Near 8th Concession
Status: Country Road; Urban Legend
History And Legends
The stories of haunted Texas Road revolve around an area between Concession 8 and the St Clement Cemetery. The Cemetery is Private Property and cannot be entered after dark. Due to the number of bush parties and teenagers playing tricks on other teenagers this area is heavily patrolled by Police after dark especially during the Halloween season.
Texas Road is thought to have started as a Wyandotte Aboriginal trail that led to a burial ground by the river.
After European colonization it was turned into a farm road and is said to be the site of a massacre of British soldiers when their Indigenous “allies” betrayed and slaughtered them. This is related to the American burning of Fort Amherstburg.
There are also stories of witches being burned at the stake here. This said to have happened while the area was under American occupation in the early 19th century. The Indigenous peoples traded with the town; which included their young woman, who were not treated particularly well by the settlers. This led to hostilities with the Indigenous peoples and the young women were accused of witchcraft and burned.
This legend is said to have inspired evil cults to use the area for their rituals – something said to spike up every 20 years or so before law enforcement puts an end to it.
In the ravine near the old bridge there is said to be a number of rocks painted with inverted pentagrams and a possible altar stone. This has been taken, by some, to mean these legends are true.
Dark hooded figures have been seen in these woods; some people have even claimed to have been attacked by them. The ghost of a horse is also seen in the area.
A figure wrapped in white is seen here as well – usually by passing cars. The figure is said to stand very still on the side of the road and will disappear if you stop and investigate. Legend says this is related to a man who was murdered here.
A headless horseman also rides the road. History does say a man was murdered on horseback here – with his body being mangled – over a century ago.
In the area of St Clement Cemetery legend says a man murdered his wife a chopping off her head with cleaver. Apparently, the woman’s body was recovered but the head was never found. The ghost of a headless woman in white is reported to haunt the area.
Other Activity: unexplained mists that are gone as fast as they appear; phantom headlights; disembodied voices; cold spots; phantom footsteps and feelings of being watched from the woods.
Testimonial by Tina
my friends and I used to go there. we have def experienced some weird shit there. glowing blue dew on the grass. some crazy woman screaming from super high in the trees. a mist and a hooded figure visited my friend in her home after. weird.
(Burwash Industrial Farm)(Camp Bison Prison Farm)
End of Burwash Trail
Status: Former Minimum Security Jail; Abandoned; Private Property
Investigations Can Be Booked
This facility was opened in 1914 as a working prison farm.
It was built to house 1,000 prisoners but the population never exceeded 825.
There was 35,000 acres of land surrounding it and, in the beginning, it was very isolated with no road access.
As well as farming, the inmates built an entire town including a school and post office for the staff to live in as there was no existing place for them to live nearby.
When Highway 69 – part of the Trans-Canada Highway – was built the prison was no longer completely isolated from the rest of the world. Signs were put up along the highway where it was near the prison telling people not to pick up hitchhikers as they might be escaped prisoners.
Being minimum security conditions were not very harsh in the prison. There is one story though of fire hoses being used on those that broke the rules.
There was only one successful escape where the inmates stole a car and made it all the way to Toronto before being caught. They were moved to a higher security prison.
In 1975 it was decided by the Provincial Government the facility was too costly to maintain. The inmates were all relocated and the 1,000 people in Burwash the townsite were all told to move. The entire site was bulldozed under except the main prison building and the prison cemetery by the 1990’s.
The Federal Government bought the land for 1.8 million dollars and Department of National Defense took over most of it for training use. It was also used by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation for gravel reserves.
As of 2020 the land is owned by Avalon Eco Resort and it can be explored but you must contact the resort and pay a small fee to access it.
The resort cannot be accessed by vehicle. Unless you have a motorcycle or ATV you’re in for a 45 to 60 min walk to the site.
Do Not Trespass
Avalon Contact Info
Perhaps just due to the isolation, the entire site has been described as having an eerie energy.
People have reported seeing faces looking out of the barred windows when there’s no else around for miles.
Other reported activity: apparitions of former prisoners; shadow figures; unexplained mists; cold spots; disembodied voices; unexplained noises including loud bangs; objects moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
(Snake Hill Grove)(Old Erie Beach Amusement Park)
West End of Lakeshore Road
Status: Former Battlefield, Former Amusement Park, Municipal Park
During the War of 1812 between the British and the United States this area was used as a landing point and encampment point for the American troops that took Fort Erie (the actual Fort, not the city, now known as Old Fort Erie).
It is also possible that the British used part of this area as a field hospital during their siege of the Fort in 1814 after the Americans occupied it.
By the late 19th Century this area was used as a popular picnic and relaxation spot by both Canadians and Americans. American accessed the park via the Fort Erie-Buffalo Ferry Railway – the ferries landed at a huge quay, the ruins of which can still be seen today. The Peace Bridge was not built yet; in fact, there was no need as the mass production of the automobile hadn’t begun yet.
As the 20th Century began rides were added as well as a stadium, a hotel and a casino. Erie Beach Amusement Park reached its pinnacle in 1910 with 3 ferries traveling between downtown Buffalo and the park’s aforementioned quay.
By the 1920’s the park began to wane – especially with the construction of the Peace Bridge in 1925 – as the automobile began to be easily available to the average family. Once Americans drove over the Canadian border, they wanted to go further than just a park only 2 minutes away.
The real death knell for the park was the creation of the more modern Crystal Beach Amusement Park just a few more miles to the west took away many visitors. The Stock Market crash of 1929 was the final end of the park already having financial issues.
