Despite being an icon of legend in the 1000 Islands, the Blinkbonnie House stands completely vacant today with nothing but dust and spider webs covering the halls… or does it?
In 1812 Charles MacDonald, a prominent businessman who was important in the development of Gananoque, built his first frame house for his new wife, Mary Stone, whom he married that same year.
He and Mary lived there happily until the building suddenly burnt to the ground in 1826. To make matters worse, Charles passed away that same year at the young age of 42.
Charles’ son, William Stone MacDonald would then inherit the plot of land and restore what his father had accomplished. The house was rebuilt on its original location with local materials like wood, glass and rock from the surrounding countryside. It was expanded and eventually completed in 1842.
This would become known as the building you know today, The Blinkbonnie House.
During William’s time in the home, he and his wife, Isabella, had 10 children. Many of whom would sadly die in infancy or early childhood. However, in 1837, the couple gave birth to their eldest son, also named Charles, who became a successful civil engineer in New York City.
Charles would be the next kin to inherit Blinkbonnie after his father died in 1902. Charles spent the next few years making massive renovations to the main house and surrounding buildings.
He wanted to continue the legacy of passing the house down to the new generation, so in 1912, he gave his son, also named William, the property rights.
William lived and worked in Brooklyn but would spend his summers at Blinkbonnie with his father. This would’ve been a perfect living situation but unfortunately, William died of a sudden heart attack in 1920.
William never wrote up a will of what would happen to his holdings in the event of his death, including the Blinkbonnie House. So, by law, the house was sold to settle the estate and Charles was distraught in losing the home that had been in his family for so long.
In 1923, Rebecca Edwards, a school teacher purchased the Blinkbonnie House to transform it in a lavish hotel. Upon seeing this, Charles begged and pleaded with Rebecca to let him take up residence at his beloved house for the remainder of his years.
Much to Charles’ delight, Rebecca was happy to house the old man, even going as far as furnishing his room with his sold off antiques.
Charles, restored to his ancestral home, died a happy man in 1923.
Rebecca continued to run the hotel until the job became too difficult for her to maintain and the Blinkbonnie was sold off in 1957.
Afterwards, the property was divided into private homes and it became a dark shadow of what it once stood.
But the story continues in 1983, when a new family purchased the historical inn with the intent of restoring it to its former glory. The new inn could accommodate up to 120 guests and included a restaurant, a pool, a pub and much more.
But then unusual things began to occur.
Derek Seal, the maintenance supervisor of the building, has gone on record saying that he’s heard some strange things while working.
“I often hear footsteps and doors opening and closing,” he said. “Sometimes I can hear a woman singing in the lounge area.”
Of course, noone was found in either instance.
Derek soon met a man at the Blinkbonnie who claimed to be a psychic and said that there was a presence of a man, a woman and a little girl within the building.
Over the years, people assume the man and woman were none other than Charles MacDonald and Rebecca Edwards who’s souls were so attached to the Blinkbonnie that they never left. As for the little girl, that remains a mystery.
Derek had another supernatural experience on the third floor of the house. The third floor of the Blinkbonnie was not used for several years, so the water and electricity were shut off.
One night after closing, Derek heard the sound of running water coming from the bathroom on the third floor. He and a fellow employee, Mark, decided to check it out.
When the men approached the bathroom door, the sound immediately stopped. When they entered, they found that the bathtub was full of water, but what made this really bizarre was that there was no stopper in the drain.
Paranormal occurrences like this continued until the Blinkbonnie was sold off to the Clarion Inn. The owner planned on demolishing the building for a new pub/restaurant but was denied because of the Blinkbonnie’s historical interest.
As of now, The Blinkbonnie House is up for sale with an uncertain future on the horizon. One thing is for certain though, the next owner will have to deal with something more frightening than leaky pipes.
Check back each week of October to read another harrowing haunted tale from eastern Ontario and check off your list by visiting each site this month, if you dare.