The Haunted Walk – Upper Canada Village – August 2, 2014:
Looking for something a little different to do with your family this summer? Might I suggest taking in a haunted walk in Upper Canada Village?
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to explore the 19th century village during the day, then exploring it under cover of darkness with a lantern and a ghost-knowledgable guide is definitely not to be missed.
When I learned the Haunted Walk had taken up residence at one of my favorite – and one of the largest – living-history sites in Canada, I was eager to check it out. I was accompanied by my younger sister and teenage niece. We arrived 10 minutes late, not sure what to expect as we were pretty sure our group would have left without us. We were greeted at the door by a friendly man which we later learned was Glen Shackleton, the founder and director of the Haunted Walks. Greg graciously escorted us, by flashlight, to our group who had just entered the Cook’s Tavern.
Our guide, Kathryn, guided us through the village, stopping in front of houses to regale a haunted or ghost story from the region or strange and unusually happenings taking place around the village. Adding to the spooky ambiance was a firework show taking place nearby. At one point we gathered in the one room school house – along with a resident bat – to hear a ghost story. It was easy to imagine oneself in the 1800s with the boom of canons (fireworks) in the distance. Kathryn was superb at bringing the stories to life and adding humour along the way. I found the stories were not gruesome or overly scary and very safe for children.
What I enjoyed most was walking around the village in the dark, although several members of our group carried lanterns, – under a clear sky with stars peeking through the odd cloud, a quarter moon shining, fire flies flitting to and fro, the sheep grazing close by – and soaking up the ambiance of the village under darkness. Note: The mosquitoes were out in full force.
A couple of unusual things did happen during the tour:
- While visiting the Masonic Lodge, I turned on my mini flashlight to view the interior of the room and the light went out. Strange, especially after learning of the watch incident. (To learn more about the watch incident you’re going to have to take the tour!)
- On two separate occasions I encountered a scent: one was musky while the other was moldy. Both smells were fleeting and I asked my sister if she smelled it too but she didn’t.
I thoroughly enjoyed my Haunted Walk experience at Upper Canada Village and was surprised at how quickly time passed. The tour was approximately 90 minutes and if felt nowhere near that long. The walking was easy although I was grateful we were able to sit for a bit in the school house and the church. The only thing I would change is the amount of lanterns carried by the group. I felt there were too many lanterns which made things a little too bright. Next time I would wear longer pants or spray myself with bug spray to avoid the mosquito bites. I highly recommend taking-in this event!
The Haunted Walk Upper Canada Village happens Saturday evenings in July and August. I bought my tickets on-line which was quick and easy. Fore more information or to make reservations: 613-232-0344 or visit the website.