Nova Scotia has no shortage of ghost stories. With a history that extends back 400 years, it stands to reason that our long colourful past has left behind some troubled souls. Early settlers brought with them a rich legacy of stories and legends that have been passed down from generation to generation. Here are some of the more popular haunted locations around the province.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic - Water Street, Halifax
Museum employees have reported lights switching themselves on and off, and objects being moved by unseen hands. Paranormal activity seems to be focused around two exhibits in particular: the light from the historic Sambro Lighthouse, and the marble statue of Captain James Farquar.
Old Halifax Courthouse - Spring Garden Road, Halifax
Stored in a dark room on the upper story of the building are pieces of the old Halifax gallows, on which many of the city's more infamous criminals met their end. Many years ago, a building janitor ran terrified and shaking from the room, swearing he had seen a ghost, and vowing never to return to the room again – a promise he reportedly kept.
Bedford Basin - Halifax Harbour
Over the years, people standing along the shore of the Basin on foggy evenings have reported hearing the sound of a small boat being rowed toward the shore. The sound dies away, and no boat is ever seen. The story goes that some time in the last century, a dory full of fishermen overturned in the fog, and drowned. Their restless spirits are said to spend eternity seeking a shoreline they will never find.
St. Paul's Anglican Church - Argyle Street, Halifax
Canada’s oldest Protestant church is probably Halifax’s best-known haunted building. The image of one of its parishioners, killed in the tragic 1917 Halifax explosion, is said to appear in one of the upper storey windows.
The Fortress of Louisbourg - Cape Breton
Louisbourg's turbulent history has left a ghostly impression. The spectre of a man dressed in the uniform of an eighteenth century French officer has been seen repeatedly on the grounds of the fortress, as well as in the chapel.
One of Atlantic Canada's more famous hauntings is the burning ghost ship that sails the Northumberland Strait between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. She is described as an old sailing ship of three or four masts (reports vary), which is invariably seen ablaze from bow to stern.
Oak Island - Mahone Bay, NS
Legend has it that a huge treasure lies buried on the island in a deep and intricately booby-trapped mineshaft called the "Money Pit". Visitors to the island have reported encounters with apparitions dressed as eighteenth century soldiers and ghost lights have been seen from the mainland on several occasions.