The Archives: NAGS Century Manor

The Niagara Amateur Ghost Seekers (NAGS) investigated Century Manor in Hamilton, Ontario. Joining us would be future members of The Shadows Project as well as sensitives M.T. Rivers and Ladyce. Below are the results of the investigation:

Notes from GhostBoy:

Before I begin my notes on our investigation, I will assure you that I had no prior knowledge of this building besides that it was a former mental institution, located in Hamilton and was supposedly haunted. I limited my exposure to information and the only web site I read was Hamilton Paranormal (

When we first pulled up and I exited the vehicle I was overwhelmed by the architecture and presence of this building. It was huge, but like the other historical places had been vandalized and subjected to neglect.

As I walked around peering into the windows and admiring the building I had the impression that the building’s patients were subject to coughing and fever and I wrote down Spanish Influenza as it came to me. Further research would be needed to determine if this was correct. For some reason I was also drawn out to the Mountain Brow area and had the feeling that there was an energy there as well.

Our guide allowed us entrance to the building and we split into two teams. Myself, Kevin, David and Tom (a skeptic and friend of NAGS) used the front steps to reach the 3rd floor while the other team investigated the first floor.

The Third Floor

Upon entering the very last steps to enter the third floor I felt the air get thicker and almost a blockage of passage. As we proceeded into the room labeled “Classroom” I immediately noted that this was going to be a good investigation as I could feel a lot of energy in the building.

As we made our way around, David split off and went to room 304. As I entered I commented to him: “You look spooked.” He was standing near centre of the room and glanced over at me and it appeared as if he had just saw a ghost. He indicated that he felt something in the room. Even though this room was facing West and the sun was just beginning to set, this room was noticeably cooler in certain areas than other rooms which had no presence of sunshine for many hours. I felt that this place would perhaps be a library of sorts but also felt a lot of neglect would have happened in this room.

Next, Kevin and I entered room 305, which was completely dark with no windows. We both indicated it was hard to breath but attributed it to the closed and unused room. But there was definitely more to this room than we first thought.

Tom had been inspecting the various rooms and even managed to look into the attic and noted it looked creepy but he didn’t get anything out of the ordinary.

We proceeded to room 305, closed the door and tried to make communication with whatever spirit was in this room. I distinctly heard a spirit say it was a holding room and I wrote down “Hold. Hold.” In my notes. We asked the spirit to present itself and the only noticeable audible sounds were a crack in the ceiling. When I asked the spirit if this was initiated by them or was it a natural sound caused by the building the sound echoed again from the same location. We continued to investigate room 304 and the cold spots. David indicated he felt that this room was active. Kevin and I agreed and even Tom felt the cold areas.

The Second Floor

The Second Floor of Century Manor is where I believe most of the activity would be taking place. As I entered the one wing I was overwhelmed with a feeling of fear, disgust, apprehension and discomfort. I’ve been to some of North America’s most haunted and terrifying locations but this area was starting to give me the “creeps.”

I immediately saw movement in the hallway near the window and walked slowly down, inspecting each room as I went along. I noted to Kevin that this was “Where they kept the real F$#$-Ups.” In general, I feel compassion for those suffering from mental illnesses – but this wing had something more to it, and I felt anger toward it in some strange way.

It was something more than just mental illness and it was later revealed through historical research after the investigation that Century Manor was used for holding the criminally insane. Indeed, murderers, rapists, serial killers and others considered the scum of society were placed here.

As I walked past a common room I glanced at a chair placed in its centre. The chair moved and I not only viewed this, I heard it – it scraped a good quarter inch across the floor. I stopped, sat down and began snapping photos as quickly as I could. I met up with Kevin and indicated that I had saw a chair move and before I could finish my sentence he said he had also.

We continued to investigate the second floor and in each room we found a little something left over from the past. I felt that in room 238 a suicide had occurred. Hopefully, through further research we can determine if my feelings were accurate.

