Welcome to the final instalment of the Canada’s Most Haunted series! Today we are going to cover the three most terrifying locations in the country (in my opinion).
We may believe that we know a lot about the popular tourist locations in Canada, but do we really know as much as we claim to know? In this article I am going to go over three very popular and well known locations in my home country whose stories might just surprise you. From prison riots to monster universities, here is the best of the best of Canada’s Most Haunted.
Kingston, Ontario is most notable for being the home of popular rock band, The Tragically Hip, but in the legal system, it is known to hold at one point, Canada’s most well known maximum security prison. It housed criminals including James Donnelly (of the well known Black Donnellys), the “vampire rapist” Wayne Boden and most notably, Paul Bernardo, a serial rapist from the Greater Toronto Area.
Often referred to as “Canada’s Alcatraz”, this 181-year-old building housed men, women and even children as young as eight-years-old, who were all serving sentences for various crimes. Prisoners were double-bunked in cells that were a mere two metres wide by three metres deep. This was also eventually known as the “dumping ground” for bad prison guards who were not only known as abusive towards the prisoners, but were deemed unfit to work at any other institution of its kind.
The combination of all of these horrible conditions lead to the event that will truly haunt this landmark forever. On April 14th, 1971, prisoners broke out into a riot that lasted four days as a way to protest their lack of recreational time outside of their cells. The riot was initiated by inmate Brian Knight who began by taking hostage of six guards. Throughout the duration of the riot two prisoners were killed and eleven were injured.
All of these things can leave enough negative mojo in a place to haunt it for the rest of time. You can now visit the prison, which was shut down in September 2013, and experience the energy for yourself. Numerous claims have been made that you can still hear the echoing of screams bouncing off of the walls in the central meeting area and that if you stand too close to a closed cell door, the spirit of the prisoner inside may just try to pull you in. Some visitors have also claimed to feel extreme amounts of anger inside as if they have been possessed by the angry inmates and some have actually had to leave the tour early in order to rid their minds of the urge to hurt the people around them.
If you’d like to learn more about what happened during the riots at Kingston Pen, there are two fantastic articles linked here and here. This is one place I definitely recommend going because it’s one place that will leave you feeling all sorts of anger and unease.
Niagara Falls is one of southern Ontario’s most tourist friendly locations with Ripley’s Museums, Haunted Houses and of course, the Maid of the Mist, but what many people don’t know, is that it is also home to one of the most haunted tunnels in the entire country.
In the heart of Niagara Falls there is a very small limestone tunnel that runs underneath what was originally the Grand Trunk Railway. The tunnel is only 125 feet in length and 16 feet tall, but just one step inside is often too much for the average visitor. Although this small, isolated tunnel looks like nothing more that a popular spot for rebellious kids or shelter for the homeless, it is more often than not empty, as locals are far too afraid to spend an extended period of time in or around it. It is even so creepy that it was used during the filming of the film adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone”.
Local legend states that the tunnel is haunted by the spirit of a young girl. The exact cause of her death is unknown, but there are a few variations of the story to go around. The first theory is that she escaped a fire at her nearby farmhouse and entered the tunnel with her clothes still engulfed in flames, and subsequently, she burned to death. The next popular belief is that she was caught in the middle of her parent’s messy divorce, and her abuse father was upset that he was not granted custody, so he brought her to the tunnel and doused her in gasoline before setting her ablaze and watching her burn to death. The last and least common belief is that the young girl was raped by a group of men, who burned her body afterwards to hide the evidence.
Though all of these stories are absolutely heartbreaking, it’s hard to feel sorry for the ghost of the girl that torments so many people year round. The lore states that if you step inside the tunnel and attempt to light a match, the match will quickly be blown out and you will be able to hear the young girl screaming bloody murder throughout the entirety of the tunnel. Here is a link to a video where someone explores the tunnel in depth. There are many of these videos out there and some are more convincing than others but in all honesty, I don’t think I would have the balls to step inside in the middle of the night…
McGill University is among some of the most popular schools to attend in Canada, not only for its fantastic educational programs, but also for its beautiful campus in the heart of Montreal, Quebec. Recently, I discovered some information that took this beautiful school into a very dark world and it will forever change the way you look at it.
The university was founded in 1821 by explorer James McGill. After his death, he was initially buried beside a fur-trading buddy of his, but in 1875, his body was excavated and relocated to just outside of what is now the Arts building at the Montreal campus. Students claim to feel no maliciousness towards them by the spirit who is often seen roaming the halls during the evening hours. It seems as though James McGill is simply basking in the glory of his wonderful creation.
McGill is not the only body that has been buried on campus however. The ashes of William Osler and his wife, Lady Grace Osler, are buried beneath a section of the Osler Library. William was one of the first graduates of the university and taught medicine there until his death. Although this is just as creepy as James McGill, students still claim that they are nothing shy of lovely people…er… ghosts. They have been spotted wandering through the archives of the library and Lady Grace has even been noticed reorganizing and cleaning small messes.
The real horror is housed in the Allan Memorial Institute, which is used as a current psychiatric hospital for the McGill University Health Centre. Creepy old mental ward… we’re off to a great start. The history of the building however is what makes it really scary. This place was one of the original locations used for the CIA’s MKUltra Project between 1957 and 1964. The MKUltra Project was a CIA initiative to experiment with drug-induced mind control. Yes, you read that correctly… MIND CONTROL. (Please note that the MKUltra Project is widely known as an ILLEGAL American operation) The goal of this experiment was to develop a method to use in interrogations in order to get people to confess to crimes they may or may not have committed. Test subjects were not aware of the truth behind these tests nor that they were a part of a CIA Special Operation. These subjects endured electro-shock therapy, sensory deprivation and lobotomies throughout the duration of their time in the “program”. Although the exact number of test subjects is unknown, it is believed that all of them died during the experiment.
Due to the violent nature of these people’s untimely deaths, the building is said to be so haunted that some students choose to pass on any classes that may occur within the building. The fact that it is now a psychiatric care unit makes it hard to really get eyewitness accounts of what is currently happening inside the walls of the Allan Memorial Institute as there are not many reliable sources available. But if this place is ever open for “haunted” or educational tours… I will be the first in line!
This brings us to the end of the final instalment of Canada’s Most Haunted. I hope you enjoyed your time in our mysterious country’s history and we do hope you come for a visit. If you have any of your own stories that you would like to share or suggestions for future case studies, I always want to hear from you! You can contact me directly through my Contact page which is linked at the top of this page. Stay tuned for more case studies coming up real soon!
Until next time, keep it spooky!