Travel

The 9 best ghost walks across Canada

Photo courtesy Montreal Ghosts Traditional Ghost Walk Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photo courtesy Montreal Ghosts Traditional Ghost Walk

Travel

The 9 best ghost walks across Canada

1. The St. John’s Haunted Hike
This haunted hike series takes you through historic downtown into the dark alleys and laneways of North America's oldest city. Brace yourself for stories of murders, unmarked graves, assassinations, public hangings and ghost sightings. On the Sinners & Spirits Tour, guides in period costume deliver their ghoulish tales through passionate storytelling. For more family-friendly fun, the Ghosties & Ghoulies Tour takes you and your kids on a ghost story adventure complete with legends of horror, humour and the perfectly inexplicable.
 
Why you need to go: The Haunted Hike’s founder, Dale Jarvis, is the province’s folklorist, as well as its Intangible Cultural Heritage development officer. In short, he knows his stories, and confirms that all tour tales are based on fact: "The stories are true," he says. "Whether you believe them or not is up to you."
Schedule: Sinners & Spirits Tour, Sundays and Mondays at 9:30 p.m.; Ghosties & Ghoulies Tour, Tuesdays to Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. Tours run rain or shine from June to September and are approximately 75 minutes.
Departure point: The west entrance of the Anglican Cathedral on Church Hill.
Cost: $10 (adults) and $5 (kids 12 and under). No advanced reservations, cash only.
 
2. Montreal Ghosts Traditional Ghost Walk
Founded in 1999, this traditional ghost walk travels the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal. Street theatre at its best, guides entertain and frighten with grim stories of witches, criminals and, of course, ghosts. The tour is even populated with lost souls! Be prepared to encounter fantastic performers in macabre costumes and makeup as you drink in the late-night ambience of the old city. Learn the history of the area along with its gruesome stories, dark legends and other paranormal phenomena. This tour is scarier than most and is recommended for kids 12 and up.
 
Why you need to go: The Traditional Ghost Walk recently received a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor, so it must be a winner!
Schedule: Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. from Sept. 6 to Oct. 25. Tours are approximately 90 minutes.
Departure point: Collect your tickets at the ticket office at 360 Saint-François-Zavier St. between 7:30 and 8:15 p.m., and your guide will lead you on.
Cost: $22 (adults), $18.50 (students) and $14.50 (youth). Guarantee your place by reserving online in advance.
 
 
3. The Original Haunted Walk, Ottawa
This haunted walk explores the dark history and hauntings of our nation’s capital, all by ominous lantern light. Founded in 1995 by respected ghost historian Glen Shackleton, this tour features the haunting of Bytown Museum, the Château Laurier and Grant House. In other words, serious thrills and chills await. Though it may cost you a few more bucks, an alternate tour, Ghosts and the Gallows, includes a visit inside the Old Carleton County Jail (yes, it’s haunted).
 
Why you need to go: A recent ghost sighting on the Ghosts and the Gallows tour is discussed at length on the The Haunted Walk website. Time to take the tour and investigate for yourself!
Schedule: Daily at 8 p.m. from June to October. Special Halloween tours are offered from Oct. 10 to Nov. 1 (check the website for details). Tours are approximately 90 minutes.
Departure point: The ticket office at 46½ Sparks St.
Cost: $14.75 (adults), $12.75 (students) and $8.75 (kids 6 to12). Purchase tickets from the ticket office at 46½ Sparks St. or reserve and purchase online.
 
4. The Original Haunted Walk, Kingston
The Kingston version of The Original Haunted Walk takes participants through the city’s old Sydenham Ward and visits haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds and the old courthouse, the site of gruesome public hangings. Tour guides are celebrated storytellers, dramatists and amateur historians—that means these stories are well researched, grounded in history and delivered with finesse. For the serious history buff, try the Ghosts of the Fort tour, which explores the ghostly past of Fort Henry, Kingston’s 19th-century fortress. Details, schedule and pricing information are available at hauntedwalk.com.
 
Why you need to go: When the mercury drops, enjoy the winterized version of The Original Haunted Walk, which includes two pub stops. (Drinks are not included in the ticket price!)
Schedule: Daily at 8 p.m. from May to October. Tours are approximately 90 minutes.
Departure point: The lobby of the Prince George Hotel, 200 Ontario St.
Cost: $14.75 (adults), $12.75 (students) and $8.75 (kids 6 to 12). Purchase tickets from the ticket office at 200 Ontario St. or reserve and purchase online.
 
5. Niagara-on-the-Lake Ghost Walks
 Did you know that Niagara-on-the-Lake is Canada’s Most Haunted Town? Guides who have a passion for bringing a place’s history to life through its ghosts tell a bundle of eerie tales rich in frightening detail. Learn about the legends, secrets and dark history of Niagara-on-the-Lake, with stops at the Courthouse, Prince of Wales Hotel, Royal George Theatre and The Angel Inn among others, not to mention a spooky visit to the shores of Lake Ontario.
 
