Travel & Culture » Ontario

Don’t Forget the Folklore

While you’re out discovering Stratford and the surrounding region, keep your ears and eyes open for some fascinating local folklore.

Like any region that has a deep history, these local legends do more than just entertain: they also provide insight into everyday life during bygone times, and can even help you understand the character of the people who live in Stratford, Ontario, today.

When the local jail was renovated in 2010, two bodies were discovered during the excavation. It turns out that these were the remains of the only two men ever hanged at the Stratford City Jail. Long thought to be haunted, the jail has fewer reported incidents of ghost sightings now that the bodies have been relocated.

When a headless body was found floating in the Avon River in Stratford in 1876, it didn’t take long before reports of a headless ghost began to surface. It then turned out that a local medical student had pinched the corpse of one Henry Derry from its grave, in an attempt to further his medical studies.

Not all of the folklore is so macabre, but a look through the town’s archives or a chat with a local who loves to spin a yarn can unearth some truly fascinating tales.