Well hey all you ghouls and goblins. My favourite time of year is Halloween and some of the most popular tourist attractions are also haunted houses in Canada. This roundup of Canada’s top ten haunted locations will add to your travel wish list if you share in the love of the macabre like I do.
Lets start off with a real doozy of a Canadian haunting…
10. Five Fishermen Restaurant, Halifax, Nova Scotia
The history of the Five Fishermen Restaurant is wild as it’s an operating restaurant that sounds super tasty with a delish menu. Turns out the building used to be a funeral home. John Snow & Co Funeral Home started up in 1883 until 1973 and was in business through two big disasters of the early 20th century. Which ones? — The Titanic and the Halifax Explosion.
Since Halifax was the largest nearby port, many of the victims bodies from the Titanic were brought to the funeral home.
Five years later in 1917 the Halifax Explosion which claimed close to 2,000 lives due to a French munitions ship hit another vessel.
Here in this photo above, you can see the coffins stacked outside the building.
NOW about the hauntings. Staff members say there’s objects that move or get knocked over, taps turning off and on by themselves, ghost sightings on the stairwells, one being an older man.
Would you be able to dine where victims were once embalmed? Upgrading from bodies to fresh delicious seafood on ice has me checking out their next open reservation.
9. Fairmont Empress, Victoria, British Columbia
Fairmont Empress located in Victoria on Vancouver Island was called one of the worlds most haunted hotels by Readers Digest. Not only is this a beautiful hotel, it has many ghostly guests who never check out. To name a few, a chambermaid named Lizzie Mcgrath who passed away in 1909. She stepped out of her 6th story room to stand on the fire escape but to her demise, had been removed for construction. Another one is a carpenter who hung himself during its construction. One that really pours the tea into mu cup is the architect of the Empress, Sir Francis Rattenbury was murdered in 1935 by his chauffeur which was also his wife’s lover. The puzzling part is that he was murdered in his homeland of England. I’ve heard of ghost ships so if there’s a will there’s a way! There’s also reportedly an elderly woman in pjs who knocks on doors and leads guests to the elevator before disappearing. The Empress has earned its name as one of Canada’s top 10 haunted locations…and is a gorgeous spot for high tea!
8. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta
While we are talking about gorgeous creepy hotels, another Fairmont makes my list. The Fairmont Banff springs Hotel located in Banff Alberta opened in 1888. This place gives me major The Shining vibes.
Having almost 800 rooms, I can understand why some of these ghosts have been helpful more than haunting. Specifically Sam the Bellman aka Sam McCauley who passed away in 1975. This sweet Scotsman answered the call of two women who were having key issues and unlocked their door for them before the more alive bellman had come to help. He’s known to hangout in his old office which is now a guest room on the mezzanine floor while he’s on break from doing other bellman duties.
On a more somber note, we have The Bride. In the late 1920’s, the bride on her wedding day was going down the hotels beautiful marble staircase and slipped, falling to her death. Her apparition has been reported to be seen going up and down the same stairwell and dancing in the ballroom located upstairs. The ghostly Bride is so famous, she had her own Canadian coin solidifying Banff as one of Canada’s top ten haunted locations
A few of the other hotel hauntings include that supposedly family was slain in room 872 which has had a lot of ghostly reports. Check out the hotel here.
7. Fort Garry, Winnipeg, Manitoba
We’ve got another Hotel haunting! Fort Garry located in Winnipeg Manitoba claimed to be one of the most haunted places in Canada by many. Built in 1913, you look at it and feel the bad juju. Some notable names who have stayed here are Liberace, Laurence Olivier, Louis Armstrong, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. I wonder if any of them stayed in the well known haunted room of 202. It’s the spot where a woman hung herself in the closet after her new husband was killed by a horse-drawn carriage outside the hotel. Reports include blood running down the rooms walls, a woman in white at the end of the bed and other eerie occurrences.
6. Ottawa Jail Hostel, Ottawa, Ontario
Would you stay in a haunted hostel? From 1862 to 1972 it was a maximum security prison that was claimed to have “a long history of mistreating its inmates” by Hostelling International, which induced tiny cells(one in which you can stay in that is 3 feet by 9 feet), no windows and did public executions one of which was the assassin Patrick J Whelan (killed politician Thomas D’Arcy McGee) in February 1869. His spirit is said to be seen at the edge of beds, clutching onto a bible.Many of the prisoners passed due to its horrid conditions, which were then buried on site in unmarked graves making it a hub for creepy activity.
Want to have a restless night in the Hostel? Well lucky you! Book a stay in one of Canada’s top ten haunted locations! If you do please come back and tell us about your stay!
5. Government House, Regina, Saskatchewan
Regina Saskatchewan has the Government House. Its known as one of Canada’s most notorious haunted locations. Built in 1891, it went through many different purposes. It was home to Lieutenant Governor of the Northwest Territories for a time then turned into a home for Veterans to live when they returned from the war if they didn’t have anywhere to go. From 1958 to 1977 it was an education centre for adults.
