16 Of the Most Haunted Places in Canada

the most haunted places in Canada

Canada is famous for its beautiful landscapes, enrich culture and travel destinations. There are a ton of places you can explore keeping aside the maple syrup for a moment. The pristine beaches and colorful buildings that otherwise offer a scenic and enchanting view during the daytime turn creepy and smoggy as the darkness enter. In this cover story, we will talk about 16 of the most haunted places in Canada that are associated in an active or, passive manner with dire past incidents.

The Bala Bay Inn

3063 Muskoka District Road 169, Bala, ON P0C 1A0, Canada

Haunted Bala Bay Inn, Ontario, Canada

The Bala Bay Inn was built in 1910 by E B Sutton. It opened in the same year as Swastika Hotel. E B Sutton was born in Yorkshire England and emigrated to Canada in 1882. He died in 1917 in one of the hotel rooms. Later on, Swastika was renamed as Bala Bay in around 1942. It still remains open as a hotel today.

The hotel is known to be haunted and even though things have been reported from different parts of the hotel, a lot of the activity happens on the third floor. Some weird things that people have witnessed include a shadowy figure that seems to be a man, a ghost of a lady in the lounge, televisions turning off and on by themselves, doorknobs are rattled, footsteps are heard and Sutton is said to have been seen, mainly if you look up at one of the upper windows.

The Craigdarroch Castle

1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC V8S 3L5, Canada

Haunted Craigdarroch Castle, Canada
Image from Wikimedia

The Victorian style mansion was built in the 1890s by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. He was the richest man in British Columbia at that time.

The castle was designed by Warren H Williams, unfortunately he died 4 months into the construction of the castle, the responsibility was then passed on to his associate Arthur L Smith who successfully completed it. Robert died in 1889 before the completion and it was passed on to his sons who made sure it was finished for their mother.

When their mother died in 1908, it was sold and the contents were auctioned off. Over the next 60 years it was used various different purposes. One of these was for the use of a military hospital for 25 years and it was called The Victoria Hospital. It is now owned by the Craigdarroch Historical Museum Society.

The Firkins House

Near Fort Edmonton Museum, Alberta

Haunted Firkins House, Alberta, Canada

Fort Edmonton is a museum which is located on the banks of the Saskatchewan River. One of the buildings that is there is Firkins House. It originally stood near the University of Alberta, and was built in 1911 it was named after its original owner Dr Ashley Firkins who was a dentist. It was moved to its new site after being donated to the park in 1992 to save it from being demolished.

The house is said to be haunted by Ashley’s son who died in the house, it is said that he haunts his former home because he is upset about it being moved. Some of the things that have been reported are the smell of lilacs, doors refusing to open, the sound of humming and people have felt as if they have been pushed.

The Deane House

806 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0S2, Canada

Haunted Deane House, Calgary, Canada

The house was built for the then superintendent of Fort Calgary Captain Richard Deane in 1906 He wanted a new house because he felt that the house that was currently being used was not good enough for his wife Martha.

The house was originally built on the corner of 9th Avenue, prisoners from the local guardhouse were used to excavate the basement. In 1914 it was bought by the Grand Trunk Pacific Highway, for use as a railway terminal and a place for the station agent, it was moved to the southeast corner for this purpose.

It was sold on in 1929 to C L Jaques and was moved again across the Elbow river to the site where it still stands today. It was used as a boarding and rooming lodge until 1973 and was then known as Gaspe Lodge. The City of Calgary then purchased the house and up until 1979 it was used to house The Dandelion Museum. The house is now run by The Fort Calgary Preservation Society, which helps to maintain the building, and part of it it is now open as a restaurant.

The house is known to be haunted a man as been seen sitting in a room which as been restored to look like Mr Deanes study, a man is also seen floating down the hallways, tabacco smoke is smelt, even though the house as a no smoking policy, children have been seen in the attic, bangs and voices have been heard and a rocking chair as been seen moving by itself.

