Halloween is upon us, which means it is time to revel in—rather than retreat from—things that go bump in the night. This month we’ve turned to Wikipedia to get the location of a number of Canada’s most haunted sites and the results are predictably creepy. Here is what we dug up:
There is a fairly even distribution of hauntings across the country, but the grisliest site we could find information about was Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories—a park that has a history of decapitated corpses turning up in it. Don’t be fooled by the scenic photograph of the rainbow, strange things have been occurring at this site since the Gold Rush. Across the rest of the country, a few trends are evident.
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The first is that hotels seem to be haunting-prone; maybe The Shining was onto something. Across the nation we can find several hotels with creepy reputations including: the Empress in Victoria, the Fairmont Macdonald in Edmonton, and the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. The Empress seems to be haunted by a slew of ghosts, including the moustachioed architect of the building, a young girl, and a worker that hung himself in the 1960s—who says Victoria is dull? To the east, the top floor of Edmonton’s Fairmont is often the thoroughfare for a ghostly horse-drawn carriage and Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York’s closed down ballroom is prone to making noise and attracting elevators. Two Fairmonts, each haunted—we’re left wondering: is it a franchise thing?
Another trend we’re noticing in surveying Canadian paranormal sites: theatres! Vancouver’s Vogue, Burton Cummings in Winnipeg, and the Capitol in Moncton. The Vogue is prowled by the spectre of a pregnant woman that committed suicide there and various shadowy figures that appear in the projection room from time to time. Events at Berton Cummings often get applause from empty seats, and massive steel doors have a habit of moving on their own. The ticket booth at the Capitol is haunted by the spectre of a woman who fatally tumbled down the stairs and a firefighter who heroically died battling a blaze at the venue occasionally appears. Theatres apparently, are not lucky places.
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Given the amount of blood spilled in military campaigns, it is not surprising to learn that forts are frequently haunted. Kingston’s Fort Henry, Olde Forte Eerie, and Fort Battleford in Saskatchewan all are storied spook sites. Fort Henry was the site of the hanging of Nils von Schoultz (who led a failed American invasion) and he apparently is still bitter about being left dangling in the wind. At Old Fort Erie the ghosts of American and British soldiers are often seen on the ramparts and (still!) fighting on the grounds. Meanwhile, up in northern Saskatchewan, Fort Battleford is prowled by the ghost of a surgeon.
Hotels, Theatres, and Forts—these are some of the scariest sites in Canada. Things get particularly interesting in the Maritimes where PEI’s West Point Lighthouse is haunted by a former keeper and is often the site of fiery ghost ship sightings. L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland and Labrador is also the site of paranormal nautical activities and a ghost Viking longboat is occasionally seen sailing through the fog. Ghost ships? Game, set, and match! The Maritimes is the hands-down winner of ‘Canada’s most haunted’. Happy Halloween!