From: Jennifer Hanson, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
The North Bay Mall has been hosting Haunted Tours.
“In the spirit of Halloween, The North Bay Mall wants to scare you with some spooky stories, horrific history, and terrifying tales from retail!” reads a news bulletin posted inside the eerily quiet mall.
Fiona Prachi, the Executive Manager for the mall, reached out to The North Bay Bay about the tours.
“The North Bay Mall Haunted Tours run every Thursday night from 6 pm to 7 pm” explained Prachi. “Everyone meets outside the empty TD Bank, and we begin to venture through the horrifyingly hollow halls of The North Bay Mall.”
Sights included the broken, curtained off remains of a small staircase, an empty room covered in brown paper, the recently closed Source, a bedraggled looking H&R Block, a vacant Ardene’s, a closed Tan Jay, a factory outlet Stitches in danger, the unused space left behind by the Cinema Champlain, a nearly deserted food court, ill-planned Hart Store roadblock, uninhabited nail salon, and finally a long, unnecessary hallway that leads to an exit.
Stopping outside the former Source store, our tour guide Tim Brioux took a moment to explain the barren business’s sordid past.
“There were so many extended warranties sold here,” cried Brioux. “Warranties on TVs, warranties on headphones, warranties on HDMI cables. Imagine that – a warranty on an HDMI cable! But now, the buyers will have to go to all the way across town to Northgate to get them honoured. The horror!”
Just in front of Cafe Botanica, Brioux points across the expanse between the coffee shop and Stitches.
“Can you believe there was once a movie theatre there that had a flat floor? It was so flat you couldn’t see above the person in front of you… it was so incredibly flat and so incredibly sticky!”
Brioux then points to the Bentley.
“The letters above this Bentley story keep falling off. Some say its because our contractors did a bad job of affixing them, but I think it’s ghosts.”
Brioux wiggles his fingers for effect.
At the end of the tour, attendees are given a five dollar gift certificate for Weight Watchers.
Brioux handed out the vouchers before disappearing into the mall’s only remaining bathroom, never the be seen again.
Fiona Prachi has been getting some great reactions so far.
“I got a report on Monday that two people have already fainted upon learning that the food court once actually had more than an A&W in it.”
“We know that the ever-drifting, seemingly ethereal Discovery North Bay Museum is offering Haunted Hikes every Friday in October, but for those that prefer their spooks to come from the inside, The North Bay Mall is for them.”
But just how scary are the tours?
“It’s not for the faint of heart,” a local resident on the tour said. “I saw the ghost of Zellers past and it was real freaky.”