Friday, June 28, 2019


How About a Weird Canadian Vacation This Year?

Tired of the same old, same old places to drag the kids this summer for the family vacation? How about something a bit different? 

How about a Weird Canadian Vacation?

Canada is home to all kinds of strange and remarkable places with offbeat histories and traditions. There are many hotels, halls, and other buildings that are said to be haunted, many lakes that some residents and tourists swear are home to Canuck versions of the Loch Ness Monster, rugged areas and forests where hikers have claimed to have seen Sasquatch, and locations where UFOs were observed to land.

Why not travel to visit places and monuments that are out of the ordinary this year?

The following list is by no means complete or exhaustive, but only highlights a few unusual places from coast to coast that you might consider taking in.

Shag Harbour UFO Crash
Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia
In October 1967, many witnesses, including RCMP, saw a bright object fall into the ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia. The case, often called “Canada’s Roswell,” is supported by actual government and military documents from the National Archives that detail the official investigation and efforts to recover whatever it might have been. Local residents even commemorate the incident with an annual UFO Festival, and there’s a sign at a park along the highway near where it happened.

Haunted Gibraltar Point Lighthouse
Toronto Islands, Ontario
During the War of 1812, lighthouse keeper John Paul Radelmuller was murdered by soldiers from nearby Fort York and his body dismembered, the parts buried around the lighthouse. His ghost is said to haunt the area. A coffin was found in 1893, with only a jawbone inside it.

Kelowna, BC
Lake Okanagan in the BC Interior is said to be home to Ogopogo, Canada’s version of the Loch Ness Monster. For many decades, tourists and residents have claimed to have seen an eel- or serpent-like creature swimming across the lake. There’s even a statue of Ogopogo along the Kelowna waterfront.

Haunted Craigdarroch Castle
Victoria, BC
Built in the 1890s for coal baron Robert Dunsmuir who died before it was completed, this Victorian mansion has a reputation for being haunted. Visitors have said they have seen and heard a piano playing by itself, while others have seen a spectral woman in white standing in the ballroom.  

Falcon Lake UFO
Falcon Lake, Manitoba
In May 1967, Stefan Michalak was doing some amateur prospecting north of Falcon Lake in Whiteshell Provincial Park. He encountered a flying saucer that seemed to land on a rock outcropping near him. He walked up to it and was burned by its exhaust when it took off. The case was investigated by the RCMP, Canadian Forces and even the United States Air Force, which considered it “Unexplained.” Today, you can get a t-shirt commemorating the event in Falcon Lake, and the local riding stable offers guided “UFO Rides” to the site where it occurred.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Ghost
Banff, Alberta
Built in 1888, the Banff Springs Hotel is a majestic building that is host to many classic ghost stories. These include the story of an entire family murdered in room 873 (which has been bricked up and never entered again), a bride who fell down the hotel’s stairs and is haunting it ever since, and the ghost of a retired bellman Sam McAuley who has been helping guests with their luggage long after his death.

St. Paul UFO Landing Pad
St. Paul, Alberta
“The World’s First UFO Landing Pad” was built in 1967 as a Canadian Centennial Project. In the 1990s, the saucer-shaped platform had fallen into disrepair (from apparent lack of use) and was restored. Later, a UFO museum added as well and a UFO conference was held there a few times. Queen Elizabeth visited the pad in 1978, and Mother Theresa herself visited it in 1982.

Haunted West Point Lighthouse
O’Leary, P.E.I.
Mysterious lights have been reported in windows of rooms in the West Point Lighthouse in O’Leary. The story is that its first keeper, Lighthouse Willie, haunts both the lighthouse and the West Point Lighthouse Inn next door.

The Old Spaghetti Factory Ghost
Vancouver, BC
The ghost of a tram conductor is said to haunt this restaurant built over an underground railway. As well, patrons and employeess have reported feeling cold drafts, seeing spectral figures, and hearing their names called out by disembodied voices.

Sasquatch Museum
Harrison Hot Springs, BC
The Sasquatch Museum is located at the Harrison Visitor Information Center at the corner of Hot Springs Road and Walnut. Hours vary by season and the Sasquatch Museum will be open during Visitor Center Hours.

Haunted Cathedral of The Holy Trinity
Quebec City, Quebec
According to some stories, in the early 1800s, the cathedral was built over top of the body of a woman buried alive during a cholera epidemic. Another story is that a nun had a baby and buried it under the church, but now her ghost and that of the child are restless spirits. Some people report hearing the organ play by itself.

Screaming Tunnel
Niagara Falls, Ontario
According to legend, the tunnel is haunted by the ghost of a young girl who escaped a nearby burning building with her clothing on fire and succumbed inside the tunnel. Another version of the tale is that the girl was set on fire by her angry father after he lost custody of her following a messy divorce. Yet another tale has her being raped inside the tunnel and her body burned to destroy evidence. The screams people claim to hear are, of course, the girl calling for help and crying in pain while ablaze.


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