A Spooky Time In Toronto

Ghosts have started to appear in our neighbourhood. At first it was just one, but now there are groups of them! Something must be afoot.

A local ghost

If your kids are all grown up now and your grandchildren have mapped out their favourite Hallowe’en candy routes where all the rich people live, then you need something else to do to celebrate this haunting occasion. Might I make a few suggestions?

Go for a walk in a cemetery. They are beautiful at this time of year. If you go to Park Lawn near us, you will see deer instead of ghosts. But I hear that the Necropolis has some interesting residents, such as Joseph Tyrell. His life was filled with spooky creatures – he discovered the dinosaur badlands in Alberta back about 100 years ago.

Necropolis chapel

Also buried in the Necropolis is William Lyon Mackenzie who led the rebellion against the government of Upper Canada in 1837. Mackenzie House, which was inhabited by Mackenzie for a few years, is reported to be the most haunted house in Toronto. A small bald man resembling Mackenzie is often seen in a third-floor bedroom. The indoor plumbing also appears to be haunted: the toilets flush and taps run with no help from human hands.

If you are a member at the Royal Ontario Museum, you can go on a ghost tour today! (October 18). You may see one of ROM’s most infamous ghosts, its original director, Charles Trick Currelly who has been known to wander through the East Asian galleries in his nightshirt. A ghostly little girl, who was named Celeste by the staff, has been seen sitting in the planetarium watching the shows, long after the “real” children have filed out.

Walking along the west Toronto waterfront, you will eventually come to a park near the Porter Airlines terminal, called Ireland Park. This haunting space is dedicated to the Irish refugees who came here during the potato famine in 1847. The statues are truly disturbing and bring us down to earth as we remember the many starving people in the world today.

Ireland park

In the centre of the city our own castle, Casa Loma, is suited up for Hallowe’en with an interactive theatrical experience: Legends Of Horror. Guests wander through the gardens, pathways, chambers, and dark tunnels, on the lookout for ghosts. Apparently this walk is so scary that there is a bar conveniently situated at the midpoint of the tour, so you can drink up some liquid courage for the rest of the walk.

Farther afield the Gibraltar Lighthouse on Centre Island waits for you. According to history, a murder was committed here. The lighthouse keeper, John Paul Rademuller, was brutally murdered by soldiers from Fort York. He still haunts the island today as he searches for his limbs, hacked off by the killers. He might do well to visit St. James Park on King St East, where lies a mass gravesite for cholera victims of the 1830’s. During a bad rainstorm, human bones sometimes float to the surface.

Gibraltar Lighthouse

Is that ghoulish enough for you? Happy Hallowe’en!


4 thoughts on “A Spooky Time In Toronto

  1. What an amazing article, Sue. Those are great finds and meaningful. Awesome pictures again! My personal haunt is Mt. Pleasant. It is just south of a place I went to one or more times a week for 12 years of work in the Gurdjieff group. I’d love to be buried in Kettleby Cemetary if not Mt. Pleasant.


  2. Definitely spooky and well researched. I’m always amazed at all the things you discover about your subject matter. Cemeteries are not my thing so I will be happy to take your research on a second hand basis.


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