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CTMHV shares tales of alleged hauntings with first Ghost Tour


by Adam Gault

Halloween may have been more than a month ago, but that didn’t stop the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV) from hosting its first ever onsite Ghost Tours this past weekend.

  During the event, groups of participants were taken on a tour of their Heritage Village and learned about some chilling tales of alleged hauntings right there on the Museum property.

  Several of the buildings that make up the Heritage Village are actual historical properties that were moved from their respective original locations, and rebuilt piece-by-piece, during several restoration projects beginning in the 1970s.

  According to some at the Museum, old bricks and lumber weren’t the only things that were transported onto the Museum grounds, as apparently a few spirits who spent their living years at the building’s original locations also decided to come along for the ride.

  “[Visitors] had a ghost guide that took them from building-to-building, with the guide telling them some history of the building, then when they went inside, there was an actor inside doing the ghost telling portion,” CTMHV Education Manager and Curator, Lisa Wacheski, explained of the event. “We’ve had a lot of really creative volunteers, and visitors got to hear a whole bunch of ghost stories. Things that have actually happened here.”

  As each group visited the respective buildings, they were told several stories of hauntings pertaining to each structure. Each guest was given a pamphlet with abbreviated versions of the stories they heard during the tour, with it being up to them to decide which of the stories they heard were “true” or “false,” with the winning guest being awarded a seasonal gift basket with an assortment of snacks and sweets.

  One of haunted buildings featured on the tour was the rebuilt General Store, which was in operation in Olinda (now in the Town of Kingsville), from around 1840 – 1950.

Over its more than 100-years in service, the building hosted a number of shopkeepers, family members, and visitors, with its upstairs apartment being in use for several years after the store itself was closed.

  One of its current residents is a doll that apparently has an ear for when negative remarks are made towards it, with its mischievous nature said to come out towards those who speak poorly towards it.

  Wacheski reported that on one occasion, as she and a volunteer were working in the general store’s upstairs area, the volunteer discovered the doll and remarked on its ugly appearance. After making the remarks, a pair of roller skates rolled towards the volunteer, causing him to lose his balance and nearly fall to the ground. On a separate occasion, a tour guide who also remarked on the doll’s appearance found that her keys would not work in the lock when trying to exit the store after insulting the doll.

  Another featured property on the tour was the Waggott House, which was originally built by the Waggott family in Kingsville in 1869.

  Several female spirits are alleged to haunt the property, including the ghost of Mrs. Waggott, who continues to keep a close eye on the home, long after she’s departed this earth.

  “We’ve had different things happen where people have felt a cold hand on the back of their neck,” Wacheski explained, who added that she felt Mrs. Waggott prevented her from removing a book from the property on one occasion. “I took the [first book] out of the cabinet and closed it. Then I noticed there was another book and thought I would grab it, too. There was no way I could open the cabinet back up. It was almost as if the spirit was saying, ‘No, you’re not taking anything else out of my house.’”

  With Windsor-Essex moving to the “red” category of Ontario’s COVID-19 response level framework as of Monday, the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village will now be closed for the winter until January 7 at the earliest, pending any further Provincial restrictions.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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