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Canada's 10 Most Haunted Places

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to revel in Canada’s urban legends and tales of things that go bump in the night. Check out these 10 Canadian locales that are rumored to be the settings of spooky paranormal activity.

by Martha Li for readersdigest.ca

 

 

Spooks, specters and spirits abound, Canada is rich with ghost stories and tales of the supernatural. We’ve rounded up the most skin-crawling locations Canada has to offer, so you can find out whether there really is something to all these spooky tales (that is, if you think you can handle it). Read on to discover where you’re most likely to find things that go bump in the night…

 

 

1. Keg Mansion, Toronto, Ont.

Today, it’s one of many locations of the Keg steakhouse franchise, but the Keg Mansion was once the private residence of industrialist Hart Massey and his family. As legend has it, in 1915, after the death of Massey’s beloved only daughter, Lillian, one of the maids was so stricken by grief that she hung herself. Another version of the story involves the maid killing herself for fears her rumored affair with a Massey man would be revealed. Either way, the ghostly image of a maid hanging by her neck has been seen by more than one Keg visitor over the years.

 

 

2. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta

Thought the Bates Motel in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining were scary accommodations? Banff Springs Hotel may be one of Canada’s most picturesque hotels, but it’s also rumored to be one of the country’s most haunted. Built in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, this hotel is the site of numerous terrifying ghost sightings, including a murdered family in room 873, a bride who died falling down the hotel’s marble staircase, and a retired bellhop named Sam Macauley who continues to haunt the hotel dressed in full uniform.

 

 

3. Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Ont.

Business Tycoon Charles Melville Hays commissioned the Fairmount Château Laurier, but died tragically aboard the Titanic just days before the hotel’s grand opening in 1912. Hays’ spirit has since been rumored to be seen roaming throughout the property. Had we invested our time and money into crafting the lavish Château, only to die mere days before its completion, we’d likely be inclined to return as well.

4. The Old Spaghetti Factory, Vancouver, B.C.

It’s been said that the ghost of a train conductor still haunts this popular eatery built atop an old underground railway track. Inexplicable cold drafts and mysteriously rearranged table settings are the calling card of the deceased conductor. Making matters truly skin tingling is a photograph of the 1950s-era, decommissioned electric trolley now featured in the restaurant’s dining room. The photo depicts hints of “a ghostly figure”, believed to be the train conductor, standing on the steps of the trolley.

5. Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto, Ont.

Prior to serving as Canada’s hockey shrine, this building was once a Bank of Montreal. Legend has it that a lonely bank teller named Dorothy took her own life after her romantic advances were rejected by the bank’s manager. Dorothy’s ghost is now believed to occupy the Hockey Hall of Fame, with some visitors reporting they heard inexplicable sounds of a woman crying throughout the building.

 

6. Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, B.C.

Built in the 1890s for coal miner Robert Dunsmuir and his family, this Victorian-era mansion has since become an eerie Canadian tourist attraction. Rumors of a piano that plays by itself, and sightings of a ghastly woman in white have frequently been reported. Many attribute the castle’s supernatural proclivity to Dunsmuir’’s untimely demise just a year before the building was completed.

 

7. Plains of Abraham, Quebec City, Que.

In 1759, Major General James Wolfe and British soldiers staged a three-month siege of Quebec City against the French army, culminating in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Being the location of one of the most famous battles in Canadian history, it’s no wonder there have been numerous sightings of ghostly soldiers appearing throughout the Plains’ fields and tunnels. Both Wolfe and French Major General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm died in the battle – and we can’t help but wonder whether their spirits are still battling it out to this day.

 

8. Maritime Museum of B.C., Victoria, B.C.

The dearly departed seem to have a fondness for the city cheekily known as the place for the “newly-wed and nearly-dead”. Located in Victoria’s well-known Bastion Square is the Maritime Museum, which was once the site of the city’s jail and gallows. Some say that if you look through the windows at the Museum’s entrance, a shadowy, slender, Van Dyke-bearded figure can be spotted gliding down the main staircase. The mysterious apparition is thought to be the ghost of Sir Matthew Baillie Begbie, Victoria’s infamous “Hanging Judge”.

9. Government House, Regina, Sask.

This building, completed in 1891, has been the site of several reported hauntings over the years. Strange occurrences such as doors opening and closing on their own, the shuffling of footsteps, and eerie faces appearing in the reflections of mirrors have all been reported.

