hosted the popular radio show Discover Ontario on Classical 96 and 103.1, Toronto, for 14 years. He has talked and written about Ontario folklore and history for more than 30 years and has authored twelve popular books. (see home page)
|Do ghosts really
exist? Terry Boyle seems to think so. He believes in them so much that he
has travelled all across Ontario to research popular hauntings. The
outcome of his research was three books: Haunted
Ontario and Haunted
Ontario 2 and
Marilyn at French River and Other Ghostly Sightings.
According to Karen Coyle of The Chronicle, "Some of the more popular stories in the first book are the Donnelly Estate in Lucan and Ghost Road and the Jester’s Court in Port Perry. Boyle does not just write the legends of these ghosts, he researches them. He will travel to the haunted property and speak with the employees or residents of the place as well as other people in the area. He also looks up the history of the area to see if he can find out who the spirits are and why they are still there."
In Port Perry, there are two haunted places - the well-known Ghost Road and the lesser-known Jester’s Court. According to an interview with Boyle, Coyle adds, "The legend of Ghost Road is well-known. Way back when, a man was riding his motorcycle on the road, or in the field (there are several versions). At some point he lost control and was decapitated by the wire fence at the edge of the field. Now, people claim to see a headlight on the road coming towards them, then the red tail light driving away."
Jester’s Court in Port Perry is also documented in Haunted Ontario. The building has a long history. Coyle continues to highlight the interview with Boyle, "It served many purposes, including a hotel for many years, and is currently a restaurant and pub. Many people have had experiences in the restaurant over the years.
Most of the staff have learned to live with them even when dishes are moving around right in front of them and lights turn themselves on and off. The staff simply tells the ghosts to ‘stop playing around, we’re trying to get work done’.
The Donnelly homestead in Lucan , Ontario is also highlighted in Haunted Ontario. A long time ago a terrible tragedy took place there. Boyle states, "Five members of the Donnelly family were murdered in cold blood by people from the town.
Robert Salts and his wife now own the property and firmly believe that the Donnellys are still there. A spirit or spirits haunt the old barn situated on the property as well as the homestead.
In Haunted Ontario 2 Boyle highlights the Ottawa International Hostel and Carleton County Gaol. Boyle states, "Out of the shower and into the change room. The clothes have vanished. In the hallway a sock appears, a shirt...pants...belt...underwear, scattered down the hall like stepping stones. Where is the watch? The search begins in another room or, more accurately put, another cell. No longer ticking, the watch lies upside down on a cold, concrete floor. The searcher flees to his room. What on earth just took place? These are common occurrences for those who stay in the Ottawa International Hostel, once the Carleton County Gaol. Time stops on Death Row."
Marilyn at French River and Other Ghostly Sightings highlights a beautiful, young starlet finds relief from her troubled Hollywood existence at an inn on the French River in the 1950's. After her tragic death the staff, and some visitors, see the ethereal blonde in the room Marilyn once occupied. They are convinced she has returned to stay forever.
This inn is just one of the public places where you may see a spirit yourself. And every place has a fascinating story to tell.
A thwarted love affair led to suicide in the bank building that now houses The Hockey Hall of Fame. A pretty bank teller was driven to despair when her married lover rejected her. Using the bank revolver, she ended it all in the ladies rest room. No one could visit that room without feeling her presence. Visitors today say she still inhabits the building.
Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a hotel on Lake Huron and even such familiar spots as Prince Edward County and the Gravenhurst Opera House are haunted by spirits people see and hear almost every day.
Take a trip with Terry Boyle, well-known historian and folklorist, who tells the stories behind each place and explains what he and others actually saw and heard.
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