710 Rosser Avenue, #2
Status: Former Department Store, Art Gallery
The first building used for the gallery's small exhibition of art was opened in 1959 by the Brandon Allied Arts Council. In 1989 money was raised to create a larger more permanent space on Princess Street.
In 2000 the art gallery took over the old Eaton’s store in Town Centre Mall through public donations as well as monies from the Provincial and Federal Government.
Phantom footsteps are heard by janitorial staff late at night when the building is closed. Feelings of being watched and of unease are also reported.
It is unclear where these hauntings stem from although it strikes us as more the coincidental that so many old Eaton’s stores are now haunted - what was Eaton’s doing in their stores?
(Brandon Asylum for the Insane)(Brandon Mental Health Centre)
North Hill Campus
1035 1st Street North
Brandon, Manitoba R7A 2Y1
Status: Former Reform School; Former Psychiatric Institute; Community College
Original Pre-Fire Asylum
Derek Gunnlaugson - Own work
Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts, built in 1923 as a Nurses' Residence
The original building was completed in 1890 and was intended to be a Boy’s Reform School for Manitoba and what was then referred to as the North West Territory.
There were 2 very immediate issues though; the blatant nepotism when the father of the Solicitor General was named the director and there was only 1 inmate and 8 staff.
When new boys needing to be sent to a reform school did not appear the whole institution became a rather large embarrassment for the government. Despite being completely inadequate for a large population the government changed the designation to an asylum for the mentally ill.
The 1 inmate in the reform school served out the remaining year in his sentence in the asylum; albeit housed away from the “lunatics” as they were referred to at that time.
Housing lunatics was much more lucrative than a reform school. As the population began to climb rapidly the building was enlarged in both 1893 and 1903 due to overcrowding.
One of the major issues with the institution was a completely inadequate water supply. There was barely enough for the building’s daily needs and nowhere near enough to handle any kind of emergency – even a small one.
This was to become a major problem in the near future.
Despite ongoing improvements – fire hydrants existed but were not hooked up to any supply of water – when disaster struck it was not enough. On the freezing cold night of November 4, 1910 a fire broke out in the asylum.
The official cause of the fire was electrical wiring but that is believed to be a cover up with the true cause being a patient playing with matches; which, of course, they were expressly forbidden to have.
Due to the lack of water, it was 90 minutes before the Brandon Fire Department even got water on the fire. The fireproof doors proved equally useless as the flames quickly moved to the roof where they were fueled by almost gale force winds.
Although this cannot be disproven this disaster seems to be another example of portraying Canadian history as shiny and happy where nothing bad ever happens; and if it does its just brushed under the carpet by the shiny, happy politicians.
Despite the fast moving out of control blaze it is historically reported that every single patient and staff member (approximately 700 people) got out with nary an injury much less a fatality.
A few patients went missing and 1 woman died of exposure – this is the only recorded death resulting from the entire incident.
The patient population was housed in the Winter Fair Building in Brandon while the institution was rebuilt on the same spot between 1910 and 1912.
The new 1912 asylum is now known as the Parkland Building. It was actually designed to house my mentally ill with up to date mechanical and electrical as well as a boiler housed in a separate building.
In the early 20th century, there was finally enough money available for mental health care and many new buildings built on the campus including a nurse’s residence, an acute care building – mostly for tuberculosis patients, new staff housing and state of the art laboratories.
The facility closed down in 1998 but the buildings remained in top condition and in 2009 the Assiniboine Community College and began to convert the site into their North Hill Campus.
There are 2 cemeteries on site; the oldest containing people buried from the opening to 1925 – South Cemetery – and the second 1925 to close – North Cemetery. Most of the people buried in both cemeteries were represented only by markers with numbers on them; this had now been replaced by cairns with the names of the former patients interned.
It is difficult to near impossible to differentiate which cemetery witnesses are in when they witness the paranormal activity so we are combining the 2 together for reported activity.
Both cemeteries have been reported as giving off waves of eerie energy making witnesses very uneasy. Of course, this also could simply be the normal human reaction to a cemetery.
Sudden bright lights are often seen in both cemeteries that disappear just as quickly; often the light will blink in a pattern. Shadowy apparitions have been seen but always at a distance from the witness and partially faded into the surrounding background. Disembodied voices are commonly heard in both cemeteries including a little girl’s voice crying out for her father and a loud male voice yelling “go away”. Phantom laughter is also heard and often described as terrifying. Electrical disturbances including completely draining a car battery.
Other Activity: light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.
