The 10 Most Haunted Places in Canada
Ghost stories are always *that* much creepier when they hit close to home! From gothic hotels to gruesome battlefields, these spooky sites are the most haunted places in Canada.
Tranquille Sanatorium, Kamloops, B.C.
The foreboding ruins of the sprawling Tranquille Sanatorium outside Kamloops, B.C., are straight out of a nightmare. Originally built in 1907 as a treatment centre for tuberculosis sufferers, it later served as a mental institution before ultimately being abandoned in the early ’80s. Echoes of its former residents seem to remain, however, as witnesses report off-the-charts paranormal activity, ranging from orbs to eerie disembodied moans. Before the pandemic derailed the 2020-2021 tourist seasons, you could tour the eerie location—surely one of the most haunted places in Canada—with a guide from Tranquille Farm Fresh, which now manages the site. For the truly fearless (or downright crazy), they even offered an escape room experience in the stygian tunnels that link the various buildings on the property. – Brett Walther
Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria
Built in the 1890s for coal miner Robert Dunsmuir and his family, this Victorian-era mansion has since become one of most haunted places in Canada. Rumours of a piano that plays by itself, and sightings of a ghostly woman in white have frequently been reported. Many attribute the castle’s supernatural proclivity to Dunsmuir’s untimely demise just a year before the building was completed.
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Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta
Thought the Bates Motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining were scary accommodations? Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel is easily one of Canada’s greatest hotels, but it’s also rumoured to be one of the most haunted places in Canada. Built in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, this hotel is the site of numerous terrifying ghost sightings, including a bride who allegedly died falling down the hotel’s marble staircase, and a retired head bellman named Sam McAuley who continues to haunt the hotel dressed in full uniform.
Keg Mansion, Toronto
Today, it’s one of many locations of the Keg steakhouse franchise, but the legendary Keg Mansion on Jarvis Street in Toronto was once the private residence of industrialist Hart Massey and his family. As legend has it, in 1915, after the death of Massey’s beloved only daughter, Lillian, one of the maids was so stricken by grief that she hung herself. Another version of the story involves the maid killing herself for fears her rumoured affair with a Massey man would be revealed. Either way, the ghostly image of a maid hanging by her neck has been seen by more than one Keg visitor over the years.
If the most haunted places in Canada have you spooked, consider these ghost stories with totally logical explanations.
Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa
Business Tycoon Charles Melville Hays commissioned the Fairmount Château Laurier, but died tragically aboard the Titanic just days before the hotel’s grand opening in 1912. Hays’ spirit has since been rumoured to be seen roaming throughout the property. Had we invested our time and money into crafting the lavish Château, only to die mere days before its completion, we’d likely be inclined to return as well.
Planning a trip to our nation’s capital? Add these great day trips from Ottawa to your itinerary.
The Old Spaghetti Factory, Vancouver
It’s been said that the ghost of a train conductor still haunts this popular eatery built atop an old underground railway track in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood. Inexplicable cold drafts and mysteriously rearranged table settings are the calling card of the deceased conductor. Making matters truly spine-tingling is a photograph of the 1950s-era, decommissioned electric trolley now featured in the restaurant’s dining room. The photo depicts hints of a ghostly figure, believed to be the train conductor, standing on the steps of the trolley.
Don’t miss this gallery of hauntingly beautiful Canadian photography.
Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto
Prior to serving as Canada’s hockey shrine, this building was once a branch of the Bank of Montreal. Legend has it that a lonely bank teller named Dorothy took her own life after her romantic advances were rejected by the bank’s manager. Dorothy’s ghost is now believed to occupy the Hockey Hall of Fame, with some visitors reporting they heard inexplicable sounds of a woman crying throughout the building. Brr!
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Plains of Abraham, Quebec City
In 1759, British forces under Major General James Wolfe staged a three-month siege of Quebec City, culminating in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Being the location of one of the most famous battles in Canadian history, it’s no wonder it’s no one of the most haunted places in Canada, with numerous sightings of ghostly soldiers appearing throughout the fields and tunnels. Both Wolfe and French Major General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm died in the battle—and we can’t help but wonder whether their spirits are still battling it out to this day.
Here are more must-see historical attractions across Canada.
West Point Lighthouse, O’Leary, P.E.I.
The sight of a lighthouse, bathed in pitch darkness, conjures up all sorts of frightful possibilities. Rumours have long swirled that the first keeper of the lighthouse, Willie, haunts the West Point Lighthouse Inn—one of Canada’s quirkiest hotels—located next door. Talk about a turndown service you’d never want to get!
Maritime Museum of British Columbia, Victoria
The dearly departed seem to have a fondness for the city cheekily known as the place for the “newly-wed and nearly-dead”. Located in Victoria’s well-known Bastion Square is the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, which was once the site of the city’s jail and gallows. Some say that if you look through the windows at the Museum’s entrance, a shadowy, slender, Van Dyke-bearded figure can be spotted gliding down the main staircase. The mysterious apparition is thought to be the ghost of Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, Victoria’s infamous “Hanging Judge.”
Speaking of maritime mysteries, check out the haunting tales of Canada’s most famous shipwrecks.