Walk with history on the Halifax Citadel Ghost Tour | Must-see Nova Scotia

by W. Andrew Powell
Halifax Citadel Ghost Walk

The Halifax Citadel in Nova Scotia is an incredible historic site that’s filled with stories. During the day, you can take a stroll and learn about the history of the former military fortification from the interpreters. At night though, the fortress gets a little spooky, and that’s what makes the Halifax Citadel Ghost Tours so much fun.

Follow your guide, a soldier dressed in the era of the Citadel’s military peak, by lantern-light and discover some of the most fascinating ghostly tales in unique areas of the historic site. Part exploration, part history lesson, and told in the dark, it’s an experience like no others in Halifax.

The stories are sometimes a little bit bloody, and the guides help give you context about the era that often go a long way to explaining more about the fortress, and the people that lived there. Most of the stories are genuine tales from the history of the Halifax area, although there may be a little embellishment here and there.

My favourite story was about two young soldiers, stationed at the site some 250 years ago, who witnessed a strange visitor entering their captain’s chambers, only for the visitor to vanish when they followed him.

Other stories covered a mysterious death at the Citadel, a groom who bought matching caskets for a wedding that never happened, and strange footprints found inside a practically sealed off section of the fortress.

Walking through the site, the ghost tours are absolutely fascinating not just because of the stories, but because you’ll go into areas that feel distinctly different at night. Our tour went inside the fortified walls for one story that felt perfectly spooky in the dark, somewhat confined area.

We walked single-file through the space, that starts to get even more eerie because it all looks the same. Our guide kept us on-track and safe though, and it’s a totally fun experience that anyone will appreciate, especially if you love exploring.

For families, the ghost tours don’t have an age rating, but we brought our 8-year-old daughter along and she loved it. Younger kids may have questions about some of the stories and details, so just keep that in mind when booking. In most cases, 10-12 years old should be the perfect age for kids coming on the tour.

Halifax Citadel Ghost Tours are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:30 PM, starting in July and going until November, and they’re 70 minutes long.

In 2021, Ghost Tours started on July 9 and run until November 6, and tickets are $17.03 per person. Tours are weather permitting and start from the front entrance kiosk. Tours are offered in English only, and there’s a maximum of 20 people per group. You can also book private group tours all year round. For more information visit the Parks Canada website.

Looking for more to do at the Halfiax Citadel? Check out the “Things To Do” page on the official website, and consider nearby attractions like the Georges Island National Historic Site.

For other kinds of “spirits” consider the Citadel Distilled Experiences, with opportunities to sample gin, genever, and rum aged on site by Compass Distillers.

Watch a peek at the Ghost Tour below:

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