While Canadians are usually known for politeness, we’ve also earned a reputation for being a bit spooky. Across the country there are several historic buildings and areas that are said to be haunted, so if you’re looking for a thrill visit one of these ghostly spots.
The Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia
Overlooking the Inner Harbour, The Fairmont Empress is a regal building that’s known for luxury and, of course, high tea. Built between 1904 and 1908, this hotel, though beautiful from the outside, is home to some frightening secrets. Guests often report an apparition of a man walking through the halls, rumoured to be the hotel’s architect. If that’s not chilling enough, other ghostly figures, like a maid, young girl, and elderly woman, all make themselves at home in this historic building.
The Old Spaghetti Factory in Vancouver, British Columbia
A hotspot in Gastown for families hungry for Italian favourites, this 1970’s building-turned-restaurant is said to be haunted by four ghosts. The most notable? The conductor of a trolley that’s part of the restaurant’s decor. He’s said to sit at the tables in the trolley, and employees report hearing other strange creaks and squeaks after hours too.
The Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff, Alberta
This castle-like hotel in the Rockies is breathtaking — in more ways than one. Several ghosts are said to roam the halls of this famous hotel that’s been home to many celebrities throughout the years. Look for doors that seem to open by themselves, the ding of an elevator when no one’s around, and even a ghostly bride that paces the halls.
Casino Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan
Looking to spot a ghost? You might win big at Casino Regina. Once a train station, this historic building is now home to spirits, according to many of the staff. Employees note that they often hear voices, see doors opening, and discover things they’ve put down have disappeared. Besides these strange happenings, apparitions are also said to appear downstairs where prisoners were once held.
Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Located in a regal old building in downtown Winnipeg, this 1903 hotel may be a beautiful place to stay — if you’re in for a fright. There are reports of blood trickling down the walls in a specific room (be sure to ask before you book!) and a female apparition crying around the hotel’s common spaces.
HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel in Ottawa, Ontario
Would you ever choose to sleep in an old jail? Well, many people at this hostel do. If you’re keen to potentially get woken up by a ghost or sleep where criminals once did, this is your spot. Called one of the top 10 spookiest buildings in the world by Lonely Planet, it’s not surprising that there are several reports of ghostly figures and haunting noises here. Plus, the hostel plays it up by offering haunting tours for its guests. Check out Haunted Walk of Ottawa for more details.
The Keg Mansion in Toronto, Ontario
How do you like your steak? Maybe served with a side of spookiness? Well, that can be made a reality at The Keg Mansion. This mansion-turned-steakhouse that was built in 1867 is notorious for ghoulish encounters. It’s rumoured that many spirits inhabit the space — from a maid, to a child. Ghost stories are so frequent and memorable that the staff of the restaurant keep a “ghost log” where they document their encounters.
Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Quebec
Full of charm and history, it’s not surprising that Quebec City is home to other worldly spirits. In this gorgeous 1893 hotel, not only will you find amazing views of the St. Lawrence River, but you might also find a woman in white in your bed when you wake up with a start in the night. Besides this uninvited bedmate, the hotel is also said to be haunted by the 17th century Governor General of New France who can be spotted in period clothing wandering the halls.
Five Fisherman Restaurant in Halifax, Nova Scotia
In Halifax, you’ll find a ton of charming buildings, including an 1817 schoolhouse that now houses a fine dining, seafood restaurant. Staff have become accustomed to strange things happening in both the dining room and kitchen — glasses fly off shelves, place settings mysteriously shift or fall, and taps turn on and off by themselves. If that’s not haunting enough, some people even report hearing their names whispered as they walk through the restaurant.
The Dungarvon River in Blackville, New Brunswick
This is not a specific hotel or space, but an entire river! Along the Dungarvon River in Blackville, New Brunswick you may hear the sounds of a ghost if you listen closely. The Dungarvon Whooper, as he’s called, was once a chef who is rumoured to have been killed by another man for his possessions. Now, as revenge, he cries from the forest — a sound that’s described as whooping. The Dungarvon Whooper is so well-known that he’s been featured in a song and there’s even a sculpture to honour him.
This rustic hotel up north is home to some chilling stories. It’s said that a woman, one of the owners of the hotel, roams the halls at night and is fond of one room in particular. On the second floor, guests recall seeing a realistic apparition of the woman — quite a scare, if you ask us. Her frightening likeness is so notable that she’s even been immortalized on a postage stamp.
Come for the hospitality and politeness, stay for the scare. Canada is home to a ton of awesome history, and these spooky stories are just the start.