You don’t have to believe in ghosts to believe in spooky Halloween fun, so to commemorate the spooky season, here are some of Canada’s most haunted places!
The Empress Hotel Victoria, BC
The Fairmont Empress Hotel in beautiful Victoria, BC, is said to be haunted on the sixth floor. According to legend, during the construction of the hotel in 1904, a carpenter hung himself and his ghost still lurks the hallways. However, that’s not the only tragedy to befall someone in this storied hotel. Famed architect Francis Rattenbury, who designed both the BC legislature and the Empress Hotel, was bludgeoned to death in his room on the sixth floor, a victim of a long-standing feud. His ghost has been seen in several of the sixth-floor rooms, and weird howling is sometimes heard. Lights turn on and off and doors open and close on their own. Spooky!
Bytown Museum Ottawa, ON
Dolls that wink, walls that cry and hands that grab people from out of the darkness: all this awaits the unweary at this haunted house in our nation’s capital! Commissioned in 1827 as a military supply house on the Rideau Canal, the hotel is a famous locale for any paranormal investigator, as well as the popular “Ottawa Haunted Walk”. The museum has the cast of the hand of Darcy McGee, a politician shot on his way to Parliament. It is thought that Colonel By’s assistant, General Duncan McNab, also haunts the building as he was killed during the construction of the canal the building rests beside!
Plains of Abraham Quebec City, PQ
For more than two centuries, ghostly spectres of the fallen have drifted across the Plains of Abraham, site of the decisive battle between British and French armies that saw the French evicted from the continent and ensured British dominance over North America. In mid-evening many people have reported seeing ghoulish French and British soldiers wandering aimlessly around the fields. On some occasions people have reported the sounds of heavy cannons and muskets and the cries of dying men, although when they look out over the Plains, there is nothing to see. Now that’s some haunting!
St Francis Xavier University Antigonish, NS
St FX, as it’s known, is an old and traditional establishment in Canada, and aside from being the University of former Prime-Ministers and Canadian Nobel Laureates, it is also said to be haunted by nuns! Yes, nuns! This very Catholic University is also a church and a convent, and many generations of nuns have lived and died in its hallowed halls. Footsteps are heard in the ancient hallways, while shadows of people can be seen climbing the stairs, with no actual person there. This is one creepy University!
The Keg Mansion Toronto, ON
Famous for being the first Keg restaurant of the highly successful steakhouse chain in Canada, the mansion has a much creepier history. It was originally the home of the super-rich Toronto industrialist Hart Massey. His young daughter died of sickness in 1915 and her nursemaid was so upset that she hung herself in the daughter’s room. Today the mansion is part restaurant, part corporate HQ and part museum. In one of the upstairs offices, the ghoulish vision of a young nursemaid hanging by her neck has been seen by many people, while the sounds of a child’s laughter echoes throughout the building, giving the staff a real case of the goosebumps!
Craigdarroch Castle Victoria, BC
Called one of Canada’s most haunted buildings, this castle was brought, brick-by-brick, from Scotland and reassembled in Victoria. An original 1890 piano has played by itself, the image of a woman in white has been seen in the windows, and the usual mix of footsteps and ghostly shadows have been reported numerous times.
Fort Henry Kingston, ON
Another of Canada’s most haunted places, old Fort Henry was certified haunted by TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) on the popular show Ghost Hunters. Apparitions, doors that close on their own, spooky shadows and the cries of a dead gunner fill the fort. Don’t just visit for the history; check out the ghosts, too!
Government House Regina, SK
Regina’s capital building is also it’s most haunted! It is said to be built on sacred native ground, and since its construction in 1900, there have been countless reports of strange occurences. Doors that open and close on their own, the sound of shuffling feet in the hallways, and eerie faces that are spotted in windows and mirrors are just some of the reported phenomena!
Five Fishermen Restaurant Halifax, NS
The Five Fishermen is an iconic Halifax eatery in the bustling downtown of this old city. The house itself was built as a mortuary in 1800, and served as such until the early 20th Century. The bodies of Titanic victims that washed ashore were laid out here, and after the Halifax Explosion of 1917 the morgue was filled with bodies awaiting burial! Today ghostly cries are heard in the basement, doors open and close themselves, and glasses and bottles are flung from the shelves with no explanation! Definitely one of the creepiest buildings in all of Canada!
Banff Springs Hotel Banff, AB
Beautiful, breath-taking, touristy and haunted! Banff Springs Hotel is one of the premier hotels in North America, and has had FDR, Queen Elizabeth II and Elvis Presley as its guests. One of its most famous guests, however, is a young bride who fell and broke her neck on her wedding night in 1932. Her ghost is said to still haunt the hotel, and she has been seen by numerous people (including former VP Al Gore) on the stairs in her full wedding gown. The ghost of a bellhop who died of old age on the job has also been seen, in full uniform, trying to help guests with their luggage!
Bell Island Newfoundland
According to legend, a banshee lives on this island which is a few miles offshore. Some have seen a beautiful young woman, while others have seen a hideous old hag. At night piercing screams have been heard, and on several occasions hikers have disappeared for days on end, and then had no concept of how long they had been gone or any recollection of what had happened. This earns Bell Island a place as one of Canada’s spookiest places!