 

10. West Point Lighthouse, O'Leary, P.E.I.

The sight of a lighthouse, bathed in pitch black darkness, conjures up all sorts of frightful possibilities. Rumors have long swirled that the first keeper of the lighthouse, Willie, haunts the West Point Lighthouse Inn located next door. Talk about a turndown service you’d never want to get!

 

 

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So you are thinking would the Fall and Winter times really be a good time to but our home on the market?

 

The answer is yes, people do move all year round. We often think Spring is more popular than other times of the year, but there are active Buyers out there all the time and some are just waiting for that special home to go on the market.

 

Often Buyers have more time at this time of year as there are less activities during the winter months, which makes it a more convenient time to research property listings to find their next home to buy.

 

Did you know that most corporate moves and transfers take place during the month of January. Many of these transfers include a house purchase as well. Often these purchasers scout a new home out in the last part of the year, around the holidays.

 

There are many advantages to this time of the year:

 

-There is less competition, as some Sellers have taken their homes off the market and are waiting for Spring, when    

  there is lots of inventory for you to compete with

-The Buyers at this time of the are often more serious

-Homes shows well as home owners get the home ready for holiday season and more attention to details is spent inside the home.

 

Some tips-

-Clean up fallen leaves and debris and keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice

-Place a floor mat inside the front door for wet shoes

-If putting up seasonal decorations just don't do National Lampoons Christmas Vacation home with 10,000 lights.

 Turn on all the fireplaces, the flickering flames and warmth from a fire provide a romantic atmosphere that is a wonderful incentive for a prospective buyer to purchase your home. Light scented candles through some of the rooms. Now there are battery operated ones that do the trick.

 Turn up your furnace before the prospective buyer arrives to view your home. If your kitchen seems to cooler than the rest of the house, turn your oven on for about an hour before the buyer is due to arrive. The oven will provide extra warmth in your kitchen. 

 Sometimes the yard doesn't look its best at this time of year, so if you have some photos of the Spring and Summer garden, have them handy for the prospective purchaser to see.  Even pictures with the sundeck setup with patio furniture and potted plants.

 

Selling a home in the fall and winter has many advantages and the key is to highlight what makes your house a home during this time of the year when everyone is settling in for the winter.

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Conditions continue to favour home sellers across *Metro Vancouver’s housing market.


The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 3,345 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in September 2015. This represents a 14.5 per cent increase compared to the 2,922 sales recorded in September 2014, and a 0.5 per cent decrease compared to the 3,362 sales in August 2015.

Last month’s sales were 32.9 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.

“Residential home sales have been trending at 25 to 30 per cent above the ten-year sales average for most of the year. The number of homes listed for sale hasn’t been keeping up with the demand,” Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said. “It’s this dynamic that’s placing upward pressure on home prices, particularly in the detached home market.”

New listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver totalled 4,846 in September. This represents a 7.9 per cent decline compared to the 5,259 new listings reported in September 2014.

The total number of properties listed for sale on the real estate board’s MLS® is 10,805, a 27 per cent decline compared to September 2014 and a 0.8 per cent decline compared to August 2015.

“At no point this year has the number of homes listed for sale exceeded 14,000, which is the first time this has occurred in the region since 2007,” McLeod said.

The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently $722,300. This represents a 13.7 per cent increase compared to September 2014.

The sales-to-active-listings ratio in September was 31 per cent. Generally, analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio declines below the 12 per cent mark, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it reaches 20 per cent, or higher, in a particular community for a sustained period of time.

Sales of detached properties in September 2015 reached 1,272, an increase of 0.2 per cent from the 1,270 detached sales recorded in September 2014, and a 24.3 per cent increase from the 1,023 units sold in September 2014. The benchmark price for a detached property in Metro Vancouver increased 18.9 per cent from September 2014 to $1,179,700.

Sales of apartment properties reached 1,529 in September 2015, an increase of 28.7 per cent compared to the 1,188 sales in September 2014, and an increase of 50.2 per cent compared to the 1,018 sales in September 2013. The benchmark price of an apartment property increased nine per cent from September 2014 to $415,100.

Attached property sales in September 2015 totalled 544, an increase of 17.2 per cent compared to the 464 sales in September 2014, and a 23.1 per cent increase from the 442 attached properties sold in September 2013. The benchmark price of an attached unit increased 8.1 per cent between September 2014 and 2015 to $518,600.

*Editor’s Note: Areas covered by Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver include: Whistler, Sunshine Coast, Squamish, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Richmond, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, and South Delta.

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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.