The Twin Fountains of Trafalgar Square

It was one of the first truly cold nights of the fall. The wind whipped over the canal, stealing the warmth from our noses and toes.

The night before Halloween seemed like the best night for the writers of this blog to embark on Ottawa’s Haunted Walk (a wonderful attraction for longtime residents and tourists alike in Canada’s capital—our associate editor, Alexa Scott, details the rest of our experiences from that night later this week!)

Ottawa has dozens of homegrown ghost stories; the woman at Manotick Mill, the men of the Rideau Canal, Charles Melville Hays, and Patrick Whelan are just a few that we’ve covered so far on this blog.

But my favourite, and in my opinion the most compelling ghost story we’ve come across, is imported.

 COURTESY OF URBSITE

COURTESY OF URBSITE

Before the London Blitz, two fountains were built in Trafalgar Square. These twins were installed and, like their countrymen, survived the Blitz with grit and vigor. One fountain lost about a quarter of the structure to the bombings and had to be rebuilt, but the pair made it through the war.

In the 50s the twins were brought to Canada; one to Regina, Saskatchewan, and the other right here to Ottawa, where it sits in Confederation Park.

The fountain itself is beautiful and intricately designed. If you get close enough, you can see all the nicks and dents in the stonework from the damage the structure took from its experience with the bombings.

Upon moving to Confederation Park, strange rumours began to arise concerning the fountain. A girl would float face down in the shallow water, but once her would-be rescuers approached, her body would disappear.

 PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GLOBE AND MAIL

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The origins of the haunting is lost to history. Some have speculated that a murder occurred near the twin fountains back in Trafalgar Square. There are even those who have questioned whether we even received the haunted fountain, or if its spooky events are because of its link to the truly spectral landmark, its twin in Regina. Either way, our tour guide on the Haunted Walk left us with this:

“If you see a body floating in the fountain and it disappears call us. If it doesn’t, call the police.”


Beckett, Emily_Bio Pic.jpg

Emily Beckett is an enthusiastic geek and writer who spent her childhood summer nights poring over Canadian ghost stories with only a flashlight and nylon tent to protect herself. She is fascinated by the chilling events that lend themselves to the birth of alleged spooky encounters—despite her scaredy-cat status.

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Emily Beckett

Emily is an enthusiastic geek and writer who spent her childhood summer nights poring over Canadian ghost stories with only a flashlight and nylon tent to protect herself. She is fascinated by the chilling events that lend themselves to the birth of alleged spooky encounters—despite her scaredy-cat status.