As we approached the second wing I kept getting the name “Richard.” As I entered what I believed to be the nurses station, I also got the name “Bluckey” but as I entered room 247 I indicated to Kevin I am getting the name “Richard Blucke” or “Buckle” and I wrote these notes down. Kevin indicated he knew the last name and wanted to tell me how it is referenced but I indicated I did not want to know at that time.

As we continued through the building other rooms presented me with death, fear, anguish, evil, and a host of uncomfortable feelings. The second floor processed a lot of negative, strong feelings. It was very, very uncomfortable in some of the rooms.

I made an indication to one of the isolation rooms not for Kevin to enter it and I just past it right by. There was an extreme physical force and emotional block there and it was potentially harmful.

Later, with courage and the biggest guy I could find (Creepy Bastard from our message boards), we entered the room and closed the door. I tried to communicate with the spirit but all I could get was “F#$% you! F$%$ You!” and then, “Are you a doc?” and I answered, “No.” and then I got: “The Dr. isn’t coming!” I felt this room could have been a lock-down chamber and the unfortunate home of a resident ghost who isn’t exactly friendly to say the least.

The Basement

Even though the basement was very old, creepy and had a good atmosphere for ghostly endeavors, I didn’t find it active at all. It was odd, however, that each room in the basement, including the tunnels to other buildings had a single chair residing in them.

The First Floor

I felt rushed on the first floor but continued to investigate as much as I could nonetheless. I didn’t feel that there was a strong energy here, but there was definitely something. Perhaps the people on the first floor weren’t as violent or mentally ill as those above. There were rooms again where death and fear was present. I even locked myself in one isolation room where the only light coming through was through a 4-inch glass window. I had a hard time with the feelings in the room and somehow used my fingers to pull the heavy door open using the window ledge (There was no inside door handle of course).

The first floor also gave me the feelings of children, but this feeling was a bit different. I don’t know if they were children here or just visiting. Later, Tom and I found evidence that a “Day Care” was open in Century Manor at some time. How insane is that?

It is interesting, also to note, I did not pick up on any female energies and our research indicated later that Century Manor was indeed used for males only. I had the impression before our investigation it was most likely used for both.

When we proceeded out of the building it was like a vale was lifted and the feeling of freedom was overpowering. It felt good to leave.

That Night

I returned home to find my wife already tucked into bed. As I snuck in and covered up I was thinking of what tomorrow would bring. I felt a little uneasy and suddenly the sheet lifted and a cold breeze touched our feet. My wife commented that I had uncovered her, however, I did not move. The room was warm but the area where the sheet had lifted was cold. I used the excuse that I was going to get a drink and as I walked around I could see shadows darting about my house. I definitely believe I had brought something back with me.

I began a native cleansing ritual and cleared my home. That night, my youngest son was troubled and kept needing to be put back to bed and assured everything was all right. Both my wife and I had a very hard time sleeping that night. In the morning I awoke with a very stiff neck, physical bruises on my legs, an ear infection and swollen throat. I began the native cleansing ritual one more time. This time, it worked and whatever decided to attach itself to me, went away.

From now on I am suggesting our team cleanse itself after each investigation for protection. This isn’t a game nor a joke.

BTW- The name I picked up on the second floor – Richard Buckle – is in fact the first Dr. Superintendent of Century Manor! Dr. R.M.Bucke very close.

Notes from Kevin:

When we first pulled up to Century manor, I was in awe of its size and incredible architecture.It was unbelievable to think that Century Manor was just one building of what used to stand on the grounds.

We arrived early, I took the opportunity to walk the parameter of the manor and snap some pics while we still had some daylight.

Steve the security guard arrived and gave us some quick ground rules and opened up the front door.

At this point we split into 2 teams. I decided to join John, David and Thomas to the 3rd floor.

I would first like to point out that I am skeptical to the point that if I can prove something scientifically I will, but what I personally experienced, I could not explain.

