"Winnipeg stands very highly among the places we have visited for its great paranormal potential.”
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Winnipeg has a long history of paranormal legend and supernatural myth. Some of its oldest buildings are often frequented by ghost hunters looking for a connection with the spiritual world. Here are some of the most haunted places in Winnipeg for you to explore this Halloween season.
1. Lower Fort Garry
This popular historic site has been in use for nearly 200 years, and has served many purposes in that time. Having been a Hudson’s Bay Company fort, a psychiatric hospital, and a jail, among others, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are many reports of spirits hanging around.
The most popular story is of disembodied footsteps, a phenomenon named the Three Step Ghost. Staff report hearing three steps in the blacksmith’s bedroom; one on the gravel, one on the steps, and one on the floor. They get ready to greet visitors, only for nobody to arrive.
One visitor recently commented about spotting a costumed man standing near her, only to find that nobody was there under further inspection. Staff members have also reported seeing a man watching them from a third floor window, which was verified to be empty.
Adult Admission: $12.50
Open from 10am–4pm daily, closed on weekends. Try to plan your visit for an overcast day for ideal October ambiance!
2. The Pantages Playhouse Theatre
Often said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Winnipeg, this old Vaudeville theatre was built in 1913 by Alexander Pantages. It remains an active theatre to this day, and many of the paranormal stories come from performers and theatre staff.
Several performers have reported hearing footsteps backstage, seeing figures where none existed, and even being restrained in the curtains with no explanation. There have been reports of items moving around with no human intervention, voices coming from empty rooms, and doors mysteriously slamming behind staff members.
To see a show (and maybe a ghost!) at Pantages, check out their programming on Ticketmaster.
3. Marlborough Hotel
The Marlborough’s paranormal legends stem from a tragic story of a young woman who was murdered in room 503 in the early 1940s. Visitors have since reported many strange events, such as crying noises coming from the empty room, lights turning on and off with no explanation, items moving around on their own, and a woman in a maid’s uniform walking into a bathroom stall and disappearing.
Some say the ghost of the murdered girl appears as a warning to those who might be in danger.
To stay, dine, or drink in the Marlborough, visit their website: https://www.themarlborough.ca/
4. Dalnavert Museum
Built in 1895, Dalnavert Museum is an ornate Victorian mansion nestled in the heart of Winnipeg. It was originally built as a home for the son of Canada’s first prime minister, and today has been preserved as a piece of architectural history.
As far as haunted houses go, you can’t get more traditional than a Victorian house. Rather than a long history of specific ghost sightings, visitors often report more of an eerie feeling when exploring this quiet building, especially when visited after dark. Many visitors report the unshakeable feeling of being watched or followed, and strange sound and lighting malfunctions. If you let your imagination wander with you, there’s no doubt you’ll get the haunted experience you’re looking for!
To book a tour through the museum, visit their website at: https://www.friendsofdalnavert.ca/museum-tours-1/safe
5. S.S. Keenora
The S.S. Keenora was built in 1897 and served as a passenger steamship for about 50 years before being moved to the Marine Museum of Manitoba.
The ship is open for tours, and those who explore the lower bowels of the ship have reported hearing the sounds of piano from above. The tight corridors and dark rooms add to the feeling of a ‘Ghost Ship’.
The Keenora also often offers a haunted ship experience that isn’t recommended for children under 15, though it went on hiatus for the pandemic but is planned to return this year.
Museum is open from 9am–5pm on weekdays, and 10am–5:30pm on weekends.
6. Masonic Temple
This grand stone structure was built in 1895 by the Masons and used for Masonic events and activities for over 75 years. After the Masons moved, it became the location of the popular Mother Tucker’s restaurant for the next 25 years. It was only after it became a restaurant that strange happenings started being reported.
In 1979, a manager mentioned hearing footsteps in the floor above, even though he had just checked to make sure there was no one there. Ghostly legend evolved and spread to the point where members of the third floor theatre community refused to move–let alone sit in–the famed ‘ghost chair’. Other patrons told tales of an old man dressed in white moving down the stairs.
7. Old Market Square
Winnipeg is lucky enough to have the popular Winnipeg Ghost Walk, run by the bestselling author of Haunted Winnipeg. The walk begins at Old Market Square, which was once the province’s first prison and the site of prisoner hangings in the 1870s.
To experience the full breadth of ghost stories in the historic exchange, including tours of many of the places on this list, check out the Winnipeg Ghost walk here: https://www.winnipegghostwalk.com/
8. The Burton Cummings Theatre
Originally built in 1906 as the Walker Theatre, this historic building is one of the best venues in town to take in a live show. It’s also rumored to be haunted.
Staff have reported hearing clapping, whispers, and disembodied voices coming from empty rooms. 200lb steel doors have also been seen moving on their own. There have been reports of footsteps and scuffling in the seats long after the last audience members have departed. According to some, the ghosts are former actors Laurence Irving and Mabel Hackney, who passed away in 1914.
To see a show at this historic theatre, visit their website: https://www.burtoncummingstheatre.ca/events/stage-frights-haunted-house-experience/
9. St Norbert Monastery
St Norbert Monastery Established in 1892, this historical building was once the home of monks of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, called Trappists. It was burned by arsonists in 1983 and rebuilt into a center for the arts in the early 90s.
It’s no surprise that this area takes on an eerie feeling after dark. Witnesses have described apparitions, disembodied voices and the feeling of being watched.
10. Fort Garry Hotel
Probably Winnipeg’s most famous haunted building, the château hotel was first opened in 1913. It has long been the focus of paranormal investigators, ghost stories, and haunted history tours.
Most legends take place in and around Room 202, where many visitors report seeing a ghostly figure standing at the foot of their bed, disembodied voices and footsteps, and even mysterious blood dripping from the walls in the dark. Other notable spirits are the ballgown-clad woman in the ballroom, and a ghostly man eating at a dining room table. Strange floating lights have also been seen around the hotel and the aforementioned Room 202.
To stay in this historic landmark, visit their website: https://www.fortgarryhotel.com/
If you want to work with realtors who are passionate about their city, reach out to Bryan at 204.891.3083.