Status: Former Mining Town; Former Military Training Area; Ghost Town
The town of Broughton was founded at the end of the 19th century by the British Company Cape Breton Coal, Iron and Railway.
The intention was to mine the coal vein at Loon Lake and create a prosperous town.
Millions of dollars were raised and the town was laid out including constructing 3 huge buildings – 2 for the company offices and one grand hotel – as well a street plan for as many as 10,000 residents.
The Hotel – the Broughton Arms & Crown – is thought to have had the first revolving door in North America.
In 1905 – 06 the Sydney & Louisburg laid down track down from the interior to a harbour. Unfortunately, the railway was owned by a competitor.
By 1907 the company was completely bankrupt. They didn’t have any money to build their own railway to move the coal from the mine to the harbour. They had spent all their money in creating the town.
The owners fled and the town was left on it’s own. One of the owner’s son was left in charge but he committed suicide shortly afterwards by cutting his throat with a straight razor.
The Federal Government kept the town alive for another decade by housing soldiers training to go to the battlefields of Europe in World War I.
In 1916 the Arms & Crown Hotel burnt to the ground and was not rebuilt.
When the war ended in 1918 and the soldiers left, and with them any way of making money in Broughton.
Canada’s first planned town quickly became a ghost town. The hoped for population of 10,000 crested at 1,000.
A few other coal mines were opened in the area over time but the last one closed in 1969.
There are still a few people living along Broughton Road but the town itself is a cemetery with a collection of ruins.
The apparitions of both soldiers and miners have been seen wandering amid what was once the town.
Soldiers from the past have answered questions in EVP sessions in the ruins of the hotel.
A lady in white is said to haunt Loon Lake and can be seen either floating over the water or walking along the shore. She may be a woman who took poison and then drowned herself during the town’s heydays.
Other Reported Activity: shadow figures; disembodied voices; empathic feelings of loss and depression; people suddenly feeling lethargic and only wanting to go home; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.