Transitions-Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Real Estate Blog: The Ghosts of Glanmore Never Sleep~Glanmore, Belleville, Ontario

Real Estate blog about property, home buying and selling, life in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga Regions of Ontario, Canada.

The Ghosts of Glanmore Never Sleep~Glanmore, Belleville, Ontario

Tucked away off the beaten track is one of Ontario's oldest and most beautiful, small cities with such a fantastical and intriguing history that it would rival that of many of Europe's oldest cities.
The small city wraps itself around the old limestone-bedded, snaking Moira River with one of the oldest, still-standing, limestone mills, the mill itself the centre upon Glanmore House, Belleville, Ontariowhich the settlement grew.

Named after Lady Arabella Gore, wife of Sir Francis Gore, after their visit to the small settlement in 1816, Belleville boasts some of the finest architectural beauties to be found in the province of Ontario.
One of these timeless treasures rests in the area known as the 'Old East Hill' of Belleville.
Glanmore sits aloof and untouchable amidst century old trees and fine Victorian homes.

Built of a subdued greying, brownish-yellow brick and being of a 2nd Empire architectural style totally unique unto itself, the house appears alive with the spirits of the past and a beating heart all it's own standing testament to an eccentric and lively time in Canada's history.

Built in 1882-1883 for the prosperous banker, J.P.C. Phillips and his wife Harriet, it remained in the same family for three generations before being sold and subsequently being turned into a museum.

Phillipa Faulkner, an artist who was born in the house, is purported to have experienced numerous supernatural occurrences during her days spent living there.
The spirit of Harriet Phillips, herself, is said to still remain walking the halls and frequenting the cavernous victorian rooms of the fine old mansion.
Phillipa had witnessed the piano in the drawing room play of it's own accord and doors that had opened and closed with no visible human entity in sight. She sensed that the spirit behind these occurrences was her Grandmother, Harriet Phillips.

In 1962 Phillipa engaged a Roman Catholic Priest to come into the home and exorcise the troubled spirits who wandered the grand old Belleville mansion.
Family accounts written by Anne Burrows Faulkner, Phillipa's daughter, state that the supernatural occurrences seemed to abate somewhat after that time period, however Harriet's restless spirit never completely left the beautiful old home she had so steadfastly loved.

Glanmore National Historic Site is now open to the public  , and houses a magnificent collection of period antiques and art, many of them original to the home.

On my numerous visits to the house, I always feel a certain 'unease' as I walk around the creaking, old rooms and hallways.
There is a strong sense of loneliness and abandonment that seeps into one's pores with a heavy foreboding as one walks from room to room.

In many areas of the home, I've sensed an invisible presence nearby as it observes the comings and goings of the visitors to the house.

As happy as I am to bring visiting friends and relatives on a tour of the stately Victorian home, I experience a great relief when it is time to leave.
The house is beautiful and certainly a timeless Canadian Historic treasure, however it exists in another time and place and hastens to remind you to never leave go of that oppressive and heavy fact.

Upon leaving and re-entering the sparkling, sunlit air, you step back into the present and feel a great sadness for the house and for those who lived there in the past and for some reason, were never able to leave.

Caught in a time warp of their own volition, they serve the gracious home to this day, and make certain it will always remain just as it was over one hundred years ago.



Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Royal Lepage Proalliance Realty, Brokerage, in Belleville, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her, visit

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Comment balloon 45 commentsJo-Anne Smith • January 31 2008 02:47PM


Jo~What an interesting history this home has.  I don't blame you for welcoming the moment when it's time to leave and how truly unfortunate for the spirits of that home to not be able to pass on.  

(Just a side note: I just received a referral from one of my clients and this gentlemen is from Ontario.  You and I need to talk about this.  I will call you very soon)

Posted by Julie Neerings~Lifting Hearts ♥ Building Dreams~ (Agent Referral) over 12 years ago
Jo...there is something very foreboding about that house...even with the sunlit pictures! I certainly wouldn't call it warm and inviting! (but it does make a statement)
Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 12 years ago
The place just looks scary Jo.  I'd buy it in a heartbeat:-)
Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 12 years ago
Jo, I would love to go into that house one day, I think it's beautiful and so stately.  I wonder if I would feel anything inside...I love historic places, they absolutely intrigue me.
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 12 years ago
Jo, any special festivities happen at the Glanmore house come Halloween time? Very interesting history of the home and the eerie ghost story.
Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 12 years ago
Jo-Anne - Once again you draw your readers right into the storey I could almost feel the chills you must have felt as you toured the home.
Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 12 years ago

Hi Julie,

I think that the spirits in this situation are happy there......or perhaps they only come to visit now and then when tourists are going through.

