Two summers ago I had some friends over and they where looking for some excitement. We have a lake very close by our home, horses to ride, fun around a camp fire; but my friends were in the mood to go on a Ghost Tour.
And so....... my Husband, Daughter, Aunt and one of my employees were all edging me to go on a Ghost Tour. My Husband chuckled and said 'they all just wanted to spend a day in your life and have the be jebbers scared out of them'.
I suggested that if they wanted to do something like that, they had better find a place for the tour. I was pretty confident it was a phase and by the next day everyone would have forgotten the idea. But, oh no, they didn't. Everyone proudly announced that they had found a Ghost Walk with Terry Boyle in the Town of Bala (nearby). Now my attention was peaked.
When I worked at a coffee shop some years ago, Terry would stop in and grab his coffee on the go all the time. He would often tell me about a book he was writing called Haunted Ontario. I was always very interested when Terry stopped by and would talk for a bit about some of the places he was investigating. Some of the spots were just around the corner from where I live.
I thought well ok, if nothing else it would be great to see Terry. My Son had collected or read almost every book Terry had written, and religiously watched the television series Creepy Canada.
Off to Bala the gang of us all went. We met at the Bala Bay Inn, when I was a teenager I had heard the stories of the hauntings there, so I was getting excited. And my family, they were very excited; they were on a mission to see a ghost.
It's not that easy, I explained; but they wouldn't listen.
And so, armed with cameras they were on a mission. Well I wished them good luck; and then thought let me play with this a bit and see what information I can get on my own.
First we talked about the Leprechauns of Bala. I looked, but couldn't see or get any information about them. Not a problem I thought, we will just continue on our way. We made a few more stops and still nothing. I was getting more and more disappointed as the time went by.
We then entered a building named The Key to Bala. Before Terry could speak, I saw a man dressed in a tux come down off of a stage and stand in the middle of the floor. I looked around to see if anyone else noticed him, and then I noticed a lady in a long dress come down the stairs at the back.
Terry confirmed my visions by explaining to everyone the different spirits that people had seen there. I had seen two apparitions.
We walked further along and I saw a young man by the rail road tracks. This man didn't acknowledge me. The man looked as though he was new to his spirit world, and so I waited. Terry told the story of a young man who drank a little too much and died tragically on the train tracks.
I was now really excited the next two stops lead me to seeing the apparitions and then hearing the story from Terry. I was so engrossed by this discovery, and I found myself abandoning my family and felt lost in my own little world.
Our tour ended back at the Bala Bay Inn where we heard the various stories from the Inn. We were let loose to go and take random pictures around the Inn and to later meet back up to review our findings. My family was on the run, I just smiled and followed. Everyone was on a mission to find the most Haunted Room, which is not rented out anymore. I had reservations about going on one particular floor, but I thought 'hey, why not let them have fun'. While we were on that floor I decided that it was time to head back down.
My husband, Daughter and my friend were not leaving and seemed even more determined to stay on this floor until they saw a ghost. All of the sudden there was a bat flying at their heads; in seconds flat they were on the floor and then scrambling to the stairs. I laughed and laughed, and thought at least they had the scare they came for.
We arrived at the meeting room with all the other ghost enthusiasts to review our pictures and there was a new book and an autograph line. When it came time for us to get our book and autograph I reintroduced myself to Terry and talked for a moment or two. My wonderful daughter Aysha (her Indian name is Aysha Talk a lot) was kind enough to blurt out rather loudly that I was a Psychic. I was a little embarrassed by her outburst and tried to hustle us along. Terry stopped me and talked for a moment and asked me to send along any comments or experiences I may have had. I was too chicken.
A year later I was having lunch with two friends at a wonderful little restaurant called the Bass Lake Restaurant. The waitress saw us to our table, we ordered and then I proceeded to the ladies room. I stopped dead in my tracks; there was a picture on the wall and I recognized the man in the picture. I had seen him before, he was the man from the Key to Bala. The man I had seen in the tux. He was the owner. I remember asking Terry if anyone had identified the man in the building, but he never answered me. I was excited; so much so that I forgot about my journey to the ladies room and hurried back to the table to tell my friends.
I remember not being excited about the ghost tour, or my families enthusiasm; but after seeing that picture and remembering our walk with the ghosts. It was very exciting, filled with a group who hung on to every word that Terry said, and in the end quite an adventure.
Next time you are in Bala or Parry Sound take the time to Walk with the Ghosts with Terry you won't be disappointed.