With Halloween quickly approaching, we decide to put together a list of haunted places throughout the province that you and your thrill seeking friends can tour in search of ghosts. Nova Scotia has a rich history of haunted landmarks that are presided over by murder victims and spooky children of days gone by.
Many of the places on this list are available as part of haunted tours designed to encounter the wandering dead – sign up for one today if you’re seeking contact with “the other side.”
1. Acadia University
An hours drive outside of Halifax, Acadia University was founded in 1838 as a preparatory college for Baptist ministers in training. The Acadia Ladies’ seminary was built in 1878 as a finishing school for young women at the college, and still stands today as the oldest building on campus. Shortly after the seminary was opened in the 1800’s one of the students hung herself, “slipping into the open space between a banister and the back stairwell.” Her pale, blonde ghost is said to haunt the seminary, even to this day.
2. Alexander Keith’s Brewery
Founded in 1820, Alexander Keith’s is one of the oldest commercial breweries in all of North America, so it’s no wonder there are a few ghosts around! The brew master himself is said to haunt the premises - his ghost has been spotted patrolling the property, ensuring operations are running normally. Guests have also seen a ghost covered in blood, and the ghost of a running boy with a distorted face.
3. All Saints Cathedral
The All Saints Cathedral is an Anglican church that was opened on Cathedral Lane in 1910. There have been sightings of a former dean, whose ghost is said to haunt the Cathedral. He has been spotted standing at the alter, overseeing the church’s processions.
4. The Galley
Now closed, diners at the The Galley were lucky enough to have a spectacular view of the Chester Harbour from their seats at this restaurant and lounge. Legend has it that in The War of 1812 an American ship was trapped in the harbour by the H.M.S Hogue. To avoid capture, a crew member on board destroyed the ship, killing everyone on board. To this day those looking out over the harbour at night have reported seeing what looks like the form of a burning ship.
5. Fort George
Atop Citadel Hill lies Fort George, the most recent in a series of four forts that were built atop Citadel Hill to protect the Halifax Harbour. Fort George was completed in 1856, and since then visitors have reported seeing various ghosts including soldiers, a man in a red cloak and an old lady who has been said to show herself in mirrors. Ghost tours are now lead through the fort, and participants of these tours have reported seeing the spirit of a little girl who holds their hand.
6. Churchill Mansion Inn
Reminiscent of a Steven King novel, the looming Churchill Mansion Inn looks out over Darlings Lake in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Built in 1889, this classy manor property has been renovated to comfortably accommodate guests while preserving its Victorian charm. In certain rooms guests have reported hearing the sound of loud footsteps, sporadic changes in temperature, sudden difficulty breathing, and the feeling of cold hands grasping onto them.
7. Five Fisherman Restaurant
It’s difficult to believe such a popular family restaurant could be haunted, but this cultural landmark is surely known for more than just their amazing fish and chips! The restaurant resides on Argyle street, in what was formerly a schoolhouse built in 1817. The staff say they’ve grown used to the constant paranormal activity that occurs here, and have witnessed glasses flying off shelves, heard the sounds of mysterious voices reverberating throughout the establishment late at night and seen the presence of ghosts in the stairwell.
8. St. Francis Xavier University
Founded in 1853, St. FX merged with a local Catholic girls’ school called Mount St. Bernard College in 1894. According to the legend, one of the nuns who worked at Mount St. Bernard fell in love with a priest at St. FX, and allegedly “became riddled with guilt over the affair.” Forbidden by her religion to engage romantically with the priest, legend has it the nun leapt to her death from a balcony in Gilmora Hall. Now dubbed “The Blue Nun,” she haunts the residences by turning on taps and knocking over books late at night.
9. The Halifax Club
The Halifax Club is a private club established in 1862 as a meeting place for business partners in the city. In 1870 the club’s manager reportedly stabbed himself repeatedly in front of a collection of members for no apparent reason, taking his own life in the process. Now his ghost can be found haunting the club’s cloakroom, where employees have sensed an evil presence and become overcome with a cold chill. Members who have died or been murdered here in the past also haunt the grounds.
10. 1359 Barrington
What is now an unremarkable historical property located on Barrington Street was once a doctor’s office in the 1940’s. Built in 1828, the doctor working here had a variety of patients, including some members of the community who couldn’t afford medical care that the doctor helped for free. One such patient lost her baby here, and to this day visitors have reported on multiple occasions being able to hear the sound of a baby crying on the building’s top floor.
11. Cossit House Museum
One of the oldest standing houses on Cape Breton Island, the Cossit House was built in 1787 and named after its owner at the time Reverend Ranna Cossit. Following the American Revolution, Rev. Cossit was assigned to the British colony in Cape Breton that, at the time, was separate from mainland Nova Scotia. The Cossit House is one of the most frightening stops along Sydney’s ghost tours, with guests reportedly hearing footsteps and screams emerging from different rooms throughout the house.