One of the best things to do in the fall and Halloween seasons is to visit a few spooky places. Real ghost hauntings are exciting, so seeing the most haunted places in Ontario might be the perfect road trip. While we at Road Trip Ontario are deathly scared of artificial haunted houses, we can appreciate historical ghost stories and the place they inhabit.
Flickering lights and footsteps are everyday occurrences in haunted houses. What about an apparition that watches visitors sleep? Porcelain dolls (don’t get us started on porcelain dolls) that cry or a prisoner who whispers in your ear? These abnormal occurrences are perfect spots for novice ghost hunters to visit.
If things that go bump in the night thrill you, make sure these spooky places are on your list for places to visit in fall in Ontario.
Most Haunted Houses in Ontario
Many Ontario towns have tragic histories dating back to the wars of the 1800s and 1900s. Some soldiers and prisoners are still searching for their way back home.
Haunted Houses in Ontario, Toronto
The city is a multicultural center with multi-generational residents. Some real haunted houses in Toronto still have residents living in them in the afterlife. If you are looking for more places to visit in Toronto, be sure to check out the following spooky spots.
Mackenzie House, Toronto
The Mackenzie House was the home of Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. The rebel leader moved into the house in 1859, and just two years later, he passed away. He left behind his wife and 14 children.
In 1940 renovations started on the house to prepare it to become a museum. It was around this time that stories started circulating about the haunted house. A ghost of a woman with long hair remains in the house. On one occasion, the long-haired spectre slapped a caretaker across the face. A blessing was done over the house in the 1960s to remove evil spirits.
Still, an apparition of a bald man in a frock coat is often seen in the house. Many believe this man is William, who is still haunting the house. Guests hear footsteps and the piano playing at different times of the day. In addition to the odd sounds, a dark figure towers over some sleeping guests at night.
Take this 75-minute haunted night walk of Toronto and visit the Mackenzie house.
Keg Mansion, Toronto
Keg Mansion is one of the more scary places in Toronto. The mansion isn’t a typical haunted house but a steakhouse. The highly-rated steakhouse on 515 Jarvis Street, Toronto, was once the family home of the prominent Massey family. Hart Massey left the mansion, built in 1867, to his only daughter, Lillian.
There are two versions of how the mansion became haunted. One legend claims that after beloved mistress Lillian Massey’s death, a grieving maid was so heartbroken that she committed suicide. She fixed herself a noose and hung herself above the foyer stairs.
Many venue patrons have reported seeing a woman in a maid’s outfit hanging above the grand staircase. Another legend claims the maid wasn’t grief-stricken but committed suicide to hide her secret love affair with a Massey man. Whatever the reason for her suicide, the haunting image of her hanging above the staircase remains.
Casa Loma, Toronto
The multi-level, Gothic-style mansion stands at an impressive 64 700 square feet. Its owner, Sir Henry Pellat, started building the magnificent structure in 1911. Ninety-eight rooms, and three years later, in 1914, the castle was finally done.
Of course, the century-old castle has a few spirits within its walls. Castle staff report seeing multiple spirits in the halls, including Sir Pellat and his wife. The White Lady, possibly a maid, is also seen by guests and staff alike.
Every October, the haunted Casa Loma transforms into Legends of Horror haunted house. Test your bravery on a one-hour experience walking through the garden and already haunted chambers below. There are also ghost stories told here for those brave enough to listen.
Storm Crow Manor, Toronto
Storm Crow Manor isn’t a haunted house, per se, but it still deserves a visit by fellow spook enthusiasts. Both the interior and exterior of this eerie building are decorated in all things horror and science-fiction.
It only opened a few years ago, in 2018, by a founder of PopCap Games, John Kapalka. He describes it as ‘a sports bar for geeks.’
This once two-story mansion-turned-spooky game bar has gained lots of traction with locals and tourists alike. The Alehouse has many rooms to keep you entertained and scared at times. Theme rooms, catacombs, secret doors, and cyberpunk bars. You’ll never get bored with this paranormal-themed bar.
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Ontario, and if you are lucky, every now and then, you can go inside during the Doors Open Toronto event to explore it. However, not everyone knows it is one of Ontario’s most haunted places.
Although it is dormant now, it’s been helping boats navigate the Toronto harbour since 1908. Still, for over a century, the story of the first lighthouse keeper, JP Rademuller, has haunted visitors since his disappearance in 1813.
During the Battle of Toronto, lighthouse keeper JP Rademullers, an immigrant from Germany, who kept a lookout for enemy vessels and boats looking for shelter, vanished without a trace. Many believe he was a victim of foul play by American soldiers, which led to York’s invasion.
Since then, Gibraltar Point Lighthouse has been the setting of numerous ghostly occurrences. Everything from eerie shrieking and lights turning on and off.
Haunted Places in Ottawa
Ottawa has amazing places to visit, and a 2-day trip to Ottawa is an amazing opportunity to see what sets this city apart. It has a long history of ghosts and heritage buildings that is great for amateur ghostbusters.