Congrats on your referral! If there is anything I can help with please don't hesitate to contact me...


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago
Jo, what a beautiful house!  The grounds are beautiful, too.  I have always been fascinated with houses of this vintage - there is something mysterious, imposing, and grave about them.  When I was a kid, I loved to go inside abandoned Victorian houses - somehow they always seemed to speak to me.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 12 years ago


You're absolutely right in your judgment of the house.

I think you would feel very similar things to myself if you visited it since you are highly sensitive to your surroundings too. There is a heaviness and sadness in the house, and as fascinating as it is, I'm always glad to leave again.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago


You're so funny....

You'd really like to live in a haunted house? I wouldn't spend a single night there, myself, and I've lived in a few haunted houses in my time.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago


I'm pretty sure you would feel a very similar energy to what I feel when I  visit there.....if you ever come to visit, that's one of the first places we'll go. I think Laura would find it fascinating too.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago
That's a very good question. I believe they have some Halloween activities and I know they have a wonderful Christmas program with Victorian ornament craft classes, etc,  for both children and adults.

I used to take my sons there when they were little and they made some beautiful ornaments which I treasure to this day.
Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

Hi Kathy!

Thanks so much for stopping by.....and also for the nice comment.

I think you would enjoy touring this fine old mansion....does Barrie like historical places?


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

Hi Brian,

Nice to hear from you!  Thank you for your lovely comment. It is a very beautiful property and house and while I was writing this, I was thinking of how much you would enjoy exploring this place.  If you're ever up this way, I'd love to take you on a tour.

From what I've learned about you through AR, I gathered you are a very sensitive man and I've no doubt that houses speak to remind me very much of my oldest son (even though you're older than me) in that matter...he's also very musical like you.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago


What amazes me most about old architecture such as that in your post is the unreproducable wood trims and carvings...that has truly become a lost art in our age! Not to mention how costly they would be to duplicate! Thanks,   Fran

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) over 12 years ago


I too am enthralled at the magnificent craftsmanship that embodies every fine detail of these beautiful old homes and buildings. We've truly lost a great deal over time.

The lumber that they used back then is mostly unattainable now many of those old homes have black walnut and cherry trim, which is now largely unavailable or is worth it's weight in gold.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago
I feel like I have been there from reading this and even got goose bumps - thanks for sharing
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago
Okay, that place LOOKS SCARY ! I agre with Thesa by the shoudl Alert Steven King on this
Posted by Melissa Grant, The Law of Attraction In Life & Business (A Serendipity World) over 12 years ago

Hi Thesa,

Thanks for visiting this post!  It is a spooky old place, although it's extremely beautiful too. I love to go there just to look at all of the beautiful trim and ceilings and the fine original paintings hung everywhere.  For anyone who is interested in the Victorian period, it's the ideal place to go.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago


Thanks...    ((-:

It does look rather spooky, doesn't it? It's even spookier inside......


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

Hi Jo,

What a beautiful historic home. Was the top floor on the outside done with copper? From the picture it looks like it was done in some kind of a metal. 

Posted by Trace Galle (Designs by Trace) over 12 years ago

hi Trace!

Thanks for visiting this post...

I think it is some kind of tile or metal, although I can't be sure unless I go back and study the roof or ask one of the staff who works there.  

Here is a closer picture of the roof, does it look like copper or some kind of metal or slate tile to you?  Notice the flower designs in one row of the tiles.     Jo
Glanmore House, belleville

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

Hi Jo,

From the smaller pictures I thought it looked like it might have been copper at one time. But now seeing the close up it looks like a tile. Whatever it is, it is very beautiful! Can you imagine the hard work and time spent building this place?! There is so much detail to the home.

Posted by Trace Galle (Designs by Trace) over 12 years ago

Miss Jo

Oh, my goodness.....I love the Glanmore House. Do you have any idea how many square feet are there?


