The Best Ghost Tours Across Canada
Gruesome murder, grisly executions and cursed ground... There's nothing like a good scary story, and these great Canadian ghost tours are the best way to learn the torrid tales that history has tried to forget.
Ghost tours in Toronto
Muddy York Walking Tours
In the dark, cavernous interior of Toronto’s McLaughlin Planetarium lurks the ghost of a seven-year-old girl who’s terrified employees since the building first opened in the 1960s. Nicknamed “Celeste,” the apparition is apparently the spirit of a girl who died in a house that stood on the site before the planetarium was built. Her presence has permeated the building through its many iterations, from children’s museum to storage facility. Seen flitting down hallways and blamed for moving items and throwing toys at employees, the attention-starved little girl’s laughter echoes about. While guests of the Muddy York Walking Tour—a ghost tour that focuses on the University of Toronto and its surrounding neighbourhoods—can’t enter the Planetarium, many have reported seeing Celeste through the building’s glass doors, which have been known to rattle of their own volition.
Ghost tours in Victoria
Discover the Past: Ghostly Walks
Founded by historian John Adams, Victoria’s Ghostly Walks tour follows phantoms’ footsteps through the back alleys and historic buildings in the city’s oldest district. The tour reaches a creepy climax at the former jail and Supreme Court in the infamous Bastion Square. The 1889 building is apparently teeming with the spirits of the condemned, and Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie—nicknamed “the Hanging Judge”—trolls the hallways searching for a criminal to sentence. If that’s all he does, you can count yourself lucky. Reports of people feeling pinned against the wall in the building’s antique elevator and an uncanny sense of being forced down the staircase have attracted ghost hunters near and far.
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Ghost tours in Ottawa
The Haunted Walk
Why is Ottawa’s first teacher’s college now a stop on The Haunted Walk‘s popular lantern-lit ghost tour? It might have something to do with the fact that one security guard swore he’d never work the night shift again following his encounter with a sinister spectre on-site. As the story goes, the guard was patrolling the historic hallways of the college (now a part of Ottawa’s City Hall) when he spotted a female trespasser dressed in old-fashioned attire exiting a former classroom. When he called out to her, she stared him dead in the eyes; when he approached, she vanished. Later, looking at old photos displayed in the building’s lobby, the guard recognized the apparition as Eliza Bolton, one of the college’s first instructors.
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Ghost tours in Halifax
The Halifax Ghost Walk
Between victims of the Titanic, casualties of the 1917 Halifax Explosion and fallen soldiers from revolutionary wars, Halifax plays host to a slew of historic hauntings. If you’re brave enough to join The Halifax Ghost Walk‘s evocative evening ghost tour, you’ll tread in the footsteps of some of the most terrifying.
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Ghost tours in Montreal
The Montreal Ghosts tour divulges the sinister side of Old Montreal with tales of charlatans, criminals, witches and ghosts. Among the most gruesome stories is that of headless Mary Gallagher, who’s renowned as one of the most deranged spirits to stalk the city’s cobblestone streets. Axed to death and then beheaded by a fellow prostitute in a fit of drunken jealousy in 1879, Mary reportedly returns to the site of her murder every seven years, searching in vain for her severed head.
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Ghost tours in St. John’s, Newfoundland
The St. John’s Haunted Hike
Murder most foul, torrid trysts and duels to the death are all on the agenda on the St. John’s Haunted Hike. Guides regale guests with the haunted history of Canada’s oldest English-founded city, including the legend of a kind-hearted longshoreman, who’s said to haunt Water Street. Tricked by a demon posing as a lost boy, the longshoreman offered to carry the sobbing child home on his shoulders. But block by block, the boy became heavier and heavier until the man could barely walk. Though the longshoreman finally escaped the demon’s grip by hurling himself over a bridge, he was never the same after his brush with the paranormal.
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Ghost tours in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
Friends of Fort George: Ghost Tours of Fort George
Fort George National Historic Site is considered the most haunted place in one of the most haunted towns in Canada, and it’s no wonder. The site of a devastating battle during the War of 1812, it’s also where a retreating general gave the order to burn Niagara to the ground. Candlelit ghost tours hosted by the Friends of Fort George will take you through this foreboding fortress, but it’s the back tunnel leading to a lookout tower that will really test your mettle: The trek down the cold and narrow 70-foot-long stone passageway is conducted in a thick, oppressive darkness. One tour guide’s story of feeling an icy grip coming from the stone wall (resulting in livid bruises) might send you screaming for safety.
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Ghost tours in Kingston, Ontario
The Haunted Walk
As Canada’s first capital and home to one of the country’s oldest prisons, Kingston, Ontario, is prime territory for a paranormal experience. Even The Haunted Walk‘s ticket office at the old Prince George Hotel can boast its own tales of terror. The 1809 hotel is reputedly haunted by Lily Herchmer, daughter of the original owner, who loved a sailor but was forbidden from fraternizing with him. Undeterred by her father’s decree, she’d hang a lantern in her window at night to let her lover know when to visit. But one fateful night, a gust of wind blew the flames into her room, causing a tragic fire that killed lovesick Lily, whose ghost has since slammed doors, locked rooms and fiddled with radios as she mourns her lost chance at love.
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Ghost tours in Quebec City
Ghost Tours of Quebec
If you happen to hear the sounds of rattling chains and blood-curdling cries on Ghost Tours of Quebec‘s guided stroll through the city’s cobblestoned streets, you’re not alone. The source is most likely the tortured soul of notorious witch and murderess La Corriveau, who was executed in 1763. In a practice reserved for the most heinous criminals of the time, La Corriveau’s corpse was left on display in an iron cage for 30 days after her demise. Though every building said to have housed her cage has since caught fire, La Corriveau apparently still has a score to settle, as her spirit continues to terrify unsuspecting citizens of the historic Quartier Petit Champlain.