Most of the rides were sold off, in 1935 the hotel (once at the western end of the park) burned down and by the 1980’s even the ruins of the casino were gutted. The once largest outdoor pool in the world is now filled with trees and sediment although the concrete that formed its walls can still be walked on.
There are ruins of the former park strewn throughout the area including concrete paths, a former water ride, the footings for a former airplane ride, a raised hill that’s all that’s left of the former railway, the cement pad that once held a restaurant, the footings for the carousel, an outdoor dance floor that’s now buckling and disappearing under the lake and much more.
This area seems to be more active at night although that is most likely due to the high level of alive human activity in the day.
Mediums on the site have identified multiple spirits numbering at least 50.
There are reports of very intense feelings of being watched reported thought to be the ghosts of soldiers forever watched the perimeter of their encampment – or perhaps phantom snipers lining you up for a head shot.
The apparitions of soldiers dressed in both American and British uniforms are seen crossing the paths in the woods. They are generally only seen for a second or so and quick to disappear.
Apparitions of people dressed in late 19th and early 20th century clothing are seen along the former waterside promenade. In 2008 a new promenade was built by the city but the ghosts still walk on the old one. These ghosts have been known to interact with the living.
The ghosts of fire victims – probably from the hotel but rumors persist of a fire in the former casino on a high school’s grad night – standing in the forest watching the living. The apparitions are still in the burned clothes and show the terrible wounds and burns that killed them. They are said to give off hostile energy but never actually approach or attack the living.
Time slips have been reported where people suddenly find themselves in the amusement park during its heydays. Ghostly ferries have even appeared and docked at the now ruined quay and disgorge their phantom passengers.
Unexplained noises are very common here – many related to the amusement park – including; screams, yells, a woman calling out for her children, someone yelling “woo hoo” outside of the former casino, hisses, bangs and sounds of heavy things being moved.
Phantom screams of a young boy are heard around the ruins of the former boat ride – concrete troughs dug into the ground are all that’s left – that a medium has identified as a boy who was dragged under the boats while boarding the ride resulting in his drowning death.
Vertices and unexplained mists have frequently been photographed at this site.
Other Activity: shadow figures, cold and warm spots, touches, tugs and pushes by unseen entities and light anomalies.
(Muskoka Centre)(Muskoka Cottage Sanatorium)
North End of Muskoka Road North (18)
Status: Former Tuberculosis Sanatorium; Former Psychiatric Hospital; Abandoned; Police Dog Training Centre; Private Property
Photo Courtesy of Craig M
This institution was the first tuberculosis – consumption, white plague – sanatorium in Canada.
In 1895 Sir William Gage – who had visited sanatoriums in America and Europe – decided that Canada needed to have its own sanatorium. At the time – before anti-biotics were discovered – isolation was the only treatment to stop the spread of the highly infectious disease.
His original plan was to build a sanatorium in Toronto but the city refused fearing the transmission of what was thought of as a poor man’s disease.
The town of Gravenhurst put itself forward for the location and were chosen. They beat out the city of Kamloops, BC – although a sanatorium would be built there in the future – who had offered free train rides to the sanatorium if they were chosen.
The Muskoka Cottage Sanatorium opened on July 13, 1897; albeit much smaller than it would eventually become. At the time it was rather like a resort with plenty of fresh air and healthy meals. In 1902 the Muskoka Free Hospital for Consumptives was opened for the treatment of the poor.
In the 1920’s there were major expansions at the site including building the giant 3 wing Sir William Gage building that is still the largest building on site. The sanatorium now had 444 beds, surgical facilities, laboratories and homes for the staff.
As with all tuberculosis sanatoriums worldwide the discovery of anti-biotics – the cure for the disease – led a steady decrease in patient population. In 1960 the facility switched over to the care of the developmentally disabled.
Unfortunately, the site – now called Muskoka Centre – suffered from outdated infrastructure and low staff to patient ratios. This resulted in a number of incidents of staff violence against the patients and in the early 1990’s a class action lawsuit, thankfully, brought the institution to its final days. It was closed for good in 1994.
The property has remained vacant since; although the police use the facility to train police dogs and for SWAT training. Between the sheer age of the facility combined with the lack of care through years of brutal Ontario winters and vandalism by the public the property is now condemned.
Its said that many people have been caught and charged with trespassing for entering the property.
As of 2020 this site was up for sale.
Team experiences are located at the bottom of this section.
There’s not a lot of accounts of paranormal activity at this location. Probably due to the lack of ease in accessing the site.
Based on the mortality rate of tuberculosis and level of activity at other sites like Tranquille Sanatorium in British Columbia and Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky the likelihood of such activity is high. On the other hand, it has been suggested that many of the terminal cases were sent home from here before the disease ended their lives – if that happened here it would be a unique case in sanatorium history.
Reported Activity: a few reports of apparitions of former patients; disembodied voices; electrical disturbances; shadow figures; cold spots; objects moving on their own; phantom footsteps; light anomalies; unexplained noises and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
A general feeling of uneasiness has also been reported here.
Most of the reports of paranormal activity are in the main building and almost always on the mid and upper floors – this especially true of feeling of uneasiness and anxiety.
The majority of the paranormal activity certainly does take place in the 3 wing main building.
Activity began very subtlety and quickly ramped up: apparitions of former patients moving in the woods (we saw no apparitions in the buildings); disembodied whispers and voices from inside the main building; phantom footsteps from inside the main building; unexplained noises inside the buildings including many knocks and scratching noises and a near constant feeling being watched by something unseen.
14 Belvidere Avenue
Status: Former Private Residence; Former Sub-Divided Residential Property; Formerly Abandoned; Demolished; Vacant Lot
Photo Courtesy of Craig M
Built out of local limestone between 1848 and 1850 this mansion was once viewed as one of the pinnacles of the new 19th century cosmopolitan Hamilton.
