I Might Have Met A Ghost: A Chilling Night At Upper Canada Village

Now that things have started to open up, and we’re looking for safe ways to hang out with friends, Mark and I are venturing out into the world once more. After spending the past year and a half talking mostly to cats, it feels strange to be around other people again. But I did miss it.

This past weekend, we got together with a small group of trusted and fully vaccinated friends for a chilling outdoor activity: The Haunted Walk at Upper Canada Village. Everyone in that friend group loves horror and spooky stuff, so we were all onboard with this particular activity. Until, of course, I remembered that my husband is the exception and was only agreeing to go so that he could spend time with friends. He does not like horror, or ghosts, or anything remotely scary. When the tour guides handed out a limited number of flashlights, we made sure Mark got one of them.

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to do anything like this, especially at night, so I showed up dressed the same way I’ve been dressing all summer. And since I had suffered through four days of unbearable humidity leading up to this excursion, I dressed accordingly. Big mistake. But at least I was not the only one in the group wishing I had brought a sweater. And once the Haunted Walk started, I found myself wishing that I had worn long pants as well, not because of the cold, but because of the ticks. That’s right, at the start of the evening, our tour guide warned us not to step on the grass because there were ticks in the area. Myself and others spent the whole night scared of the grass, checking out legs, and feeling like insects were crawling all over us. In the moment, it took away from the Haunted Walk itself. In retrospect, isn’t that exactly the kind of feeling of unease you want to experience during these sorts of things?

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts, but I’ve been chased by aggressive geese enough times that I’m absolutely afraid of what they’ll do to me if they catch me

And the ticks weren’t the only things we had to watch out for. There was a terrifying amount of Canada Geese in the area, and although they swarmed the parking lot, they were not in the village itself. But that didn’t stop them from making their presence known. Mixed in with the horse manure on the footpaths was an alarming amount of goose poop. Unfortunately, we spent more time using the flashlights to look at the ground in front of us instead of using them to look at all the creepy, potentially haunted, buildings we passed by. Still, that proved to be an additional source of spooks when one of the pieces of goose poop started to move, causing one of my friends to scream. When we all got over the shock, we realized that the possessed poop was actually a frog.

So we were spooked and on edge even without the ghost stories. Definitely the perfect conditions for a Haunted Walk. And the best part was when our tour guide informed us that all of the stories had been thoroughly researched, and that they had obtained eyewitness accounts when possible. Knowing this added to the experience and kept us on edge when we were near the buildings that were featured in the stories.

The one downside was that we couldn’t really go inside the buildings. The Haunted Walk is organized by a separate company that has gained permission to do these tours at Upper Canada Village after hours, so it makes sense that we weren’t allowed to go into all the buildings, but I would have loved to have gone in all of them. It would have been just that extra bit spookier. We were only allowed to go into three buildings in total, and one of those times was for a rather lackluster walk through from front door to back with out a pause to take everything in. We didn’t even get to go up to the supposedly haunted third floor. The other two buildings were much more satisfying by comparison. We were allowed into the entrance of the Masonic lodge, and many members of the tour felt very uncomfortable there. Myself included.

The third building we were allowed to go into was the best, and it’s that one that made me wish we could have gone into all of the buildings that were featured on the tour. It was a chapel, and we all sat in the dark, on the pews, with only the tour guide’s lantern for comfort as she told the ghost stories. And then she turned the lantern off and made us sit in the dark. It was in that moment that Mark and I realized…

Our masks glow in the dark.

We’ve been wearing them weekly for almost a year and we only just realized that the pattern glows in the dark.

Besides the glowing masks, there were other interesting things that took place in the chapel. Compared to the cool night air, it was deliciously warm inside, but someone on the tour reported feeling very cold. And close to where Mark and I were sitting, everyone in our vicinity heard scratching coming from one of the walls.

Were we in the presence of a ghost? Maybe.

All in all, we had a fantastic night, and every single member of our group wanted to come back. Even Mark. However, we’d like to go during the day next time. That way, we’ll actually be able to go inside of all of the other haunted buildings. Plus, we all had memories of Upper Canada Village from when we were young. What school aged child in the greater Ottawa area hasn’t gone on one or two (or more) field trips to Upper Canada Village? And now that we’re all adults and not being forced to learn about history through school, we’re actually interested in coming back to see everything. And, most importantly, from what we saw it looks like Upper Canada Village takes COVID safety precautions seriously. I can’t wait to go back. Maybe I’ll have another supernatural encounter next time.

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