It's that bewitching time of year again when the air turns crisp, the leaves don their fiery hues, and the supernatural stirs from its slumber. With October 31 finally here, what better way to embrace the season of haunts than embarking on a chilling road trip through the spine-tingling landscape of Ontario?
Ontario, with its picturesque landscapes and serene towns, may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of ghostly encounters and hair-raising tales. But make no mistake, this province harbours a treasure trove of terrifying ghost stories, bone-chilling haunts, and eerie encounters that could make even the most horrifying horror films seem positively mundane.
From a former maximum security prison to an eerie lighthouse, we've put together a list of some of the places believed to be the most haunted in Ontario. So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a journey that will send goosebumps racing up your spine as we uncover the haunted secrets of Ontario, one eerie destination at a time.
Mather-Walls House – Keewatin
Nestled within the quaint village of Keewatin, this Queen Anne-style Victorian house may offer visitors daytime tea service, yet, as the sun dips below the horizon, this 1889 relic unfolds a chilling tale of secrets concealed within its walls. It is here, in the ghostly embrace of Edna Walls, the home's most recent inhabitant, that an eerie history takes root.
As night befalls the house, whispers of otherworldly occurrences persist. Astounded employees have borne witness to inexplicable phenomena, where objects vanish into the ethereal abyss, disembodied footsteps echo along the creaking staircases, and shadowy phantoms silently waltz through the dimly illuminated rooms. With each passing hour, the house awakens to its spectral visitors, preserving their enigmatic legacy and beckoning the intrepid to partake in its spine-tingling secrets.
The Ottawa Jail Hostel – Ottawa
The Ottawa Jail Hostel is said to be one of the world’s spookiest buildings. The former Carlton County Jail was a maximum security prison with tiny cells, glassless windows, and public executions. It was closed in 1972 and now operates as a youth hostel. Now you can spend the night in one of the jail cells. Just beware of a man who appears at the foot of guests’ beds clutching a Bible.
Kingston Penitentiary – Kingston
The dark legacy of Canada's oldest and longest-standing maximum-security prison unravels a chilling tale of the nation's most sinister criminal masterminds. For 170 years, this grim institution bore witness to torture, murder, and the solemnity of capital punishment before finally closing its ominous doors in 2013. Today, it beckons the curious and the brave, offering guided tours through its haunting corridors, where a few lucky souls might catch a glimpse of the spectral inhabitants that linger.
Over the years, prison staff and visitors alike have claimed to have experienced eerie encounters within the prison's ominous walls. The unsettling phenomena include the haunting jingle of keys, apparitions of angry men storming the dimly lit halls, disembodied moans that defy explanation, and spectral visions of William Wentworth, the last staff member to meet his fate at Kingston Penitentiary in the grim year of 1961.
Colborne Lodge (High Park) – Toronto
Tucked away in High Park lies the historic abode of its original owners, John and Jemina Howard. This storied residence, Colborne Lodge, stands as a timeless testament to the past, housing secrets that refuse to be forgotten. It is here, within the very room where Jemina met her tragic end battling cancer, that her ethereal presence is said to linger.
Startling accounts of spectral sightings have permeated the corridors of this venerable home. Visitors have reported the haunting vision of Jemina herself, a ghostly figure framed within the window of her bedroom. Others have recounted unsettling encounters—a disconcerting prickling sensation on the nape of their necks, and eerie, inexplicable visions that emerge as they explore the park. In the midst of nature's serene beauty, Colborne Lodge harbours the ghostly echoes of a bygone era, inviting the curious to tread upon its haunting history.
Fort York – Toronto
Amidst the gruesome battles that once raged upon its hallowed grounds, Fort York stands as a beacon for the supernatural. The echoes of history resonate in the unsettling experiences of visitors and staff who dare to tread its historic paths. Many have reported an unsettling sensation of being under the watchful gaze of unseen eyes, while others have been privy to the spectral whispers of inexplicable noises.
As darkness falls, encounters become more pronounced. Visitors and staff have recounted unsettling visions, such as the mysterious apparition of a woman wandering near the Officer's Quarters and the haunting presence of a soldier in a distinctive red coat, lingering near the entrance to the grounds.
Mackenzie House – Toronto
Once the residence of Toronto's inaugural mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, the Mackenzie House has earned a spine-tingling reputation as one of the city's most haunted locations. Local legends speak of eerie encounters, such as Mackenzie himself lingering in his former bedroom, and the spectral presence of a mysterious woman wandering the dimly lit hallways. Adding to the supernatural ambience, a chilling sight to behold is the rocking chair in the basement, mysteriously swaying on its own accord, and the in-house printing press inexplicably springing to life without human intervention.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse – Toronto Islands
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse boasts a rich history dating back to 1908 when it began its steadfast duty of guiding vessels into Toronto Harbour. This stalwart lighthouse stood during the tumultuous Battle for York in 1813, under the watchful eye of its first lighthouse keeper, John Paul Rademuller an intrepid German immigrant. Rademuller's mission was to safeguard against enemy ships and offer solace to those seeking refuge in the harbour.
Tragically, he would never witness the war's conclusion. As for what happened to the lighthouse keeper, Radenmuller's fate remains shrouded in mystery, as he inexplicably vanished without a trace in 1813. The prevailing belief suggests that he may have fallen victim to a sinister encounter with American soldiers, who were plotting the invasion of York (as Toronto was known at the time). Since that fateful disappearance, the lighthouse has become a stage for a haunting tableau of inexplicable events. Whispers of unearthly moans and eerie lights emanating from the dormant tower persist, even though the lighthouse has stood silent for decades.