Ontario Ghost Stories


239 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 1-55105-203-2
DDC 133.1'09713




Reviewed by Daniel M. Kolos

Daniel M. Kolos is president of Benben Books, a company publishing
scholarly works.


Where a more scientific mind might examine both statistical and
anthropological aspects of where and to whom ghosts appear, the editor
of these two collections of ghost stories evinces no pretensions of
wanting to study the genre. Smith largely lets her correspondents tell
their story, editing where necessary. The rich and famous have their
say, among them Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, “who
brought spirit to Ottawa.” Famous places are also heavily featured.
Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre, for example, still has ghosts who
entertain the entertainers while they are backstage. The Keg (a popular
watering hole on Jarvis Street), the Don Jail, and The Grange all seem
to be inhabited, as do such popular tourist attractions as Fort George
and the Grand Theatre in London.

Ghosts in Manitoba congregate not in the rural haunts where one would
expect to find them, but in Winnipeg. Familiar landmarks like the
Dominion Theatre and the Fort Gary Hotel are, not surprisingly, haunted.
One of the best stories concerns the apparition of an old trapper near
The Pas who “returned” to check on the younger man who replaced him.

Smith purposefully stays away from Native ghost stories. Perhaps that
will be the subject of a subsequent book.


Smith, Barbara., “Ontario Ghost Stories,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed October 26, 2021, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/412.