The ghost stories of the Bytown Museum
One of Ottawa’s most beautiful, historic buildings is also one of the most haunted in the country.
The Bytown Museum, between the also-haunted Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Rideau Canal construction-era supply manager Duncan McNab.
Not only is Glen Shackleton the owner of Ottawa’s Haunted Walks, he’s also volunteered for years at the museum and said he’s had some eerie experiences.
“I was closing the building (a few years ago) and setting the alarm when the door started to vibrate back and forth,” he said. “First a little bit then violently, like off its hinges.”
Shackleton said he turned to ask his staff if they had seen it, but they were already on their way out of the building.
“They ran out of the building because they had heard the sound of heavy footsteps running straight towards them,” he said.
Other stories are out there: from spooky porcelain dolls people swore they could hear crying, to the building’s creepy money vault, to the staircase between the first and second level where many report phantom footsteps coming behind them.
Shackleton said there could be a second ghost – as he experienced one night when talking to another staff member about McNab haunting the museum.
“During the conversation, her computer shut down and rebooted with just a blank screen that said over and over again ‘Lt.-Col. John By,’” he said.
The museum is part of Ottawa’s Haunted Walk, which also visits the former Carleton County Jail – which is now the Ottawa Jail Hostel.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr
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