Humber’s Lakeshore campus may look pretty but some say it holds secrets.
Please note: This article is not intended to be a historical account of the of Lakeshore campus, just folklore in time for Halloween. For a historical account of the Lakeshore campus grounds please contact the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre.
Over 127 years ago, the grounds of this college were home to the Mimico Branch Asylum, an institution for those who were critically mentally ill. In fact, besides a modern upgrade, the only thing that’s changed about this property is the new inhabitants.
But what’s so unique about Lakeshore Campus? Is it the old Gothic-style buildings that continue to overlook the grounds? Or perhaps it is what has transpired inside them. Stories of barbaric practices, affairs, and death remain a haunting legacy of this institution. With Halloween just around the corner, we sought out to uncover the allegedly haunted places on campus through research and by inquiring students and faculty members.
Many of these spooky encounters occurred within the underground tunnels connecting the cottages. According to the website Asylum by the lake, these tunnels were designed to transport food to each of the hospital wards (cottages) via a mini railway. However with the deterioration of the rails, this system was scrapped in the 1930’s and taken up as a passageway for staff for quick access to the wards. Some students have claimed to hear wailing and moaning from behind them. A construction worker recounted a story about seeing a woman in a nursing outfit roaming the tunnels late at night. She had her back turned, and when he called out to her she turned around, revealing a blank mist where her face should have been. These stories can be found at www.torontoghosts.org.
Recently, two Humber students discussed a similar experience:
“We were in the basement of the G building and we saw a very creepy looking door. The door handle was held together with duct tape. My friend and I hesitantly decided to go through the door, and realized this was an entrance to the tunnels. Walking through the tunnels the doors closed behind us with a loud creek. We screamed, but continued through the tunnel, hearing faint footsteps, whispers in the darkness, and the sound of doors opening and closing in the distance.” – Justin, Lakeshore Student
Up to 1,517 people have reportedly passed within the walls of these buildings, spurring rumours of several mysterious encounters involving a nurse. Speculations emerged of an alleged affair between the nurse and a patient, eventually leading to her death.
Even more haunting are the grisly suicides that occurred at the serene lake, which many of us lounge around. In the early 1970’s, two patients drowned themselves in the lake. Even more eerie is that the old powerhouse building by the skating rink and parking lot is rumoured to have burned the bodies of deceased patients.
Many students dismiss these tales as fables designed to evoke fear with no basis in fact – just spooky stories. As Lakeshore student Nick says, “This campus is not haunted, there are no ghosts.”
Have you experienced any strange occurrences on campus or elsewhere? Share your encounters with us on our Facebook page @ignitestudentlife.
Want to have some fun this Halloween? Then join us at IGNITE’s Monster Mayhem on Thursday, October 27th for a night you won’t want to miss!