Haunted Welland: 189 and 195 East Main Street

December 1

The properties at 189 and 195 East Main Street were the original Welland Market Square/Farmers Market.

Both were built around the turn of the 20th century and have long term associations with the medical profession.

The building at the rear of the properties would have been the carriage house.

189 East Main Street was constructed for Dr. Smith between 1898-1901 and was primarily a residence/doctors’ home.

Thomas, Dr. Smith’s caretaker, smoked pipe tobacco. He seems to be a negative force who does not like change and has caused disturbances during renovations. On more than one occasion individuals have been pushed down the stairs and as a result the current owners have had a cleansing performed to remove the malevolent spirit.

Children were often heard running up and down the stairs laughing, playing and singing. While there is no record of anyone feeling any negativity from these spirits the owners believed them to be able to leave this realm, and therefore ghost illuminators were brought in to assist the child spirits in passing over through the light. This is believed to have been done successfully.

The kitchen would have been at the rear of the property and to this day smells of meals being prepared will emanate through the building. A female entity or presence there has also been felt in the building. This could be a former member of the staff, a kitchen or house maid, a nanny or a previous owner. We know from our research that Jessie Estelle Gelling Hardison lived and died in the home. She passed away in 1943 in her 75th year. Her funeral services were held here in the home.

195 East Main was constructed in the late 19th century. It has long term associations with the medical profession as well. It was the home and office for as many as ten prominent local doctors during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hospital tiles in the upper rooms suggest they would have been used as patient rooms. Dividers in front offices, the top halves of which are glass panels would have been nursing stations. The basement was used as a morgue with a back staircase exit for the removal of bodies, suggesting that the building served as an infirmary before 1906 when Doctor Cowper donated his property at what would have then been Muir and Young Street. His former home became Welland’s first official hospital (now the site of the Welland Historical Museum’s parking lot).

Ghost sightings at this property include doctors and nurses rushing about the halls. During the course of our research, we discovered that as many as five doctors would have worked here at the same time, however it would seem that only one nurse was employed at a time. One can only imagine how very busy she must have been. When the ghosts of doctors and nurses appear, they occur in particular pockets of space through which the figures move and then disappear.

A military figure or war veteran dressed in uniform of which could fit the war of 1812 era or possibly Loyalist uniform, has appeared on numerous occasions.

A disembodied voice has been heard over the years, and during one of the visits from a paranormal research group a recording was taken of a male voice saying “what do you want? Get out!”