Travel

A roundup of Canada's most haunted places

The hotels, houses, trains, lighthouses and cemeteries where Canada’s ghosts gather.

The hotels, houses, trains, lighthouses and cemeteries where Canada’s ghosts gather

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

It's spooky season again. Whether you're afraid of the supernatural and want to keep far away or you're an amateur ghost hunter who want to get up close, you need to know Canada's most haunted spots. So we scoured the internet for supernatural tales, from the official to the apocryphal, and found sixteen spots where eerie things happen so often that it can't be an accident. We also found that, although spectres may appear anywhere, ghost stories seem to group around certain types of places. Here are the spookiest in each category.

Hotels

The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alta.

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

According to legend, a young woman tripped over the hem of her wedding dress and fell down a marble staircase, dying on the day of her wedding. Her veiled spectre can still be spotted moving up and down the stairs and haunting the ballroom where she never enjoyed her first dance as a newlywed. 

The Fairmont is also home to the ghost of Sam the Bellman, who reportedly continues to haunt the material plane to help guests of the hotel.

The entire Fairmont company's portfolio is exceptionally spooky. The Château Laurier in Ottawa, Royal York in Toronto, and the Empress in Victoria are all sites of supernatural reports. It's as yet unclear whether this is a marketing ploy or occult conspiracy. 

The Delta Bessborough, Saskatoon, Sask.

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

The most well-known of the Bess' many spooks is a friendly man in a grey fedora. It is thought that this is the ghost of an employee who was thrown off the seventh-floor balcony by revelling guests after asking them to quiet down. His fall is said to have caused the large crack in the hotel's marble floor.

The Fort Garry, Winnipeg, Man.

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Built in 1913, the Fort Garry has had over a century of spooky accumulation. It is said that room 202 is haunted by the ghost of a woman who killed herself after hearing of her husband's death. Staff have reported seeing blood dripping from the walls.

Lighthouses

Peggy's Point Lighthouse Peggy's Cove, N.S.

According to legend, this iconic white lighthouse set on rock is haunted by a lady in a blue dress. In 1800, a woman named Margaret (Peggy) survived a shipwreck that claimed both of her children. She would walk up and down the coast grieving them. One day, her husband tried to lighten her mood by dancing around on the rocks. Unfortunately, he slipped and fatally smashed his head. Peggy took her own life by leaping into the sea where he died. People still report seeing the spectre of a woman ready to leap into the sea.

Point Amour, L'Anse Amour, N.L.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The captain of a wrecked ship haunts this site, allegedly searching for the lighthouse keeper who failed to keep the lamp burning. According to legend, there was rum involved.

Gibraltar Point, Toronto, Ont.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Haunted by the ghost of J.P. Rademuller, the first lighthouse keeper who was murdered by soldiers who'd been drinking his homemade beer. 

Trains

St. Louis Ghost Light, St. Louis, Sask. 

(Source: Canada Post)

In St. Louis, Saskatchewan, residents have long noticed a strange light that travels the path of an abandoned railway, sometimes spookily changing colour and intensity. The light is thought to be either the ghost train itself or the lantern of a beheaded engineer looking for his head. The ghost train has a postage stamp.

The Deblois tracks, P.E.I.

An archival photo showing the scene of the train crash near Tignish. (UPEI)

The Confederation Trail follows a long-abandoned railroad track which was destroyed in a horrific train wreck during a snowstorm. Today people still report hearing phantom train whistles and seeing train lights.

Blue Ghost Tunnel, St. Catherines, Ont.

This rail tunnel was in use for less than 40 years. Yet it still saw collisions, a teenager crushed by a boulder, and over 100 men killed in construction. Today it's still the site of paranormal activity such as children crying, the shouts of angry workers, and train whistles.

Cemeteries

Grey Island Cemetery, Hillsborough, N.B.

Grey's Island Cemetery is home to the white statue of a woman. According to legend, she was murdered and her grieving widower spent every day around her grave, talking to the statue. Eventually he was found dead at its base. Lore has it that if you walk around the statue three times and turn your back on it, it will reach out and touch your shoulder. Eventually, this led the removal of the statue's hand by the cemetery.

McTavish Mausoleum, Montreal, Que.

Donovan King of Haunted Montreal Tours tells the story of 18th century fur trader Simon McTavish and his hauntings of Mont Royal. 3:33

Simon McTavish — a ruthless fur trader who became one of the richest men in Montreal — had himself interred in an extravagant mausoleum upon his death. Yet, as soon as he was buried, his ghost was spotted dancing on the roof of his house, flitting in and out of windows, and tobogganing down Mount Royal in a coffin. The mausoleum was eventually buried underground to prevent grave-robbing and to quell rumours of the hauntings.

Drummond Hill Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ont.

One of the fiercest battles of the war of 1812 was fought on the peak of Lundy's Lane, which is now the site of the Drummond Hill Cemetery, haunted by the spirits of fallen soldiers.

Haunted Houses

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, B.C.

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Craigdarroch was built by Robert Dunsmuir, a coal baron who died before construction was complete. There have been reports of children crying, a piano that plays itself, as well as a woman dressed in white. The castle was also the site of the movie Spooky House.

The Marr Residence, Saskatoon, Sask.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Marr residence was built in 1884 as part of the original Temperance Colony and is the oldest house in Saskatoon that still stands on its original site. The house was once home to a mother who died shortly after giving birth and served as a field hospital during the Riel rebellion. Visitors have encountered children's faces looking out the front window and heard their voices. The house is also reportedly occupied by a ghost in the basement who yells aggressively at those, especially women, who walk through the space.

The Keg Mansion, Toronto, Ont.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Now a popular steak house, the Keg Mansion was once home to Toronto's most prominent families, like the McMasters (as in "McMaster University") and the Masseys (as in "Massey Hall"). The second-floor women's washroom is reportedly haunted by the ghost of one of the Massey's servants. Staff and patrons have also reported the apparition of a little boy who died falling down the stairs. 

Dalnavart House, Winnipeg, Man.

(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Dalnavert house was built in 1895 for premier Hugh John Macdonald. The house is now a museum and still home to explorations of Victorian spiritualism. One writer has given her first-hand account of odd goings-on here


Clifton Mark writes about philosophy, psychology, politics, and other life-related topics. Find him @Clifton_Mark on Twitter.

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