Haunting at the Bala Bay Inn: An Interview with Terry Boyle
In keeping with our theme of the Halloween Issue, we thought we’d bring you an interesting piece of Ontario history. The Bala Bay Inn in Muskoka has been made famous by it’s status as haunted by the ghost of its original founder, E.B. Sutton. And it’s not just the Inn, event he Kee to Bala, where Snoop Dogg recently performed, has had it’s supernatural sightings as well. Terry Boyle has made a career out of exploring the paranormal and is an expert on the ghosts of the Inn. You can get a piece of that action on a weekly tour that runs during tourist season from Spring to Fall with Terry if you want. We got a chance to chat with Terry about the Inn and Bala at large and just how haunted it really is.
PinkMafia: Briefly introduce about yourself
Terry Boyle: I’m a journalist and author. Published 16 books on the paranormal, history, and native studies, and hosted a TV show called Creepy Canada. Started walking tour in Bala 7 years ago.
PM: People say the ghost at the Bala Bay Inn is that of EB Sutton who dies at the inn in room 317 in 1917. What is your take?
TB: I do believe EB is one of the spirits who visits the inn, there are number of them actually. Sometimes the experiences are more the spirits moving through time. A few years ago, a woman was staying on the second floor and when she was walking in the hallway a ‘woman’ was approaching her and they exchanged glances. The inn guest thought this woman looked strange so when she turned around for another glance the woman had vanished. We got a description from the inn guest of what she was wearing, which was actually the uniform from of hotel employees in the 1930s. So for a brief moment the inn guest had stepped back in time to the 1930s..That’s happened on several occasions, so we are not always dealing with deceased individuals.
PM: Do you think a lot of the spirits/ energy that you’ve come across are spirits from the afterlife or displaced energy from individuals from another time?
TB: We know very little about time. It’s dimensional. What I’m saying is if the hotel stood on a piece of property that was built in 1880 and burned down in 1891 and someone built on that land in 1930 than there would still be a another dimension/ time from the property that was built. A lot of people used to believe that mirrors were portals and our ancestors use to cover mirrors for 3 days after the death of a family member and the reason for that is they did not want their relative finding their way back.
When we were doing Creepy Canada, we interviewed a woman who did her PhD on energy imprinting, so she was a big believer that if a strange event occurred, the energy from that event was still in the ground and the buildings around it.
We also had an archeologist who worked with material in the 50s/60s. He worked with a clairvoyant so he would find a Heron Village and would bring his clairvoyant friend to be able to see the village as it was in the 1400.
PM: What other sites within Bala have had spirit sightings?
TB: The old dance hall, The Dance Pavilion Kee to Bala, is fairly active. I’m not sure why, maybe appearing for the last dance? If you try and take a photograph a lot of the times you’ll end up with a misty photo, lines appearing in the air, etc.
PM: What other spirits have you come across at the Bala Bay Inn?
TB: There is a little girl who appears on the staircase of the main lobby on the 2nd or 3rd step. People on occasion see her, and last year I had a young girl on the tour with her camera, and photographed the staircase and what appeared in the photo was a little girls hand resting on the bannister which was really amazing. At the Inn a new experience happens every week.
PM: Have you gone up to the Inn during the closed season to see the sort of activity that happens?
TB: When you’re up their when it’s closed it’s quite eerie. On occasion you might see some activity, but more activity based on the people/ person in the tour. Sometimes might have someone on the tour who might attract more spirit activity, and it gets heightened. For a few weeks in a row in the summer we would walk by room 317 (Where EB Sutton died) and the alarm clock would go off without fail. Doors would rattle as you go by. People really do have extraordinary experiences at the Inn.
PM: Have you ever come across any evil spirits?
TB: Yes actually, it’s not always Casper the Friendly Ghost. Once one woman, a number of years ago, had a restaurant with 3 spirits in it whom she had a relationship with, so when she was going to sell the business, they did not want her to leave. As she was signing the real estate deal, all the paper work being signed, the pages flew across the table and scattered. When she went to bed that night, something grabbed her arms and pulled them back to the floor slamming her face to the floor breaking every tooth in her mouth.
People see fireballs ignite; houses have burned to the ground as a result. There was a woman in Barrie who was having a exorcism done on her house to get the evil spirits out, and the spirits locked her in the garage unable to escape… It’s pretty amazing.
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