Top 5: Haunted Walks in Canada

Am I too late to post this? I’ll save it for something to do next Halloween!

PS – I’m taking the rest of the weekend off for my birthday, see you on Monday!

5. Historical Haunted Winnipeg Tour – Winnipeg, Manitoba

5. Historical Haunted Winnipeg Tour - Winnipeg, Manitoba

For two and half hours, you are driven around Winnipeg to explore hot spots where the city’s ghosts like to congregate and learn what causes them to roam and what they may be trying to communicate with the living.

4. The St. John’s Haunted Hike – St. John’s, Newfoundland

4. The St. John's Haunted Hike - St. John's, Newfoundland
This description from the tour’s website is enough to make you sign up on the spot: “Take part in Newfoundland’s most popular paranormal event, an Ambulatory Theatrical Exploration of the Macabre, with your host, the distinguished Reverend Thomas Wyckham Jarvis, Esquire, eminent Lecturer on the Paranormal, well versed in Grimm Tales of the Vengeful Deceased, Murthers of Gruesome Dispatch, Curious Manifestations of the Holy Ghost and Historical Miscellanea.” The tour has a special one-night session on Oct. 30 before returning next summer.3. Montreal Ghosts – Montreal, Quebec

3. Montreal Ghosts - Montreal, Quebec
Old Montreal by day is a place of beauty, but by night, it can become more sinister, especially if you go hunting for ghosts. The city’s history is long so its haunted by numerous denizens from the past. You can opt for a traditional ghost walk or go on a self-guided ghost hunt that lets you explore the city in a memorable way.2. Discover the Past – Vancouver, B.C.

2. Discover the Past - Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver has so many ghosts, that there are multiple routes that you can explore which will lead you past sites of duels, spectral nuns and even the ghost of artist Emily Carr. There’s even an extreme tour for those who are not easily frightened. Be sure to leave the kids at home for that one.

1. The Haunted Walk – Kingston, Ontario

1. The Haunted Walk - Kingston, Ontario

Your cloaked guide will lead the way with his or her lantern as you explore the dark corners of this historic city with its prison and fort which have witnessed scenes of murder and mayhem over the years. They also offer haunted tours of Ottawa and Toronto.

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BOO!

Did you know that in some parts of England, Halloween was called ‘Mischief Night’? And it really just meant that. People would cause a ruckus, like taking doors off their hinges and throwing them into ponds, or would hide them for no one to find? Hilarious!
I found some very funny, spooky, and interesting traditions for Halloween all around the world. Listen to some of these from Halloween Around the World.

IRELAND

Thousands of years ago there was a tribe of farmers called the Celts. They knew that the sun helped make their crops grow, so when autumn came the sun began to fade and they believed that the sun would be winter’s prisoner for six months.

They were worried that the sun would not return so to make sure it did they held a festival on October 31. During which, they asked the sun to return safely in the summer. All the cooking fires were put out and a huge bonfire was lit on the hillside. Here they prayed the sun would shine brightly after winter was over.

The next morning they would return to the hillside take a piece of the burning wood from the remains of the bonfire and light new fires so as to bring good luck. Feasts were held over the new fires and people would dress up in costumes made out of animal skins. It was believed these costumes would protect people from bad luck.

CHINA

The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts: In China the souls of the dead, particularly during the seventh lunar month, wander the earth in search of affection. They are known as the hungry ghosts because of their hunger for recognition and care.

CZECH REPUBLIC

In Czechoslovakia chairs are placed by the fireside. There is a chair for each family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

GERMANY

Here, people put their knives away. This is done as they do not want to risk hurting the returning spirits.

HONG KONG

During the Hungry Ghosts Festival or Yue Lan, ghosts and spirits roam the world for 24 hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money. This was believed to reach the spirit world and comfort the ghosts on this day.

ITALY

In Southern Italy families prepare a special feast for the souls of the departed on All Souls’ Day. The families would set the table with a bountiful meal. Then they would all go to church to pray for the souls of the deceased. They stayed there all day, leaving their home open so that the spirits could enter and enjoy the feast.

When the family came home to find that their offerings hadn’t been consumed it meant that the spirits disapproved of their home and would work evil against them during the coming year.

POLAND

In Poland doors and windows are left open to welcome the spirits or the visiting souls.

PORTUGAL

In Portugal they have feasts of wine and chestnuts at the cemetery.

RUSSIA

In Russia the blue cat is said to bring good luck. Blue cats such as Russian Blue, British Blue and Burmese.

Picture of the day – Toronto is haunted!

I successfully completed a ‘haunted walk’ around supposedly haunted buildings in my area in Toronto on Halloween evening. It started with The Keg Mansion, then onward to The Christie Mansion (100 Wellesley Street), Queen’s Park, University College, The Mackenzie House, and finally, The Ryerson Theatre School. To check out why they are rumoured to be haunted, the stories were investigated by The Torontoist.