Over it’s history the mansion has been given a few names but it was it’s original name Bellevue that really stuck – Bellevue means beautiful view.
The mansion commanded some of the most awe inspiring views in the entire city. The vacant lot where the house once was still provides a stunning view; although downtown Hamilton has certainly changed a lot since the 1800’s.
Two of the most influential leaders of 19th century Hamilton called this mansion home – John Bradley (who had the house built and died in it in 1864) and George Gillespie (who worked to support and grow the first financial institutions of the city).
In the early 1970’s the house was subdivided into a number of apartments and rented out. At some point in the 1980’s the mansion was abandoned and became a haven for urban explorers and, due to a few stories, paranormal investigators.
The house began to deteriorate as the years went by – the water damage especially became very serious. Between the damage and the police frequently having been called to the site due to the trespassing the owner – despite the house’s historical value – had little difficulty obtaining a demolish permit.
In September of 2000 the mansion was demolished; so fast many people claim it was brought down in one night.
The vacant lot is now for sale for about 3.5 million – down from 4.5 million – in case you’re looking for property in Hamilton.
The 2 stories from the house cannot be historically verified but they cannot historically disproven either.
Three members of Our Paranormal World have been to the location personally – albeit not for a few years - and in our opinion it is very active. Our experiences are listed at the end of the article.
The first concerning this house is a father who killed his 2 children and wife with an axe before going to the attic and hanging himself. A decade or two later a son used an axe – the same one if you really want to get into the Urban Legend aspect of this house – and murdered his entire family before, once again, hanging himself from the same beam in the attic.
Many believe that an evil spirit inhabits the house; and that it now inhabits the land.
The apparition of a woman with red hair was seen silently screaming in one of the upper level windows of the house before it was taken down.
The apparition of a young girl is seen playing in the front yard.
People have reported hearing their names whispered both while in the house and on the property.
There are cases are investigators and explorers being physically attacked on the property and in the house resulting in scratches, cuts and bruises – people have reported being dragged by something unseen here as well.
The evil presence that it is said once inhabited the house is still felt on the property – many people reported waves of negative energy upon crossing the threshold of the house. Now, on the property, there are reports of sudden unexplained emotional changes leading to feelings of extreme anger, hatred and violence toward friends and family. This feeling fades once the property is left.
Misty apparitions have been seen and photographed on the property.
Disembodied voices have heard and recorded on the property.
There are also reports of the mansion appearing again as a shimmery mirage like image before fading away right before people’s eyes.
The house was said to be freezing cold even on the hottest and most humid summer days; especially the basement. Cold spots are now frequently felt on the property – some days the entire property has been cold; again, on even the hottest summer days and nights.
First of all, the photo with the orb flying through the trees – see above – that is used as our cover photo on our Twitter account was taken at this property. There was nothing visible to the naked eye – the camera button was actually pressed by accident. The tree was on the property when the house was standing.
We did see the apparition of the little girl in the front yard. She did communicate with us a few times and indicated she was killed by being hit by a car on the road. She gave no more details of her life and had no knowledge of any other ghosts on the property.
There is definitely a dark presence on the property; it is easily felt as soon as you step onto the property.
We did run into some cold spots which are quite startling on a 30 C (86F) summer night.
Numerous disembodied voices and whispers including having our names whispered and giggling.
Status: Former Insane Asylum; Almost Completely Demolished; Only One Building Remaining
The full campus before it was demolished
Century Manor photo from Pinterest
The Hamilton Asylum for the Insane was originally designed as a home for alcoholics but the alcoholics never came.
However, the population of the mentally ill – whom most people in the 19th century (in their ignorance) assumed were drunks anyway – was increasing. Or rather society was becoming more aware just how many mentally ill people needed some form of care.
The asylum opened in 1876 on 576 acres on the brow of Hamilton Mountain. The massive Victorian castle like building that hovered over the city from 1876 to 1976 was called the Barton Building.
This institution also housed those deemed too insane to stand trial for their crimes.
The asylum – like most others in this time period – was completely self-sufficient with lands farmed by the patients as well as a bakery and butcher shop that keep their own cows and pigs.
The asylum was only accessible by the gravel road at this point. Families used to drive up for picnics on the asylum grounds with the patients unknowingly providing the entertainment. It was considered normal to taunt the patients and laugh at them. Even to throw things at them to make them perform.
The initial capacity of the asylum was just over 200 patients that came from Hamilton, Wellington, Simcoe, Peel, Halton, Waterloo, Norfolk and Lincoln Regions.
On November 1, 1884 the East Building – now called Century Manor and the only building still standing was opened for room for 60 chronic patients.
In January of 1888 the Orchard Building with room for 300 more patients was opened. The building was demolished in 1971.
In 1902 a psychiatric nursing school was opened on site that graduated 240 nurses before it closed in 1976.
By 1909 the asylum had the beds for 1,200 patients.
The facility was closed in 1995; at that point Century Manor was the only surviving building on the asylum grounds.
Century Manor still stands but it is completely sealed off; entering the building is trespassing. Since it’s closure in 1995 it’s only been opened once; that being during Doors Open Hamilton in 2009.
It is now owned by Infrastructure Ontario who very rarely allows anyone inside although there are rumours that they’ll rent it for a very exorbitant price (like a $1,000 a day).
In 2018 there were plans to sell it to Mohawk College for use as a residence, but that plan fell through.
The system of tunnels that ran underneath the entire complex of the asylum is still there under the ground. There’s even a tunnel under Mohawk College which connects with the Cellar pub.
There are numerous stories of people having paranormal encounters in the tunnel system.
