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The Mackenzie House house was built in 1830 for the first mayor of Toronto, a man who was more American than English.
William Lyon Mackenzie was known for his politics. Always butting heads with English law, fighting for the rights of the people. This made him very unpopular with other politicians.
He respected the rebellious Americans and wasn’t shy about saying it. This would lead to, only 7 years after this house was built, the biggest rebellion in Canadian history. He gathered militia and supporters and tried to overthrow English rule. He failed.
Mackenzie was chased out of Canada, into Buffalo with his men where they were given asylum on Navy Island. He renamed the island “the new republic of Canada” and began plans to try again. But it never happened and Mackenzie eventually gave up.
He lived in the United States for a few years when the love of the people brought him back. The citizens fed up with English politics and corruption said, “Hey, remember that tough mayor we all loved… what ever happened to him?”
Mackenzie returned to Toronto and worked here into old age. Then retiring to his house and dying here in 1861.
His Famous Grandson
He’s remembered most by his grand-kid, son to Isabel Grace King who named him after his grandfather. William Lyon Mackenzie King was Canada’s 10th Prime Minister.
Kind of funny that Mackenzie King was a big believer in the paranormal. He’d run séances inside the Laurier House in Ottawa.
King took up spiritualism in the 1920s. Would run the seances with friend Joan Patteson and mediums such as Etta Wriedt. A “direct voice” medium from Detroit. Her fame caught the attention of one Kristian Birkeland, a physicist.
He exposed Mrs. Wriedt by proving Wriedt ghostly noises produced by her trumpet were caused by chemical explosions. A description of the night is straight out of a movie…
“[Birkeland] jumped up, switched on the electric light, and, before the Spiritualists could interfere, had snatched the two trumpets from the floor… So the curtain fell on one more glorious act in the Spiritualist drama. Mrs. Wriedt had put in the trumpet particles of metallic potassium which, meeting the moisture she had also thoughtfully provided, explained the “psychic movements.”
Close examination disclosed that on other occasions she had used Lycopodium seeds to produce the same effect.”
This didn’t stop King’s belief. He continued contacting many spirits including his mother, grandfather William Lyon Mackenzie, Wilfrid Laurier, Saint Luke and Saint John. All of them are said to have consulted on his decisions.
This is fitting because his grandfather’s home is considered the most haunted in Toronto.
Find out why it’s so haunted…
Most Recent Ghost Stories from the Mackenzie House
Fast forward to current day and the museum does small classes for local schools.
The teacher turns away from her class to write on the blackboard, when there’s a crash. She turns to see a clipboard had been thrown into the back corner.
She asks the little girl sitting near the corner, “Why did you throw that”, and the girl just looks down.
After the class, the little girl comes up and says to the teacher, “I didn’t throw it. It fell!”
“How could it have fallen? The board was in the back corner far away from you.” But the girl kept saying over and over, “It fell, it fell”.
The teacher finally sending her away. Disturbed because she believed her.
Recently a woman visited the museum. Walking on the first floor near the piano and saw movement from the corner of her eye. She spun and looked to see… herself. It was just a mirror.
She was calming down when noticing a shadow. It appeared in the reflection from behind her and darted to the front door. A loud bang on the door and she jumped.
Her curiosity was stronger than her fear. She ran up to the door and swung it open. Nobody, just the lion’s head knocker staring back.
She lifted the knocker and let it slam against the door. It was the same sound.