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Thanks to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the following report...

Ridley college is a beautiful 114 year old private school located in the Niagara region. We have been very fortunate to be invited to visit the campus in Spring (2006) and learn about the hauntings that have been reported there over the years.

There are many Ridley ghost stories; here are but a few as shared to us by Don Rickers Director of admissions.

In 1918 there was a worldwide plague of influenza. Millions perished, including 50,000 Canadians. Sixty boys were ill at Ridley, and were placed in an isolation hospital on campus called Pest House. (Today, the building is known as Governors House, a former residence for Middle School boys.) The promising football season was disrupted (but not cancelled) and a ten-day holiday for the whole school was decreed to reduce human contact. One housemaster, Mr. Flynn, did die at the school in October of 1918, as did a Miss Bush, who was a part-time nurse. One boy who resided in School House was sent home to Toronto in grave condition, where he died a few days later. At what was later confirmed by the parents as the exact time the boy succumbed, the School House bell at Ridley rang for no apparent reason. Mr. Ernie Powell, the housemaster of School House, had locked the door to the janitor's closet which allowed the only access to the bell rope, and Powell had the only key in his possession. No one could explain it.

In 1925, a teacher was staying on the third floor of School House over the Christmas holidays. He was awakened by a noise coming from a hallway door, behind which was a small service elevator. (The elevator car was on the ground floor.) The dazed man opened the door in the darkness and leaned in, and was in danger of falling into the elevator shaft. However, he felt a hand grab him by the shoulder, and pull him back to safety. A benevolent spirit, perhaps?

Stories persist of ghost sightings in the bowels of the Middle School. Some swear the apparition is Herbie Morgan, the reclusive gardener who toiled at the school for years. Others suggest that the sightings are of Mr. Steciw, the curmudgeonly shop teacher.

But most of the ghostly sightings have been here, in the Memorial Chapel, this monument to the sacrifice of young Ridleians who paid the supreme sacrifice on distant battlefields.

Former teacher, assistant headmaster, and housemaster Maurice Cooke on one occasion noticed that the lights were on in the chapel late one night. He went down to investigate, along with his faithful dog, Labby. Upon entering through the tunnel, Mr. Cooke sensed something unusual, and felt a chill down his spine. Labby growled and refused to enter. This is consistent with other paranormal experiences, in which animals seem to sense the presence of a spirit, and exhibit nervous behavior.

Mrs. Trish Loat, a long-time Ridley staffer in the academics office, had a paranormal experience in the chapel. About ten years ago, she entered a darkened chapel, and began flicking on the lights. As she did so, she saw a swirling mass of smoke or vapour cross the front of the chapel, and disappear into a wall. The imaginings of a crazy woman? I think not!

A retired Ridleian from Halifax, Frank Tooton, sent me an e-mail after my Ghosts of Ridley article appeared in Tiger magazine a couple years ago. He wrote that while he was a Ridley student, one morning he approached the Ridley chapel and saw an old man standing outside. As he drew nearer, the figure simply faded away! A former headmaster or chaplain, perhaps?

But the most compelling testimony comes from Mair Mackey, the wife of former Middle School teacher David Mackie. Mair spent countless hours over the past few decades decorating and cleaning the chapel. Her first experience was her awareness that she was being followed as she walked down the center aisle one day. She clearly heard footsteps behind her. When she stopped and turned, no one was there. On the second occasion, she entered the chapel and witnessed a solitary young boy at a pew in the corner. As she approached him to ask if anything was wrong, the lad simply vanished into thin air!

And most recently I have learned of an apparition in Gooderham House, known as the Blue Boy, which to this day is an occasional visitor.

These stories are not meant to disturb or scare you, but rather to suggest that there is more to our existence than the mundane routines of classes and meals and hockey practices. If one has faith in an omniscient supreme being far greater than ourselves, it logically follows that one must consider the possibility of an afterlife heaven and hell, if you wish and of the existence of phantoms who languish uncontented on the fringes of the netherworld.
We would like to thank Don Rickers, Director of Admissions for sharing these stories from Ridley with us. If you have a Ridley ghost story and would like to share it with Mr. Rickers he may be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You may visit Ridley's website here: http://www.ridley.on.ca

Updates from our upcoming visit will be posted in the early summer (2006).

Do you have anything to add to the above report (and speech)? Do you have another report from Ridley College or perhaps from a different location in Niagara? Please, feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. our investigator/researcher in lead of this case at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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