The most disturbing is a security guard who opened the door into a room down there to find 2 older women dressed in out dated nurse’s uniforms sitting at a table. One looked at him and, “see I told you he’d find us”.
The guard was so scared he just closed the door and upon opening it again found a completely empty room although there were no other exits from the room.
There are a few stories of objects moving on their own in the building itself. The movement is not seen, rather objects just appear in places witnesses know they weren’t earlier. One story is off a metal bed pan that appeared in a hallway which was empty and then the hallway was empty again when they returned.
There are also many encounters on the grounds where the former buildings once were. The Barton Building itself was gigantic before it was torn down. These include apparitions; unexplained mists; light anomalies; sudden winds and cold spots.
Other reported activity: apparitions of former patients and staff; shadow figures; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; time slips; electrical disturbances; disembodied voices; unexplained noises from loud bangs to soft whispers; phantom footsteps; phantom screams and cries and feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.
6650 Niagara Parkway
Status: Natural Wonder; Iconic Waterfall
By Unknown author - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="https://nfpl.historicniagara.ca/s/All/item/260369">https://nfpl.historicniagara.ca/s/All/item/260369</a>, Public Domain, Link
By Metropolitan Museum of Art - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ap/web-large/APS6828.jpg">http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/ap/web-large/APS6828.jpg</a>, CC0, Link
Approximately 10,000 years ago – give or take an eon or two – the Wisconsin Glacial Period; the last Ice Age – retreated from what we now call North America; mainly the future Nation-states of the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada. This warming event left behind massive glacial meltwater lakes which would become what we call the Great Lakes today.
The meltwater of the upper Great Lakes – Superior, Michigan and Huron – poured into Lake Erie and made it’s way to Lake Ontario (and eventually the Atlantic Ocean) by creating what we call the Niagara River. The underlying rock did rock bed did not erode eventually resulting in what we call the Niagara Escarpment.
Where the river poured over this escarpment it created a gorge and a massive waterfall which has eroded it’s way over thousands of years to the three waterfalls – Horseshoe, American and Bridal Veil – we know today.
The three waterfalls known collectively as Niagara Falls have the highest water flow of any waterfall in North America. During it’s peak – when the most tourists are watching – time 168,000 cubic metres (5.9 million cubic feet) of water go over the falls every minute.
At the current rate of erosion – 30 centimetres (1 foot) every year – in 50,000 years or so the falls will dig their way all the way to Lake Erie and collapse ceasing to exist.
Until the 17th century no European set eyes on the falls. In 1604 the falls were described to Samuel de Champlain by other members of his exploration party - apparently the description wasn’t impressive enough for Samuel to go to the falls himself – and he described them in his journals. The first famous European – meaning we remember their name today – was either Jesuit Missionary Paul Ragueneau or Belgian missionary Louis Hennepin.
During the 19th century the falls first became a place to go on holiday. Access to them, though, was difficult with trails blocked and many looking for money to actually see them. In the 1870’s both New York State and the Province of Ontario took steps to preserve the falls and allow everyone free access.
New York created a State Park and Ontario formed the Niagara Parks Commission.
In 1918 an iron scow got stuck in the rocks near the edge of the falls. The 2 men were rescued both the rusted out hulk remains to this day. In a storm in October 2019 the ship remains shifted 50 metres.
In the 20th century both Canada and the United States built massive infrastructure to harness the hydro-electric power in the falls. This infrastructure provides a large amount of the power used in eastern North America.
People used to be able to go onto the Niagara River below the falls in the winter when it froze completely. This ended in February 12, 1912 when the ice broke up unexpectedly resulting in the deaths of 3 people.
The arched metal walkway on the US side is actually all that remains of the Honeymoon Bridge which was severely damaged by an ice jam in January of 1938. The bridge collapsed due to the ice but there was enough warning so that no one was on it when it fell into the ice filled river.
The existing bridge near the falls was built in 1941 and is called the Rainbow Bridge. It brings together the cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario. It also provides a breathtaking view of the falls; although, stopping on the bridge is illegal of course.
Many people have either attempted the cross the gorge on tightropes or go over the falls in some kind of contraption. Perhaps it is more remarkable to say some of them actually survived their attempts then say some of them died. In actual fact on average 70% of the attempts to go over falls end in the survival of the person.
The economic value of Niagara Falls to both Canada and the United States is in the billions plus.
The haunted locations in the Niagara Region – even just sticking to the Canadian side – could fill an entire website on their own. I’ve been lucky enough to lead investigations at most of these locations on both sides of the border but this article will focus on the horseshoe falls themselves; the hauntings, legends and ghosts as well as their continued effect on the living.
The Screaming Tunnel and Blue Ghost Tunnel (see below) are both covered on this website as of 2022. The remaining haunted Niagara locations are planned for the future.
There are at least 2 versions of the legend of the Maid of the Mist. One is a blatant untruth involving human sacrifice which was never practiced by the Origiaras (and frankly insulting to their living ancestors). We will not be writing up the fake legend.
This legend is said to be the one handed down by the Tribal Elders:
From the beginning the 6 Tribes were at one with the Earth and all it’s animals and plants; more importantly the all got along with each other and worked together in harmony.
They were taught this by the Thunder God who lived in the falls.
In time the people forgot how to listen to the Earth and stars; forgot how to listen to the animals and plants. Then they forgot how to live in harmony and became mistrustful and selfish. They stopped listening to the Thunder God.
The maid was a young girl who fell asleep beside the Niagara River. In a show of the selfishness her people had fallen to an older lady saw a snake crawl up the girl’s dress but just walked away without waking her and telling her.
