Exploring K-W’s most haunted locations
Kitchener: Joseph Schneider House
Now a popular museum, the Joseph Schneider House is the oldest, still-standing building in Kitchener, built in 1840. Apart from the restored artifacts that are arranged in the multiple buildings, the house has quite an interesting resident. The phantom seamstress can be seen working away in the upstairs bedroom and also in the attic of the house.
Nestled just on the outskirts of downtown Kitchener, stepping foot on the property takes you back to the earlier days of the city and although there were other areas of the house that seemed eerie, I couldn’t take my eyes away from the small attic windows. Despite not being able to have a run-in with the seamstress, the feeling of being watched never stopped for a second. Maybe it was her, or maybe it was a neighbourhood watch.
Waterloo: Outfront of A.R. Goudie Eventide Home
History books suggest that in the field out-front of what is now the A.R. Goudie Eventide Home, a long-term care facility, lays an unmarked graveyard where more than 260 bodies were buried from 1869 to 1907.
These were folks who lived in a house of refuge that provided accommodation for those who were homeless and in need of financial assistance. Those who died there, but were not claimed by family, were buried in the lawn out front of the care facility.
It was just past 9:00 p.m., but arriving at a lawn where I knew bodies were buried was unsettling, even with a strip mall and Fredrick Street just adjacent. I wondered what their stories were and why their families didn’t provide them a proper burial.
Kitchener: Homer Watson Park
This legend dates back many years and is referenced in John Robert Colombo’s book, Mysteries of Ontario. Legend has it, there is a spring where the “tragic deaths of an Attiwandron maiden and a Tionontati warrior” occurred. They met at the Oromoncto Spring and were ill-fatedly slain by the Haudenosaunee.
Steep drops and the ground being littered with slippery, wet leaves did not make it easy finding the ruins and the spring. It was far creepier navigating in the dark, and the possibility of running into any modern day forbidden lovers was all that was on my mind. Although unrecorded, there have been sightings of the young Indigenous woman crying, walking along the banks of the Grand River. If you are planning on further investigating this haunting, bring extra layers as the temperature drops significantly out of the blue.
Cambridge: Sulphur Springs Hotel
Possibly the most troubling stop on our ghost tour was the Sulphur Springs Hotel, which has had numerous other names throughout the years. On the corner of King and Fountain, the typical “prestigious hotel suffering from low revenue and has to shut its doors” storyline encompasses only one of the building’s struggles throughout time.
Later opened as a short lived retirement home that was abandoned, this building supposedly houses spirits that do not want the structure renovated.
The sheer size of the hotel would deter anyone from venturing through its numerous floors. More than the possibility of encountering the supernatural, the possibility of encountering other explorers was unsettling. Although it had previously been easy to get into, there was now only a basement window open for entry for which an exit would be near-impossible. The grand finale of our ghost tour came to a bitter end, but perhaps in the future it may become possible to have a run in with spirits who have yet to leave the physical world.
Photos by:Paige Bush/Graphics by: Simran Dhaliwal