Archive for July, 2008

YaYaYa It’s A Ghost In A Box!

I’m not sure if anyone has ever seen that SNL video featuring Justin Timberlake and a cast member singing Dick in a box lol  Anyways the following is the paranormal version ;)

 Top tourist attractions a matter of some debate

 While there is not an official list of Toronto’s Top 10 Tourist Attractions, given the difficulties measuring attendance at some venues compared to others, many lists and online surveys feature the same “must sees” for both visitors and residents. Here is Toronto Community News’ list of attractions, compiled from information from Tourism Toronto and a number of other tourism websites, and presented in no particular order.The attractions we list are located within the geographic boundaries of the City of Toronto:

The CN Tower: Once the world’s tallest free-standing structure (that honour has recently been taken by a building in Dubai), the CN Tower dominates Toronto’s skyline and is an obvious magnet for visitors. Standing more than 500 metres tall, the tower receives approximately two million visitors annually. Address: 01 Front St. W.; visit

Toronto islands: Made up of Wards, Hanlan’s Point and Centre islands, the Toronto islands have been a playground for generations of residents and visitors. The islands can be accessed by ferry boat rides from the terminal at the lake just west of Yonge Street and feature numerous activities for visitors including an amusement park on Centre Island. Visit

• Ontario Place: Opened in 1971, the 96-acre facility south of Lake Shore Boulevard and west of Bathurst Street features water parks, a concert theatre, activities for children and the iconic golf-ball shaped Cinesphere theatre. Address: 955 Lake Shore Boulevard W.; visit

Toronto Zoo: Located on Meadowvale Road, north of Hwy. 401, the zoo opened in 1974 and is home to some 5,000 animals. The 710-acre facility receives about 1.2 million visitors annually. Address: 361A Old Finch Ave.; visit

• Black Creek Pioneer Village: This recreation of a Canadian pioneer settlement from the 1790s to 1860s is located in the Keele Street and Steeles Avenue area adjacent to the York University campus. Address: 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy.; visit

• Casa Loma: Built by Sir Henry Pellat starting in 1911, Casa Loma took three years and more than $3 million to build. Today it stands as an imposing castle the city. Address: 1 Austin Terrace; visit

• Ontario Science Centre: Opened in 1969, The Ontario Science Centre provides a wide variety of experiences for visitors young and old. Along with exhibits, there is also a domed IMAX theatre. 770 Don Mills Rd.; visit

• Royal Ontario Museum: Now featuring the new Michael Lee Chin Crystal as part of its dramatic new facade, the ROM has been Toronto’s museum since 1914. The ROM features numerous displays and exhibits. Address: 100 Queen’s Park; visit

• Hockey Hall of Fame: A mecca for fans of the game from around the world, the facility covers all aspects of hockey’s history, including the honoured members of the Hall of Fame, and features numerous interactive exhibits. The Hockey Hall of Fame is also the permanent home of the Stanley Cup. Address: 30 Yonge St.; visit

• Rogers Centre: When it first opened as the SkyDome, the stadium drew crowds just to experience its retractable roof opening and closing. The stadium is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. The facility also features restaurants and a hotel looking onto the field of play. Address: 1 Blue Jays Way, visit

Last night hubby and I were running a bit late and didn’t end up going out for dinner until past 9:30pm!  We headed downtown looking for a place that served Steak & Seafood.  I suggested the Keg Mansion because the food is good, there is a lot of history, the ambiance is wonderful and it’s said to be haunted!  My husband loved the idea too so we drove right over.  Parking for customers is free so that was great and we were seated right away, but not before I got some information from the hostess.  I asked her where the most activity was.  She answered casually stating that we would find some if we went up the staircase to the second floor by the bar.  I was like, “no”, “I meant paranormal activity”.  She responded, ”so did I”!  She went on to tell us that we could eat on the main floor and then go upstairs to see.  She went on to tell us that the 2nd floor lady’s bathroom is another spot and that sometimes woman have been locked in the stalls because “that is where Mrs. Massey died”.  She said to go up to the 3rd floor and take a peek too, even though it is locked.  I was so excited, I couldn’t even wait for dinner to be over!  The meal was very good and the room we were in was so amazing, with the detailed wood work, stain glass windows, fireplace encased with glazed colorful tiles.  Every inch of that room had such fine hand craftsmanship, so much so, that I could not stop looking around.  The feeling I was getting was very strong energy and I felt very alive!  I wasn’t afraid at all and I kind of felt that the spirits there liked all the attention or energy the Keg patrons were giving them.  After our meal we were left to venture about the mansion!  It was so wild and such a trip.  I went to the ladies room and instructed my husband to save me if I wasn’t back in 5 minutes lol  Nothing happened, I didn’t see any ghosts at all, so I met him outside.  I was very drawn to this oval like vestibule that overlooked the main entrance.  I referenced Haunted Toronto by John Robert Columbo and found out that’s where one of Mrs. Massey’s maids had hung herself after finding Mrs. Massey dead.  Then after our look around the 2nd floor we headed up to the 3rd.  A couple of fellows were right behind us and talking about how the Keg Mansion is haunted.  I was right up front in center peeking in the locked glass door, it was dimly lit and I could make out a large painting and a couple other rooms.  My husband was right behind me shining his cell phone over my head to help me see better.  The two gentlemen asked if we saw anything… I responded, “nope”.  Even still, just being in such a grand and charming home, like the Keg Mansion, was enough for me.  Next time maybe I’ll bring my Ouija and go up to the middle of the 2nd floor, by the window, and have a seat at the built in cushioned bench. lol  Honestly I am too chicken to mess with Ouija! I heard demons actually communicate and not spirits so I think it is best to leave it alone. Anyways, I rate the Keg Mansion 4.5 stars out of 5!  I will be back and if you see someone with a Ouija there, or Tarot cards, then you’ll know who it is :D

