5 Ghost Stories and Sights That Will Give You Goosebumps
Are you ready to dive into the world of the supernatural? Ghost stories have a way of sending shivers down your spine and making your heart race. They're the stuff of darkened rooms, abandoned places, and restless spirits.
We've gathered five of our most hair-raising ghost stories that are sure to leave you with chills. These tales aren't for the faint-hearted, but if you're up for a journey into the unknown, you won't want to miss these spine-tingling accounts of the paranormal. So, turn down the lights, lock your doors, and let's explore these terrifying ghost stories together.
Century Manor, Ontario
Find it on: Spooky Sights & Ghostly Tales
Is a spooky road trip really a spooky road trip without a stop at a haunted, abandoned insane asylum? With 202 initial patients and 529 acres of land, the Hamilton Asylum for the Insane opened its doors in 1876. Over the years other buildings were put up and acres bought to create a large compound. It is said there are even underground tunnels that made travelling between buildings easier. I wonder if the today’s ghosts still use them to hang out with each other?
The original plan was to use Century Manor as an alcohol abuse facility, however there was a greater demand for beds for the mentally ill, so this became its only priority. There were a number of reasons for someone to be admitted and live on the asylum grounds, including being “criminally insane.” Some patients were subjected to gruesome procedures like lobotomies, electro-shock therapy, and restraints such as Utica cribs. These were infant-like cribs that had a top piece that would close and lock, forcing patients to lay down for hours. These atrocities weren’t the only ones that happened: staff members and patients also engaged in violence and abuse.
As one of Hamilton’s oldest structures accompanied with the aggressive past it harbours, many tend to feel uneasy when roaming the grounds. Some feel like they are being watched, and others have seen and heard mysterious things. One security guard once heard voices coming from behind a door when patrolling the basement. When he opened the door he saw two women dressed in old nurses outfits. He was so frightened that he backed out of the room and slammed the door. When he felt brave enough to open it again... the women had vanished. Century Manor has become a hot spot for paranormal investigators and enthusiasts alike. Are the spirits of the tortured souls stuck in the manor?
Galt Collegiate, Ontario
Find it on: Historic Haunts
The currently operational Galt Collegiate Institute (GCI) is one of Ontario’s oldest in operation – its doors opened for the first time as the Galt Grammar School in 1852, initially just for boys.
The three-and-a-half-story building was constructed out of limestone, which paranormal experts believe to be a sort of recording device and video player conduit (seriously) for ghostly activity. So, it should come as no surprise to find out that this Cambridge school is said to be haunted by its first headmaster, William Tassie, and some of his students who were killed during both World Wars.
Within a decade, Tassie successfully built the then-renowned start-up school to an enrollment of nearly 300 boys from Canada and beyond. Highly respected as an educator by both students and colleagues, he was actually pretty strict and cold as a person. Moreover, Tassie was dead set against change – in both teaching methods (he insisted on memorization) and student body diversity (no girls allowed!). Mess with either of those and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a haunting by an angry principal.
The Ghost of Tassie...
On top of the very compelling evidence compiled by ghost hunters, there is anecdotal evidence from current custodial personnel and students, as well as stories told by former staff, that point to the smell of pipe smoke along the top-floor corridors after-hours. Tassie was a pipe smoker. He may still be wandering the grounds in his old-school, gentlemanly manner to make sure his legacy is being properly upheld and run. A responsible ghost hunter might want to inform him that there’s no more smoking on school property.
As mentioned earlier, the other spirits who make it back to GCI are students who fought in both World Wars... very brave souls indeed! It is said that GCI had an abnormally high percentage of students who served and were killed in those conflicts.
This may partially explain the other alleged hauntings at the school. Or, the various renovations that took place throughout the development of the school property could be to blame. It is well-known in the paranormal research community that renovating a space can really rile up a gang of comfy spirits. During renovations to convert the basement’s cadet rifle range into classrooms, a veritable treasure trove of dusty artifacts and collectibles (like photos, rifles, and the swords of past commanders) were discovered. Though they were respectfully restored and now adorn the hallways for others to admire, we’re pretty sure this is one of the causes of hauntings at GCI.
Here’s what people have consistently reported at the school:
After regular school hours, staff members swear they’ve heard the sounds of boys talking or whispering in the corridor of the main floor of the main building. Those who know the stories allege that those whispers are from past students who were killed in action during World Wars I and II.
Others working at the school claim to have carts and supplies moved from their original location. They all say this is definitely not the work of current prankster students because all incidents happened when no other living souls were in the vicinity. Weird, right?! The school doesn’t think so. They embrace their wandering spirits. Their slogan: “Home of the Ghosts.”
