Humber College’s Lakeshore campus used to be the site of a psychiatric hospital and there are rumours of spirits floating around.
“A ghost has been sighted there. It’s a nurse. She was apparently having an affair with the patient and then for some reason she choose to hang herself on the apple tree in the orchard,” Humber Business School professor Steve Bang said.
Bang has never seen the ghost himself but he said hundreds of people claim they came into the contact with it in one way or another, especially security and janitorial staff, as they are there at night.
“The fact is that the nurse hung herself up in the orchard. The legend is the ghost that they see, they think it’s her,” Bang said.
The nurse is said to wear a lavender perfume and the fable is that those who encounter that scent are in the presence of her ghost. Some people claim to have smelled it.
The nurse was spotted in many cases in G-building, which is where people used to see her through the windows at night until the windows were boarded up.
Another tale is that the coal power-generating station was used to cremate patients that died by accident when doctors performed frontal lobotomies. Other claims hold that babies who died in childbirth at the hospital were buried in the apple orchard.
“I don’t think that’s true because there’s a cemetery for this facility. It is located at the corner of Evans and Horner (Avenues). There are 1,517 bodies buried in that cemetery. Twenty-two of them are babies,” Bang said.
As patients were free to roam the property during the day, Bang said it could be speculated that there was some sexual activity between them and some patients may have become pregnant.
Humber staff and students aren’t all convinced of the presence of ghosts.
“I worked here for 12 years and I’ve been here late at night many times and I don’t believe it,” English Language Centre program coordinator Lara McInnis said.
Lakeshore campus’ L Space Gallery coordinator Tara Mazurk thinks that any old building would naturally develop stories like this.
“As curator of the gallery, I’m currently working on research of the psychiatric hospital and natural history of this land. As far as I know, I have never encountered these ghost stories but I am very interested in the dynamic of history that exists here.”
Interestingly, anyone who has claimed to have seen the ghost was nowhere to be found for this story.