The museum is nestled between two equally haunted places, namely Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill. The building had many renovations over the years, starting as early as 1917. As it’s known today, Bytown Museum finally opened its doors in 1985.
Odd incidents occur at this haunted museum. Porcelain dolls are sometimes seen crying, strange cold spots are felt, and items spontaneously move on their own. At least two ghostly guests haunt the museum and often mess with guests’ computers and electronic devices.
Take a haunted nighttime walking tour of Ottawa and learn about the many scary places in Ontario, Ottawa.
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel
In 1862, Carleton County Gaol was built and promised safe housing for prisoners. Unfortunately, they could not fulfill their promise. The jail closed in 1972 due to inhumane conditions. On August 2, 1973, it opened to the public as the HI Ottawa Jail Hostel.
Brave guests can spend a night at the hostel and sleep in an actual jail cell. However, it might not be a night of peaceful sleep. With the inhumane living conditions experienced, it’s no wonder prisoners who died there are still unhappy in the afterlife.
Echoing screams of women and children and loud knocking are common sounds heard at this hostel. One apparition watches guests sleep at the foot of their beds, clutching a bible, while another walks the corridors and whispers in guests’ ears while they sleep.
Haunted Places in Ontario, Kingston
Kingston has a long and rich history, also nicknamed the ‘Limestone City’ because of its many heritage buildings. With so much history in one city, there’s bound to be a few apparitions floating around.
With a name like that, spooky happenings are inevitable. In 1654 the park opened and was used as burial grounds. The gravesite held the bodies of war soldiers and cholera patients for over 200 years. Burials stopped in 1830, with over 10,000 bodies laid to rest there.
Skeleton Park is a name the locals gave the park, but its real name is McBurney Park. It got its name because the municipality didn’t move all the bodies from the park. Instead, the municipality resorted to throwing a layer of dirt over graves already dug up. Over the years, some skeletons resurfaced.
Locals report seeing children play in the park and then vanish into thin air. Some spirits of the park aren’t as carefree and can be aggressive. Tourists have reported being physically hurt by the spirits of the park.
Fort Henry National Historic Site
When you are in Ontario, consider taking a weekend trip to Kingston and visiting the Fort Henry National Historic Site. In 1837-1838, a rebellion against the British Crown was led by Canadian colonies. During this time, rebel prisoners were held and executed at Fort Henry. Today, many prisoners and guards are stuck in time at this historic site.
One of the prisoners, Nils von Schoultz, was a rebel leader who was executed here and never left. He is sometimes seen roaming the halls in a tattered blue uniform. Some visitors have even seen the gallows Schoultz is forever doomed to hang from out of the corner of their eye. It always vanishes before they can turn to look.
Most of the paranormal events happen in the lower portion of Fort Henry. Footsteps and flickering lights are often seen here. Like at Parade Square, military artillery from the early 19th century is on display. An angry ghost of John McCallum often makes his presence known by smashing glass windows.
Take a haunted night walking tour of Kingston to learn more about the town’s most famous ghosts.
As one of the oldest, most well-known maximum security prisons in Canada for incarcerating some of the most notorious criminals like Paul Bernardo. Some may not know that it is also one of the most haunted places in Ontario.
Touring the Penitentiary is, without a doubt, one of the best tours ever put together. In addition to some incredible behind-the-scenes stories told by the staff and correctional officers about the prison, prisoners, riots, etc., several stories include some strange occurrences.
From sightings of William Wentworth, who was the last correctional officer to die at the Penitentiary in 1961, to sightings of angry inmates. The sound of keys jingling, moaning and shrieking most definitely stem from 170 years of murder, capital punishment and torture.
Haunted Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara-on-the-lake was the first capital of Upper Canada. Entering the town feels like you’ve travelled back in time to a Victorian era. This old town has many ghost stories to tell.
Prince of Wales Hotel
The Prince of Wales Hotel was named after the Duke, and the Duchess of York stayed there. This elegant Victorian-era hotel was built in 1864 with 110 rooms. One room experiences some rather odd activity. Room 207 has a permanent guest who stays there.
Legend says that before the hotel was there, a wooden house stood in its place. During an invasion, an American soldier mistook a figure in the house for a British soldier. He charged and killed the figure before realizing his mistake. The enemy was a woman named Molly Mcguire.
Molly Mcguire will sometimes mess with the room’s pipes and turn the showers on and off. Guests also report hearing footsteps and voices in the hallways, apparently belonging to Molly.
Final Thoughts: Haunted Places in Ontario
Canada’s history dates back centuries. It’s no wonder that Ontario has so many haunted places to explore.
Doomed to walk the earth forever and now trapped in the modern world. Many towns in Ontario have many haunted stories of spirits from the early 19th century. Taking a tour of these eerie places can be an exciting experience. And if you’re feeling brave, you can even stay a few nights in one of the haunted buildings.
Ontario has many exciting things to do in the fall, and ghost hunting isn’t for the faint of heart. If you need a break, try visiting an orchard for some of Ontario’s apple picking fun.