Whitby Psychiatric Hospital

Ontario, Canada (Closed in 1995)

Haunted Whitby Psychiatric Hospital, Ontario, Canada

Built in 1919, the Whitby psychiatric hospital was designed as a set of 16 cottages and normal looking buildings to help advance the patients return to society. It was a more humane place for them to stay as other psychiatric hospitals around that time would keep them in a pathetic situation. Most of the buildings were linked via underground tunnels. During 1917 and 1919, the hospital was temporarily known as Ontario Military Hospital and was used to treat soldiers. 

It returned to its original use in late 1919. Over the years the hospital was home to many patients. During the late 1980s and early 1990s few of the buildings were condemned, because of the state they were in they were beyond repairing. Thus, a new hospital was proposed.

Over time the rest of the buildings that were left were getting more dilapidated, and in 2005 most were torn down and a lakeside condominium was built. As of may 2006 there were only 2 old buildings left.

It is said yet it unconfirmed that 2 old utility buildings are still in use for the new health centre.

Even though most of the old hospital is gone what is left and the area surrounding it is believed to be haunted, noises are said to be heard coming from the tunnels, a shadowy figure as been seen, things are known to move by themselves, and people who go there say they feel as if they are being watched or followed.

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Point Ellice House Victoria

2616 Pleasant St, Victoria, BC V8T 4V3, Canada

Point Ellice House Victoria, Canada
Photograph by Lotus Johnson

The first wing which was just a small cottage was built in 1862. In 1867 it was bought by the O’Reilly family. Peter O’ Reilly was among the social elite and was a gold rush magistrate and commissioner. He lived there with his wife and children. Over the years it as had many changes and additions made to it. It remained a home to the O’ Reilly family until they sold it to the provincial government in 1974.It is now a museum and the gardens have also been restored.

Some of the ghosts that are said to haunt here are a little boy in one of the outbuildings, a lady in a blue dress, a boy that seem to be frightened, and a couple of ghosts in the dining room, also footsteps have been heard in the attic and the piano as been known to play by itself.

Dundurn Castle

610 York Blvd, Hamilton, ON L8R 3E7, Canada

Haunted Dundurn Castle, Hamilton, Canada

A home to the Mcnad family, Dundurn etymologically indicate a “Strong Fort” which was built between 1832-1835. This castle was later purchased by the City of Hamilton in 1900. It is a large home and and includes 72 rooms, with 40 room being renovated.

It was nicknamed as a castle by the residents of Hamilton. The house has now been restored to the year 1855 and is open to the public. Sir Allan Napier Mcnad was at the height of his career in that year. In his time he was a lawyer, railway magnate, landowner and premier of the United Canadas.

There are many ghosts that are said to haunt here including the Mcnad family themselves, their family home was built on a site that as been occupied for centuries, so ghosts from different times in history are said to be roaming around, also music and singing have been heard, objects move by themselves, and unexplained cold spots and draughts have occurred.

Hatley Castle

2005 Sooke Rd, Victoria, BC V9B 5Y2, Canada

Haunted Hatley Castle, Victoria, Canada

The castle was commissioned by coal baron James Dunsmuir in 1908. In the early 1900s he was premier and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. He lived there until his death in 1920 and his family continued to live there until 1937. It was purchased by the federal government for military use in 1940 up until 1995.

The building has had many different names before becoming Royal Roads Military College in 1968. After 1995 the castle was leased to the provincial government to be used as an education facility.

The paranormal activity that has been witnessed here include pots banging in the kitchen, voices and footsteps are heard, and some ghosts have been seen for eg a women in white and a maid, plus other shadowy figures have been noticed.

Helmcken House

638 Douglas St, Victoria, BC V8V 2P8, Canada

Haunted Helmcken House, Victoria, Canada
Image credits- Jasperdo

This is the oldest house in Victoria which is still in its original state. It was built in 1852 by John Sebastian Helmcken a doctor, who was originally from England and became Victorias first academy trained doctor. The log cabin was built originally with three rooms for him and his wife and was expanded over the years to 10 rooms so it could accommodate their seven children. It remained their family home until 1939. In 1941 it was opened to the public as a museum.