Posted by BILL CHERRY, Broker & Wealth Coach (Bill Cherry, Realtor) over 12 years ago


Whatever kind of tile it is, it's certainly durable!  In the days that this house was built, labour and materials were very low cost.....I think it would be next to impossible to build any one of these beautiful old century mansions today, unless you were a multi-millionaire.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

Hello Bill,

Glanmore's construction was finished in 1883 by builder Francis McKay, a resident of Belleville at the time. It consists of 9000 square feet and cost a mere $7000 CDN to build in it's day.

I believe you would have really enjoyed some of the people who called it home and the many visitors who came to visit or for dinner. They were some of Canada's most eccentric and accomplished, not to mention artistic, folks. 



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago
Jo, I found it interesting that you felt comfortable "getting out" of this house and back into the sunshine. Like you said, a time warp. I visited the Biltmore mansion in Asheville, NC and it was like that too. It had interesting cabinetry in the kitchen, and an indoor bowling alley, and beautiful gardens, but it too was a time warp.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 12 years ago
Jo, I'm pretty sure the roof is slate, like many Mansard Victorian roofs that I've seen, with different colored slate for the designs.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 12 years ago

Hi Gary,

Yes, it is the sort of place that if your offered me $5000.00 to spend the night there, I'd have to turn you down. Of course I'm a very sensitive person when it comes to energy in a home and what I can't tolerate, someone else can. 

Some people are fine living in haunted houses (I've lived in 3 myself~ one strange, one very good, and one not so good with regards to the spirit energy) however with me it depends on the energy in a place. There is something about the energy that I felt at Glanmore that I found not to my liking, and yet I love century homes.  It has a kind of sadness to it, a deep heavy sadness. I find it oppressive.

I've always wanted to visit the Biltmore mansion....I've seen pictures and found it absolutely astounding. It's interesting that you felt the same as me about getting back into the present.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

Thanks Brian,
I was thinking it might be slate, however once I saw the intricacy of the designs, didn't think slate was that easy to work with.
My brother's roofing company in Toronto was the first in modern day Ontario to offer slate roofing.
He himself went down somewhere in the USA to learn the craft and then came home and taught it to his employees.
He brings all of his slate in from the USA and he does many fine old mansions and many brand new ones as well in the GTA.  I do recall him saying it is very difficult to work with and requires a great deal of practice and skill. It's also very costly.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

Jo-Anne, I am madly in love with Glanmore!  From reading the other posts, I see I have competition too.  My dream:  buy a Victorian home in Cape May.  Hopefully, not haunted. 

I'm with you...I feel the vibe when a home has negative energy.  One of my first experiences as a realtor ... my friends were looking for a "flip" (this was back in the day...2005).  I found a house that was "distressed" at a great price.  But while I was in the house I felt really odd and on edge.  I declined going into the basement.  After I locked up the house, my friends stayed behind in front of the home and started talking to a neighbor.  The husband of the couple who lived there shot himself in the head in the basement.



Posted by Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP, There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE! (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 12 years ago

Antoinette, It is a very beautiful, stately property.....yes, you have lots of competition. 

I wish you the best in achieving your dream....aren't Victorian homes magnificent?

WoW, that was a spooky experience you's very tragic when terrible things occur and I do believe that houses hold the energy of the sad and violent things that happen in them.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 12 years ago

i love this place love ya

from felicia


Posted by michelle about 12 years ago

Thanks for stopping by and reading this post, Felicia. It certainly is a magnificent historical site and testament to a different era in Belleville's history.



Posted by Jo-Anne Smith about 12 years ago

Yeah, glanmore for sure has a few presences. My brother and I used to visit a lot when we were younger through our schools. He's told me lately that there was one room he went into once, alone, and he was absolutely terrified and back out and never went back in. Apparently too hes seen a little girl when driving by a night that looks out of the middle window.

Whenever I used to visit i was terrified of their basement and usuallyy felt something like a man watching me.

Posted by Rosie almost 12 years ago

Hi Rosie,
Thanks for stopping by and leaving such an intriguing comment! I wonder if the room your brother is speaking about is the same one that I feel the strongest presence in. It is on the second story and in the north-east corner. I also feel a very strong presence in the back room on the first floor.

