Life in progress

A Haunted Visitation


July 19th, 2013: My trip to Kingston was interesting indeed. With so many strange goings-on, I can’t help but wonder if I somehow ended up in my own novel. Without giving too much away, this is how it went:

The Hochelaga Inn was much as I expected. Built in 1879, it has been well-preserved not only in its physical appearance, but for its ambiance as well.

A Welcoming Prayer

A Welcoming Prayer

Peace and rest, however, although perhaps wished upon me by the Management and Staff, were not what the Inn itself had in store.

Having not a great deal of money, but wishing to take an extended weekend away, I booked the cheapest room in the Inn for the first two nights, (Saturday and Sunday) and the Tower room–the most expensive–for one night (Monday).

My first night didn’t include much sleep. Three times during the course of my slumber, I was awoken by the fire alarm, which was situated on the ceiling beside a spinning fan, for no apparent reason. When I asked about it at reception the next morning, because I thought there might have been a problem in another room, they said they had no idea what had happened. Unfortunately, I was told, the Tower room was booked for that night, otherwise they’d have moved me in there early. So I gave back my room key with an assurance that I would be moved to another room for my second night at no extra cost.

The conversation between the two ladies I had spoken to at the desk, overheard after I walked away, went something like this:

“Her fire alarm went off three times last night.”

“Wooooo …” in a ghostly voice.

Okey dokey then.

Later, when I arrived back at the Inn after spending a lovely day wandering around Kingston and getting burned to a potato chip by the sun, I was handed the key for the Tower room.

“We were able to move you up there a day early,” the lady said without further explanation.

The house wants me in the Tower, I thought.

I happily I went up to my room to take a few pictures before dark.

The lower part of the tower.


The view from the top

It was a long day and I didn’t feel like doing much, so I sat on the bed with my feet up and watched a movie on my laptop. I didn’t bother to turn on the lights, and by half-way through the movie (The Brave, with and by Johnny Depp if you’re wondering) it was dark. That was when my friend decided to come along. I didn’t take a picture of my friend, and in fact I’m quite proud of myself for not throwing my laptop across the room. Let’s just say he had eight legs and appeared to be the size of Jaws as he scurried across my screen.

My second night didn’t include much sleep either. I think my camera catches quite well the state my eyes were in by Monday morning:


A lovely blurred view from the lower tower window

I spent most of Monday driving around town. I went to the VIA Rail station, where my two main characters disembark after having met on the train, and I was able to record many small details such as the waiting room seat colours and the fact that there are sliding glass doors on both the back and front. I drove from there to where my story is set–where I imagine the house to be–to see how long the journey would take, as well as noting different things they might see on the way.

When I got back ‘home,’ the first thing I did was look for the spider. There was no sign of him whatsoever.

Yay! I thought. I’m going to get a good night’s sleep!


So I was downstairs talking to the lady at reception again after having spent a few minutes poring over a framed blueprint of the Inn, from 1920 when they were hooking up the electricity. The house had changed quite a bit, and we were having a lovely discussion about where the rooms were and the staircase that wasn’t there any more etc.. when she mentioned the ghost.

“There’s a ghost here?” I asked, my eyes like saucers, I’m sure.

“Yeah,” she said. “We’re part of The Haunted Walk of Kingston. You should go on it.”

All righty then.

From there I went to a bar. Okay, I went to a restaurant. But must say I indulged just a little. As it turned out, I was sitting on the patio waiting for my bill when a strange looking man wearing a black cape and holding a lantern (click on the Haunted Walk link above for a visual) exited the building that housed the restaurant. He stopped and stood not six feet away, waiting. It took me a few seconds to realize he was the tour guide for The Haunted Walk. (Like I said, I’d had a few.) So I thought it might be fun to talk to him.

“Excuse me, are you guiding the Haunted Walk tonight?” (All right, all right. Maybe I was sloshed.)

“Yes,” he replied.

“I’m staying at one of the places on your tour: The Hochelaga.”

“Yes, that is one of the places we visit,” he said politely.

“Would you like me to put a sheet over my head and stand at the window in the Tower?”

I thought he was going to blow a gasket.

“YES!” he exclaimed, all but jumping up and down in excitement. “The people would love that!”

So guess what I did?



At dusk. I turned on the lights in the Tower so they would glow.

After the people left (they actually pointed at me, standing at the very top window at the front, looking down) I turned on the lights and went outside to take a picture of the most incredible Hochelaga Inn.

And that night? I slept like a baby knowing the ghost was safely tucked in bed.

Spooky, no?

Spooky, no?

To this day the spirit of the place haunts me. My characters, whose footsteps I was privileged enough to walk in, are with me in a way they weren’t before. The sights I saw are imprinted on my vision, deep and immovable. I’m lucky to have been able to visit the wondrous settings from which I was able to tell my story.

If you’d like to visit The Hochelaga Inn, click here for their website. I highly recommend it for its ambiance, its breakfast, and for the experience of sleeping in such a beautiful old Victorian mansion.

My Gothic paranormal romance, The Magician’s Curse, which is set in Kingston and features a house that is inspired by The Hochelaga Inn, is available on Kindle, Kobo, and in paperback on Amazon, as well as on the shelf in the Novel Idea Bookstore at 156 Princess Street in Kingston.

Here are some more photos of The Hochelaga.


Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

76 thoughts on “A Haunted Visitation

  1. This was fantastic! Boy did I laugh! And scream (spiders). I pictured Kingston (I miss it, and my daughter), and thought how brave you were, as I’m not sure I could have done it alone. The haunted room that is. Great read!


