Looking for a fright this Halloween? Here are some of Canada's spookiest historical haunts

'Secret Life of Canada' co-hosts Falen Johnson and Leah Simone Bowen present Canada's creepiest places, from the Old Spaghetti Factory in Vancouver to a ghost ship in Bathurst, New Brunswick.

At Vancouver's Old Spaghetti Factory, 'you get a side of ghost with your garlic toast'

Falen Johnson and Leah-Simone Bowen co-host the Secret Life of Canada, a history podcast about the country you know and the stories you don't. (Evan Aagaard/CBC)
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Halloween isn't just about dressing up and gorging on mini chocolate bars or shrunken bags of potato chips.

For thrillseekers, it's a chance to go ghost hunting and explore haunted homes.

Leah-Simone Bowen and Falen Johnson, co-hosts of CBC Podcasts' The Secret Life of Canada, have uncovered some of Canada's spookiest places — at least, according to urban legend — for the brave among us.

Bowen and Johnson told Day 6 about the stories behind these creepy spots.

Read on — if you dare. Otherwise, may we suggest Hocus Pocus?

Bathurst Ghost Ship

Witnesses have described seeing a flaming ship full of passengers in Chaleur Bay, near Bathurst, N.B.

As soon as they get close, however, it disappears.

"The legend is that there [were] Portuguese explorers who came to the shores and captured a group of Mi'kmaq people and tried to force them into slavery," Johnson said.

When Portuguese explorers docked in Bathurst, N.B., and attempted to enslave Mi'kmaq people, they are said to have set fire to the ship. Pictured here: The Prudent as it burned near Louisbourg, N.S., in July 1758. (Library and Archives Canada)

The Mi'kmaq people fought back and the ship left. When it returned a year later, they set it on fire.

"I mean, this is what happens when you enslave people," Bowen said. "You get burnt alive in a ship. For eternity."

St. Francis Xavier University

Students staying in St. Francis Xavier University's Gilmora Hall in Antigonish, N.S., are said to be haunted by a ghost known as the "Blue Nun."

"The dorm is a building that used to be a ladies' college, which was run by nuns in the past," Bowen said.

"The story has it that one of the nuns fell in love with a priest and they began an affair."

The Blue Nun is said to haunt the halls of Gilmora Hall, a residence at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. (The Canadian Press)

Overcome with guilt, the nun is said to have jumped to her death from a balcony. The priest, devastated by the nun's death, took his own life as well.

Now students report lights that turn on and off, slamming doors and shadowy figures.

Old Spaghetti Factory

The Italian-style family restaurant in Vancouver may fill you up with its unlimited bread and soup, but you might also get a chill from a phantom presence.

"There is the ghost of a train conductor that haunts the restaurant," Johnson explained.

A steam train departs Prince Rupert, B.C., circa 1915. It's said that Vancouver restaurant the Old Spaghetti Factory is haunted by a former train conductor who died in a tragic train accident. (Library and Archives Canada)

The restaurant houses a replica train in its dining room.

According to legend, the conductor who haunts the Old Spaghetti Factory died in a terrible train crash in the early 1900s.

"You get a side of ghost with your garlic toast," Johnson added.

Le Chȃteau Frontenac

Despite being one of Canada's most luxurious haunts, Bowen says it might be tricky to fall asleep in this Quebec City hotel.

A ghost is said to roam the chȃteau's rooms.

Legend has it that a 'woman in white' haunts guests at the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. (Cal Woodward/Associated Press)

The mysterious "woman in white" supposedly climbs into guests' beds while they are sleeping.

"People have reported rolling over to find a very unwelcome surprise next to them," Bowen said.

"It becomes a cold, horrific sleepless night that you've paid a lot of for because those rooms are not cheap."


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