Articles Canada Ghosts

Ghost Photo in Black Creek’s Burwick House

Ghost Guide Daniel – – Something strange was caught in the Burwick House, in Toronto’s Black Creek Pioneer Village. Ghost photo? Lackadaisical cleaning standards? Here’s the breakdown.

Ghost Guide Daniel Reads the Article
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The Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village is a recreated town representing the history of Toronto. Approximate time-range is the 1860s.

There are 40 historic buildings, saved from progress and preserved on this adopted land.

The question is raised! Are the ghosts of historic houses attached to the structure or the land. Pioneer Villages seem to prove it’s the structure.

A great example is the haunted Burwick House.

Burwick House in Black Creek Pioneer Village - Toronto Ontario Canada
Burwick House in Toronto’s Black Creek Pioneer Village

Burwick House

Original stood in Woodbridge off of Pine Street.  Built by Rowland Burr in 1844, founder of the town of Burrwick (eventually became Woodbridge).  2-storey building with a kitchen wing.  It originally had an adjoining coach house.

They moved the House to Black Creek in 1958.  Saving only the front portion.  Reconstructing the kitchen wing close to the original design.

First Owner Rowland Burr

They saved the house of Woodbridge Ontario’s founder! 

An entrepreneurial young man who took over his father’s carpentry business at only 17 years old.  At 20 years old, he acquired land in Vaughan. Built a Grist and Sawmill. 

Eventual bought some land on the Humber River, making the town of Burrwick.  With a Sawmill, Flour Mill and Woolen Factory.  This is when he built and lived in Burwick House.

But wasn’t his last house.  Sold off the entire town and moved to Weston, acquiring more land.  He built many houses set for rental or sale.   Acquired more land in Lambton, York and Simcoe counties.

A famous landlord, catching the attention of the Rebel William Lyon Mackenzie in 1857 (20 years after the Rebellion), who called Burr “well to do”.

An advocate of temperance.  He attributed his great success to hard work, the Proverbs of Solomon and, of course, not drinking booze.

See a Virtual Tour inside the House / Passes the Mirror (0:13min mark)

House Ghostly Occurance

Experience from The Paranormal Seekers *75% down page

A paranormal team from The Paranormal Seekers did an investigation inside Black Creek Pioneer Village back in 2014.

Overall, the outing seemed quiet.

In my opinion… they seemed to push for experience. Controls were low and poorly handled. Along with a light-hearted manner, joking around and giving little respect to the space.

That aside, there was an interesting experience inside the Burwick House.

Racoon Fight or Ghost

A great method they employed was multiple team visits into each of the structures.

Works well to find consistency with general experience. Disconnected teams going in cold. If the same thing happened to each, without the others knowing… it was valid.

Didn’t happen like this in Burwick. But something happened to Team #2 while taking a break in the Kitchen.

“A sound like animals fighting. Maybe Racoons!”

They were quick to report this over the walkies. Confirmed the other teams heard nothing. Even though it was loud.

Only inside the Burwick House.

The Photographer

I received a very interesting email from a past collaborator, Richard Ong.  He was on a tour in Black Creek.  Learning the history and enjoying the old-time architecture. 

His Report

“During a tour inside the Burwick House, I took a photo using my Canon Powershot with the flash. When I got home, I noticed the reflection…”

In an attempt to disprove it, he tried contacting the tour provider to get more information. He received no response.

Is the House Haunted?

Said to be.  During the ghost tours at Black Creek, reports are shared of the Burwick House. 

A portrait of a former owner hangs in the Dining Room.  Stories told of tragedy. Hitting the family, and her children who died inside the house.

Burwick House in Black Creek Pioneer Village - Toronto Ontario Canada
Credit: Richard Ong

And as if the house wasn’t enough. The furniture comes from the same timeline.  Donated by the last woman owner as the house becomes a museum. 

A common occurrence is the sound of a woman sobbing.  Makes sense after losing her children inside the structure.

The Ghost Photo

What Happened in the Moment?  Nothing.  Richard caught the mirror in a shot.  Then found the anomaly afterwards.

Credit: Richard Ong / Original & Zoomed

A handprint pressed against the mirror. 

Nothing Felt, Nothing Heard

Richard felt nothing ghostly in the moment.  And inquiring with the tour operator, no response was heard.

But one must think Black Creek is diligent in the cleaning of their houses.  To honour those who once graced its halls. 

The handprint is very easily noticed.  Appearing on a night tour, during the most haunting time of year, Halloween season. 

And coming from a reliable source.  As I know Richard to never be easily swayed by an occurrence. 

Feeling a Hand

Follow-up from :: 23-May-2023

Richard messaged me with an update. Unable to let the location go, he returned for a haunted walk. To see if something, anything, could validate the ghost photo.

Then it happened. While inside the Burwick House, a guide was talking about experiences during the tours.

“She said that one or two people, while on the tour, have felt an icy cold hand touching their shoulder.”

Richard Ong

Over Belief

Always consider the source of a ghostly experience.  Are they reasonable in their belief? 

Reasonable is a non-psychic person having subtle occurrence.  Experiences that go along with the idea of energy-manipulation.

Those without psychic ability will hear noises, followed by the normal question of “What was that?”  Feeling it without visions. 

Nothing crossing over into the material world.  Like figures in full form, or someone saying “A ghost did my dishes!” (inside joke)

I believe this is something to investigate. A good source and historic location with much activity.   

DO YOU HAVE A STORY FROM BLACK CREEK PIONEER VILLAGE?  Please post it below, or email it to

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