As I followed John up the stairs to the 3rd floor I felt the air get heavy, at first I dismissed this feeling as humidity. John and I walked into room 305; it was small and dark due to their being no windows. The air was even heavier in here, John agreed when I explained the feeling, I got the feeling of some sort of Punishment, and John made a similar comment. We all entered the room, leaving it dark. John asked if there was something present to make it known, we all heard an odd bang on the ceiling of the room, when asked again if something was there, the noise was made again. This could have been said to be coincidence, yet with the noise happening again upon being prompted, it seemed to be legit.

We moved our way into room 304, David mentioned that he felt somewhat uncomfortable in this room, and very cold, John made the point that if anything, room 304 should have been warmer than the others, since the sun was coming in the windows. Personally I didn't get anything from room 304, infact I didn't feel the heavy, humid feeling I had received on the stairs in room 305. Which proved to me it wasn't just the later; it seemed to only be in certain areas.

We made our way down to the second floor, I split up from the group and was drawn towards the reception desk, I still can't explain why, but I did feel colder in that area. I went to inform John of my findings, and as I passed the alcove I was also drawn to a lone chair sitting in the middle of the area. I snapped some pics, not really having a reason to do so, as I started to walk away; out of the corner of my eye I am sure I saw that chair move. I dismissed this thinking my mind was playing tricks on me, and hurried to John to inform him of my drawn feeling at the reception desk. It was at this point that John had mentioned the chair moving and I explained that I had thought I had seen this happen as well.

John and I went to the reception desk, and this is where he picked up the name Richard Buckle, as soon as I saw him write this name down, I knew he has something, and wanted to tell him, since I had done my research on the Manor in advance I knew the name of the first Superintendent of the hospital was Dr. Richard M. Bucke. I waited until our after discussion to inform John of this.

I personally didn't get much more, I admit I am amateur, and I am learning to open myself up a lot more thanks to John and nAz. I was actually pleased and excited with myself about the feelings I got from Century Manor and how close I was to what others of more experience felt.

Notes from nAz:

N.A.G.S. members present: Kevin, makeajazznoise, GhostBoy, nAz.

Other Investigators: NovRaine, Ladyce, CreepyBastard, Tom, BinaryGuy.

Upon arrival at Century Manor, we all split up to check out the grounds and take a look at the building. Many of us all took pictures of the exterior of the building & tried to get a feel for the place.

As our guide arrived to let us into the building we all split up into two teams.

Team 1 – Kevin, GhostBoy, makeajazznoise & Tom.

Team 2 – NovRaine, Ladyce, nAz, CreepyBastard, BinaryGuy.

Team 1 went directly to the 3rd floor to kick off the investigation, & Team 2 started on the ground floor.

Century Manor – Ground floor.

First impressions: I was amazed at the size of the place, the large open hallways, the tiny “cells where patients were locked up.

Hallway – Ground Floor.

Patient “Cell”.

The patient rooms locked from the outside via deadbolt. Lights for the room were by switch on the outside as well. Many of the doors looked like thay had been replaced as a couple of the doors looked older than the rest & had little windows for staff to look in on. Ineach “wing” there appeared to be several offices and common areas for the patients. One common area still had a television stand on the wall.

I personally did not pick up on anything paranormal on the ground floor. One impression I did have was the other side (right) wing seemed to have a orderly nature about it. Nothing indicated this as right and left sides of the building were identical. Possibly, those housed in the right wing were more “lucid” than the rest.

After getting our bearings & becoming accustomed to the atmosphere of the Manor, Team 2 moved into the basement to continue the investigation.

The basement was really damp & musty. I expected it to be “creepy” because of the nature of the building, but it was not. The basement contained several tunnels that lead to other buildings on property. Also, it contained the boiler room and what appeared to be coal storage rooms. What was interesting was the fact that in each of the rooms, there was a single chair. All of the chairs were very dirty & looked to have years of dust on them. Nothing paranormal was picked up on in the basement by myself.

The next stop for Team 2 was the 3rd floor. As we were walking up the stairs, we encountered Team 1 headed down to the 2nd floor.

