You didn’t think we were going to let October slip by without bringing up some of the most haunted places in Canada, did you? We’ve got a duty here. And that duty is chatting about some of the spookiest and scariest spots across the country. After all, Halloween is nearly here and there is no better way to get into the spirit than by exploring some of Canada’s most haunted places. From isolated lighthouses to tourist attractions, Canada has its fair share of spots guaranteed to give you the willies.
Here are 11 famously haunted places around Canada.
Located in British Columbia, the Tranquille Sanatorium has everything you need for a haunting. The area started out as a hospital to deal with tuberculosis, back in 1907. Then, it shifted focus to treat the mentally ill in 1959. That stopped in 1983, but it briefly operated as an institution for young offenders before it closed in the ’90s. Now, the area is mostly a farm, which has offered tours of the abandoned hospital and the tunnels underneath it.
Where: Kamloops, BC
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Local lore puts this majestic hotel in the Rockies as one of the most haunted places in Canada. There are a couple of well-known stories, like a bellboy that never wanted to quit or a heartbroken bride. But, a little bit of digging (and some internet trust) will have you thinking about boarded up rooms, murders, and everything else the staff can’t talk about. After 132 years, this mountainside fortress has a few secrets of its own.
Where: Banff, Alberta
A beer dispute is the source of the haunting at this Toronto location. Way back in 1815, the lighthouse keeper, John Paul Radelmüller, was manning his station when he ran into some trouble. Two angry soldiers, unhappy with a batch of beer Radelmüller brewed, allegedly murdered the lighthouse keeper and left his dismembered remains on the site. Today Radelmüller is said to haunt the lighthouse, which you can visit on your next trip to the Islands. Just don’t go keeping secrets, wickie.
Where: Toronto Islands, Ontario
Of course, a jail makes the list of haunted locations. Although it’s no longer operating, back in its heyday the Don Jail was one of the most brutal spots around. It was home to thousands of prisoners over the years, but its real claim to fame is the many hangings that took place at the spot. The jail’s most famous ghost story is of a female prisoner who took her own life in her cell. Today she roams the jail grounds, which you can take a self-guided tour of almost any day of the week.
Where: Toronto, Ontario
Craigdarroch Castle reportedly has more than a few permanent residents. Both the person who commissioned the castle and the original architect died before its completion. Plus, it served as a military hospital during World War 1. Now a national historic site, this spot offers tours. But, don’t be expecting ghost stories to be a part of them.
Where: Victoria, BC
The Atlas Coal Mine in East Coulee Alberta was originally owned and operated by the Patrick family who tragically lost their son Billie – quite literally. As the story goes, Billie wandered off into the mine alone but never came back. Despite a mass search, the boy was never found. Since then, he has been seen by visitors and staff alike laughing and playing on the grounds.
Where: East Coulee, Alberta
Known as Alberta’s “Hospital of Horrors” the Charles Camsell was originally founded in 1914 as an all-boys academy. In the years that followed, it was converted into a WWII as a base for American Army Engineers while they built the Alaska Highway, then most notably, a tuberculosis hospital where several indigenous people were sent and mistreated, or to put it more accurately, abused. After the slow of the deadly disease, the province recommissioned it as a general hospital of which it remained until 1993 when it was emptied out and abandoned.
Where: Edmonton, Alberta
Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Fort Garry Hotel has been around for over 100 years. Naturally, some weird stuff is going to go down in that time. And apparently, the weirdest stuff relates to the infamous Room 202. Supposedly the site of a suicide, Room 202 has had many a freaked out guest. Experiences range from some blood drip down the walls to the sensation of someone getting into bed with you. Freaky!
Where: Winnipeg, Manitoba
This one takes a little bit of unpacking. This area in the Northwest Territories has been populated for around 10,000 years. And, the name refers to the vanished Naha people, which are part of the Dene oral history of the area. Ok, so a disappeared tribe is spooky vibes number one. Then, this area is also known as the ‘Valley of Headless Men’ (with prominent features similarly named), because at least 2 documented cases of explorers and gold miners found headless occurred during the 19th century. Mix that in with the fact that it’s one of the most beautiful and brutal regions in Canada, and you’ve got a recipe for the heebie-jeebies.
Where: Nahanni National Park Reserve, Northwest Territories
This could easily be the setup of Canada’s next horror movie. Originally built in 1871, the residence was home to over 1000 nuns during its run. Then it was bought by Concordia University in 2007 to turn into a students’ residence. The spooky part? A crypt containing the remains of over 250 nuns is located in the basement, which cannot be disturbed as some of the sisters died of infectious diseases.
Where: Montreal, Quebec
We’re capping things off with an entire neighbourhood that is reportedly haunted. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Montreal, Griffintown was a centre of a typhus outbreak in Irish immigrants that led to some 6,000 deaths in 1847 and 1848. And for more specific ghost hunters, Griffintown was also home to a brutal decapitation of Mary Gallagher, supposedly at the hand of her best friend.
Where: Montreal, Quebec
There you have it, folks! 11 of the most famously haunted places in all of Canada. Now, remember to keep your wits about you and happy Halloween!