Haunted St. Thomas
When a town is as historic and old as St. Thomas, its heritage buildings make perfect haunting grounds for ghosts – or at least, tales of them. Our city’s extensive past provides us today with many legends, myths, and stories of spirits, and even a witch, that have been passed on from generation to generation. While they may be mere speculation, they are a part of St. Thomas and its history. Where able, check out some of these locations and keep your ear to the ground and eyes peeled for the paranormal. But remember that many of these places are private property, and should not be trespassed upon – especially with ghosts guarding them!
Alma College is often cited as one of the most haunted locations in our region. Though it tragically burned down in 2008, the girls’ school had stood since 1878. Both before and even after the fire, there have been many stories of supernatural activity occurring on the grounds.
One particular tale tells the story of a woman named Angela, who was rumoured to be a cruel music teacher locked in a closet by students and left to die. The western tower was often referred to as “Angela’s Tower,” as this is where she supposedly remained for many years after her death, haunting Alma College. Her footsteps were frequently heard pounding up and down the tower’s staircase, but despite Angela’s menacing post-mortem behaviour, students celebrated her each year on Halloween. There had also been reports of cries, voices, and other strange noises, along with apparitions of young girls.
An investigation of the grounds by Haunted North America resulted in chilling experiences of young girls allegedly whispering abusive threats, showing the investigators that their presence was unwelcome. Whether or not it was haunted, there is no doubt that Alma College was stunning, but a bit sinister… So much so that it was used in the horror films Orphan and Silent Hill!
Princess Ave Playhouse
The Princess Ave Playhouse, originally built as a church in 1907, is allegedly a hotspot for multiple spirits who roam the building. In fact, multiple documentaries have been filmed there, as teams investigated for paranormal activity. One story speaks of a team of Ryerson students who recorded a video about the haunted playhouse in 2001. When listening back to an interview with an Elgin Theatre Guild member, the group found the audio had inexplicably cut out as they spoke about a particular ghost, then returned as they went to another topic.
One ghost is said to be a young girl named Maisie, whom women have heard around the playhouse. One late night, the women in a cast rehearsal heard a child crying, and refused to leave until they found the source of the noise – which evidently, they never did. A medium who spoke to the Princess Ave spirits confirmed this young girl’s identity. The medium also learned of the spirit of an old female church secretary, seen at the top of the staircase, where people often feel suddenly chilled and hear fake teeth clattering.
The playhouse also hosts a spirit referred to as Mort, who appears to have a sense of humour. Mort has been seen sitting during plays, typically comedies, wearing a top hat. He is often blamed when items go missing in the theatre, but after one crew member yelled angrily and cursed at the ghost to return his belongings, Mort seemingly did so.
The Canadian Haunting and Paranormal Society have conducted multiple investigations at the playhouse, resulting in reports and videos which can be found on their website.
Next time you go to see a play at Princess Ave, keep an eye out for these regulars!
The St. Thomas Courthouse has also been the subject of various local ghost stories. The building dates back to 1853, and it was the site of multiple hangings. One local describes many strange oddities when working there as a teenager, including missing tools and bizarre noises, which he believes could only have been the spirits of those who were put to death on the grounds many years ago.
The last people to be hung in the courthouse were Frank and Fred Temple, a father and son duo who were caught stealing a bike. When police officers Sam McKeown and Colin McGregor went to their home with an arrest warrant, a scuffle began and Frank fatally shot McGregor. Despite Frank being the one to kill the officer, both the father and the son were sentenced to death. Officer McKeown, who testified at the trial, was later buried in the Old St. Thomas Church, while the city’s police headquarters were named after McGregor. Frank and Fred Temple were hung at the St. Thomas Courthouse in June, 1935. Perhaps the tormented spirit of the unjustly sentenced Fred Temple and his angry father still remain...
Wellington Street School
Constructed in 1898, Wellington Street School (now home to the STEAM Centre) is very historic, even designated as a heritage property. It stopped functioning as an elementary school in 2009 but not before many of those who attended were apparently subjected to paranormal experiences.
There have been multiple testimonies of unexplainable and alarming noises in the school, and many claim even today to have witnessed young children peering out of the window and playing on the playground.
Myrtle Street School
Myrtle Street is another century-old elementary school, opened in 1904 and closed in the early 2000’s. At this school, too, people have testified that they witnessed ghostly children in the windows. But even more puzzling, there have been sightings of apparitions appearing to be 19th century soldiers in the hallways.
Though now demolished, disembodied voices on the surrounding grounds have been said to fill the air.
The Sparta Tearoom doesn’t just serve tea; it’s said to be home to two mischievous ghosts. Inhabitants Norma and Ken Roberts say they repeatedly experience various mysterious occurrences, including multiple items flying off of shelves and their bedroom’s latched door frequently being opened and closed.
One spirit is said to be a woman in a dress and bonnet, while the other is a man in a dark coat. These identities were confirmed when a medium visited the house, who was supposedly able to communicate with the spirits. The Sparta House's spirits were also featured on the television show Rescue Mediums, which can be watched online.
