Ontario is filled with all sorts of beautiful places. It is one of the top visited provinces in Canada, mainly due to its popular metropolitan centres and alluring national parks. Rarely is Ontario known as a leading destination for creepy and haunted places; however, it does have a plethora of them that one can visit (that is, if one is brave enough).
If you get a thrill out of the eerie and mysterious, then a visit to Ontario would be worth your while. Below are 8 creepy abandoned places in Ontario.
1. White Otter Castle // Turtle River, Ontario
White Otter Castle is a log house standing 3-storeys tall near the small town of Ignace, Ontario. It was built from scratch by a man named James McOuat as a dowry for the woman he was to marry. He never ended up meeting his future wife, however, and ended up dying alone. Legend has it that he drowned in White Otter Lake in 1918 while fishing and was buried in the ground beside his house. Visitors claim to have experienced weird “coincidences” and an eerie presence within the walls of the house. You can book tours of the castle here.
Photo cred – Heather @ Exploration Project
2. St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital // St.Thomas, Ontario
St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital opened in 1939 and served over 1700 patients. The institution was abandoned in the summer of 2013, and a new mental health facility was developed soon after to replace it. In the time that the facility was active, it housed a few notorious patients who committed violent deeds, including impaling, strangling, bludgeoning, and torturing other patients or co-workers. People claim to have heard random sounds (banging, crying and whispering), and seen flickering lights and moving objects during their visit. Today, there is heightened security at the site, but it may be possible to have a short “wander” around the grounds where the old hospital once stood during daylight hours.
Photo cred – Damian Entwistle
3. Ottawa Jail Hostel // Ottawa, Ontario
The Ottawa Jail Hostel was formerly known as the Carleton County Gaol. The jail is most known for being the site where Patrick Whelan (a politician murderer) was executed by hanging. There are tales of Whelan’s spirit haunting the halls of the hostel, as well as the eerie sounds of a man whispering the “Our Father”. If you’re brave enough, you can actually spend a night in one of the jail cells. Check out Exploring The Obscure‘s visit to the Ottawa Jail Hostel here. You can also book a cell here.
Photo cred – Ontario Photo Connection
4. Altona // Pickering, Ontario
Altona is a ghost town right by the Uxbridge-Pickering town line, named after a small county in Hamburg, Germany. It was eventually abandoned by its former residents after the government requisitioned most of the land in the area to build the Pickering airport. Jeri Danyleyko, a ghost town explorer, claimed that he experienced “a certain uneasiness” as he walked through the empty cemetery and church.
Photo cred – Tim Dunn
5. Ballycroy // Orangeville, Ontario
Ballycroy was once a thriving town; having hotels, churches and bars that kept its economy stable for several years. It was later abandoned by its former inhabitants after a fire burned down the city’s main buildings in 1875. Although the town isn’t known to be haunted, visitors have claimed that the area gives off a very cold and eerie vibe. Today, it may now be the home to a very small handful of individuals, and may even on the verge of a comeback. Nevertheless, it is a popular site for explorers and history buffs.
Photo cred – Chris Luckhardt
6. Merritton Tunnel // St. Catharines, Ontario
Merritton Tunnel is also famously referred to as the “Blue Ghost Tunnel”. It was the site of several deaths – 107 workers were killed during its construction, and many automobile-related casualties also occurred at the tunnel. Passerbys noted a distinct blue mist, the echoes of crying children and “pushing” sensations” near the tunnel. There were also stories of that the tunnel made some people feel physically sick or nauseous. As of today, the tunnel might be sealed off, but whether it is or not it will still be visible from the outside.
Photo cred – torontoghosts.org
7. Alma College // St. Thomas, Ontario
Alma College was a private girls’ school that closed down in 1988 due to an unresolved teachers’ strike. The school was actually the place where horror movies such as Silent Hill and Orphan were shot. Legend has it that the ghost of a cruel music teacher named Angela, who died of starvation, haunted the Ivory Tower in the south end of the building. In 2008, Alma College actually burned down, so the most you could potentially see during a visit today is the school in ruins.
Photo cred – Greg’s Southern Ontario
8. Century Manor Insane Asylum // Hamilton, Ontario
Century Manor was once a treatment centre for alcoholism and a facility for forensic psychiatry research. The abandoned facility is believed to be home to ghost nurses, who would play tricks with one’s mind by setting up illusory doors and ghostly scenes. The main building was eventually demolished, but the tunnels in the ground beneath still remain. At one point, there were even rumours that the Asylum was being considered for repurposing into a student dorm. #NoThanks
Many of these locations have been featured in Newmarket’s very own Exploring The Obscure. Make sure to check them out for more creepy places in Canada and around the world!