Imagine this: you wake up in the middle of the night to a loud noise in your hotel room. Suddenly, there’s a blast of cold air sending shivers down your spine, and you immediately get this eerie and undeniable feeling that you’re not alone. Whether or not you believe in the paranormal, this is just one of the reported incidents at Canada’s oldest properties.
In the spirit of Halloween, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with over a million places to stay, has rounded up some of Canada’s legendary accommodations where you’ll have a hauntingly good time.
The Omni King Edward, Toronto, ON
This century-old hotel has hosted an impressive roster of guests like Ernest Hemingway, The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor and more some of whom may have never left. Built over an old jail and hanging yard, the location alone gives this King Street property the perfect setting for unwanted spirits. Guests have reported hearing sounds of shaking chandeliers, talking, dancing and music playing in the now closed crystal ballroom and have experienced things like the service elevator stopping for no particular reason.
Hotel Saskatchewan, Regina, SK
This Victorian hotel with old world charm does not come without a dark side. Throughout the years, several unexplainable suicides have taken place within these walls, which have been attributed as the reason why spirits continue to appear. Both guests and staff have reported seeing apparitions vanish, unexplainable movement of chandeliers, cupboards and even vases flying across rooms and crashing to pieces. While sightings have been reported throughout the entire hotel, the fifth and eighth floors are said to be the most haunted.
The Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, ON
There are two guests at this iconic hotel that simply refuse to check out. According to folklore, the eighth floor is home to the spirit of a grey-haired man, wearing a maroon jacket while the 19th floor is haunted by a former banquet porter who hung himself. Guests who have stayed in rooms below the closed Crystal Ballroom have reported hearing sounds of music, talking and strange footsteps, while other guests have claimed to have heard the sounds of children laughing and running up and down the hallways only to realize the halls are empty. If that’s not creepy enough, the hotel elevator will randomly take guests up to the ballroom floor even when no one’s pushed the button.
The Algonquin Resort St. Andrews by-the-Sea – Saint Andrews by the Sea, NB
If whale-watching by day and ghost-watching by night sounds like your dream getaway, this seaside accommodation has got you covered. Built in the late 1880s, this hotel is rumored to have several resident spirits, including a ghostly bellhop who roams the halls and a weeping bride who usually gets all the attention. According to legend, room 473 is the haunted by a bride who died of a broken heart after her fiancé stood her up at the alter.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – Banff, AB
Situated high above in a breathtaking National Park, this castle-like grand hotel draws in visitors from around the world – and not just for its luxury rooms and impeccable service. Since its establishment, the 127-year-old hotel has gained a haunting reputation. Rumors of ghost sightings include a scorned bride who met her untimely death after falling down the hotel’s staircase and the ghost of Sam Macaulay who was a retired bellhop at the hotel. Looking for an extra scare? Try sleeping in room 873 which is supposedly haunted by a murdered family.
HI Ottawa Jail Hostel – Ottawa, ON
Located in the old Carleton Country Gaol, this property has a rich and spooky history. From 1862 to 1972, the building was a maximum security institution with tiny cells, glassless windows, and public executions. Eventually, it was transformed and re-opened as a hostel in 1973, marked by a visit from Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Now, it continues to be a popular choice for backpackers, but you don’t get to be a 150+-year-old property without collecting some mysterious tales. Guests have reported paranormal sightings of ghostly figures, unexplained locking of doors, strange noises, and loud screams.
James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage, Victoria BC
As the third oldest hotel in Victoria, this heritage property boasts more than just its exquisite location and cozy rooms. In operation since 1911, the hotel has hosted countless guests including the famous Canadian painter, Emily Carr. In 1945, she was found dead in room 115 and it has been said that her ghost still haunts the first floor bedrooms and the hotel’s pub.