Oblivious to what happened, the girl grew up and became a young woman and got married. Her husband died very quickly. In total she married two more times but both times her husbands died quickly; most importantly, before she could have a child.
The maid, understandably, became very distraught and – with no one to help her as her people had become selfish and separated from one another – took a canoe into the Niagara River with the intent of going over the falls to her death.
She went over the falls but the Thunder God reached out of the falls thus preventing her death. The Thunder God told the maid about the snake and removed it for her. The maid lived with the Thunder God being retaught his teachings for a period of 4 years.
She then returned to her village and taught them how to live together and in harmony with nature returning them to happier times. As a bonus she married for a fourth time to a husband who remained healthy and they had many children.
The spirit of the Maid of the Mist is seen to this day most often as an apparition walking on the shores of the river below the falls or walking on the turbulent waters of the river itself below the falls. People have also witnessed her going over the edge of the falls while standing in her canoe.
Far less frequently her face – or entire head – has been seen in the mists – for which she is named – that hovers over the falls 24/7/365 as well as above the whirlpool further down the Niagara Gorge.
I have personally seen her walking on the Canadian side of river near the base of the falls. What made her so obviously out of place was her native attire from long before the European colonizers made it so far into the North American continent.
The voice of Thunder God can be heard in the falls. In North American 21st society with it’s obvious selfishness and lack living in harmony with each other let alone nature and the world around us his voice is getting louder and easier to hear to those who wish to listen for it.
The apparitions of many of the victims of the falls – be it accidents, suicides or daredevils – have been seen in and around the falls. Most of these “ghosts” look much like living humans and are thought to be lost in the huge crowds around the falls and often not even noticed by a general visitor.
Taking this into consideration its not surprising that most reports of witnesses seeing something or someone that doesn’t quite fit is either late at night or on days on of very inclement weather when the almost constant crowds are absent.
The final paranormal aspect of the falls is the uncountable reports of the falls themselves seem to call to people making them want to either get in the river at the top of the falls or jump into the falls themselves; of course, either act would – in almost all cases – be quickly fatal.
It is estimated at least 40 people go over the falls every year on average. While accidents account for some of the these the majority of them are suicides and attempted suicides.
South Side of Warner Rd near the Eastern End
Status: Drainage Tunnel Under Active Railway Line; Famous Urban Legend
Photo Courtesy of Craig M
This tunnel underneath the Canadian National Railway – originally the Grand Trunk Railway – was never an actual tunnel meant for human passage. Rather it was created as a drainage tunnel which conveniently explains why there is always a stream running through it. Coincidentally it did provide the farmers a convenient way to move themselves and their animals safely to the opposite side of the tracks.
This is most famous – at least from an urban legend point of view - haunting in the Niagara Region of Ontario. There are many different versions of the legend surrounding this haunting, a girl running from a house on fire and on fire herself before finally collapsing in the tunnel to die, a girl raped and burned to death in the tunnel to destroy the evidence and, finally, a father burning his daughter to death after finding out he lost custody of her are the most well known – sometimes incest is added to this tale to turn it darker and more disturbing.
There are the ruins of a structure – possibly a farmhouse or barn - up the trail on the forest side of the tunnel. There does seem to be a sense of a paranormal presence at both the tunnel and the house. Only the foundation of the structure is left but it shows no obvious signs of ever having burned at any point.
Legend says if you light a match in the middle of the tunnel at night (midnight preferably, of course) a girl will appear and scream blowing out your candle. Another legend says if you make fun of the ghost or laugh at her you will suffer a fatal car accident on the way home.
While we have never had the match legend work; we certainly have heard a girl screaming in the tunnel. As for the car accident, one team member was once at the tunnel when other people were making fun and laughing and did almost get into a severe car accident on their way home – and they say there’s no such thing as coincidence.
Personally, witnessed by team members at the tunnel:
screams, apparitions of both a young girl with blonde hair and a woman with dark hair – both dressed in a white dress, cold spots, mysterious mists, orbs, phantom footsteps, animals being unwilling to enter the tunnel.
(Orillia Asylum for Idiots)(Ontario Hospital School, Orillia)
700 Memorial Avenue
Status: Former Institution for the Developmentally Disabled; Partially Abandoned; Partial Government Usage
In 1859 the Ontario Government took over a hotel - where Couchiching Beach Park is now - to establish a Provincial Lunatic Asylum in Orillia. Within a few years the facility was closed due to the building being unsuitable and then reopened it again in 1876 – this time focused on children – due to the huge need for housing for the developmentally disabled
In 1885 the old hotel building became so overcrowded a new facility needed to be constructed. The site chosen was the shores of Lake Simcoe.
In 1911 the facility acquired more land – including a farm; apparently these places always have to have a farm – and became nearly 2 square kilometres (0.77 square miles) in size.
Between 1916 and 1932 new buildings and cottages were constructed on the site.
In a report from the Toronto Star – from the soon to be famous reporter Pierre Berton – did label the institute as up to date with a dedicated staff but also reported on the many deficiencies including: over 100% overcrowded; 900 higher ability patients crowded into the older and less fire-resistant buildings knowing they’d be easier to evacuate and terrible bathroom facilities (on one floor there were only 8 toilets, 3 showers and 1 bath tub for 144 patients).
Berton also pointed out there was not enough staff for the number of patients and the facility was admitting patients under 6 years old which it was not designed for.
In the end he wrote that prisoners in jails were living under better conditions.
As with most similar institutions very little was done to improve these conditions but the population did begin drop in the 1970’s; 1,857 in 1971; 583 in 1996 and dropping steadily until it’s closure in 2009.