10/17/2016 08:39:07 pm
Haunted St.Thomas. A few people have died in 668 Talbot St. - which started out being called "The Wilcox House" then in later days Empire Hotel, Burty Bob's, Kenny Iguana's and now Destination Church. It was October 1890 - and the staff was cleaning up at the end of the night. They went to a table to wake a patron up - but he was dead at his table. St.Thomas Police issued notices of an "unidentified man dead in St.Thomas" in local newspapers and was even posted in the New York Times. A lady in Hamilton read the article - and based on the person's description - came to identify the body. She traveled from Hamilton with friends and when they saw the body they all agreed - it was her husband "John Croft" (a little grayer then he had been 2 months before when he left home looking for work). The body was brought back to Hamilton by the Forester Lodge members - of which John was a member - and then buried on the Croft Homestead. The family remained in mourning for weeks until they received a telegram originating from London, On... it was John Croft. The man they had taken to Hamilton and buried on the property was not her husband... and his identity remains a mystery to this day. The sounds of footsteps, lights flashing, knocking, plates dropping in the kitchen, and other bumps in the night could always be heard in that building... Is it the man they thought was John Croft - that was taken and buried in Hamilton - where he didn't belong?
Railway City Tourism
10/18/2016 02:55:00 pm
Crazy story! Thanks for sharing!
6/19/2018 02:42:28 pm
I'm coming to St Thomas in August love learn history and do some ghost hunting some of these locations please contact me so arrange time check out these locations i have emailed your contact email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for research thx
10/31/2021 05:05:44 am
Don't forget Coolz warehouse was before Kenny's.
9/12/2017 10:27:26 am
Myrtle street school was shut down in the year of 2007 because I use to go to myrtle street
10/23/2018 04:16:10 pm
I think you’re off by a couple of years! I did my co-op placement there in my last semester of high school, which was 2009. I remember that as being the year they closed, because there was a big concert and celebration to mark the “end of an era” :)
5/20/2022 04:09:06 am
i went to that school when i was a kid my teachers name was miss Irwin she was pregnant at the time
10/7/2017 08:05:08 pm
5/23/2018 10:38:03 am
I really enjoyed these stories. I love the history of the city I live in.....
5/24/2018 08:44:55 am
Lois Farley said their house was haunted on Medcalf St .
4/14/2019 05:10:59 pm
I have a question... was there anything before the women’s shelter was built? There seems to be paranormal going on in that place too :/
1/3/2021 08:38:16 am
Hi there. I have a few questions if you could point me in the right direction. My mom bought a house on Lakeview circle 3 years ago. Recently we've been hearing very strange noises. Like that give us an Erie feeling. We've checked the attic and nothing is up there. Weird things keep happening. We arnt people that believe in that sort of thing. But want to know what the noises are we keep hearing. Or if something happened at this house years ago. You know, just so my mom gets peice of mind. It's basically making her want to sell her house because it's making her nervous living there. If you could point me in some kind of direction that would be nice. Thankyou.
Railway City tourism
1/4/2021 09:25:51 am
Hi Laura! We know of a few contacts that may be able to help out. Please email us at email@example.com.
2/27/2021 05:44:15 pm
Hey Laura, I'm actually a Paranormal Investigator and have a fairly popular channel on You Tube. What sort of occurrences have you encountered so far?
10/29/2021 03:15:24 pm
Do you live in or near St. Thomas? There is a place that is haunted with proof and I was wondering if someone wanted to check it out.
3/12/2021 09:20:27 am
I worked in the consolidated courthouse when the large addition was put on and the original courthouse was fully restored. I didn't know about the hangings or the ghosts of the hung men. I did hear some different stories though. Apparently a female janitor died in the basement during a fire. May have been electrical related. Its been awhile since I heard the story. But some of the other workers on the restoration project claimed to have seen stuff. And at the time of that project, the ladies, still living husband, would come to the court house once a week to visit her.
4/22/2021 11:55:28 am
I'm surprised that they didn't mention the St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital on Sunset Rd. If you pass by, half of the hospital was clearly abandoned, because there are broken windows and rust on one half. It has been permanently closed. It was opened in April 1939. I have watched YouTube videos of this hospital being explored. I'm convinced that it's haunted. I wonder why half of it was abandoned. There has to be a story to go with it.
11/2/2021 02:27:27 pm
2/5/2023 04:07:05 am
5/10/2021 04:25:17 am
Hi, for some reason unknown to me, I seem to attract spirits or just happen to run into them alot !? anyway the white apartment building at the end of Jackson street was very haunted when I lived there, my apartment was very top floor in the back far right.....I had guests that would actually leave my place it was so bad! lights turning off and on, running up and down the hall ways when no one was there, anyway it was really bad! .......long story but I believe I accidentally got rid of the ghost that was there, and I was with a friend that snapped a pic. at the old rail station... and she captured a full ghost woman in the middle of the day on cam , you can see the bricks of the train station right through her , she is wearing 1800 period clothing and is holding luggage in both hands, the pic was captured during iron horse days, i still have a copy of the pic online but when she sent it to me it got pixelated, so not as much detail as the original, and I was at a apartment on talbot st. that was very haunted, stuff flying through the air, from all my experience I can now feel if a place is haunted or not.
7/11/2022 05:12:28 pm
Jackson St building is definitely haunted. I lived there in early 2000. I channeled an old woman there who had passed before I moved in, in the hospital. I wrote a song called "Ascending Watchers" based on this experience and sent her "home" video is on YouTube
10/29/2021 03:28:56 pm
I'm looking for a ghost hunting investigator. Please email me
5/20/2022 04:07:08 am
how about your brother me
11/11/2021 10:46:19 am
what about the mental hospital
3/31/2022 10:14:14 pm
Balaclava St. School could also make a spot on this list, I used to go there and it closed when I was in 6th grade. There were always rumours and stories about a girl hanging herself from the ceiling pipes in the girls bathroom, and rumours the attic was haunted. The school was built in like 1874.
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