Best Toronto Ghost Story

halloweenMy favourite Toronto ghost story, without a doubt, is the story of a ghost named Reznikoff who haunts University College at the University of Toronto, my alma mater. Here's the haunting tale of Ivan Reznikoff.

According to accounts, the ghost, "a heavy, thickset figure, with black curly hair and a beard," typically appears on the road in front of UC's main entrance or near the Roundhouse on the western side of the building. His appearances are said to indicate approaching disaster, such as a Fenian raid in 1866, and the death of two faculty members in 1892. The so-called phantom was often "seen" flitting about around Valentine's Day and Halloween.

Ivan Reznikoff and Paul Diabolos were sculptors who worked on the construction of UC. Reznikoff, a muscle-bound Russian from Poland, had been saving his money and planned to marry his long-time girlfriend, but then discovered that she had been conducting a secret affair with Diabolos. A good-looking Greek from Corinth, Diabolos had somehow convinced her to steal Reznikoff's hard-earned cash and run away with him out West.

Furious, Reznikoff confronted and attacked his co-worker on the UC construction site. But Diabolos, armed with a knife, killed him and dumped his body down a well. Denied a proper burial and ticked off about the whole betrayal/murder episode, Reznikoff began a long career of haunting the historic college.

As legend has it, a gash in the door that leads to University College was the result of an axe swung by Reznikoff as he pursued Diabolos. Several years ago, I revisited my old haunting grounds and took a couple of photos.

Ivan Reznikoff Vs. Paul Diabolos

Ivan Reznikoff Vs. Paul Diabolos

If you have a better Toronto ghost story, I'd love to hear it.

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Not Toronto but Room 873 at the Banff Springs. That floor feels so evil almost as evil as the Donnelly House in Lucan

October 28, 2012 @ 10:03 PM


Not Toronto but Room 873 in the Banff Springs hotel. The floor feels angry and evil. Reminds me of the Donnelly homestead in Lucan Ontario

October 28, 2012 @ 10:07 PM


The ghost of Hurricane Hazel is about to hit Wed. Watch out if you live near the Humber River.

October 29, 2012 @ 8:04 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Doug wrote in to say he likes the Royal York Hotel ghost story:

There is also supposed to be a ghost of a former employee who hung himself from a stairwell railing above the 19th floor.

As you may know the hotel has only 19 floors which are occupied however almost all the stairwells lead to the upper roof (20th-23rd floors). These upper floors are occupied by mechanical rooms which are all electronically locked and only entered when work must be done.

The stairwell in question (I forget the actual stairwell number) leads right to the roof exiting to the big red ROYAL YORK sign which can be seen from the streets. As I mentioned, the employee hung himself for an unknown reason in the higher area of this stairwell.

Many of the maintainence staff at the hotel have stated that strange sounds such as screaming and loud footsteps can be heard above while climbing the stairwell. When the sounds are investigated nothing or nobody can be found.

The stairwell is locked at the roof exit and is alarmed with a movement sensor and a video camera to catch an imagine of any unwanted visitors which may climb the stairwell to high. When theses noises are said to be heard the cameras are checked along with the alarm system, yet no activity in the area is found.

In the few times I have been up in that stairwell I have not experienced hearing any noises as explained above, however I do recall one evening I was descending the stairwell when I began to feel very nervous as if someone was watching me or following me. I ran down the stairs and exited onto the 19th floor, where I began to feel safer.

After talking to people regarding the 8th floor ghost, and explaining to them what I experienced in that stairwell I was told about the employee suicide in that area and all the strange noises heard as explained above.

I double checked the story with a trusted employee of the hotel and found it was true that the male hung himself approx. five years ago.

P.S - the 8th floor ghost is true... at least I hope it is or I'm going crazy. Walk the floor at night and tell me if you sense that your not the only on the floor. There are staff members who refuse to go on the floor during the midnight shift for that reason.

UPDATE: We've recently heard that technicians working in specific parts of the hotel that have had equipment fail and strange fluctuations in the electrical current have pinned the blame for these odd occurrences (jokingly,) on the ghost. In one case, one technician, who'd made 'jokes' about the antics of the ghost with equipment wrote to us to voice his surprise at the fact that up until discovering it on our site, he didn't really acknowledge the absolute validity of the stories of the hotel's "ghostly history". He says he's experienced cold spots and odd gusts of air in parts of the hotel. To top things off, this fellow also mentioned knowing another staff member who actually had seen the ghost of an old man passing through an area of the ballroom.

October 29, 2012 @ 9:11 AM


Ghost stories are often explicitly meant to be scary, they have been written to serve all sorts of purposes, from comedy to morality tales.

September 16, 2014 @ 1:35 AM


What year did the murder happen? Poor Mr. Reznikoff. Too bad Susie didn't get hers.

August 10, 2015 @ 12:58 AM


Good story. Thought you might like these creepy Indian ghost stories:

December 16, 2015 @ 3:23 PM

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