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5 classic (and totally creepy) Canadian ghost stories

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Believe it or not, Canada is a spooky place. You’d think we’d all be too polite to cause any sort of ruckus—even after we’re dead—but it seems that Canadian ghosts don’t pay any attention to upholding our international reputation for good manners.

Here are some classic Canadian ghost stories guaranteed to chill your blood—just in time for Halloween.

The Baldoon Mystery

Wallaceburg, Ontario, is the location of this classic story that dates back to 1830 and the very first settlers of the town. Legend has it that, as a group of women were weaving in a barn, three beams fell into their group, scattering everyone in fear. Other spooky events followed, including weird noises, freak fires, dead livestock, and flying stones. The owner of the barn, John T. McDonald, was told that if he shot a black goose with a silver bullet, the curse would end. McDonald shot the goose in the wing—days later, a woman who had wanted to buy his land was seen with her arm in a sling.

The ghost of Christie Mansion

Now Regis College in Toronto, the Christie Mansion was once home to the very same Mr. Christie of “you make good cookies” fame.  And while William Mellis Christie died a successful businessman, his son Robert—who inherited Christie Mansion—was another story. Robert, you see, decided to set up a secret chamber in the mansion to house his mistress, who lived there secretly for years until Robert’s affections waned and she hung herself. Legend has it that if you enter Room 29 all by yourself at night, the door will swing shut of its own accord—and you’ll be trapped, just like Robert Christie’s mistress.

The ghost of Peggy’s Cove

The site of the famous Peggy’s Point Lighthouse in Nova Scotia is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman named who took her own life in 1800. According to legend, the woman—whose name was Margaret—was the survivor of a shipwreck that killed her children, and, in her grief, would often wander the rocks at the edge of the sea. One day her husband, in an attempt to cheer her up, was dancing on the rocks, slipped, and suffered a fatal head wound. Shortly after his death, she took her own life by jumping into the sea at the spot where he died. Today, there are reports of a mysterious lady in blue who looks poised to jump into the sea. When someone tries to help, she disappears.

The Empress Hotel’s ghostly architect

The Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, is a grand, palatial place, whose architect was definitely a less-than-savoury character. Sir Francis Rattenbury was already well-known for designing the parliament buildings in Victoria when he designed the chateau-style Empress. Forced to leave Victoria after maltreating and divorcing his first wife and marrying his much-younger mistress, he later moved to England, where he was subsequently beaten to death with a carpenter’s mallet by his 18-year-old chauffeur, who also happened to be his wife’s lover. Now, the ghost of a young, dapper Sir Francis can supposedly be seen wandering the halls of one of his best-known buildings.

The porter of Banff Springs Hotel

Samuel McCauley really, really liked his job at the Banff Springs Hotel—so much so that he’s kept doing it long after his death. While the Banff Springs has several ghost stories attached to it—including a boarded-up room that was the site of a grisly family murder and a bride falling head-first down the stairs—the most well-known is that of the elderly Scottish porter who worked for the hotel for more than 40 years, and who actually told people he’d haunt the hotel when he died. People report seeing lights shining outside their windows, and one couple even reported an older Scottish gentleman helping them with their bags—even though none of the porters were over 30.