Haldimand House, Ontario
Find it on: Beautifully Haunted
In 1837, Ranald McKinnon built the first ever commercial building in Haldimand County, a stagecoach inn called Haldimand House. He named his business venture after Sir Frederick Haldimand, who was the Governor of Upper Canada at the time. The inn thrived as it was strategically positioned along the bustling Hamilton to Port Dover plank road (now part of HWY 6).
Matthew Richardson took ownership in 1900, and continued its legacy as a hotel and bar. During the tumultuous decades when Canada was at war, Haldimand House transformed into a vital boarding house for soldiers before their deployment to Europe. In 1927, Matthew's son, Walter, took charge, and turned it into a lively billiard hall and introduced the Cone Cottage Refreshment Stand.
Now, with a building this historic, there are bound to be some spooky stories. When the Leousis family took over in 1992, there was a number of antique pieces left behind upstairs. Chris was frequently in the attic restoring some of the pieces, but there was something about this one rocking chair always made him feel uneasy. One day, while working on the main floor, he could swear he heard the faint sounds of the chair gently rocking back and forth over the uneven wooden planks above. When he went upstairs to investigate, the chair abruptly tilted forward, almost as if responding to an unseen presence rising from it to greet him.
Another story involves unexplained noises that seemed to be coming from thin air. During the first few years of the Leousis family's ownership, when Haldimand House housed a cafe, they frequently heard an unusual tapping sound coming from the bar. Phyllis Richardson recalled that Walter, who had passed away in the 1950s, had been a dedicated pipe smoker. He would tap the pipe against the bar to clean it out - could the mysterious tapping be Walter rekindling his old habit from beyond the grave?
Howard Street Cemetery, Massachusetts
Find it on: Witchy Wonders
If you believe that a cemetery in Salem would brim with spectral shadows and whispered legends, you're spot on, especially when it comes to the legend of Giles Corey. An 80-year-old farmer accused of witchcraft in 1692, Corey took an unusual stand: he refused to plead either guilty or innocent. Authorities responded with a gruesome tactic to extract a plea, subjecting him to "peine forte et dure.” Under the surveillance of Sheriff George Corwin, Giles Corey was pressed to death on this site - wooden boards and increasing weights were laid upon Corey for three days. His last words were said to be a curse upon Salem and its sheriffs.
The repercussions of Corey’s curse reportedly linger. Tales claim his ghost has been seen wandering Howard Street Cemetery before every significant disaster in Salem, including the Great Fire of 1914. Adding to the creepiness, Essex County sheriffs are said to have met with untimely deaths or illnesses, a streak broken only when the sheriff's office relocated in 1991.
The Howard Street Cemetery is said to be the most haunted cemetery in Salem, and many have reported seeing Giles Corey’s ghost roaming the grounds at night.
National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Maryland
Find it on: Haunts, Hikes & History
The National Museum of Civil War Medicine focuses on the unique aspect of 19th-century battlefield healthcare and medicine during the Civil War. During the war, the town of Frederick served as a refuge for wounded soldiers, transforming the city into a sprawling hospital within its churches, municipal buildings, and homes.
Founded by Dr. Gordon E. Dammann and his wife Karen, the museum originated from their passionate collection of the era’s medical artifacts, photographs, and documents which grew beyond a mere hobby. Visitors can learn about the development of anesthesia, the use of ambulances for rapid transportation of the wounded, the establishment of triage systems, and much more!
The National Museum of Civil War Medicine is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Civil War soldiers who died in the building. Staff members have also heard the voices of children, and have seen a woman dressed in 18th-century garb on the third floor and a man who walks into offices and turns the lights off (maybe encouraging hard workers to call it a day). Some people have even heard footsteps behind them near the front entrance. A few years back, the curator's wife stated she "did not believe in that stuff." Immediately after finishing her sentence, she felt a push on her back. Thinking it was her husband teasing her, she turned around to find him on the other side of the room...
Visitors have also reported eerie feelings while exploring the museum. Perhaps it has something to do with Richard Burr, the most notorious embalmer of the Civil War, who operated out of the building … sometimes embalming the dead in the building’s front windows so passersby could watch. According to David Price, the executive director of the museum, Dr. Burr's behavior was a catalyst for the implementation of laws regulating embalming practices. Dr. Burr's unscrupulous actions involved standing on the periphery of battlefields and preselling soldiers embalming services, local burials, and wooden headstones. Once the soldiers were laid to rest, Dr. Burr would return to the cemetery, retrieve the headstone, and repaint it for his next customer, engaging in a rather deceitful practice.