Despite the overcrowding recorded in 1960 there were over 4,000 people on the waiting list. The hospital was admitting 3 people a day and losing – through discharge and death – an average of 1.5 people a day.
There were thousands of allegations of physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the institute which culminated into a class action suit against the Ontario Government. The Government denied the entire system was abusive but admitted isolated cases of abuse did happen.
The settlement in October of 2013 – which was approved by the Ontario Supreme Court – was 35 million CAD, a formal apology and other concessions.
On December 9, 2013 the Premier made a formal apology to the families and patients; as did the leaders of the other 2 political parties in Ontario.
There is a nearby field that used to be the institution’s cemetery. There are about 1,440 unmarked graves there as well as almost 600 numbered graves. Burials stopped in 1971 and many of the original numbered graves were paved over in the 1970’s.
Many of the buildings are empty now while the Ministry finds a new use for them but some buildings are used as offices and other are used by the Ontario Provincial Police.
There are plans to convert the campus into a Cultural Centre showcasing the traditions of Ontario’s many cultures.
The tunnels below the facility as well as the old morgue building are said to be the most active.
It is said there is a heavy energy – almost dark – that hangs over the entire site.
Reported Activity: apparitions of former patients and staff including some of children and adult in obvious states of suffering; shadow figures; objects moving on their own; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; electrical disturbances; unexplained sounds including whispers, laughter, crying, screaming, doors slamming and loud bangs; time and dimensional shifts; phantom footsteps; disembodied voices; light anomalies; empathic feelings of sorrow and loss; headaches and nausea and feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.
The original asylum is said to have been at Couchiching Beach Park. It was demolished decades ago and nothing remains of it now but a plaque. It is rumoured to be haunted in the area where it once was.
(Carleton County Goal)
75 Nicholas Street
Status: Former Prison, Hostel
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Jc128842" title="User:Jc128842">Jc128842 (Jeff Johnston)</a> (<a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Jc128842" title="User talk:Jc128842">talk</a>). - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>; transferred from <a class="external text" href="https://en.wikipedia.org">en.wikipedia</a> using <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="http://tools.wikimedia.de/~magnus/commonshelper.php">CommonsHelper</a>., CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
The Nicholas St Jail also known as the Carleton Jail was opened in at 75 Nicholas St right beside the court house in 1862. The jail inflicted inhumane conditions on its prisoners including forcing 150 prisoners into 60 small cells. Prisoners included men. women and children and could range from murderers to the mentally ill down to those arrested for drunk and disorderly.
There are rumors of unmarked graves on the property although only 3 official hangings told place on the grounds. Rumors also abound of several unofficial hangings. After the jail closed in 1972 a bridge was built along side the jail and several bodies were found in unmarked graves. They may still be unmarked graves underneath the parking lot.
After the jail was closed – in 1972 - it was converted into a youth hostel which it remains to this day. The top floor was the former death row and has been restored to its original condition and is available for tours.
In fact, the jail has only been partially converted and guests of the hostel can spend a night in jail. The jail’s gallows are also still intact and can still be viewed.
The most famous ghost is said to be that of Patrick Whelan who was hung for a crime he may not have committed. His body was supposed to be buried in his family plot in Montreal but a judge fearing riots in Montreal ordered the body buried in an unmarked grave on the property.
Phenomena experienced in the building and on the grounds include: disembodied voices, slamming doors and apparitions.
(St Joseph’s Health Centre)(St Joseph's Hospital)
Bell Park Road
Status: Former Hospital; Abandoned
In 1944 the Sisters of St Joseph in Sault Ste Marie came to Sudbury when a group of doctors reached to them for help in building a hospital in the city.
The Sisters bought 7 acres of land on Paris Street to build the hospital.
The Sisters financed the hospital – the government gave not a penny toward it’s construction – by mortgaging their homes. When it was completed and opened in 1950 the full cost was $3.1 million (just over $39 million in 2023 dollars). It had 200 beds upon opening.
And that was building it as cheaply as they could.
It was the first English speaking hospital in the area.
Additions were made to the hospital in the 1950’s through 80’s – mostly by corporate donations – including more wings, ICU, pediatric care, nuclear medicine, a helicopter pad and poison control.
In 1980 the hospital acquired its first CAT Scanner and could hold up to 375 patients.
In 1973 several patients died in the new A Wing due to the oxygen and nitrous oxide pipes being mixed up.
In 1989 a fire in a storage room contributed to major smoke damage in the building.
In 1997 all 3 hospitals in the city were amalgamated into Hôpital Régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital (HRSRH).
1998 construction began on the new Sudbury Regional Hospital to replace the 3 separate hospitals.
In 2010 the Sudbury General Hospital closed it’s doors forever.
Still the owners of the building, the Sisters paid to have a study done to see if the building could be converted into a long term care facility but the costs proved too prohibitive.
After turning down several offers to demolish the building the Sisters sold it to a development company who were planning to convert the building into apartments. Very little work has been done for the conversion and in 2017 the company halted construction saying they needed to regroup before continuing.
In 2019 Muralist RISK was commissioned to paint a huge mural on the side of the building for the Up Here Festival. On August 29, 2019 the mural was completed and is the largest mural in all of Canada.
Everything has been stripped out of the building as of now.
There is a ghost of a little girl in the basement who is reported to giggle if someone comes down to see her. The phantom sound of marbles dropping is also reported in the basement.
Previous to the closure security guards reported doors would unlock themselves.
The apparitions of nurses and former patients have been seen in the empty halls and rooms.
Spectral faces have been seen looking out of the windows of the abandoned building.
Other reported activity: disembodied voices; light anomalies; electrical disturbances; unexplained noises including loud bangs; doors opening and closing on their own; unexplained mists and feelings of being watched.
