Halloween conjures legends of ghouls and ghosts, mystical monsters and creepy coincidences. It’s an ideal time to trek into the tree-gnarled forest with friends or family for a scary-themed campfire (if open fires are banned in your area, propane fire pits may be allowed).

Here are five classic, Canadian-themed and silly campfire stories to tell around the flickering blaze this All-Hallows’ Eve… if you dare!

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The Halifax Citadel Grey Lady

This is a Canadian ghost story with a tragic twist. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, the star-shaped Citadel looks over the city. This fortress was built in 1796-97 to defend against French soldiers. Nowadays, visitors can tour the grounds, but beware—there is rumored to be a ghost haunting the Citadel, known as the Grey Lady.

The story goes that before she became a wandering spirit, the Grey Lady was Miss Cassie Allan, a young woman engaged to a solider who was stationed at the Citadel. On their wedding day, November 14, 1900, she waited at a nearby church for her groom. A carriage arrived and Miss Allan was informed that she would never walk down the aisle to the altar to meet her fiancé. Tragically, unable to hide from his past, the solider had taken his own life.

Doomed to haunt the old stone walls, the Grey Lady wears a long white dress and wanders the floors of the Cavalier building in an eternal search for her beloved. Employees say if you can smell roses, her ghost must be nearby.

Original source: Click here


The Canoeing Ghost

Another Canadian ghost story is the tale of artist Tom Thomson. Back in 1920, the Group of Seven was a new art collective made up of seven painters creating Canadian artwork. Their landscape paintings are known across the country and even around the world.

Before the artists officially formed a collective, Tom Thomson had a large impact on the group. Every year, he summered in Algonquin, painting and fishing and once working as a fire ranger. His iconic painting, The Jack Pine, is an iconic oil painting representing the most common pine tree in Canada. The same year he completed this widely recognized work, he met his fate.

In 1917, while canoeing on Canoe Lake in his beloved Algonquin Park, Thomson drowned. No one knows exactly what happened, though theories include an affair and a jealous fisherman, illegal poachers caught in the act, and suicide. Thomson was nearly 40 years old, in good health and just making his mark in the art world.

However, this is not where Thomson’s story ends. According to eyewitnesses, every year, on the eve of July 17th, his ghost returns to his canoe and paddles in the moonlight. Perhaps he is still travelling to his final destination.

Original source: Click here

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The Yellow Ribbon

Jenny was a young girl with long brunette hair and a bright smile. Every day, she wore a yellow ribbon tied around her neck. Her boyfriend, Johnny, thought it was cute, but sort of strange. As they continued dating, he started to realize that Jenny never took off the ribbon—not when she went swimming, hiking or even when she fell asleep!

Johnny loved Jenny, but he thought it was weird she never let him see her without the yellow ribbon on. She refused to take it off and would never tell him why.

Eventually, Jenny and Johnny got married. Late one night, he decided to take off the ribbon himself. He wondered if she had a funny birth mark or a scar under the ribbon. What could she be hiding from him?

Slowly, he began to pull on the bow, untying the ribbon…

And her head fell off.

Original source: Click here


Fifty-Dollar Bill

Once upon a time, a man and a woman were driving down a dark, windy backroad. It was nighttime, and they were tired and quite lost. The travellers knew they needed to find a place to stay for the night, but there was nothing around: no hotels or motels or campgrounds. As the husband was gazing through the thick forest on the side of the road, he spied a light shining through the trees.

“Let’s go see what’s up there,” the husband said to his wife. It was raining hard, and the car’s gas tank was nearly empty. Though she didn’t want to disturb a stranger so late at night, the wife didn’t see another option, so she agreed.

Pulling up to a small log cabin on a hill surrounded by tall trees, the husband and wife stepped out of the car. They could smell something burning and saw smoke coming from the chimney. “Perhaps they burnt their dinner,” the wife said, though both her and her husband felt a distinct chill race over their skin, rising goosebumps on their flesh.

 An old man and an old woman opened the door when they knocked. The travellers explained their predicament, and the elderly couple graciously welcomed them into their home for the night. Offering them clean towels, fresh linens for the couch and a bowl of homemade soup, the old man and woman made a comfortable arrangement of their living room.

“Please let us pay you for allowing us to stay here,” the husband asked, but the elderly couple refused. In the early dawn, the travellers returned to their car, but not before leaving a fifty-dollar bill as a thank you on the kitchen table.

After driving down the road for a few more minutes, they came upon a gas station and rundown diner. The travellers decided to stop for breakfast and to refuel.

The husband mentioned the kind strangers they had spent the night with to the waitress, and she turned pale. “That’s not possible,” she replied.

“What do you mean?” asked the wife.

“That house was destroyed by a fire that killed the Brown family three years ago,” the waitress said.

After arguing for a few more minutes and finishing their breakfast, the travellers decided to drive back to see Mr. and Mrs. Brown. The backroad turned up the hill and was promptly covered in overgrown weeds. There they saw the small cabin, only it was a burnt shell, not the comfortable lodging they had enjoyed the night before. “Impossible,” the husband muttered.

In the middle of the burnt cabin was a kitchen table with an untouched fifty-dollar bill.

Original source: Click here

cabin in the woodsiStock

Bear Hunting

A long, long time ago in a small village in Bulgaria, there was a monstrous, mean, man-eating bear. The hungry bear began visiting the village and eating people. Clearly, this was problematic for the people who lived there.

A group of brave hunters got together and decided that they needed to find the bear and put an end to its human-consuming ways. As they prepared with rifles and rope, a small boy in the village named Yuri asked to join them. The men agreed.

Late one night, they went out into the dark forest to track the bear and eventually, they found the bear’s den. The entrance to the lair was very small and the hunters knew none of the grown men could fit through the opening. Yuri volunteered to crawl through the opening headfirst.

On the other side of the cave, the hunters could hear the bear growling and making noise but they couldn't hear Yuri. The hunters had given him a gun, but they didn't hear any gunshots. They had also tied a rope around his waist, which they tugged on, but didn’t get a response.

After not hearing anything for at least an hour, the hunters decided to pull the boy back. They pulled and pulled and eventually dragged him out! But when Yuri emerged from the tunnel, he didn't have a head.

“That’s odd. Didn’t Yuri have a head?” one of the men asked.

“Of course he did,” a man replied. “Or at least, I think so. Actually, I'm not sure.”

The group of adult hunters stood over the body for awhile, arguing back and forth. They couldn't remember if Yuri had had a head before.

Suddenly, one man had a great idea. He said, “Let's go back to the village and ask Yuri’s mother! She'll know for sure.”

The group of hunters stumbled back through the forest, following the light of the moon. In the village, they found Yuri’s mother waiting for her son to return. They told her what happened and asked her, “Did Yuri have a head before?”

She said, “Good question.” She thought about it a bit, before abruptly exclaiming, “Oh! I know. He must have had a head before. I bought him a hat last year!”

Original source: Click here



PS. There’s nothing scarier than rubbish left in the woods or coals abandoned while sizzling, so pack out what you pack in and douse your fire completely before turning in for the night. If you need help with your fire, check out our Campfire-Building Bundle.