Nova Scotia has a long history of mysterious incarnations and supernatural happenings that have occurred in communities all over the province. Given the surprising amount of haunted houses and abandoned towns spread out across NS, we thought we’d put them all together in one place for you to consult before your next ghost-busting road trip.
Winter is the perfect time to get the scariest look at these creepy spots. Read up on these scary stories below to prepare for your next death-defying adventure!
Ease into your haunted road trip with this historical guided tour through Downtown Halifax. Experienced local tour guide and actor Andy Smith offers haunted Ghost Walk tours of the city through his company Tattle Tours, in addition to historical walking tours and day tours. Embark on an eerie walk through cemeteries and cursed local buildings on Wednesdays, Fridays or Sundays, from 7:30pm – 9:30pm for only $15. If you haven’t gotten your fix visit the haunted tours of Citadel Hill as well!
2. Bayer’s Lake Mystery Walls
Just outside Halifax lies a mysterious series of stone structures and walls outlining a five-sided building exist mysteriously on the slope of a hill overlooking Bayers Lake Park. Archaeologists are unsure of the exact age and purpose of the ruins but suspect it was likely a military fort of some kind built in the late eighteenth century.
3. The Galley
Now closed, diners at 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. Drive out to Chester where The Galley still stands and look out over the harbour at night – visitors have reported seeing what looks like the form of a burning ship on the water
Reminiscent of a Steven King novel, the looming Churchill Mansion Inn looks out over Darlings Lake in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Built in 1889, this eerie manor 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. Drive out for a spooky stay at this Nova Scotian landmark – if you date.
5. Acadia University
Next, drive out to Wolfville and visit this haunted Nova Scotian University. Acadia was founded in 1838 as a preparatory college for Baptist ministers in training. In 1878 the Acadia Ladies’ Seminary was built 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 bannister and the back stairwell.” Her pale, blonde ghost is said to haunt the seminary, even to this day.
6. Ghost Ship
Sightings of this massive ghostly schooner floating down the Northumberland Strait have been reported for the past 220 years – drive out and try and spot the flaming vessel for yourself! Apparently the vessel has three to four masts, and is typically spotted between September and November before a northeast wind. The first sightings dates back to 1786, and crews have even set out in the past to assist what so vividly appears to be a burning ship.
7. St. Francis Xavier University
Founded in 1853, St. FX merged with a local Catholic girls’ school called Mount St. Bernard College in 1894. Legend has it that 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, allegedly 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. Drive out and spend a night in Antigonish to find out whether this scary rumour is true.
8. Mary Ellen Spook Farm
In January of 1922, the Caledonia Mills farm house belonging to Alexander and Mary McDonald. Later examination determined that mysteriously the fire did not originate near their fireplace or wood stove. Once the fire was extinguished another one started in an empty room at the other end of the home. Other fires materialised mysteriously throughout the property, originating from seemingly inflammable things like wet towels and random patches of wallpaper. Investigate for yourself on your next road trip out to Antigonish
9. Cossit House Museum
One of the oldest standing houses on Cape Breton Island, this spot is a must visit on your haunted road trip. The Cossit House was built in 1787 and named after its owner 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.