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Kleinburg landmark haunted by tragic spirit (some say)

There’s a restaurant near the corner of Islington Ave. and Nashville Rd. in Kleinburg where the supernatural likes to play.

For decades the Doctor’s House has been the stage where ethereal scenes have been played out by the dead, much to the delight of some and dismay of others.

“I’ve been here seven years and twice I felt as if I wasn’t alone,” Marion D’Eathe, an employee at the Doctor’s House, says. “I was working late at night and when I went to punch out the card, it was like a light or something was there.

“I knew I was not alone.”

Originally built in 1867, the Doctor’s House was given its because it was home to a succession of doctors.

The first of the string of namesake doctors to inhabit the house had a daughter who became pregnant. What should have been a joyous time was a source of great shame for the doctor as his daughter was pregnant out of wedlock.

Rather than suffer this humiliation, he performed an abortion. The procedure was a disaster, terminating not only the pregnancy but his daughter’s life as well.

“A lot of people have said that in front of the chapel they’ve seen a young girl playing,” D’Eathe says. “When they go back, she’s gone.”

But that’s just the beginning of what goes on at the Doctor’s House, she explains, adding most of the bizarre, unexplained events are not accompanied by visible apparitions.

The ghosts that call the Victorian residence home, says author and ghost story-collector John Robert Colombo, fit the textbook definition of poltergeist or “noisy spirit”.

“Practically every ghost is a poltergeist because you don’t see these sheeted beings wandering around,” he says. “You don’t see a ghost; you sense it.

“A good many Canadian ghost stories, especially those in the 19th century, and hauntings today, are poltergeist events whereby people report a whole plethora of eerie, creepy responses.”

Hair standing on end, a drop in temperature, a sense of unease, appliances acting on their own — these are things Colombo says are common to most poltergeist stories.

These are also eerily similar to what staff has reported at the Doctor’s House.

“With the other people I’ve worked with, I’ve heard that they’ve turned every light off in the place, drove out of here and looked back,” D’Eathe says. “Every light was still on.”

Some nights, after staff had locked up, she adds, they would hear music coming from the piano, though the building was empty.

The house also has a history of inexplicable events happening as by clockwork. Former owner John MacEachern reported lights mysteriously dimming every night at 10:20 and a Christmas tree shaking violently 10 minutes later.

“In my office downstairs for — I swear almost a year — every day at two o’clock my door would close,” D’Eathe says. “I’d have something propping it open, but everyday I would know it was two o’clock because my door was closing.”

Though he has documented more than 700 creepy tales, including that of Kleinburg’s Doctor’s House, Colombo says he still enjoys the thrill of a good ghost story and continues to collect them.

“Vaughan, like any other part of the world, is blessed or cursed, as you wish, with haunted sites and people who claim they experience visions at these sites,” he says.

Vaughan Today
In print: Friday, October 26, 2007
Page: 6
Byline: Philip Alves