Dr Helmcken died after a tragic illness and he was cared for by one of his daughters Dolly, she would play the piano for him sometimes for many hours to try and help him through his pain, their spirits are often witnessed at the house, and the piano is heard playing when no one is there.

Newman Wine Vaults

436 Water St, St. John’s, NL A1E 1B1, Canada

Haunted Newman Wine Vaults, Newfoundland, Canada
Image Captured by Shankar S.

The wine vaults came about according to tradition when a Newmans ship in 1679, sent off for London, it was driven off course by bad weather and pirates. The Captain stopped at St Johns to seek shelter. Because winter was approaching it was decided to stay until the spring. They stored the wine in caves. When the wine did reach London it was found that its flavour had improved. From then on the ship would first go to Newfoundland before going to England.

It is unsure when the Newman wine vaults were built but it is thought to be either late 18th century or early nineteenth century.

The vaults were originally made out of red brick and lime mortar, though since some cement as been used for repairs since about 1947. The vaults were used for the wine up until 1893.

From then they were used for different purposes. From 1937 till 1957 the vaults were used by the Board of Liquor Control. The vaults were left vacant from 1966. They were acquired by The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1972 who saw their historic importance. In 1997 the responsibility of the vaults were taken over by The Newfoundland Historic Trust who carried out complete restoration. They are open to the public and many different events are held there.

The vaults are said to be a frightening place, which as many ghosts. Voices have been heard and some say that they have heard their name being called. People have also said that they have been pushed or pinched.

Watson Mill

5525 Dickinson St, Manotick, ON, Canada

Haunted Watson Mill, Ontario, Canada

The mill is in Dickinson Square which is even older than Canada itself. It was built out of limestone in 1860 by Moss Kent and his partner Joseph Currier. The mill as had a few different names it was first known as Long Island Flouring Mills, then Long Island Mills and also as Manotick Mills. It became known as Watson Mill in 1946.

Currier sold his share and left in 1861 after the death of his wife. Dickinson continued to operate the mill till 1929 when it was sold to Alex Sprats. Alex died in 1935 but it continued to be run by the Sprats family until 1946. It was then purchased by Harry Watson whom gave it its present name. Harry had worked for the Sprats for most of their time at the mill.

The mill was sold again in 1972 to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. They restored one run of millstones and machinery to the original condition it would of been in 1860, and it is still powered by the water turbine.

Things that have been reported to happen at the mill are unexplainable noises and things being moved around. The main ghost known to haunt here is Ann Crosby. She was married to Joseph Currier for only a very short time before she died, she was twenty years old. She died in a tragic accident at the mill when her skirt got caught in a turbine. As a result, she was thrown violently against the wall and died instantly.

White Otter Castle

Kenora, ON, Canada

Haunted White Otter Castle, Ontario, Canada

The White Otter Castle is a three story log building, which was built by eccentric James (Jim or Jimmy) Alexander McOuat. He built it single handedly, with red pine logs which he felled and cut himself. The construction started in 1908 and it was completed in 1914. It was unsure why he decided to build the castle where he did in the wilderness, it is thought to be either of two reasons. 

James was from Scotland originally and fell in love with his bosses (a squire) daughter. However, as James did not have any property marriage was out of the question. So, after moving to Ontario, he decided to build a castle of his own.

James died at the age of 58 in 1920 by drowning, when his body was eventually found he was buried near to his castle. In 1984 the castle was becoming a ruin it was saved by The White Otter friends who have aided a conservation of the building in order for it to keep going. The castle remains a big tourist attraction with many people visiting each year.

It is believed that the ghost of Jimmy still roams around his castle and the surrounding lake. Some say that they have not seen him but his eerie presence can still be felt.

Qualicum Heritage Inn

427 College Rd, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1G4, Canada

Qualicum was opened as a boys private school in 1935 and remained in use until 1970. It became an inn 2 years later based on an English style. The funding for the school was originally given by Robert Knight as an early inheritance to his two grandchildren Robert Ivan and George Knight. Robert Ivan was the headmaster of the school and would remain so for it entire duration. Robert was a strong believer in the “Seven”, which stood for classics, cadet corps, christianity, cold baths, cricket, courtesy and corporal punishment.

