Happy Halloween everyone! So, as Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte guest posted here over the weekend, she asked for other local ghost stories that we may know. (Be sure to check out her guest post if you haven’t already!)
Here are a few of my favourites.
There are numerous stories surrounding this Toronto castle built by Sir Henry Pellatt in the early 1900s. A beautiful building tucked into a residential area of a busy city, it has always been one of my favourite Toronto landmarks. One Halloween, quite a few years ago, some friends and I decided to attend the ghost walk tour that the castle puts on around this time of year. As with many old buildings, the age itself already gives off a bit of an eerie vibe, with the dark hallways and extremely creepy underground tunnel to the stables (which I admittedly have still yet to get the courage to walk through).
One of the most memorable stories I remember hearing on the ghost tour was in one of the upper floor ballrooms. A staff member was turning out the lights and locking up for the night. They closed the doors to the ballroom and the door started rattling from the inside. She ran to open the doors again and found the room empty and (if my memory serves me correctly) the lights were on.
I wish I could find the pictures I took that night during the ghost tour but it was so long ago that I don’t know where they are, and can’t remember more of the ghost stories I heard that night. Here’s a few other photos I’ve taken on a different visit there.
Ryerson Theatre School
This one is my favourite Toronto ghost story as it holds a special place in my heart, having attended this school for 4 years. During my first year, several of us heard about our theatre school’s ghost stories and wanted to do a bit of ghost hunting on Halloween night. We didn’t find any evidence (with our lack of any “real” equipment, and before the days of digital cameras) but we did get a better feel for how creepy the building was. We did climb up a ladder that led up into the attic though, and came face to face with some old actors’ headshots posted right when you get up the ladder. Not ghostly, but still startling to see when you’re not expecting to see faces looking back out at you in a dark attic!
Built in 1885, it was originally the Ontario College of Pharmacology before becoming the university’s theatre school in the 1970’s. This medical aspect of the building’s history gives more credibility to the eerie tales. What is now the costuming lab on the main floor was actually once the morgue. The doorways are all a little bit wider, as speculation would have it, to allow for the gurneys to be pushed through. I personally don’t remember noticing it, but the 2nd floor studio theatre was once allegedly where autopsies were performed, and that was the reason for the drains on the floor. I believe it’s gone now, but there was also stories of there once being a lift of sorts between the three floors, to transport bodies from the autopsy rooms to the morgue.
Setting the actual building aside, the ghost stories itself are plentiful as well. Dancers rehearsing late into the night on the 3rd floor studios have felt like they were being watched. The piano that sits in the hallway on the 3rd floor has reportedly been heard playing with nobody else around. Past custodians have quit after experiencing unexplained events while cleaning overnight.
In the four years I attended there, I never actually (knowingly) experienced anything ghostly for myself, but I can attest to the fact that it’s a really creepy building. It’s old, the pipes will obviously make old building noises – but still foregoing that fact, you do sometimes get an uneasy feeling around the place. I was always a bit uncomfortable walking through the school if I was there late.
Not creeped out yet and want more Toronto ghost stories?
One great resource is TorontoGhosts.org!