Why you need to go: Don’t miss a visit to The Haunted Shop, which is teeming with one-of-a-kind items for those interested in ghosts or the paranormal. Try a 30-minute tarot card reading!
Schedule: Daily at 8 p.m. during September and October. (The main season is July to October—check the website for details.) Tours run rain or shine and are approximately 90 minutes.
Departure point: Down the cobblestone path at The Haunted Shop, 126 Queen St.
Cost: $13 (adults), $10 (seniors) and $5 (kids 13 and under). Reserve and purchase tickets online in advance, or at The Haunted Shop the night of your tour.
 
6. The Ghosts of the University of Toronto and The Haunted Streets of Downtown Toronto
A historic campus filled to the brim with eerie urban legends, this ghost walk travels the streets of U of T and details its history of murders, ghosts and secret crimes. Hear the story of the stonemasons who were partners in craft but bloodthirsty competitors in love, and the tale of the biscuit maker who kept his mistress locked in a secret chamber. Or, move off campus for an alternate tour, The Haunted Streets of Downtown Toronto. It explores the city’s well-known institutions and landmarks such as Queen’s Park, Old City Hall and Osgoode Hall, and chronicles the mysteries, legends and ghost stories of the dark underbelly of Toronto.
 
Why you need to go: While you’re busy getting creeped out, you’ll end up learning a ton of Toronto history—scary and educational!
Schedule: The Ghosts of the University of Toronto tour, Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 p.m., Fridays at 7 p.m. year-round; The Haunted Streets of Downtown Toronto tour, Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. year-round. Special Halloween tours offered daily from Oct. 10 to Oct. 31, including midnight tours (check website for schedule and details). Tours run rain or shine and are approximately 90 to 120 minutes.
Departure point: The front steps of the Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park.
Cost: $20 (all ages). Guarantee your place by reserving online in advance.
 
7. Ghost Walks, Hamilton
 Steeltown comes alive with dark, menacing history on a formidable tour of downtown Hamilton. Full of unique, ghastly and violent stories, this ghost walk will make you a believer in the paranormal! With stops outside the old Royal Connaught Hotel, Right House, Hamilton Place and Whitehern Mansion, this tour is a hair-raising adventure. Enjoy additional tours at The Custom House and Hermitage Ruins, two sites with serious ghostly tradition.
 
Why you need to go: Cross your fingers for a glimpse of The Dark Lady, the city’s oldest known ghost residing at The Custom House. Over the years, there have been countless encounters with this lost soul!
Schedule: Tour schedules are varied—check the website for details on all locations. Tours run rain or shine and are approximately 90 minutes.
Departure point: Ghost Walks of Downtown Hamilton departs from Royal Connaught Hotel, on the corner of King St. East and John St.  
Cost: $25 (couples), $13 (adults) and $5 (kids 13 and under). Reserve and purchase online in advance, or at the Royal Connaught Hotel the night of your downtown tour.
 
8. Winnipeg Ghost Walk
For a change of pace, how about a grisly bus tour? The City of Ghosts tour features a visit to the Vaughan Street Jail and Fort Garry Hotel, while the Talking to the Dead tour, suitable for kids age 12 and up, is even more spine-chilling. During stops at the Manitoba Legislature, St. Boniface Museum, Elmwood Cemetery and Fort Garry Hotel, participants use basic tools and techniques in an attempt to capture evidence of spirit activity.
 
Why you need to go: If you’re looking for a group activity for co-workers, youth groups or birthday parties, these haunted tours are an excellent choice!
Schedule: The City of Ghosts tour, Fridays at 7 p.m., from June to October; Talking to the Dead tour, Thursdays at 7 p.m. from June to October. Tours are approximately 90 minutes.
Departure point: Main entrance of the Via Rail Station, 123 Main St.
Cost: $29 (adults) and $14 (youth). Guarantee your place by reserving online.
 
9. Ghostly Walks, Victoria
Developed by John Adams, one of Victoria’s foremost historians and storytellers, these ghostly walks have been scaring participants since 1999. A team of expert guides tells stories of intrigue, love, murder, hangings and paranormal activity. Entertaining and memorable, there are eight different routes to choose from, with featured stops including Old Town, Chinatown, the historic harbour, the Parliament Buildings, the Old Burying Ground and Beacon Hill Park. Frightening tales of local First Nations, the French-Canadian and Métis men and women of the fur trade, and the Chinese and Japanese who came to Victoria in the 1800s reflect the diverse character of the West Coast. Full of hidden finds at the end of dark alleys, these tours are grounded in actual historical events.
 
Why you need to go: There’s no better way to learn about the rough and wild seaport of Victoria that, years ago, attracted eccentric characters from around the globe.
Schedule: Daily at 7:30 p.m. from May to November; Fridays and Saturdays the rest of the year. (From Sept. 14 to Oct. 16, there is a second walk at 9:30 p.m.; from Oct 17. to Nov. 1, there are daily walks at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.) Tours run rain or shine and are approximately 90 minutes.
Departure point: Visitor Information Centre, 812 Wharf St. From Oct. 17 to Nov. 1, the walks depart from the Bedford Regency Hotel lobby, 1140 Government St.
Cost: $14 (adults) and $12 (seniors/students). Purchase tickets from guides before tours, cash only.
Website: discoverthepast.com

Test your knowledge of Canada's ghost stories with our Haunted Canada quiz, read all about The haunting of Banff Springs or enjoy cute and creepy treats as Canadian Living celebrates Halloween
Comments
Share X
Travel

The 9 best ghost walks across Canada

Login