Haunted Keg Mansion In Downtown Toronto

Haunted Keg Mansion In Downtown Toronto

For more information on the Keg Mansion please pick up a copy of Haunted Toronto

or visit the links below

Visitors to Lily Dale seek connections with the other side

Jul 05, 2008 04:30 AM

Comments on this story (2)

Special to the Star
Lily Dale, N.Y.– A gentle breeze sways the 30-metre treetops in Leolyn Woods, the virgin forest that surrounds Inspiration Stump, a huge, concrete-topped hemlock stump.

Other than that, there’s dead silence.

That’s because, during summer months, visitors gather here twice a day to hear mediums from around the world deliver messages from beyond.

The benches that face The Stump are filled with people eager for news from deceased relatives and friends.

To increase your chances of having a medium make a connection with your own personal afterworld, it’s said, sit near the front and wear brightly coloured clothing.

Carolyn Molnar, a visiting medium from Toronto, paces before the crowd and scans her psychic radar screen trying to catch incoming blips from the spirit world.

“I’m getting a Don or Donald,” she says, searching the audience. “I’m seeing a blue uniform. Can someone take a Donald – Uncle Donald?”

A woman in the second row hesitantly raises a hand.

“Donald was my great-uncle,” she says. “He was in the Air Force during the war, but I don’t know a lot about him.”

Molnar pauses a moment, as if listening to a thread of music running through her head.

Then she says, “Donald says he is the one who has appeared to you during times of great stress and he will always be there to help you.”

The woman smiles and begins to weep.

But clearly there are skeptics in the crowd – such as the man, two rows away, with a grumpy expression and his arms crossed over his chest.

This is the largest Spiritualist community in the United States, based on the belief that death isn’t final, that the soul not only continues on, but that loved ones, friends and even long-lost acquaintances who have gone before are available to help and support those left on Earth – if you welcome them.

Believers in the afterlife, and those who aren’t sure what they believe, have been visiting Lily Dale since the gated village was founded in 1879, including notables such as author Arthur Conan Doyle, activist Susan B. Anthony and actress Mae West.

From the last weekend in June through Labour Day, Lily Dale offers visitors intriguing programs that run the gamut from fun to philosophical to woo-woo.

This year, for example, there are workshops on reiki, dream interpretation and how to meet your angels.

Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra often lecture here; John Edward got the idea for his TV show Crossing Over after guesting at The Stump.

Thousands of Canadians visit every summer, but most come for Canadian Weekend, held on the August Civic Weekend, when Lily Dale features Canadian mediums, healers and an ol’ fashioned sing-along.

Lily Dale is home to 45 registered mediums and other folk, but during summer months, the population grows to about 600.

And like the people who live here, the village is eclectic – a collection of 16 narrow streets where a quaint bungalow stands next to a Victorian house complete with turrets and bay windows.

One street over, paint is peeling off a white clapboard house that sits next to the kind of place where the Keebler elves would rest their weary little heads after a long day of baking cookies in a tree.

Cats of all colours – not just black – are everywhere.

The best time to enjoy Lily Dale is just after sunrise, when the morning mist lifts off nearby Lake Cassadaga, and the family of trumpeter swans glides across the water.

Beyond the lake are grassy, rolling hills. The air smells small-town fresh and the day feels full of possibilities.

The Maplewood Hotel, a rebuilt horse barn, hasn’t changed much since it opened a century ago.

Locals swear the place is haunted; stories abound of horse whinnies in the middle of the night, and a lady in Victorian dress that floats up the second-floor stairway.

Otherworldly shenanigans aside, people visit Lily Dale mainly for the peace and quiet.

Healing services are held twice-daily at the Healing Temple, a plain building where soothing music plays while white-shirted spiritual healers stand behind backless benches with their heads bowed.

Healing comes in the form of a sort of touchless massage, aimed at bringing a sense of peace.

“A lot of people say this is their favourite spot on the grounds,” says Barbara Sanson, who runs the Healing Temple.

“People often tell me they leave the service with less emotional stress.”

That pretty much describes, as well, how people leave Lily Dale.

Benjamin Gleisser is a Toronto-based freelance writer.

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