After it became the Qualicum inn, many features were taken from it schools days such as The College Pub which used to be the gym as got lots of school memorabilia and inlaid in the lobby floor is a replica of the school crest which was on the blazers, and also as the schools moto written by it in latin “sequere lucem” meaning “seek the light”. The inn was extended in 1974 with the addition of The Oxford Wing and again in 1984 with the Cambridge Wing. Today the inn continues to thrive.

There have been many ghostly sightings and strange happenings which have been reported at the inn, including busy signals on the phones at the main desk when it is known no one is there and strange noises in the bedrooms. The occurrences even though are a bit eerie are not unpleasant, and seem to be from some mischievous children from the school days.

Peterborough Lift Lock

Hunter Street East, Ashburnham Dr, Peterborough, ON, Canada

Haunted Peterborough Lift Lock, Ontario, Canada

The lock is a boat lift on the Otonabee River, and is on a Trent Severn Waterway. They are the highest hydraulic boat lifts in the world rising to 65 feet.

The Locks were designed by Richard Birdsall Rogers who was a superintendent of The Trent Canal. The construction was approved in 1896 and the concrete works were done by Corry and Laverdure and the metal work was done by Dominion Bridge. The work was completed in 1904 and still remain in use today.

The locks have been a place that as witnessed many tragedies including accidents and suicides. Now there a few ghosts that are said to still roam around the area.

Nicholas Street Gaol

75 Nicholas St, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B9, Canada

Nicholas Street Gaol, Ottawa, Canada

It was built as the Carleton County Gaol in 1862. It was connected to the Arts Courthouse which was connected to next door by a tunnel. The prisoners were kept in inhumane conditions. There would be up to 150 prisoners that had to share 60 small cells. 

The prison was used for men, women and children. The crimes would vary greatly from murder to being drunk and disorderly. They were never allowed to see daylight and were only allowed one meal a day. 

Prisoner who were sent to solitary confinement, were chained to the wall. They were only released for 15 minutes to use a bucket and dine. In the mid 1960’s, the basement was used a quarantine for many immigrants who were feared to have scarlet fever. Thus, many people died down there and were then buried in unmarked graves. 

There were only 3 official hangings done at the jail. Yet it is rumoured that more unofficial ones were carried out by the guards. Subsequently, the gaol closed in 1972 as it was outdated. 

After the closure a bridge was built along side the grounds. They found some unmarked graves there. So, it may be possible that there may still bodies buried under what is now a car park. It reopened in 1973 as a hostel and remains one today with much of its originality staying.

There have been several reports of unusual happenings at the hostel including ghostly apparitions being seen, doors being slammed, women heard screaming, children crying and disembodied voiced being heard.

Cornwall Jail (Historic SDG Jail)

11 Water St W, Cornwall, ON K6J 1A1, Canada

Cornwall Jail, Ontario, Canada
Cornwall Jail image shared under CC BY-SA

This main block of the present jail was built in 1833. Further extensions were added over the years to accommodate the jailer and reorganisation of the interior at different times. For eg. to separate the men and women and when the jail was taken over by the provincial government. 

There have been many brutal punishments carried out at the jail. As a result, many deaths took place especially during the early years when people would be sentenced to things like being lashed till they bled or tied to a post and whipped. People would also sentenced to death by hanging and some prisoners also committed suicide. The jail closed in 2002 and a new bigger jail was built in Ottawa. The former jailer’s residence is now the office for Cornwall and Seaway Valley Tourism. Also, the jail as been kept as it was in 2002 and is open to the public for tours.

Many people believe that the jail is haunted. Reports include phenomenon like dark figures, footsteps, moving objects, doors opening and closing and banging and rapping sounds.

These were our listing of some of the most haunted places in Canada. Which of ’em all spooked you the most? Please tell us in the comments down below.

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