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home > local hauntings > The Ghosts of Auchmar Estate & Mansion

local hauntings

Haunted Hamilton's

The Ghosts of Auchmar
West 5th and Fennell Avenue
Hamilton, Ontario

Auchmar Mansion

The Ghosts of Auchmar Mansion do Exist!

By Daniel Cumerlato
Founding Partner of Haunted Hamilton

Read Page 2 after this article for personal experiences reported
to Haunted Hamilton by Mitch Ness, Director of
Photography/Director on Black Hole High


The ghosts of Auchmar are shrouded in mystery. This is a true because of a unique set of occupants over the years. Not till recently have we been given the opportunity to get stories from people who could recognize and freely speak of the ghosts. Now that the mansion is open to TV and movie crews and volunteers to the city’s history, the ghosts of this haunted house are starting to get noticed.

Where did it all begin? Why such a secrecy in this beautiful mansion? These answers and more will be covered in Haunted Hamilton’s two-part article on Auchmar mansion.

For more details on the history of Auchmar, please read our Disappearing History Article: Auchmar: Prominence and History.

It began as Isaac’s home and the land yield no activity. Here at Haunted Hamilton we are believers in the connection between history and ghosts. I think it would be far rarer to experience activity in a newer home. That’s not to say it isn’t possible, there’s always the land’s history or a connection with an antique within the house, but for the Honourable Isaac Buchanan all was quiet.

Then to a straight-lased religious military man by the name of Captain Trigg. A man of his nature would not acknowledge such nonsense as a haunted house. The Catholic Church is very clear on the existence of ghosts, and for him to tell such tales would earn a one-way ticket out of the congregation.

The house was returned to the Buchanan family when Isaac’s son James bought the house from the Captain. It’s possible that experiences happened during this time. James wouldn’t speak of them.

Somebody within the immediate family would be hard-pressed to speak of stories which involved their beloved. As well, ghost stories were not well received in those times. Sure you had entertainment articles in local newspapers talking about haunted places using folk lore, legends or “gremlins”, but nothing of a serious manner like we have today.

All remained quiet in the mansion as the house was sold to the Young family. Under that ownership the mansion was converted to a hospital during WWII. I would think there are other things on the minds of returning veterans than ghost hunting.

It was then passed to the Hungarian Sisters of Hamilton and converted into a beautiful and secluded retreat for nuns. No ghostly visions of a haunted nature were reported during the nun’s stay. You’d be very hard-pressed to get any information from the secret retreat during this time. All activities were guarded closely by the church.

The nuns stayed for many years, until the 1990s when the house was abandoned.

Then it was occupied by the actors and crew of YTV’s Strange Days at Blake Holsey High (a.k.a. Black Hole High). They opened Auchmar’s doors to many talented and fictional students.

135 years since the mansion was built and this is where OUR story begins.

Two workmen were carrying some heavy equipment from the basement to the main floor. They needed to get this up to the set folks for use in the filming that day. The men, holding tightly to a large box, looked up just before reaching the first floor landing. A young girl was waiting at the top. They both saw her, and looked away only for a moment to confirm she was there. When looking back only a second later, the little girl had vanished.

The house seems to be haunted by this active little girl. Crew members have heard her voice from the 2nd floor while working on the first. At times she may be happily giggling, as if maybe playing. Other times they would hear her soft cries echoing through the empty night-time hallways. Then, only once, did a large group of set builders hear a young girl’s blood-curdling scream from the 2nd floor. They all ran up the stairs only to find the entire floor empty, just like they thought it was.

A local Hamilton woman recalls having a personal meeting with the little girl. She had visited Auchmar with her father (a city official at the time) when she was a child. They were given a personal tour of the mansion just after the nuns had moved out. Bored with the history stuff, the young lady broke off from the tour and started exploring. She ended up on the 2nd floor by herself.

Down the long hallway, the young lady heard the soft giggle of another little girl. The giggling continued, and got closer, as if the little girl was walking towards her, but nobody was in the hallway. At her ear now she heard the voice say, “Play with me”. The young lady ran down the stairs and into her father’s arms.

The basement is also haunted by the spirit of a woman. She’s been seen floating throughout the vaulted stone rooms. Many crew members and actors from the show have commented on strange feelings while in the basement. Seems the most noticeable energy comes from that area.

We also felt this, during our personal tour with the folks of Door Open Hamilton a few years back. It was almost like you expected to see an uninvited guest waiting just around the corner while moving through the small confined rooms of Auchmar’s basement.

Not part of the original mansion are the wardrobe rooms in the old church corridors built by Hungarian Sisters. Dogs brought on the set would always refuse to go into the corridors. Actors would spend a lot of time back there getting ready in dressing rooms. Many of them had commented on different occasions of seeing hanging lights start to swing on their own. The area is sectioned off from the main mansion and there are no open windows or drafts coming in.

Jeff Mahoney of the Hamilton Spectator brought the haunted world of Auchmar to the public when one of the main stars of the show was interviewed back in 2002. Lawrence Bayne (who played Victor Pearson, the sometime evil scientist type) of Blake Holsey talks about his experience while spending a quiet night at Auchmar in his dressing room:

"Well, you tell me, how does a door that is locked and bolted suddenly swing open in the middle of the night?" asks Bayne.

This was part of the attraction for well-known TV series Ghost Trackers, when Haunted Hamilton referred them to Auchmar. They brought a crew and brave young competitors to the mansion for the finale of season one.

One notable experience from the night happened when a one of the little competitors felt an invisible figure brush past them. Could this be the little girl looking for somebody to play with?

As a final note, there’s an experience that may not be ghostly at all. Over the years objects from the mansion have mysteriously disappeared at different times. This phenomenon started occurring after the city took ownership of the house from the nuns.

Through that time an original sundial, the WWII hospital signs from cellar doors, a well-known statue of the Virgin Mary and two of Isaac Buchanan’s own built-in bookcases, have all gone missing without a trace.

If you have any stories to report about Auchmar - please don’t hesitate to email us at: info@hauntedhamilton.com

By Daniel Cumerlato


Haunted Hamilton 9

Hauntings on the set of Black Hole High

See Page 2 for personal experiences reported to
Haunted Hamilton by Mitch Ness,
Director of Photography/Director
on Black Hole High



1. Strange Days at BHH discussion board - http://strangedays.proboards22.com/index.cgi
2. Ghost Trackers on YTV website – http://www.ghosttrackers.com
3. Haunted Hamilton submissions / Personal accounts


© photo by Daniel Cumerlato
(excluding the last Black Hole High exterior)




Disappearing History

Haunted Hamilton's


"Auchmar: Prominence and History on the Mountain"
A Historical article
by Daniel Cumerlato

Click to read!
(and see more photos!)



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