Ghostly Guides

Kate Jones

Ghost Tour
Ghost Tour Group

While we were at Stratford we went on a couple of tours, each of them fascinating in their own way, but my favorite by far was the Ghost Tour.

It started right in front of the Edison Cafe, and I waited both impatiently and excitedly. I’d never been on a ghost tour before, and wasn’t quite sure what it meant. I remember wondering if it meant we were just going to hear ghost stories or if it meant we’d hear about landmarks in Stratford by people dressed as ghosts. As it turned out, it was a little of both.

As we waited outside Edison Cafe, two figures walked toward us just as the numbers on my phone turned from 6:59 to 7:00. As they came closer I realized that the two people were extraordinarily pale and wearing clothing that seemed like it belonged to the Victorian era. A man and woman, and the man was holding a guitar. 

The woman introduced the two of them as Euphemia and Edward Elphinstone, two of the ghosts of Stratford. And then the tour started. 

We began with a story of Thomas Edison in Stratford as a telegrapher. Interestingly, it turns out the cafe used to be called Slave to the Grind, but the name was changed to remember Edison. We then moved on, wandering from beside the river to houses with ghosts both benevolent and not. Our tour guides spoke about everything from prisons and post offices to ghost stories and warnings about crossing the street.  

We stopped at the St. James Anglican Church where Euphemia spoke about the nightmare of being buried prematurely, and how it happened enough that special coffins were made. Some had bells to ring, while others had a connection to a phone. Later we stood in front of the Macpherson home where orphans entered in hopes of loving somewhere better. Yet many of them never left. 

However, not all of the stories were quite so grim. One house we visited held a female ghost who would help the house’s mother with her children, protecting them. Each story and moment was highlighted by Edward’s guitar playing, although sometimes it came too soon or too late. While he never said anything, his groans and expressions when Euphemia spoke of Buckingham were enough to keep us all laughing. 

My favorite part of the tour was when we came to the very last stop and Euphemia talked about Jack the Ripper, whom she had given teasing hints about the whole tour. On the steps of the Perth County Courthouse she spoke about the drifter Almede Chattelle before finally bidding us goodbye.