  2. I’d be spooked staying there, but great story! πŸ™‚


  3. Linda, they should pay you for being such a great visitor and advertiser! 😊 This place was beautiful and it would be fun to sleep there, but would prefer a friend or someone close to share the experience. Thank you, Linda for following me. I am now following you. πŸ’ Robin


    • Thanks so much for the follow, Robin. πŸ™‚
      Now that you mention it, I should tell people to mention I sent them. Haha! It’s a really great place to stay. Truly. πŸ˜€


  4. I would be terrified staying in a haunted place, but it does look lovely nonetheless! πŸ™‚


  5. We visited the Winchester Mystery House in San Diego, CA. It is an interesting House to visit. Sarah Winchester who inherit the house after her husband, William Winchester, the rifle maker, died. She claimed to be chased by the ghosts killed by the rifles that her husband made. She was told to keep the hammer banging to chase the ghost away. There were doors open to a wall, and stairs lead to a ceiling for the ghosts to get stuck!


  6. Wow, what a beautiful and fascinating place!


  7. Such a perfect encounter, with a great story to follow. I loved this one. And..if I were a ghost, I’d want to hang out in a place like that !


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  10. I’d love to stay in such a haunted place! πŸ™‚


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  16. It looks like a cross between Tudor and Victorian…and almost spooky but in an inviting way.


  17. lol.. Great read, thanks for sharing… I really like older style buildings – to look at, NOT sleep in.. lol


  18. What a wonderful read! It sounds like you had a very successful trip. I’m hoping to do something similar later this year, but I don’t expect any ghosts. And I certainly hope there will be no spiders, at least none that I see. I have a spider phobia 😦


  19. I love this story and your experience sounds awesome. I must send this link to my friend in Kingston so I can visit this Inn with her on my way to Toronto…WI


  20. What a story this is, I am planning to visit Kingston end of September. Shall certainly look out for this Inn you stayed in!


    • It’s a beautiful area with lots of parks, right near Kingston General Hospital. I’d like to go back again, maybe in the winter. This time of year the tower is like a sweat lodge – especially with a sheet over one’s head. haha


  21. Oh my gosh, I am in love! … with the fact you pretended to be a ghost. I had a weird experience in Germany once, and would LOVE to go back and write at the place where imaginations come to life. How have I not been following you by now?? (I would have been more creeped out by a spider as well- LOL)


    • Being able to go to the very place that inspired me was precious indeed. I found the Inn on the internet while simply looking up ‘old houses in Kingston.’ Luckily it’s less than an hour’s drive away from where I live.
      Yeah, the spider was the worst! Thanks for the comment and the follow πŸ˜€


  22. I loved your story of traveling adventures. I have had ghostly adventures myself and they don’t scare me nearly as much as something with eight legs crawling across my laptop. That was the part of the story that gave me sweaty hands. Yikes! Glad you made it out alive! πŸ™‚


  23. Are you sure, this is not part of your book? I could not take my eyes off the screen. That was a fun read, a little bit creepy but fun. πŸ™‚


  24. Fantastic thinking and quick wit. Cheers. A great read.


  25. This was well-written and I found myself intrigued. Bravo!


    • Thank you πŸ™‚ Now as long as my novel is as intriguing….


      • When it is published let me know please.


      • When you need a second pair of eyes on your manuscript, let me know.

        Great writing and I loved the pictures.

        I’ve been dreaming about traveling to Derinkuyu, the underground city in Turkey. One of these days. Maybe my book will pay for it. πŸ™‚


        • Thank you very much! I was thinking about who I could ask to read it, and here you are offering. You’re reading my mind today! Haha.

          Thank you very much. I hope you get to Derinkuyu, and even better if your book is that successful! πŸ™‚ Perhaps we could be critique partners someday.


          • Critique partners would be great. I don’t limit myself to complete manuscripts. In-progress critiques can be just as useful. I’ve still got 400+ pages to go, 200 some down.

            Just let me know.


            • I shall. I’m very focused on my 3rd draft at the moment, but as soon as I’m finished maybe we can work something out. πŸ™‚ Are you editing or still writing?


              • I’m an odd duck. I’m still doing both. I write and edit in chunks. I have character-narrated chapters that I actually re-write and re-edit from my narration. Lot of work, but so far I think I’m happy with the result.

                I’m sure we will be able to work something out.


                • There are so many different methods of writing a novel. The only way I seem to be able to do it is write it beginning to end, without stopping, aside from doing the occasional character sketch.

                  I look forward to sharing our work with one another πŸ™‚


  26. This was absolutely brilliant!!!! My Collaborative Partner and I hope to do such as you have done when we are finally able to embark on our dream quest. We are detailing it in our blog, but we can’t wait to begin our journey with our characters. Luckily they understand the challenges we are facing and have proven to be patient as we sort things out. They are as eager as we are to visit the places they inhabit in our stories. I’d like to thank OM for reblogging your post and bringing it to our attention.
    k- of k&p Catalano


  27. I literally LOL – great story, thanks for posting!


  28. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    Blog Review #5

    This was very entertaining and she has a great story telling style. I can appreciate even more the fact that it is very different than mine. This was worth the read and the smile was the reward.

    Note: This blog review is in connection to my post “I will do “Ten Reviews.”

    -Opinionated Man


  29. lol, now that was funny.


  30. What a terrific, albeit a little creepy, journey! I’m usually the first person to scoff at ghost stories but I don’t deny the heebiejeebies I get when something comes along that’s too real to deny.


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