It was then turned into a Historical Site then finally the official office of Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan and museum. There’s been reports of hauntings all over the building since its stocked with many things from antique shops but most curious is a tub upstairs that fills with water when no working pipes are connected to it, and claims of a music box to play on its own to hearing children crying late at night. A particular ghost given the name Howie is said to actually be the spirit of a previous cook named Chuen Lee from China who lived in the servants quarters in the 1930’s. He is the only person to actually pass away in the building which was in 1938 from pneumonia. He was not a fan of kiddos and for shits n giggles would dump dirty dish water on them if they came to the house on Halloween. Maybe he’s linked to the crying kids at night!
4. Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia
Built in 1853, the St Francis Xavier University sounds like it’s home to mutants finding themselves but back in 1894 when it merged with Mount St. Bernard, a local Catholic girls’ school, its said that one of the nuns fell in love and had a relationship with a priest. Religion saying a big hell no to that, she was humiliated and unable to live with the guilt so she jumped off the balcony in the Gilmore Hall. An even bigger twist? Its said she was with child and the priest also took his own life due to losing his love and his baby. She’s called the Blue Nun and him, the Rest Priest. They haunt the campus residences by turning on hoses, knocking on doors, and even appears to people. Sounds like what they’re up to is Nun-ya-business now.
3. Craigdorroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia
Haunted houses in Canada are a plenty and one of Victoria’s top tourist attractions is just that, the Craigdorroch Castle was built in the 1800’s by a Scottish coal mining millionaire named Robert Dunsmuir. Its over 25,000 square feet, has 39 rooms and one heck of a view but it is also one of the best haunted houses in Canada. Dunsmuir and his wife Joan had 11 children together so I think a castle was a wise move on his part. Unfortunately, Robert passed away 17 months before the completion of the building. Having all those children came in handy as two of the sons took over fulfilling his fathers role to finish it. It is now a National Historic Site to let people have a little peak of what it was like to be “privileged” in the 1890’s. Some of the hauntings include whispers, children crying and a piano playing… although the castle does not have a piano inside.. Another fun fact is that this castle has been in some films such as The Boy (2016), Little Women and was also on The Amazing Race Canada.
You can book a tour of the Castle in Victoria, one of Canada’s top ten haunted locations.
2. The Keg Mansion, Toronto, Ontario
The Keg Mansion in Toronto ON. The Keg in our family growing up was a staple for steak dinners and celebrations.
The mansion was built in 1867 for Arthur McMaster. Fast forward to 1880 where Hart Massey purchased the building. His name is very known in Toronto as he was a businessman who founded Canadas first ever concert hall – The Massey Hall and many other notable buildings. He had a daughter named Lillian who took over the house while her father moved to Ohio.
Lillian had a maid who truly adored her. Unfortunately, in 1915, Lillian became very ill and passed away in 1915. The maid was so upset to lose her that she went to the second story and hung herself. Another version of the story was the the maid was having an affair with one of the brothers and killed herself in fear of the secret being exposed.
People say they see her slowly swinging from the second floor from her noose and then vanishes making it one of the most haunted houses in Canada.
The Keg restaurant group has bee leasing the mansion since 1976.
Take a haunted walk in Toronto where the Keg Mansion is a stop.
1. The Grey Nuns Motherhouse, Montreal, Quebec
This story made me go down a bit of a rabbit hole.
The Grey Nuns MotherHouse and it is truly, a mother of a house. Located in Montreal it once housed over 1,000 nuns. It was built in 1871, it also served as a care centre, hospital and orphanage. On Valentines day of 1918 the building caught on fire and took the lives of 53 children.
In 2007 it was purchased and renovated to become the Concordia University and residency for its students. The only area that was untouched was the basement which really was a crypt for 276 bodies, 232 were nuns. For medical reasons, the bodies must remain there.
Students claim to hear the cries of children, running down the halls, prayers being chanted and having vivid dreams of the fire and the disfigured children who’s lives were claimed. The nightmares for one student did not stop until she moved out of the residency. The building also offers a daycare and the caretakers often see children playing who aren’t actually there. They fit the exact clothing and physical descriptions of some of the children lost. Some even appear burnt and wearing blackened clothing.
To add to it all, there is also a large red cross where a murdered couple was buried.
The story goes, in 1752, Jean Baptiste Goyer lived in a farmhouse on the grounds murdered his neighbours for their wealth. He claimed he was out of town at the time but was spending copious amounts of money at the bar. They turned to the torture method of the Spanish Boot, nailing the legs to planks of wood, to get him to confess. His punishment was to be death by breaking wheel. This one I am not going to describe as its pretty brutal but if you want to know here’s a link.
People who walk by the cross have reported phantom limb pains, becoming dizzy and needing to leave the area.