From the shores of the Maritimes to the great plains, Canada is filled with ghost stories. Ghost ships sail the waters, ghost trains haunt the rails, palatial estates hide dark secrets and even the most innocuous theatres or hospitals might hold a Canadian horror story or two. Interestingly, the mysteries of these locations are often little-known, even to those who live and work nearby. 

Who knows, some of the most haunted places in Canada might just be in your backyard… 

We set out to discover the truth behind these various myths and urban legends. From the Ghost Ship of the Northumberland Strait to the Haunting of Galt Museum in Lethbridge, here are the most haunted places in Canada. 

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Fort Garry Hotel Room 202

For over a century, the Fort Garry Hotel has stood as one of Winnipeg’s most famous and glamourous luxury hotels – however, it carries a secret. Throughout its history, guests have reported many ominous sightings and events all centering on Room 202

According to local myth, a young married couple were staying in the room when the groom went to fetch some medicine for his wife. However, he died in a traffic accident on the way back, and in her grief, the bride ended her life in the closet of Room 202

Since then, many guests have reported strange visitations both in an around Room 202, but nearly all of them involve a young woman in a white dress. In fact, in 2000, a member of parliament staying in Room 202 told reporters that she had twice been awoken from her sleep by the sensation of something crawling into bed next her, only to turn over and see nothing there. 

Whatever the truth of this Canadian horror story, paranormal enthusiasts continue to flock to the Fort Garry hotel for the experience of staying in Room 202, perhaps the most haunted hotel room in Canada. 

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The Ghost Ship of the Northumberland Strait

Since the 1800s, residents, sailors, and scholars across the Maritimes have told stories about a ghost ship that sails along the Northumberland strait which separates PEI from the mainland. According to most iterations of the tale, the Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait appears as a beautiful schooner that erupts into flame as onlookers watch. One famous story from 1900 recounts a group of sailors in Charlottetown seeing the ship and commandeering a rowboat to catch it, only for it to disappear as they approached. 

Explanations for the ship’s origins vary, some claiming it carries the souls of American privateers who raided British shipping during the war of 1812 while others say it bears Acadian emigrants whose ship sank after their expulsion from New Brunswick.

Even in modern times, folktales about the Ghost Ship of the Northumberland Strait remain popular, and PEI folk singer Lennie Gallant used them as the basis for his 1988 ballad, Tales of the Phantom Ship.

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The St. Louis Light

From ghost ships to ghost trains, the legend of the St. Louis Light in Saskatchewan has many similarities with the burning ship of Charlottetown. For decades, visitors and residents of the small town of St. Louis have reported seeing a ghostly white light racing down abandoned railway tracks that had once connected it to the nearby town of Prince Albert. The trouble is, the tracks themselves were removed years ago. 

Various local legends swirl about the origins of the St. Louis Light, but the most popular one dates back to the 1920s, and tells the tale of a lone brakeman who’d been wandering along the train tracks one evening when a passing locomotive cut off his head. 

Regardless of this Canadian horror story’s veracity, visitors continue to make the trek to rural Saskatchewan to see the vaunted St. Louis Light for themselves. The ghostly phenomenon was even featuring in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. 

Galt Hospital

The Haunting of Galt Museum

The Galt Museum & Archives in Lethbridge welcomes hundreds of students and tourists a year, but it also houses some guests who just refuse to leave. You see, before this stately red brick building housed the town’s artifacts, the Galt Museum served as the Galt Hospital from 1910 until it was closed in 1965. Ever since the museum staff moved into the building in the 60s, urban legends sprung up about spectral visitations from the hospital’s past patients. 

One of the most famous stories revolves around a patient named George Bailey, who’d been admitted to the hospital for a routine appendectomy when a freak elevator accident sent him careening to the basement. Amazingly, when staff raced to the basement, they found George shuffling around in a daze. He succumbed to his injuries a day later, however to this day staff and visitors report hearing strange footsteps in the basement, along with experiencing blasts of cold air. 

The upper levels of the museum have their own ghost stories, centering around the administrative offices of the building which had once served as the hospital’s children’s wing. Many report hearing spectral echoes of children’s laughter and some have even seen ghostly apparitions of children walking the halls. 

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The Ghosts of Dundurn Castle 

A stately manor built in Hamilton by politician Sir Allan Macnab in 1835, this popular tourist destination carries with it a rather morbid legacy. Prior to its construction, it had served as the site of the Bloody Assize of 1814, one of the largest public executions in Canadian history. Following the War of 1812, nearly a dozen men accused of working with the Americans during the conflict were hung and quartered before a crowd of thousands, their remains thrown into unmarked graves. 

In 1857, the country’s worst railway disaster would occur nearby as the Desjardins Canal Bridge collapsed, leading to the deaths of 59 passengers. Some even said that the castle’s owner, Sir Macnab, the railway company’s former president, had cut corners on the project. 

To this day, people say MacNab and his family continue to haunt the halls of their stately home. The room in which his wife Mary died of tuberculosis is said to carry a ghostly chill, while his daughter Sophia sometimes makes appearances in the wedding photos so frequently shot at the castle. Sir MacNab himself was buried in an unmarked grave, after his deathbed conversion to Catholicism caused a furor in the town.


The Ghost of the Granada

In 2018, the historic Granada Theatre in Sherbrooke sold their original seating in advance of an upcoming renovation: all except one. Seat P‑13 was reserved for a special patron, one who served as a captive audience since at least the 40s.

Affectionately dubbed George,” rumour has it that he was once a janitor who couldn’t bear to leave his beloved theatre behind even after death. Other stories say that he was an enthusiastic regular who died of a stroke while watching a performance from the comfort of Seat P‑13.

Whatever the truth, theatre employees insist the friendly ghost loves playing tricks on performers and patrons alike. Just don’t try and take his seat. 

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