October 27, 2020
Here in the Maritimes, we have no shortage of spooky tales to share with visitors looking for a fright. From wandering spectres to runaway phantom trains, nothing beats a good ghost story! Dim the lights and pull out your flashlight, it’s time to share a few of our favourite Maritime ghost stories.
One of Nova Scotia’s most popular tourist destinations is also one of its most haunted. Peggy’s Cove is home to one of the province’s most iconic lighthouses. It’s also home to the ghost of a woman named Margaret, who settled here after an accident claimed the life of her children. Margaret spent her days and evenings walking the dangerous rocks of the Cove, grieving their loss. One day, in an attempt to cheer her up, Margaret’s husband made his way out to the rocks to perform a dance. Tragically, he slipped and fell to his death. Absolutely inconsolable, Margaret jumped into the ocean, taking her own life, but she never really left Peggy’s Cove. In fact, to this day, visitors report seeing a distraught woman in a blue dress, standing on the rocks above the ocean. When they get too close, she jumps and disappears.
In January of 1922, Alexander and Mary MacDonald lived in the remote community of Caledonia Mills with their adopted daughter, Mary Ellen. Considering it was the dead of winter, you wouldn’t expect to hear the family fled their home. But that’s what happened after a series of fires mysteriously ignited throughout their farmhouse. Rumours swirled that Mary Ellen, their mysterious adopted daughter, was the spawn of an evil spirit bent on destruction. While she denied these accusations, they continued to mount and take their toll on her, eventually resulting in Mary Ellen being committed to an asylum. That said, her presence in the woods of Caledonia Mills remains. To this day, locals insist that if you visit the farm’s remains in hopes of finding a spooky souvenir, you’re asking for trouble. In fact, you might start discovering mysterious fires burning inside your own home!
Today, the Five Fishermen is a popular spot to grab a delicious meal in downtown Halifax, but the space it calls home wasn’t always a restaurant. In fact, in the early 1900s, the building was a mortuary and funeral home — one that housed victims from the Titanic, as well as the Halifax Explosion. Could some of these poor unfortunate souls have decided to never leave the building? Definitely, at least, according to those who have spent time at The Five Fishermen. Today, patrons and staff claim to hear mysterious whispers, see glasses fly off shelves, and, on certain occasions, witness haunting apparitions sporting clothing from a by-gone era who are certainly not looking to make a reservation!
An iconic resort located in St. Andrews By-The-Sea, New Brunswick, The Algonquin boasts beautiful views, iconic charms, and over 400 rooms. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder more than one guest has decided to stick around the grounds. That’s right, The Algonquin is also home to multiple ghostly guests, including a night watchman who endlessly roams the hallways and stairwells of the resort. Legend has it, he makes his presence felt by jangling a mysterious set of keys. There’s also a young child who can be heard (but never seen) laughing and playing throughout the expansive hotel. And, if you’re spending the night, you may get a history lesson on the hotel itself from an old man who loves to talk…then vanish into thin air!
Sure, today, Wolastoq Park is a peaceful green space in Saint John, but for 150 years it was home to a healthcare facility once known as the Provincial Lunatic Asylum. Over the years, hundreds of patients were housed in this facility. And some remained long after the building was demolished. These days, visitors claim to see former patients and staff wandering the park, as well as mysterious shadowy figures. Not only that, reports of phantom crying babies, malfunctioning electronics, mysterious mist and generally feelings of unspeakable dread continue to make this park a popular spot for fans of the paranormal.
Northern New Brunswick is home to one of the region’s most ghoulish ghosts — The Headless Nun! Wandering French Fort Cove, The Headless Nun is the spirit of Sister Marie Inconnue, who was ruthlessly murdered by pirates after refusing to give up the location of a treasure stashed away in the newly settled community. Her silence cost her more than her life. It also cost her her head! To this day, she wanders the area endlessly searching for her missing head and hoping to finally find peace.
Georgetown’s King’s Playhouse is one of the oldest community theatres on Prince Edward Island, as well as in all of Canada. Over time the actors gracing its stage have put on performances of a lifetime… and an afterlife time! This theatre is home to Captain George, who is said to love a great night of entertainment — so much so that a front-row seat is reserved every night just for him! When he’s not watching the performances, the Captain is known for playing with the lights, occasionally causing them to flicker at random, as well as reaching out to touch patrons with his phantom hand during performances.
The trains don’t run on Prince Edward Island anymore, but that doesn’t mean they’re no longer there. That’s especially true when you’re walking The Confederation Trail near Deblois. The Confederation trail follows the path of a railroad track destroyed by a terrible train accident during a snowstorm almost a century ago. These days, when you’re out walking, it’s not uncommon to hear a haunting phantom train whistle, as well as see a mysterious orb of light floating along where the tracks used to be. As the legend goes, this orb is the train’s engineer, desperately trying to prevent the tragedy for all eternity!
Do you have a favourite Maritime scary story? We’d love to hear it! Share your paranormal experience with us on social media! And, if you’d like to explore some of these famous maritime haunts for yourself, be sure to reach your destination aboard Fundy Rose, mv Confederation, or mv Holiday Island!
And if your heart is set on even more scares, be sure to check out even more hauntingly good Maritime ghost stories here.