The following are pictures of University College, which looked absolutely stunning on Monday evening and, even, perhaps haunted-looking?

Happy Halloween!

Check out my awesome pumpkins this year. I did a lovely job of gutting them out, and roasting their seeds, and my boyfriend used his amazing carving skills to yield the knife and produce these masterpieces.

The initial tracing of pumpkin #2

Pumpkin #2 completed!

Pumpkin #2

My plans for the evening consist of dinner in a supposedly haunted restaurant in Toronto, followed by a ghost tour of the city. There are apparently about 10 haunted locations in the city, which are eerily very close to my condo…

Happy Halloween everyone!!!!

 

 

Trick or treat? How about both.

Source

One more day until my favorite holiday, Halloween.

Here are some of my favorite tricks I would love to try:

  • Fill a briefcase with marbles and crackers. Write on it, “Top Secret” in big letters. When trick-or-treaters come, look around suspiciously, say, “It’s about time you got here,” give them the briefcase, and quickly shut the door.
  • After you give them candy, hand the trick-or-treaters a bill.
  • Hand out menus to the trick-or-treaters and let them order their own candy. Keep asking if anyone wants to see the wine list.
  • Get about 30 people to wait in your living room. When trick-or-treaters come to the door, say, “Come in.” When they do, have everyone yell, “Surprise!!!” Act like it’s a surprise party.

AND here is my favorite TREAT

Source

Spiderweb Pumpkin Cheesecake (from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • TOPPING:
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • SPIDERWEB GARNISH:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, melted

Directions

  1. Combine wafer crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Whisk in pumpkin, cornstarch, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice just until blended. Pour into crust. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine topping ingredients; spread over filling. Bake at 350 degrees F for 6 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minute. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan; set aside.
  3. For spiderwebs, draw six 3-in. x 2-in. half circles on two sheets of parchment paper on top; tape both securely to work surface. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, cream of tartar and water to a boil over medium heat. Boil, without stirring, until mixture turns a light amber color and candy thermometer reads 350 degrees F. Immediately remove from the heat and stir. Cool, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until hot sugar mixture falls off a metal spoon in a fine thread.
  4. Using a spoon or meat fork, carefully drizzle syrup over half-circle outlines and inside the outlines to form spiderwebs; reheat syrup if needed. Cool completely. Place melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag. Pipe 1-in. spiders onto parchment or foil; cool completely. With remaining melted chocolate, pipe two or three dots on each web; attach spiders.
  5. Remove sides of springform pan. Cut cheesecake; place a web on top of each slice and remaining spiders on the side. Refrigerate leftovers.

Halloween traditions from around the world

Source

Did you know that in some parts of England, Halloween was called ‘Mischief Night‘? And it really just meant that. People would cause a ruckus, like taking doors off their hinges and throwing them into ponds, or would hide them for no one to find? Hilarious!
I found some very funny, spooky, and interesting traditions for Halloween all around the world. Listen to some of these from Halloween Around the World.

Ireland

Thousands of years ago there was a tribe of farmers called the Celts. They knew that the sun helped make their crops grow, so when autumn came the sun began to fade and they believed that the sun would be winter’s prisoner for six months.

They were worried that the sun would not return so to make sure it did they held a festival on October 31. During which, they asked the sun to return safely in the summer. All the cooking fires were put out and a huge bonfire was lit on the hillside. Here they prayed the sun would shine brightly after winter was over.

The next morning they would return to the hillside take a piece of the burning wood from the remains of the bonfire and light new fires so as to bring good luck. Feasts were held over the new fires and people would dress up in costumes made out of animal skins. It was believed these costumes would protect people from bad luck.

China

Source

The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts: In China the souls of the dead, particularly during the seventh lunar month, wander the earth in search of affection. They are known as the hungry ghosts because of their hunger for recognition and care.

Czech Republic

In Czechoslovakia chairs are placed by the fireside. There is a chair for each family member and one for each family member’s spirit.

Germany

Here, people put their knives away. This is done as they do not want to risk hurting the returning spirits.

Hong Kong

During the Hungry Ghosts Festival or Yue Lan, ghosts and spirits roam the world for 24 hours. Some people burn pictures of fruit or money. This was believed to reach the spirit world and comfort the ghosts on this day.

Italy

In Southern Italy families prepare a special feast for the souls of the departed on All Souls’ Day. The families would set the table with a bountiful meal. Then they would all go to church to pray for the souls of the deceased. They stayed there all day, leaving their home open so that the spirits could enter and enjoy the feast.

When the family came home to find that their offerings hadn’t been consumed it meant that the spirits disapproved of their home and would work evil against them during the coming year.

Poland

In Poland doors and windows are left open to welcome the spirits or the visiting souls.

Portugal

In Portugal they have feasts of wine and chestnuts at the cemetery.

Russia

In Russia the blue cat is said to bring good luck. Blue cats such as Russian Blue, British Blue and Burmese.

Source