GHOSTS HAUNT THE CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION
Thursday, 18 August 2011
TORONTO SUN - The Canadian National Exhibition is notorious for giving people thrills on the midway, but now they’re also sending chills down their spines.
A paranormal research team spent 13 months investigating eight buildings on the grounds and found 24 ghosts recorded on electronic voice phenomenon (EVP). One of the most haunted buildings at the EX is Stanley Barracks, right across from the Direct Energy Centre.
“There were two men in the basement, one was named Bob and the other Dave,” researcher Richard Palmisano, who published Ghosts of the Canadian National Exhibition this year, said. “They were here when this was social housing and they did things that weren’t very good to other people.
“One of our medians was attacked with scratches down her back,” he said. “These are the risks we take.”
For four evenings during the EX, people can tour the grounds and be creeped out from the dark shadows buried in the history of the buildings. At one time, the Horticulture Building was once used as a temporary morgue in 1949 and the current midway grounds was a bloody battlefield during the war of 1812.
Here at the barracks, many ghosts of soldiers march up and down the halls. There is animosity in the air and although you can’t see it, you can feel it.
“He’s in his 20s, shaved head, blonde,” said Amanda Keays, a 30-year-old medium, who came along for the media tour. “He’s telling us, ‘There’s too many men dying here. You shouldn’t be sitting around, you should be fighting.’”
Keays takes a step back and said she feels hot as the energy passes her. In the women’s washroom, a knife fight was said to have taken place over a wager. The ghosts of the two men still haunt the space.
“I’ve never been physically hurt, but it’s still scary,” she said.
There is also a little boy named Oliver in the barracks and a little girl named Jenny who is always looking for her cat while her father keeps a watchful eye on her.
The Press Building has about five ghosts, which are generally friendly, Palmisano said. The General Services building on Manitoba Dr. allegedly contains the spirit of a hydro worker named Michael who faced peril with the service elevator and now scares people to keep them safe. Three women named Deborah, Karen and Lori have been seen to tour the “stacks,” where boxes of archives are kept.
A red-haired clown also haunts the building, clomping down the hallway with his distinctive big shoes.
“Ghosts are very social and they’ll talk,” Palmisano said. “They often know each other’s names. I think they come back here because it’s such a wonderful place and had some responsibility or great time. They carry on. The majority of them are having fun.”
As the group was leaving, the group was told little Oliver was waving to us from the window.
We all waved back to what was to us an empty glass panel.