Legion offers Nightmare on Daly Street haunted house

Starting next weekend, and for the ninth year in a row, the Palmerston Legion’s haunted house, also known as Nightmare on Daly Street, will be opening its doors to frighten patrons of all ages.

Last year about 1,500 people visited the haunt, which involves volunteer Legion members and features a walk-through dark attraction filled with scary live actors, special effects and monsters.

Legion officials even invented a frightening tale of fiction to provide a fitting background story for the haunted house. It is based on Gertie Whitlock, the Duchess of Palmerston, Ontario, who in 1894 was madly in love with Henry Ballantyne.

Gertie’s family did not approve of her plan to wed Henry, so the couple planned to elope on Oct. 31, Gertie’s 19th birthday. But Henry never showed up at their meeting place – the Beaumont Hotel at 260 Daly Street – and he was never heard from again.

Gertie was devastated and couldn’t bring herself to leave the hotel, always hoping Henry would someday return. She moved into the hotel and died of a broken heart on her 20th birthday.

The hotel burned down in 1951, the story goes, and the Royal Canadian Legion branch was built on the property. There are rumours of ghostly sightings and crying sounds in the hall of the Legion to this day.

There are three versions of Nightmare on Daly St. offered: lights on, tamer and scary. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children between 5 and 12 years old, and group rates are also available.

Tamer version

This tamer version of the Haunt, running Oct. 22 and 29 from 2 to 4pm, will be dark with spooky background music, but most of the props are not active, and there are no scare actors.

Lights on walk through

This is an opportunity to see up close the artistry and detail of the haunt with lights on and no scares – available on Oct. 23 from 7 to 9pm.

Scary version

The scary version of the haunted house will be offered on Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29 from  to 9:30pm and on Oct. 27 from 7 to 9pm. All props are active with spooky background music.

For details visit palmerstonlegion.ca/Haunted_House.php.