Issue 17, Volume 85
Oct. 24, 2012
What’s lurking in Windsor’s shadows
With every passing day, Halloween creeps closer. Whether or not you believe in ghosts and the supernatural, Windsor and its surrounding area has long been noted for a frighteningly high level of paranormal activity.
While Windsor itself was officially incorporated as a city in 1854, the region as a whole attracted settlers in the late 1700s following the American Revolution. Many suspect that it’s the spirits of these settlers who still languish in the shadows of many residences throughout the city.
Kelly Osbourne, founder and lead investigator of the Ontario Paranormal Inquest Society, has been personally involved in nine paranormal investigations. She said Windsor has its fair share of paranormal experiences and encounters, especially in the west-end. “We believe there is definitely some energy that has remained in this area,” she said.
While Kristian Neill, co-owner of the Dominion House, doesn’t believe in ghosts, he has heard many ghost stories about the building, which was established in 1878. Things have been known to move on their own, employees have ‘sensed’ entities and one bartender ‘feels their presence’ from time to time.
“There’s been many stories passed down and around,” explained Neill. “The upstairs used to be rented out and we know that there have been people who have passed in the bar…they may have enjoyed themselves so much that they wanted to stay around and watch other people drink [from beyond the grave]; maybe have a pint from time to time.”
Rob Tymec has cast his shadowy form in the spookiest of local haunts while conducting walking tours of haunted areas for the past six years.
“I walk people through [areas rumoured to be the homes ethereal beings] and tell them ghost stories about that area; specific buildings that are supposed to be
haunted and old legends that are said to have taken place in that region that are
of a supernatural nature.”
Tymec’s company, Monkeys with a Typewriter Theatre Company, is currently holding The Spirits of Amherstburg, a walking ghost tour in Amherstburg’s Navy Yard; The Spirits of Sandwich, a walking phantom crawl through the heart of Olde Sandwich Towne; and The Spirits of Colchester, a wraith walk in and around one of the oldest parts of Colchester.
Tymec shed some light on the macabre tales of Olde Sandwich Towne he has
learned through extensive research on the Windsor area.
The Dragging Ghost occupies Mackenzie Hall, regarded as the most haunted building in the city due to its longtime use as a court house, prison and place of execution. Once a custodian worked late into the night hanging lights in the gallery using a large ladder. When the worker went downstairs, he heard the ladder scraping across the floor even though he was the only person in the locked and secured building. The ladder moved a total of three times until the worker, assailed by fear, fled the building. Several others have seen other objects move, from drinks across tables to large pieces of furniture.
Stumble Inn-visible: When the west-end watering hole, The Stumble Inn, was known as The Mill, the then owner had problems with people breaking into
the establishment. He set up a security system complete with cameras. While
working late one night, he heard footsteps coming from the upstairs, even
though the building was locked and he was alone. He rushed to look at the
security camera’s live feed and nothing appeared on the screen as the revenant
footsteps continued to pace overhead.
Legend has it that the spectral The Three Girls are known to occupy The Bake Shop on Sandwich Street. It is told that over a century ago, three sisters lived in the building. Since then, when a forgetful baker has forgotten something in the oven and rushed back to retrieve the charred cake or burnt buns, they would return to find their baked goods already cooling on the counter even though nobody was there to remove them from the oven.
The 214-year-old Duff-Baby House is reportedly the home of a Ghost Dog, as
many people hear a dog’s claws clacking on the hardwood floor. Often times,
a caretaker would hear a dog panting in the very same room that he was in. Reportedly, the ghost dog would bark defensively during the night and eventually the caretaker called out, “It’s just relax.” The daemon dog would me … recognize his voice, stop barking and relax.
Editor ‘s note: Thanks Jon the piece is good, though I was hoping you could
go out into the field yourself. Check out St. John Cemetery in Sandwich Town,
a burial ground steeped with ghost stories and tombstones that date back to the 1700s. I’m sure you ‘II be able to experience and or dispel the paranormal there.
OK, I’ll head there tonight with my laptop and finish the story from the cemetery.
It’s midnight. I’m sitting in the cemetery, cold and bored, eagerly hoping to experience something paranormal. Funny I almost scared myself. I thought I just saw aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Editor ‘s note: The preceding was recovered from the laptop of Jon Liedtke. The
computer was returned to The Lance office by an area resident. Liedtke has not been seen since.
Jon Liedtke was the Features and Opinions Editor, Advertising Manager and Deficit Consultant at the UWindsor Lance.