Once we got to the 2nd floor I started to get a panicky feeling. I stopped to figure out this feeling. What could possibly be bothering me about the 3rd floor? I continued up. As I rounded the steps up to 3, I was feeling downright terrified! I stopped again. I was getting an impression. People were literally dragged up to this floor kicking and screaming! I snapped a picture. Only later did this picture confirm this thought.

If you notice, to the right of the picture, there is a safety grate over the stairs heading down… this prevents the patients from jumping or falling.

As I was almost up the stairs NovRaine was coming back down, saying it was bad, bad up there. She didn’t come back up.

The 3rd floor’s air was heavy and thick. It was almost hard to breathe. I really didn’t want to be up there. Maybe it was a good thing, but I did not enter most of the rooms on 3. I did visit what appeared to be a “gym” without the equipment. There were different hooks on the walls and a slogan “Fit Five Levels Achieved”.

The Gym.

The wall slogan.

Before I left the 3rd floor, I spotted the ladder for BinaryGuy to take a picture of the attic. I was happy to leave the 3rd floor. It had a certain aura of hopelessness about it. There were a couple of rooms that I did not go in, if we go back – I will, but at the time I didn’t want to.

2nd Floor.

This floor of the entire building is the most active. Walking onto this floor, I could feel it right away.

The 2nd floor of the building house a Nurse’s Station, what appeared to be an Administration office and another administration office on the other side. It also contained what appeared to be a kitchen or Dining area & dish room.

The Left wing appeared to have the most damage by water and vandals. Lights & ceiling tile framing had been pulled down and there was broken glass in the hallway. The floor had identical patient rooms as the first floor.

One room in the Right wing stand out to me the most. When I entered the room, it seemed that I passed through a spirit. Every nerve ending in my body came alive. When I started talking to the energy, something unexpected happened. I suddenly had severe pain in my right and left temples & directly above the temples on either side of my forehead. The pain was incredible. It was so bad that I had a headache immediately. It continued during the rest of the investigation, on the way home & when I woke up in the morning. What could possibly cause that type of pain?

The common room in the right wing was carpeted. Here NovRaine had a weird experience with losing her balance. She didn’t fall, just was “wobbly”. CreepyBastard had also witnessed this as he had entered the room as well. This room also contained some spiritual energy. All I picked up was a feeling of waiting, sadness & impatience. I felt like pacing the floor.

The entire teams eventually met up on this floor & called it a night. Our escort locked the building & we were done.

I have never been happy to leave a place like I was there. What a relief. I must say this, even though I had two encounters with spirits directly, the entire building had an “ether” about it. It was one of sadness, negativity, hopelessness, wandering. It was everywhere you went. The atmosphere was very oppressive. Leaving was like a weight off your shoulders.

I’m sure I have forgotten something as so much happened that night.

Notes from David:

While I by no means have any background nor do I claim to have any "Psychic" or "medium" qualities... the experiences I have had with this group have taught me to open myself and have a sense for the areas we investigate. This location had some very negative energy. While I was thrilled with the experience and hope to go back soon... it was a good feeling walking out of century manor. Not wanting to steal words, all credit to nAz for saying this, “nailed it" when he said the "atmosphere was oppressive". Good words nAz!

I'd like to express my thanks to "Creepy Bastard" for getting us in for this adventure, and again I offer any assistance I can to his upcoming project on this locale. Thanks as well to his crew BinaryGuy and Thomas aka "AceFrehley” and to NovRaine & Ladyce for joining us on this experience.

Our group started on the 3rd floor. I found on the way up it was difficult to climb the stairs. By the time I got to the top it felt like I had ran up 10 flights of stairs rather than walked up 3 (please... no old man jokes here guys!). The air was thick and almost hard to breath on this floor. I (for lack of a better word) "felt" presence(s) in 4 of the 6 rooms I entered on this floor.... particularly in room 304. I felt cold, and "tingly". I was in the room alone and when the others entered the room the feeling changed. This wasn’t the first time on this night that happened (more later). John told me I looked spooked, and I agreed. It’s hard to describe what happened there, I think something was trying to communicate, but I wasn’t receptive enough to understand. When I went into room 308 for some reason I immediately said (I had a tape recorder rolling) "someone was abused in here". Again, I can’t explain how or why theses things were coming to me... but they did a lot on this night.

