With Halloween just around the corner, you won’t need any more prompting to indulge in some spooky fun. Save the candy for later in the week and check out some of Hamilton’s supposedly haunted spots. Check out these places on Devil’s Night…if you dare.
Century Manor (Near the corner of Fennell Avenue West and the North side of Governors Boulevard)
Old insane asylums are about as freaky as it gets. The thought of mentally unwell patients (oftentimes criminals) being administered electro-shock therapy is enough to make one shudder, but some of the stories about the tunnels that have outlived the original building are enough to make one scared to death. Though the asylum itself has been demolished and replaced with a modern psychiatric hospital, the tunnels that stretch from the manor to Mohawk College’s Cellar Pub are said to be haunted by the asylum’s nurses. Next time your Mohawk friends ask you to go for a pint, you know to say “no thanks!”
Custom House (51 Stuart Street)
Considered by many paranormal aficionados to be the most haunted place in Hamilton, the Custom House has seen its fair share of murders. From the deaths of innocent servant girls, to fifteen men being buried alive in its basement, the Custom House will daunt the most grizzled ghost veterans. The spirit of a young boy is purported to flit about the second floor, where his giggles can be heard as he tugs guests clothing.
While it’s toured by old and young alike by day, Dundurn Castle is said to be the unlikely home to many ghostly apparitions. Sir Allan MacNab, a Premier of Ontario for a period of two years before Confederation, occupied the splendid estate with his family and their spirits remain to this day. It is said that a mysterious draft blows out candles outside the room where MacNab’s second wife died, and music is heard throughout the house.
Tivoli Theatre (James Street North)
While theatres often play host to outlandish tales, what happened at the Tivoli Theatre will outstrip the wildest imagination. Ambrose Small was Hamilton’s leading theatre magnate until he disappeared in 1919 without a trace. Some time afterwards, an odd trunk was found inside the theatre bearing Small’s name. The trunk held a skeleton! Though it was initially thought the skeleton matched Small’s frame, it was never confirmed as it mysteriously disappeared before a forensic team could arrive from Toronto.
The Hermitage Ruins (Sulphur Springs Road)
The Hermitage Ruins sit in a tree-lined forest and are said to be haunted by William Black, the coachman for Col. Otto Ives in the early 1800’s. After his courtship of Ives’ niece was rebuffed, Black hung himself in the stables of the mansion and his spirit is said to haunt the ruins to this day from where his body is buried at the cross-roads of Lovers Lane. Cellphone reception can be scanty in this area of the Dundas Conversation Area, so proceed at your own peril.