I Work In a Haunted Steakhouse
We spoke to the general manager of Keg Mansion about the building's dark past and what it’s like working in Canada’s most infamous haunted restaurant.
Keg Mansion in Toronto made national headlines recently because of a surprise attack by vegan activists, but it's the restaurant's undead visitors who have made it a destination for those seeking to connect with the paranormal—and reasonably priced steaks. MUNCHIES caught up with Jenn Anthony, the general manager of the Keg's flagship restaurant to discuss the mansion's dark past and what it's like working in Canada's most infamous haunted restaurant. In the midst of a ventilation "crisis" which filled the restaurant with smoke and may or may not have been caused by supernatural forces, Anthony took the time to tell us a few ghost stories about Keg Mansion.
Keg Mansion was built in 1867, and in 1873 the Massey family moved in. Hart Massey sold farming equipment and they were very well-off as a result. His family lived in this house before it was a restaurant and a lot of things happened here. Hart Massey's daughter, Lillian Massey, was sick and eventually died in this house. One of the maids hanged herself in the house. There was also a little boy who fell down the stairs and died not long after.
Probably the most popular sighting is the little boy on the stairs. Families come here and have a hard time because their children always want to play with the boy on the stairs and some end up leaving because they are so terrified. The boy on the stairs is constantly seen by children and some of our staff also claim to have seen him.
Along the staircase is the bannister that you can slide your hand across as you're going up or down, and underneath the bannister are vertical wooden spindles. A few years ago, one of the spindles of the third floor landing fell off and landed straight on the bar top downstairs—mid-shift on a Saturday night. It came crashing down, luckily didn't hurt anybody, it just landed with a thud and terrified the bartender and the people nearby. The manager at the time walked it back upstairs to see where it came from.
We recorded it in the logbook and it was reinstalled and repaired. And then one year later, to the day, the same spindle—which had been fixed—fell again. It was the exact same one. The spindle falling one year to the day is one of the creepiest for all of us. We don't know if that date coincides with when the boy would have fallen, but that one definitely scares us.
Just a few weeks ago, I was doing my walk-arounds to see what needs repairs—the restaurant needs a lot of attention because it's a really old house—and as we were speaking about ghost stories, I looked up and that same spindle was sticking out. So what we're going to do is go through our logbook and we're going to look for a correlation.
The second most popular sighting is the creepy woman in the washroom upstairs. Personally, I haven't seen anything, but I can definitely feel something because of people's reactions. There was a lady that had gone into the washroom and could see a pair of feet in one of the stalls from underneath. The lady in question went to the stall right beside it and said that the toilet flushed and the doors to the stalls opened at the same time, but no one actually came out of the other stall—she was in the bathroom by herself. And I just so happened to be outside of the bathroom as it happened, and I could see genuine terror in the woman's eyes. There's no doubting when you can feel someone's complete fear.
There used to a secret tunnel in here which attached the house to the Wellesley Hospital. It's been blocked off since, but they used to wheel Lillian back and forth when she was sick and they didn't want to take her outside. A lot of people who come here for psychic conventions and supernatural specialists believe that since the hospital doesn't exist anymore, that spirits of people who died in the hospital can travel through the tunnel.
I think it has this reputation because of its age, and its past, and the fact that a family did live here. People from all walks of life believe that there is something going on here. No one's ever been hurt in modern day, nothing truly bad happens, but there are so many sightings and experiences.
Recently, we had a woman in here from Los Angeles who studies the supernatural and requested to take a tour. We were in the library, and she said that it had a very masculine dominant force and that it doesn't appreciate the presence of women in the room. That made my hair stand up, because it's the room that terrifies me the most when I'm closing down at night and turning off the lights: I get this eerie feeling. I was like, 'Thank you, maybe you didn't have to share that with me!'
As told to Nick Rose.