Canada is a nation with a rich history. With its vast landscape stretching from Cape Spear, Newfoundland, to Boundary Peak 187, Yukon, Canada is home to an intriguing array of legends, ghost stories, tales of paranormal activity, and strange sightings that remain unexplained. Here are just a few of these odd occurrences from across our great country.
With hundreds of reported sightings, British Columbia has one of the highest numbers of sasquatch sightings in the world. These reports have dated back as far as the 1800s, with First Nations members and miners during the Gold Rush telling of an ape-like creature walking upright or loud, high-pitched screams coming from deep within the forest.
Over the decades, sasquatch sightings have been reported in areas such as Harrison Hot Springs, Mission, Whistler, Squamish, and Vancouver Island. One of the most recent reports was made by a fisheries officer in December 2017, who told CTV News he spotted a large, broad-shouldered creature 8-9 feet tall walking by the shoreline on Vancouver Island. A series of footprints 16-inches long were then found in the same area.
The Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait
For more than 200 years, the mysterious schooner has made its way through the body of water separating Prince Edward Island from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, its sails ablaze. Sightings of a ghost ship with three or four masts sailing through the Northumberland Strait have been reported since the late 1700s and have continued until present time. As onlookers watch, the white sails become engulfed in flames. It is most often seen in the fall before a northeast wind. The apparition has seemed so real that in 1900 a group of sailors took a rowboat out from Charlottetown Harbour to attempt to rescue the doomed crew. But the phantom ship disappeared before they could reach it.
UFOs in Quebec
Where are you most likely to see a UFO? In the skies above Quebec, according to researchers.
UFology Research, a Manitoba-based organization, has been collecting and analyzing UFO reports across the country since 1989. Based on data the organization collected in 2017, there were a total of 1,101 unidentified flying objects reported across Canada that year. Of that number, the majority of reported sightings came from Quebec — 518 of them. Ontario followed with 241 reports, and B.C. with 128.
The most notably unexplained reports included a doughnut-shaped object photographed over a campground in Rimouski, Que., at 5 a.m. on Oct. 23, 2017. Two witnesses said the gray disc was spinning slowly as it moved, disappearing within a minute.
In Montreal on July 22, 2017, three witnesses — including a particle physicist at a local university — reported observing a stationary illuminated V-shaped object in the night sky. The green lights emitted by the object were witnessed for about a minute before fading away.
Many of these reports came from multiple witnesses who were also believed to be credible sources. There was an average of two witnesses per UFO report, with a number of reports coming in from pilots, police officers, and other witnesses deemed to have sharp observation skills.
Although the majority of these sightings turned out to be airplanes, drones, shooting stars or meteors, about eight per cent of UFO sightings reported in 2017 remain unexplained.
The Blue Ghost Tunnel
A long-abandoned railway tunnel near St. Catharines, Ont., was the site of several tragic deaths since its construction in the 1870s. The Grand Trunk Railway Tunnel, known more commonly now as the “Blue Ghost Tunnel,” was built as a means of crossing the Welland Canal. During construction of the 713-foot-long limestone tunnel, a number of workers were killed.
In January 1903, two men were killed when two trains collided in front of the tunnel’s western entrance. The tunnel was then used sparingly until 1915.
Since then, several who have entered the tunnel reported witnessing a blue-shaded mist in the shape of a person floating at the entrance. Intrigue has drawn paranormal investigators and the public to the tunnel, hoping to glimpse the rumoured apparition from within the darkness. However, out of safety concerns the tunnel’s entrance was closed off several years ago.
Manitoba’s Manipogo Monster
Deep within the waters of Lake Manitoba lies a baffling mystery — the Manipogo. For over a century, sightings of a strange creature surfacing and quickly disappearing from within the lake have left witnesses wondering what they just saw. The strange serpent-like monster was dubbed the Manipogo and is known as a Canadian version of the Loch Ness Monster. Most sightings have described similar characteristics — a long, brownish-black creature, 4-15 metres long, with at least one hump visible above the water’s surface.
In the 1960s, a University of Manitoba professor investigated and searched the lake for the remains of a creature that could match the description of what people have been reporting. His search yielded no results. Still, reports have continued to surface, with multiple coming in during the 2011 flood by security personnel patrolling nearby homes and cottages.
The Ghost of Peggy’s Cove
One of Nova Scotia’s most popular tourist attractions also carries a ghost story. According to legend, Peggy’s Cove is haunted by the “Lady in Blue,” a woman who wanders its rocky shores in mourning. Before her death, the woman could often be found staring out across the ocean, longing for the day she could afford to bring her children from Europe to Canada to be reunited with her.
One day when her husband joined her for a walk, he slipped on the rocks and was swept away.
After her husband’s death, the woman was never seen again. No one knows what happened to her, but some say they’ve seen the mysterious Lady in Blue standing on the rocks at night, then suddenly disappearing before anyone can reach her.
The Prairie Ghost Train
To this day, a mysterious light emerging along the old train track route neat St. Louis, Sask., has baffled residents and visitors.
The light from the St. Louis Ghost Train can be seen shining through the bushes, getting dimmer and brighter as it travels the section of track, then disappearing when it reaches the edge of the bushes. Residents have reported seeing it for decades, witnessing the strange light every time they were in the area at night.
Why the ghost train makes its way down the tracks remains unexplained. Canadian National Railway records don’t go back far enough to confirm any incidents near St. Louis. But the most prominent legend involves a train conductor who was out on the tracks one night. He was either inspecting around the train or fell when the train began to roll and decapitated him.
Skeptics have said the light is simply a phenomenon caused by vehicles passing along a nearby road, but the light has been reported before cars were introduced to the rural area.
Although the train tracks were removed years ago, the ghost train has continued its mystifying journey.