At least 8 to 10 rooms in that building gave me feelings of a presence.

Another notable event for me was when I entered room 241. Walking into the room the air was very heavy, I found the room to be ice cold, and a smell. I felt that someone died in that room. It smelled "spicy"... reminiscent of, not quite like pumpkin pie (not that nice but)... but kind of like nutmeg or cloves. I was in the room freezing, and then Tom came in... And the cold dissipated and I could no longer smell the spicy smell. I asked Tom if he smelt anything out of the ordinary. I think he thought I was making a "pull my finger" type joke ;-) and left the room. I never even got a chance to go into the (facing building) left wing of the 2nd floor as I went back up to 3rd floor awhile, and revisited room 241 in hopes of another encounter... but it didn’t happen.

We visited the basement, while interesting, and I think would be a great place to shoot a music video, I got no sensations out of the ordinary. I did however have my flashlight (with new batteries) die while in one of the cold storage chambers. There had been an old rusty chair in (guarding?) the doorway... as well as the standard one chair in the middle of the room. I found that odd... there was one lone chair in the middle of every room throughout the basement.

I toured the first floor last, amongst the entire group at this point. We were rushed at this point, as we were in the basement as well... as the security guard was getting impatient. I found room 124 gave me the impression of a presence and very cold. Others in the group thought this of adjoining rooms (John) 125 and (Creepy Bastard) 126, so we concurred that maybe something happened in that particular corner of the building.

In all... this was an incredible experience. We sure wish that Dr.Gord was there. (Added since Gord just asked me if he was in the novel I was writing). I am really looking forward to going back

*Also of note* I did not realize until seeing our front page that it was Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital that we were visiting.... and that it closed in 1995. All of the lead up and preparation for the visit it was referred to as Century Manor... and I never made the connection until now. In the early 90’s (until '94) I worked with the association for community living... and worked with a lot of seniors that were placed into the community after leaving H.P.H. I remember that all of those people I worked with were all terrified of being sent back to HPH.

EVPs Recorded:

1. Female voice "Screams", and then says "Help" another possibility is "Get them out!" you be the judge DOWNLOAD

2. A whisper is heard near the end of this recording, it is unclear what it is saying. DOWNLOAD

3. Appears to be the sound of running water, when there was no source of water anywhere in the manor. DOWNLOAD

4. Sound of a loud moan, it was first thought to be a door, but later determined that it was not. DOWNLOAD

5. Female voice whispering "Hey Yeah" listen carefully. DOWNLOAD

6. After the security guard is done speaking you hear a male voice say "What Is That". DOWNLOAD

7. 2nd floor hallway male voice saying "Grab him" DOWNLOAD

8. Room 238 male voice stating "Get up" or possible "Get out" DOWNLOAD

9. Room 304 possible females voice after GhostBoy takes some notes stating "Come again" DOWNLOAD

10. Room 304 same voice as above after GhostBoy takes notes stating "Come and get me" DOWNLOAD

11. Room 308 Fitness room, female screaming "Help me!" DOWNLOAD

12. 2nd Floor large room, male sounding grunt. DOWNLOAD

13. 2nd Floor unidentified room strange noise. DOWNLOAD

14. 2nd Floor hallway, odd noise cuts into the recording. DOWNLOAD

15. Century Manor odd noise mized in with sound of footsteps. DOWNLOAD

16. Field outside of Century Manor male voice says "Run!". DOWNLOAD


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Out of the Dark: The Ghost Hunting Chronicles is a blog providing detailed investigations of the Out of the Dark team, paranormal news and editorial.

It will also feature the past investigations of paranormal investigator and author John Savoie.