GREATER TORONTO – In need of even more scares after checking our guides to Halloween events in Mississauga and Markham? Here at GTA Real Estate News, we take Halloween pretty seriously – so we decided to bring back our annual series highlighting “haunted” homes and properties around the GTA.
While the 2013 and 2014 editions largely focused on Toronto and Scarborough, this year we decided to go a little bit further afield and check out some of the paranormal activity in Peel and York Regions. Here’s what we found:
Cherry Hill House
680 Silver Creek Blvd, Mississauga
Tucked away beside an unassuming shopping plaza northwest of the Cawthra Road and Dundas Street intersection, the heritage building known as Cherry Hill is one of Mississauga’s most famed homes – with a history that goes back to 1822, when it was constructed by farmer Joseph Silverthorn.
Following a move 400 yards north of the original location, and some restoration work that followed, the home is still standing for visitors to admire (although a pub that operated within has recently closed its doors).
While rumor long held that the residence was haunted by Silverthorn’s eldest son, George, a professionally-conducted séance allegedly revealed that the ghost may be that of Hamish MacKenzie, a distant relative of the Silverthorns. The spirit can, in either case, occasionally be heard opening and closing the residence’s front door.
135 Bay Thorn Drive, Markham
Known for its unique blend of several 19th-century architectural styles, Heintzman House is one of Thornhill’s most meticulously maintained heritage buildings. It also continues to be a popular venue for weddings, corporate functions, and community events.
While a home has stood on the property since as early as 1797, it wasn’t until 1816 that Col. George William Cruickshank built it into the iconic 16-bedroom mansion that still exists today.
According to the Huffington Post, at least one local psychic has asserted that Colonel Cruickshank still haunts the home – but even if you don’t see him, it’s worth a visit for the historic architecture alone.
12261 Yonge Street Richmond Hill
Located at the southern edge of Richmond Hill’s popular Oak Ridges neighbourhood, Oak Manor – a three-story brick residence dating back to the 1920s – is now much better known as American Sound of Canada, a local retail destination for high-end audio equipment.
The property is also the subject of enough spooky rumours that in 2012, it drew the attention of the Halton Paranormal Research Group – who encountered shadows, orbs, and footsteps when they visited the property. The phantoms are suspected to be the ghosts of the Legge family, who were the home’s original occupants.
Tips for safe spooking
Before heading to any of the haunted homes listed in our series, we recommend calling or emailing ahead to ask about the best time to visit.
For general tips on Halloween safety, we recommend checking out this helpful information page published by Parachute, which links out to specialized guides for parents and drivers.