Content Warning: Death and suicide
For decades, unsuspecting guests with reservations at the Keg Mansion, a fine dining restaurant in Toronto, have found their expensive dinner dates often interrupted by a sudden chill in the air– goosebumps prickling across their skin as the unsettling feeling of being watched by more than just their waiter takes hold. For some, a meal in this historic Torontonian building becomes hard to enjoy when the restless ghosts and spirits inside decide to invite themselves to dinner.
Once known as Euclid Hall, the Keg Mansion is one of the oldest buildings in Toronto but it wasn’t always a place that you could make Friday night reservations for: it was once a family home.
It would seem that the family has never left.
The Massey Family
The Keg Mansion became known as such in the 1970s when the old manor became home to the Keg Steakhouse and Bar, a restaurant chain known for a rich aesthetic and costly cuts of meat. But before the gilded age manor became a place for anniversary parties and date nights, it served as a home for one of Toronto’s most well-known families: the Massey family.
Yes, that’s right, the same Massey family that Massey Hall is named after.
For decades, the Massey’s were an important family in the city of Toronto, their fortune and influence based in a number of different industries. They found success in agriculture, education, publishing, and the arts: they even had a movie star amongst their ranks– Raymond Massey became quite well known for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in the 1940 film Abe Lincoln in Illinois.
The Massey’s moved into the home just a few years after it was built in 1867. Lillian Massey, known for her work with the University of Toronto, would come to run the house. As Lillian grew ill in her elder years, the family would utilise a secret underground tunnel that linked the house to Wellesley Hospital, saving the lady of the house from taking a trip outside in her worsening condition.
Lillian was said to have been beloved by the household staff. In fact, her death in 1915 plunged the home into a deep depression. That grief is said to have overwhelmed one of the household maids as she took her own life, hanging herself from the main staircase of the home.
Strange then, that guests dining inside the steakhouse have since reported seeing a noose swinging above them and the sound of a snapping neck echoing through the room.
The house (and that staircase) is no stranger to death: it’s reported that a young boy met his demise falling from the stairs. Since this incident, folks headed to the second floor have been surprised when they’re met with a little boy playing on the staircase.
It seems no matter where you turn inside the Keg Mansion, ghostly figures could appear at any moment. There’s been reports of the spirited figure of a maid moving about the upstairs bar. Others have had run-ins with a woman in a period-style dress lingering about in the women’s bathroom. Even those who haven’t seen the spirits themselves have found it hard to deny the eerie and chilling atmosphere of the old home.
Meanwhile, the staff have had their own encounters with the resident ghosts. From the thud of footsteps upstairs after closing time to errant spindles falling from the staircase bannister, the steakhouse is certainly alive with activity.
So, will you be making a reservation?
Not too far from the mansion in Toronto is a small warehouse where another haunted manor is taking shape…
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