Want a spooky adventure this fall? Why not check out these five spots for a little history and perhaps a ghost or two!
Whether the ghost stories of these Ontario haunts are based on fact or urban myth, these locations are all well known for their alleged paranormal activity. Get into the “spirited” side of Halloween, and experience them for yourself!
The Keg Mansion, Toronto
This Keg Steakhouse & Bar on Jarvis Street is home not only to great food, but it’s thought to be home to a couple of ghosts as well. Long before it became a fine dining establishment, the mansion was the residence of a prominent Toronto family. After a death in the family, one of the servants hanged herself above the stairs and on occasion can apparently still be seen hanging there today. But this is just one instance of a potential ghostly encounter. Per HauntedHamilton.com, the second floor has its share of activity, with the sounds of children’s footsteps, sightings of a young boy and an eerie presence in the bathroom.
The Screaming Tunnel, Niagara Falls
While a few variations of the legend exist (see SmashingLists.com for details), each story has three common elements: 1) many years ago a young girl from a local farm burned to death in the stone drainage tunnel; 2) it is said that if you try to light a match in the centre of the tunnel, it will immediately be extinguished; and 3) it is said that you can hear the girl’s anguished screams from within the tunnel walls. Check out the location at HelloNiagara.ca.
Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Rich in history, this national historic site served as the British army headquarters during the bloody battles of 1812, so it’s no wonder the Toronto & Ontario Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society lists it on the top 13 haunted places in Ontario! Per its website, TorontoGhosts.org, the site has been reported to have supernatural activity of all kinds, including knocking, moaning, apparitions, unusual breezes and psychokinetic phenomena! But fear not, you don’t have to face the ghosts all on your own, as ghost tours are available.
Carleton County Jail, Ottawa
Now an Ottawa hostel, this former jail is allegedly haunted by the spirit of Patrick James Whelan, who was publicly hanged in front of thousands of witnesses for a crime he may not have committed. It is said that his ghost can be seen in his cell or walking toward the gallows. According to HauntedHamilton.com, other ghostly inhabitants can be experienced as well, as there have been reports of screaming, voices, banging noises and even a malevolent spirit similar to a vampire!
The Hermitage, Ancaster
Could the ill-fated love story of a coachman and his female love be the root of a popular ghost story? It could be if you believe in the legend of the Hermitage. It’s thought that the spirit of William Black still roams the grounds after hanging himself when his employer forbade him to marry his niece. His spirit isn’t alone, as it’s been said another ghost — that of a woman and former owner of the estate — still wanders among the ruins. Take the ghost walk to experience the unsettled spirits after nightfall.