Canadians love fall, but it isn't always for the cooler weather or gorgeous foliage — some enjoy the season for much darker reasons.
The popularity of haunted tours spikes in October as travellers around the world feel an inclination toward ghoulish tales and things that go bump in the night as Halloween draws nearer.
At this time of year, tourists can't help but look for destinations with spooky stories or urban legends, says Taylor Cole, director of public relations and social media for Hotels.com.
"It's a fun way to experience the fall or maybe visit a hotel that you hadn't planned on staying in. We really want to help people find the perfect place and for some, the perfect place happens to be haunted."
At the Fairmont Empress hotel in Victoria, B.C., guests staying on the sixth floor report getting a knock on the door by a woman who asks for help in finding her room. But when they go out into the hall to help her, she disappears. That's just one of the stories tourists hear while on a ghostly walk led by local historian John Adams.
"It is difficult to go to sleep at night after hearing those kinds of stories," says Cole. "It does send a chill down my spine thinking about whether that person is still there."
The appetite for the paranormal and hair-raising tales remain strong and the opportunity to feed that need is easy with lists detailing the most haunted prisons, bed and breakfasts and hotels around the world.
While just about every Canadian city has an urban legend or terrifying ghost story, Cole recommends New Orleans for thrill seekers looking for an otherworldly experience in the United States.
"Many hotels around the French Quarter offer a haunted or voodoo tour as part of the package."
So whether you're looking for an adrenaline rush or a good story to tell your family and friends, here's our roundup of the top 10 most haunted places in Canada. Our list is by no means complete. What spooky place have you been? Let us know in the comments section below.
The Haunted Walk in Kingston
You can't miss them. Dressed in black capes and holding lanterns, guides of the <a href="http://www.hauntedwalk.com/kingstontours.php">Haunted Walks</a> through the Limestone City as well as Fort Henry look the part as they take guests on a stroll to see the places where tragedy happened. They claim to have converted the biggest of skeptics, so beware!
Fairmont Empress in Victoria
One of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria, there's almost too many spirits reportedly haunting this place to count! A lost woman, ghoulish little girl, a chambermaid and a carpenter who hung himself from the rafters are all said to haunt the landmark hotel.
St. Louis Ghost Train in St. Louis, Saskatchewan
Although the tracks are no longer there, a mysterious light appears in the area after dark. There are a number of paranormal and natural theories as to why it happens, but the legend about a railroad worker who lost his head on the tracks and searches for it by lantern light is the most bone-chilling.
Fort York in Toronto
This red-coated guard is giving a tour to students but there's also been reports of a guard (who is not among the living) who haunts the fort's barracks. Some claim a female spirit hangs around the officers' quarters too. Visitors to the fort can take part in the After Dark Lantern Tour between Oct. 23-27 to get the ghoulish details.
Plains of Abraham in Quebec City
The site of a battle between the French and British empires in 1759, the area is allegedly haunted by soldiers who perished in the clash. <a href="http://www.ccbn-nbc.gc.ca/_en/index.php">Ghoulish walks</a> are taking place on the site Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and on Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. as well as 9:30 p.m.
Vogue Theatre in Vancouver
Everyone likes to be entertained but if you run into one of this theatre's two resident ghosts, it will be a night you won't forget. One spirit reportedly opens doors in the dressing area, while the other one has been spotted in the theatre's seats. His attire? A tuxedo.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta
A top pick among travellers for its history and the Canadian Rockies as a picturesque backdrop, this property attracts guests of the living and non-living! From a bellman named Sam who disappears when guests ask for help to a bride who allegedly fell down the hotel's staircase to her death, this hotel has its fair share of spirits. Is it just us, or can the same be said for many Fairmont properties?
Popular for its cultural, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants, a visit to Montreal isn't complete without exploring the older part of the city. But with anything old comes the possibility of ghostly spirits. According to Trip Advisor, there's been reports of a prostitute looking for her head in the area.
It operated as a jail for a century, so there's no wonder guests of this hostel report paranormal activity from prisoners who never left. From sounds of crying at night to clothes reportedly being scattered around unexplained, this place isn't for the faint of heart. Credit: <a href="http://www.hihostels.ca">HI-Canada</a>
Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto
According to a report by Hotels.com, this historic hotel has a few guests that are, um, permanent. The eighth floor is said to be haunted by children's voices, and there's also a man in a purple jacket who haunts the grounds.
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