Only Accessible from a Path off of Welland Canal Service Road near where
it meets the Seaway Haulage Road
Status: Former Railway Tunnel; Abandoned; Urban Legend
By <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Bluehuffy" class="extiw" title="wikipedia:User:Bluehuffy">Bluehuffy</a> at <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/" class="extiw" title="wikipedia:">English Wikipedia</a> - Transferred from <span class="plainlinks"><a class="external text" href="https://en.wikipedia.org">en.wikipedia</a></span> to Commons by <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Liftarn" title="User:Liftarn">Liftarn</a> using <a href="https://iw.toolforge.org/commonshelper/" class="extiw" title="toollabs:commonshelper/">CommonsHelper</a>., GFDL, Link
By <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Necronaut" class="extiw" title="en:User:Necronaut">Necronaut</a> (<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Necronaut" class="extiw" title="en:User talk:Necronaut">talk</a>) - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span> (<span lang="en" dir="ltr">Original text: I created this work entirely by myself.</span>), Public Domain, Link
This tunnel was completed in 1876 to allow trains to pass underneath the third Welland Canal. The Canal allowed ships to pass from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario – and vice versa – while avoiding the impossible to navigate Niagara River and Falls.
Over 100 men were killed constructing the tunnels and the canals in the surrounding area.
In 1887 it was converted to only be used occasionally and in 1915 it was closed down completely and the rail line abandoned. The tunnel was closed after a new double line bridge was built over the canal. It was only used for about 40 years and has been abandoned for over a century now.
On January 3, 1903 two trains collided in the tunnel. Engine Number 4 was on it’s way to Merritton and Engine Number 975 was bound from Niagara Falls to Hamilton. Both trains were traveling at maximum speed of 22 miles an hour and hit each other head on.
Both engineers escaped with broken limbs, cuts and bruises but both firemen on the train died. Charles Horning on Engine Number 4 was enveloped inside the boiler from the force of the collusion. His midsection was so wrapped in metal they could not pull it out of the wreckage – needless to say he died instantly. Abraham Desult from Engine Number 975 had burns to 90% of body from the boiler exploding – he would die 5 hours later in the hospital.
Now that Google has the tunnel marked out on everyone’s smart phone its fairly easy to find. I remember at least 4 trips following poor directions on a website before we finally found the tunnel. Although, we had walked over it repeatedly without even knowing.
It sits on property that belongs to the Welland Canal so there are certain places around it where security will ask you to leave – for your own safety of course. The roads around the tunnel are accessible by car but they are maintenance roads and usually the gates are locked. Even if the gates were to be open, they can be locked at any time resulting in your car being trapped.
The morale – be prepared for a decent walk to see this tunnel.
In addition to the train crash and construction deaths there are other unverified stories of other deaths. A teenager crushed by a large rock and a woman killed by a train on the platform in the tunnel are the two I recall.
The tunnel is over 500 feet long and ends in an impassable semi-swamp of slit, mud and water,
This location has been fully investigated over multiple trips by members of our team. During that time, we experienced all of the reported activity – and more – so I’m just listing our team experiences below rather than the normal reported activity.
Team Paranormal Experiences
An unearthly chill in the tunnel. Skeptics point out it is a tunnel, so of course its cold, which is true; this cold (even on the hottest days) is far beyond any tunnel or cave we’ve ever entered.
Your breath will mist in the tunnel due to the cold and the humidity that is trapped in it. This mist could fool you into believing you’ve encountered something paranormal when you haven’t.
That being said, the Blue Ghost herself – and she does gives off a very feminine energy – does appear as a mist most often; but – as the tunnel’s name suggests – she has a bluish tinge. She cannot be mistaken for your misty breath.
Your voice and footsteps will echo in the tunnel making it hard to identify paranormal sounds. I would suggest talking low – not whispering as that’s actually quite loud and will echo - and walking slowly. There are phantom sounds in the tunnel including: a train whistle, sounds of a massive collision, screams, voices and whispers and footsteps.
On multiple occasions we have witnessed the full body apparition of a woman at the swampy end of the tunnel. She only appears after dark and stands where no living woman could without sinking into the mud and water. She seems aware of the living – for example she will meet your stare – but we were never able to communicate with her despite multiple attempts using multiple methods.
It is unclear whether she is the Blue Ghost in another form.
(Whitby Psych)(Ontario Hospital for the Insane)(Ontario Hospital, Whitby)
700 Gordon Street
Status: Former Psychiatric Complex; Completely Demolished; Operational Mental Health Facility; Residential Subdivision
All Photos Below Courtesy of Craig M
The address provided above is for Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health – the hospital that replaced Whitby Psychiatric. The grounds of the former hospital are directly across the street. 1 cottage (patient housing) is the only structure left standing from the original campus. All other buildings and facilities were torn down in 2005-06 and residential homes were built on the site.
In 1911 the Government of Ontario put into plans a new insane asylum to replace a current facility in Toronto – the infamous 999 Queen Street West asylum (see Link to Toronto locations above). It would never replace the Toronto facility it did provide a modern – for the time – new facility for care of the mentally ill.
Between 1913 and 1916 most of the buildings and tunnel system were built – most by WWI German POW’s – but the Canadian Federal Government took over the site immediately for the use of convalescent soldiers returning from the battlefields in Europe. Control was returned back to Ontario in 1919.
The 624 acre (253 hectares) site was chosen due to its ability to become self-sufficient, access to cheap utilities and its location on the lakeshore with lots of fresh air. Patients were housed in cottages, rather than inside of a giant institution, allowing them much more freedom and access to sunshine.