I'll keep an eye out for the girl looking out the middle window next time I drive by at night.

That's interesting about the basement too....


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 12 years ago


Posted by lil almost 12 years ago

Wow. What an  truly interesting and fascinating structure. It certainly  has a unique appeal all its own, that is for sure. If I ever get the opportunity to see it I will.

Posted by Trey Thurmond, College Station , Texas Homes (BCR Realtors) almost 12 years ago

thanks for stopping by, Lil.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 12 years ago

hi Trey,

It is that. Very stately and seems to be more than just the building materials of which it's made. Maybe one day you'll have a chance to visit Ontario and will drop by Belleville and see it for yourself!


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith almost 12 years ago

Hi Jo-Anne,

Got your referral to day, "thank you".

I came across this blog about Glanmore, and wanted to post this link to the family website speaking to the family history of Glanmore (Phillips-Burrows-Faulkner House) which also includes photographs taken in 1968 of the interior (as you know, Glanmore as it looks today, bears little or no resemblance to the interior that existed between 1883-1971 prior to the renovation undertakn by the Museum Management  Board between 1971-73) for submission to Historic Sites and Monuments Board for designation as a Canadian National Historic Site. 

It was the library that was the "scary room" growing up.  Glanmore was naunted by Hattie Phillips (I saw her once) and always felt a presence in the house in the wee hours of the night.  Lately there have been anecodtal stories on the internet about how people here the sound of a child crying.  I have no idea who that is, unless it is my mother (who did die of Pick's disease, and at the end, had the mind of a 3 month old baby).  The child that died in Glanmore was Percy Phillips, son of Hattie and John Philpot Curran Phillips (who built Glanmore).  He died of scarlet fever at the age of 3.  However, until these recent reports (last 2-3 years), there was never any report of any child crying in Glanmore.  I don't why understand why Percy would appear in 2004, etc. and not before.

My mother always said that, if it were possible, she would go back and haunt Glanmore - and if it were really possible, she'd rip the carpet and the wallpaper out of the Front Hall.  As you know, she passed in 2001.  She never got over what was done to Glanmore, and cried many, many tears over the years.  What was done broke her heart.  Ultimately, I received, for example, a letter from Larry Friend, Parks Canada, stating that, after careful review of the plans for Glanmore, it was clear that my mother had made little or no structural changes to the house - unlke has been stated over the year

As you know, I could go on...

I understand that the Canadian Conservancy Institue is attending at Glanmore.  I had been in contact with them myself back in the mid-90's.  I am glad to see that they are, and, hopefully, they will be able to restore Glanmore to the way it was between 1971-73.  Hopefully.  I note that many visitors have been going to the above URL recently to get the specifications, as well as review the photographs.  I hope it's the CCI - all from Kingston, Montreal, Belleville areas.  All of this information was given to those responsible when my mother left Glanmore as part of information towards preserving it.  Sadly, bwteen 71-83, none of the documentatio0n provided by my mother was ever used as a resource apparently

I have never been contacted by the Museum Management Board with respect to any other documenation I have about the site. The family has been exluded from the proces.

Again, thank you for the referral to Linked In.  I hope I can take advantage of it.

Best regards,

Anne Faulkner

Posted by Anne Faulkner about 11 years ago

Hi Anne,

Thanks for accepting my LinkedIn referral and I hope you find it useful. Also, thank you very much for writing such an extensive comment with more history about Glanmore, although I'm saddened to hear that your Mother's input wasn't recognized.

Warm Regards,


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith about 11 years ago

when i was six years old i went to the glanmore house it was christmas time and i was in the choir i dont know what made me turn my head but i did i turned my head to the right and i saw a little girl standing there she was like my age at the time she was wearing a white dress that went to her knees and holding a teddy bear i was so scared and i didnt speak of that moment till i was12 great experiencel



Posted by ann nolan over 6 years ago

Jo-Anne, I am so happy to have found this piece! Wonderful stuff and your writing style is exemplary. 


                                          Travellers in the Rain!


Posted by Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate, "Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905 (John L Scott Market Center) over 3 years ago

Your post is getting new life and maybe some additional exposure to get visitors to visit that apparition

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 3 years ago

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