As Halloween creeps up on us, our passion for the paranormal is ignited and we feel the urge to explore the unexplained. And while ghost stories and scary movies can be a lot of fun, there’s nothing quite like visiting a place that’s heard to be haunted. Fortunately, Oakville is home to several sites that are rumoured to be frequented by phantoms. Read on to learn about these five possibly haunted spots in town.
Mysterious footsteps, self-locking doors and ghostly figures are just a few of the unexplained occurrences reported at Bronte Creek Provincial Park’s Spruce Lane Farmhouse. Once home to the Breckon family, this Victorian-era house is still decorated in its original style, allowing visitors to experience what life might have been like for the site’s original inhabitants.
However, some argue that the Breckons’ spirits are still reliving that life, locking and unlocking the smoking room door, playing in the halls and even expressing their displeasure at the dining room’s silverware placement. The site was even showcased in two episodes of YTV’s Ghost Trackers and has been surveyed by the Southern Ontario Paranormal Society. While the Park hosts Ghost Walks every August, the farmhouse is open at many different times throughout the year, allowing visitors to stop by and explore the spooky spot for themselves.
Erchless Estate – originally home to Oakville’s founding family, the Chisholms – is rumoured to still be occupied by some of its past residents. While some have reported seeing a figure in one of the site’s second-storey windows, others claim to have witnessed an apparition walking down the hallway of that same floor. Some visitors argue that they’ve seen the spirit of family matriarch Rebecca Chisholm picking flowers by the side gate (where she is thought to have died), and still others suggest that the spirit of Underground Railroad traveller and family butler Christopher Columbus Lee has appeared in several places within the house.
Whether all of this is the work of spirits or active imaginations is anyone’s guess. What’s certain, though, is that Erchless Estate, now home to the Oakville Museum, is a great place to explore, learn about and experience Oakville’s fascinating past.
While Glen Abbey Golf Club is best known as the “home of the Canadian Open,” it’s also rumoured to be home to a friendly monk spirit. First developed as a mining-engineer’s mansion in 1937, the building now known as the Golf House was acquired and used by the Jesuit Fathers of Upper Canada from 1953 to 1965. It is perhaps a resident from this time period who some visitors have heard mumbling prayers through the halls of the building.
The much-loved Dingle Park in Downtown Oakville is a favourite spot among visitors and residents hoping to get a great view of Lake Ontario and the Toronto skyline. However, some have reported that a certain spirit has an attachment to this area as well. Thought to be the ghost of a girl who drowned in the lake many years ago, a figure dancing along the rocks has apparently appeared to several park patrons.
While fall in Downtown Oakville is filled with many heavenly scents, some visitors to Market Square have reported sensing something quite the opposite. At least one group of tourists was able to smell a distinct burning odour while standing at the site. And while the scent in itself is nothing to jump at, the phenomenon gains some serious paranormal points when you learn that Market Square was once home to the old Town Hall and jailhouse…both of which burned to the ground during the 1800s.
Hopefully these (possibly) haunted spots will get you into the Halloween spirit and encourage you to explore Oakville’s most paranormal places. For a more detailed delve into the town’s haunted history, register for one of the Oakville Historical Society’s Ghost Walks, running until Oct. 30, 2017. Happy ghost hunting!