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Haunted Heritage!

The hidden spaces of a dark theatre, the quiet halls of a historic hotel or the vacant cells of an abandoned prison can be eerie enough on their own, but add reports of mysterious noises, ghost-like apparitions and unexplainable phenomena and these heritage places become downright frightening - frighteningly fascinating.

Hair-raising Hotels...

FortGarryHotelStaying the night in a haunted place can be a chilling experience. At the historic Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba visitors and staff alike have reported seeing apparitions in the halls and restaurants. Most famously, guests of room 202 are often awoken by ghostly figures (a man cloaked in black or a woman in a ball gown) at the foot of their bed.  As a result of these reports, the entire second floor of the Fort Garry Hotel has taken on a paranormal reputation. Would you stay in room 202?

Similarly unsettling sights have been witnessed at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta. Along with being one of Canada's most famous hotels, the Banff Springs also has the honour of being recognized as one of the country's most haunted places. Tales abound about this hotel and its many ghostly visitors. Take for instance the bride who died in the hotel on her wedding day and still wanders the halls, or Sam McCauley, the white-haired bellhop who continues to operate the elevators despite having died in 1978. Also, beware of the missing room 873. Strange sightings have been reported in the hall outside where this mysterious room should be. The Banff Springs promises you luxury amidst the Rockies, but you may just get more than that during your stay.

Petrifying Prisons...

WaterlooPrisons are inherently spooky and sinister, and Canada's historic jails are no exception.  Built in 1878, the Governor's House at the Waterloo County Jail was the home of the "gaoler" and is believed to be haunted by spirits. The bodies of three inmates are buried in the house's courtyard and they now haunt the home of their keeper. The Carleton County Gaol in Ottawa also has an especially haunting reputation. In operation from 1862 to 1972, the jail housed a wide range of inmates, from minimal offenders to murderers. It was also the scene of the last public execution in Canada when thousands gathered for the hanging of Patrick Whelan, the man accused of killing Thomas D'Arcy McGee. Now operating as a youth hostel, the jail gives visitors the opportunity to spend the night in a cell, slamming cell doors and wandering ghost inmates included.

Supernatural Scenes...


Invoking images of phantoms hiding in the rafters of opera houses, many of Canada's heritage theatres are believed to be haunted. Opened in 1941 Vancouver's historic Vogue Theatre is often visited by the ghost of a man in a white tuxedo who stands in the aisle to watch the performances on stage. Employees have also reported hearing loud, quick footsteps in the seemingly empty theatre.

Similarly, the ghost of a young lady occupies the ticket booth of the Capitol Theatre in Moncton, GrandTheatreNew Brunswick late at night. In London, Ontario spectators, actors and stagehands have seen an apparition of man at the Grand Theatre. The man is believed to be Ambrose Small, a businessman who financed the construction of the theatre and mysteriously disappeared in 1919.

Intimidating Industry...

Working in industry is a dangerous occupation and it often stirs up tales of horrific accidents. Part of the Rideau Canal UNESCO World Heritage Site, Watson's Mill in Manotick, Ontario has a tragic and eerie history of its own. In 1861, one year after the mill opened, the mill owner's wife was killed in a dreadful accident. During a celebration of the mill's success her skirts were caught in a turbine and she was thrown into a support pillar, killing her instantly. Many visitors have since reported hearing sounds and seeing the ghost of a young woman at the mill.

Atlas_Coal_MineUnfortunately, such accidents were common occurrences at the Atlas No.3 Coal Mine near Drumheller, Alberta. The public is now welcome to visit the mine and experience everyday mining life, but are given a fair warning of what they might encounter. Lurking among the rusty coal cars and the discarded mining equipment are the wandering souls of miners killed in gruesome accidents at the mine.

Visit these haunted heritage sites if you dare!