On the Hunt for Things That Go Bump in the Night

Halloween may be over but the thrills we sought out Saturday night are yet to dissipate.

I was lucky enough to take Sunday off from work so I could actually do something for Halloween this year.  My sister, Michelle, and I drove downtown on Saturday to visit our friend, Kristy.  Michelle and I have always been interested in the supernatural and had the idea to go on a ghost walk.  We’ve talked about going on one before as we both are believers in supernatural phenomenon.  I mean, who hasn’t had something weird happen to them that can’t really be explained.

Michelle and Kristy found a ghost walk that was taking place on Halloween at midnight.  The walk took place on the University of Toronto campus and the streets of Toronto, starting at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and finished about an hour and a half later.  We heard many interesting tales, from the young girl who haunts the old planetarium, to the old Christie house—yes, the house of Mr. Christie, who does make good cookies!

Perhaps my favourite story was that of the two stonemasons who fought for the love of one woman.  The story goes…

A skilled stonemason by the name of Ivan Reznikoff was working on University College during its construction in the 1850s.  Reznikoff had fallen in love with a woman and had promised to marry her.  They started saving together for their future.  However, Reznikoff had noticed that his love was acting strangely, so one night, he decided to follow her to see what was wrong.  What he saw completely surprised him.  His love was meeting another man, but not just any man.  She was meeting Paul Diabolos, a sculptor also working on University College.

Angered by this meeting, Reznikoff confronted Diabolos on the empty work site.  Reznikoff carried a workman’s axe and chased Diabolos along a corridor outside leading to a large wooden door.  Diabolos managed to run through the door and clutched the iron handle to keep it closed.  Wild with fury, Reznikoff repeatedly struck the door with his axe.  Knowing that he couldn’t hold the door forever—especially with Reznikoff swinging his axe at the door—Diabolos fled through the unfinished hallway and hid around a corner.  As Reznikoff rounded the corner, Diabolos jumped out and stabbed him with the dagger he was carrying.  Ivan Reznikoff was dead. 

Diabolos hid the body in a part of the building that was going to be completed in the coming days.  Nobody knows what ever happened to Diabolos or the woman, but the College has been said to be haunted ever since. 

Strange noises can be heard late at night in the College and several students have sworn to have seen Reznikoff wandering the halls.  In 1890, after the fire at the College, Reznikoff’s bones were found and later buried somewhere else.  However, the stories of strange phenomena occurring in the building did not stop.  Legends have it that his burial place is under a maple tree at the northeast corner of the College quadrangle.  Perhaps Reznikoff still wanders the campus looking for revenge for his death.

What I found most interesting about this story is that the door in which Reznikoff swung his axe still remains in the corridor at the school.  You can still see, and feel, the deep grooves left from his axe!

The door from the stonemasons story.
The door from the stonemasons’ story.
You can see some of the marks left from Reznikoff's axe.
You can see some of the marks left from Reznikoff’s axe.

There were many more great stories that you can hear for yourself if you go on a ghost walk in Toronto.

You can find our walk and others here: http://muddyyorktours.com/?page_id=44.

I hope you guys check out a ghost walk in the future, and if you do, please let me know what you learned!! I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with the supernatural!

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