The limited number of reports, as well as the quality of said reports, cause the same issues with hauntings in the buildings as in the cemeteries. Namely, it is very difficult to say for sure which building the reported activity happened in.
The majority is thought to be from the Parkland as is built where the original asylum that burned down was, it was the original building of the 1912 asylum and it contained the morgue.
The former morgue area and the basements of many of the buildings are said to be the most active areas.
Reported Activity in the Buildings and on the Grounds: Apparitions of former patients and staff including a young woman who walks the halls of the Parkland Building but does seem to even be aware of the living; shadow figures; disembodied voices; unexplained sounds from loud bangs to whispers and heavy breathing; phantom footsteps; electrical disturbances; objects moving on their own; light anomalies and feelings of unease, not being alone and being watched.
4403 Waverley Street
Status: Rural Park
Despite being located outside of the city boundaries La Barriere is owned by the City of Winnipeg.
The city purchased the land that would become the park in 1969. The park is 136 hectares along the LaSalle River and contains natural forest, sports fields and the river.
It is free to enter and available for activities 365 days of the year including hiking, cross country skiing and canoeing.
The park is said to be haunted by children; although nothing in its history suggests why this is.
People have felt something rush by them in a gust of wind in the forest when there is no natural wind. There are also reports of people feeling as though something is running at them from multiple directions at once while in the forest.
The disembodied voice of 2 girls having a conversation has been reported.
Other people have heard the phantom sounds of children laughing – at times the laughter is heard as if it is right next to the witness or is made by children running by.
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/people/92487715@N03">Robert Linsdell</a> from St. Andrews, Canada - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/boblinsdell/9444702532/">Lower Fort Garry, St. Andrews (410226)</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
This fort was built by the Hudson Bay Company in 1830 to replace the original Fort Garry which was destroyed by a flood. It is located 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of the original fort site.
The fort was built on higher ground and below the St Andrew’s rapids negating a long portage with the furs coming down from the north. While it was easier for the fur traders up north it was a major inconvenience for the settlers who were setting up the colony that would become Winnipeg at The Forks.
In the end Upper Fort Garry was built near the original site of Fort Garry and the Lower Fort never became the administration centre it was meant to be.
The Fort’s major contribution to history was to be the place of the signing of Indian Treaty 1 – the first of 9 treaties – which was supposed to begin the process of settling of Europeans in what would become Western Canada as well as leaving the Aboriginal population with land.
Rather than promote unity and cooperation, both sides immediately disagreed on what the treaty meant and it began the ongoing issues that we still deal with today.
The fort has been used as a penitentiary, a mental hospital for 2 years and even a golf course country club. The Hudson Bay Company owned the fort until 1951 when they turned it over to the Federal Government who would name it a Historical Site and open it as a living museum.
The ghost of a woman is seen in the basement kitchen.
The warehouse – which served both as the jail and the asylum – is the most active.
Apparitions of former inmates are seen; strange noises and bangs are heard; disembodied voices; light anomalies and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
Maritime Museum of Manitoba
490 Eveline Street, #490
Status: Former Steamboat; Museum Ship
This steamboat was built in 1897 for the purpose of shipping both people and cargo on the Lake of the Woods in Ontario.
In this position she served all the isolated communities all the lake with no other access to rest of the world. When the Ontario and Rainy River Railway was opened in 1901 the need for shipments and passengers being moved by water began to slowly decline.
In 1915 when the Canadian Northern Railway took over ownership of the railroad the Keenora was sold to a consortium of lawyers from Winnipeg. In 1917 they had the boat dismantled and moved to Winnipeg – ironically via train – to be reassembled.
While being reassembled 30 feet (9.1 metres) was added to her hull making her new length 158 feet (48 metres). At first, she was used as a dance hall floating on the Red River in downtown Winnipeg.
In 1923 the Keenora was once again brought into service; this time her route was up the Red River to the north end of Lake Winnipeg. She continued on this route until 1966 when the ship was retired.
Slated to be scrapped the Keenora was saved when the Marine Museum of Manitoba saved it by adding it to their collection.
The only way to access the ship after dark is during their annual Halloween Haunt event which was back on in 2022 after a hiatus due to Covid.
The parlour area – which was used as the dance hall between 1919 and 1923 – is famous for it’s phantom piano music. There hasn’t been a piano on board for decades.
People have also reported unexplained temperature changes and cold spots as well as the feeling that someone is just around every corner even when people know they are alone on the boat.
Other Reported Activity: disembodied whispers and the feelings of unease; being watched and not being alone.