Long after twilight, when even golfers with glow in the dark balls had left the parking lot, my intrepid ghost chasing emissary Amy McCleary, a local blogger who lives but ten minutes from Abbey’s gates made her approach stealthily in her version of the Scooby crew van, an ethereal silver Ghost hunting vessel 'Lucy,' a Suzuki SX-4 hatchback.
I had dispatched Ms. McCLeary to commune with Glen Abbey’s most famous supernatural resident, the ghost of the friendly monk. Long before Oakville’s golfing gem was a Canadian Open rotation regular, the property was a retreat for the Society of Jesus in the 1950s and early 60s.
According to local lore a ghost of a Jesuit father still lives in the old abbey building, a spooky mansard-roofed French eclectic style mansion that used to serve as the course's clubhouse before 1975. The monk has most often been sighted walking up the backstairs and down the main hallway toward the wood-lined library. Currently the mansion houses the offices of Pro-Financial Asset Management.
“There’s a very creepy vibe, especially when you go around back,” she quaked, clearly eager to get back to her vehicle. I goaded her to press on, reminding Ms. McCleary that the monk was a friendly spirit and was totally stoked to have a visitor to hang out with.
Old windows and resulting shadow play are a recipe for a serious case of the heebie-jeebies, and when Amy saw a light orb in her next picture it was game over.
“It’s probably not this way during the day,” she deflected pretending not to be petrified before blindly snapping a few more shots while retreating back to the safety of her vehicle and calling it a night.
Twenty years ago Karen Hewson, the Managing Director of Membership & Heritage Services of Golf Canada who works on the premises had a run in with something that goes bump in the night but she refuses to believe it was the monk.
“In 1994 I was working in the middle of the night (like 3:30 am) as we were getting the centennial book ready for press” she relates. “My office at the time was at the top of the back stairs. I definitely heard what sounded like someone coming up and rounding the corner to go down the hall.”
“A past volunteer swore they saw it coming down the hall when they were in the library in the middle of the night – but that person is no longer with us so if you could get confirmation from them – you’d actually be speaking with a ghost!”
an edited version of my above story first ran in Clublink Life Magazine