bodies of those who are carried over the falls are whirled round here in a horrible dance, frequently till decomposition takes place. There is nothing to excite admiration about the whirlpool; the impression which it leaves on the mind is highly unpleasing.

Another disagreeable necessity was to visit a dark, deep chasm in the bank, a very gloomy spot. This demon-titled cavity has never felt the influence of a ray of light. A massive cliff rises above it, and a narrow stream, bearing the horrible name of Bloody Run, pours over this cliff into the chasm. To most minds there is a strange fascination about the terrible and mysterious, and, in spite of warning looks and beseeching gestures on the part of Mr. Walrence, who feared the effect of the story on the weak nerves of his wife, I sat down by the chasm and asked the origin of the name Bloody Run. I will confess that, as I looked down into the yawning hole, imagination lent an added horror to the tale, which was bad enough in itself.

In 1759, while the French, who had in their pay the Seneca Indians, hovered round the British, a large supply of provisions was forwarded from Fort Niagara to Fort Schlosser by the latter, under the escort of a hundred regulars. The savage chief of the Senecas, anxious to obtain the promised reward for scalps, formed an ambuscade of chosen warriors, several hundred in number. The Devil's Hole was the spot chosen--it seemed made on purpose for the bloody project. It was a hot, sultry day in August, and the British, scattered and sauntered on their toilsome way, till, overcome by fatigue or curiosity, they sat down near the margin of the precipice. A fearful yell arose, accompanied by a volley of bullets, and the Indians, breaking from their cover, under the combined influences of ferocity and "fire-water," rushed upon their unhappy victims before they had time to stand to their arms, and tomahawked them on the spot. Waggons, horses, soldiers, and drivers were then hurled over the precipice, and the little stream ran into the Niagara river a torrent purple with human gore. Only two escaped to tell the terrible tale. Some years ago, bones, arms, and broken wheels were found among the rocks, mementos of the barbarity which has given the little streamlet the terror- inspiring name of Bloody Run.

After depositing our purchases at the Clifton House, where the waiter warned us to put them under lock and key, I hoped that sight-seeing was over, and that at last I should be able to gaze upon what I had really come to visit--the Falls of Niagara. But no; I was to be victimised still further; I must "go behind the great sheet," Mr. and Mrs. Walrence would not go; they said their heads would not stand it, but that, as an Englishwoman, go I must.