There was a farm on site which took care of the asylum’s needs for meat, vegetables and milk. Patients were encouraged to work on the farm as part of their therapy. There was also an on-site power plant.
In 1920 a nursing school was opened on site and a 6 storey nurses’ residence was eventually built where southbound Gordon St turns right into Gordon St eastbound. The school remained open until 1972 when the nursing curriculum was taken over by Ontario’s colleges.
By the 50’s and 60’s the patient population of the facility began to drop from its maximum of over 1,500 as new medications were discovered and the focus began to move to at home care. The farm was closed down in 1968 and in the 70’s the number of patients dropped from 1000 to just over 500.
In 1979, after a study the Ontario Government, it was determined that a new replacement facility needed to be built. Construction was started in 1993, resulting in the demolishment of some of the administrative buildings of the original campus, on the lakeshore side. In 1996 it was officially opened as Whitby Mental Health Centre – now known as Ontario Shore – and the original facility was closed.
Until 2005 most of the old buildings still stood and were often visited by paranormal investigators and urban explorers alike. As is usual, the site also attracted many of people looking for trouble and committing vandalism.
Between 2005 and 2006 all the structures except one patient cottage were demolished and residential housing was built over the site.
In previous versions of this part of the article the paranormal activity was catalogued by building. With all the buildings demolished that would seem to be a futile effort; all paranormal activity reported at the old site will be grouped together now.
There are a number of rumours of violence in the history of this institution; some of which are true, most of which are not. Yes, a guard was murdered by a patient, that can be substantiated by newspaper and other articles. That a nurse was murdered by a patient who then killed themselves is substantiated by a number of stories of former employees – as is the story of a nurse hanging herself in the nurse’s residence. Due to the nature of the facility it is also easy to accept that there were a number of patient suicides during the time the facility was open.
As for the rest of the urban legends that once surrounded the ruins of this hospital – most of them cannot be substantiated either by former employees or patients and some of them are frankly ridiculous and, obviously, perpetuated by the many hoaxers that only went to this site to see if they could scare any visitors.
I was part of the group that did an in-depth investigation of this site for over a year. Therefore, I will first list what we witnessed – both on the physical and sixth sense level – first. Then I will catalogue a more generalized list of what both we and other people have experienced.
Apparition of the nurse that hung herself in the nurse’s residence hanging in the doorway of her former room. Limited interaction with the team from this apparition. On one occurence she grabbed the rope she was hanging from and used it to turn her face towards us. A chilling experience to say the least.
A team member was violently shoved to the ground by an unseen force. The photo above shows a black mist coming out of a window where the member was pushed. This photo was taken by the pushed team member immediately after it happened and has been exposed to a number of professional tests; no logical explanation can be found for the black mist.
The apparition of a pre-teen girl seen in one of the administrative buildings in a blue dress. She motioned to a team member to follow her into a room – she then held one finger to her lips. The team member followed her and found she had disappeared. There were no other exits out of that room.
Contact with an entity, through mediumship, calling herself Kaitlyn who claimed to have hung herself in the shower of an adolescent patient housing.
Multiple attacks by negative entities in numerous locations. This resulted in dramatic changes in the member attacked including noticeable changes in personalities, access to information impossible to validate from the past of the hospital, vomiting and other physical aliments and violent impulses.
Strange touches of something unseen that were curiously at waist level. This led to some confusion until we realized we were in the children’s housing.
Rooms moving physical location – sometimes into other buildings completely – or disappearing completely. A few rooms found and mapped we were unable to locate at all on other visits.
Objects moving on their own; objects disappearing and reappearing on other locations; phantom footsteps; shadow figures; touches, pushes and shoves by unseen presences; disembodied voices including hearing our names called and whispered; electrical disturbances and battery drains; light anomalies; empathic feelings of anger, fear and unease, time slips and feelings of being watched, not being alone and not being wanted.
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Bbadgett&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Bbadgett (page does not exist)">Bbadgett</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, Public Domain, Link
By <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Bbadgett&action=edit&redlink=1" class="new" title="User:Bbadgett (page does not exist)">Bbadgett</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span>, Public Domain, Link
Thomas Aitken moved to Muskoka in 1860 from Scotland’s Shetland Islands and bought this land; originally for farming. The land proved poor for farming so he built a boarding house – he would build himself a personal cottage at a later date – on the site where the main hotel sits now.
In 1887 the building began to look much as it does today. Mostly sportsmen – as they were referred to at the time – stayed there hunting and fishing.
By the 1890’s the hotel could accommodate 220 guests and one night’s stay was $1.50 ($53.00 in 2022 dollars). In the early 20th century electricity was added as well as innovative method to assure a steady stream of water.
In 1919 Thomas Aitken passed away and the hotel was passed to his children. Also, in that year, 200 acres of land was sold to the newly formed Windermere Golf & Country Club which added a new activity for guests to enjoy.
In 1933 the kitchen was modernized and in the late 1940’s the second and third floors were renovated to create full suites with private bathrooms.
In 1996 the entire hotel was destroyed in a fire while the movie ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ was being filmed. By 1997 the building had been completely rebuilt exactly the same and was open again for guests.
In 2007-08 the hotel was further renovated.
The ghost of the original owner, Thomas Aitken, is said to haunt the building; as he has since his passing. Thomas is said to be responsible for moving objects by invisible force – it is surmised he thinks these objects should be where he places them rather than where they are - and for knocking on guest’s doors.
There are many reports of guests getting knocks on their room doors only to open them and find no one there.
Many guests have reported waking up and finding the ghost of a little girl standing beside their bed. She will vanish soon after being seen.
Other Reported Activity: unexplained noises; electrical disturbances; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.