Learn ghost stories on a haunted walk through the Exchange District

By Katelyn Sarte

The Winnipeg Ghost Walk has been a spooky staple event leading up to Halloween for the last decade, but the terrifying tour will be a bit different this year.

The Winnipeg Ghost Walk is a guided tour of the Exchange District started by Matthew Komus, author of Haunted Winnipeg and Haunted Manitoba. The books tell scary tales about Winnipeg’s history and explore different haunted buildings in the city on the tour.

The Winnipeg Ghost Walk also offers walking tours that begin and end at Seven Oaks House Museum.

“Even though we have the restrictions, you can still do things – you can go on tours,” said Komus. “I strongly encourage masks and the tour is 100 per cent outside.”

One of the “spooky” alleys the tour goes through in the Exchange District./MARK KOMUS

David Klippenstein, a Winnipeg Ghost Walk tour guide, encourages students to get outside and learn about the history of Winnipeg’s buildings.

“I think a lot of the stories resonate with young adults. These are stories of people’s past,” said Klippenstein. “Knowing something about where you’re situated is important.”

Komus said he recommends people read horror novels like his very own Haunted Winnipeg and Haunted Manitoba to keep their Halloween spirits high. 

Klippenstein said that these tours are very important right now during COVID-19.

“I think it provides a bit of a healthy escape, and we look into the eyes of others during a time when we don’t want to be sitting with our own experiences.” said Klippenstein, “I think that this can really provide a fun night of entertainment. We’re not here to be a textbook.”

Komus said he based his stories on Winnipeg neighbourhoods.

“I only choose to have actual historic buildings, buildings that are unique to here. And the stories are unique to here,” said Komus.

Next year, Komus said he plans to have more indoor tours and spend more time inside buildings with imagery and projections since it wasn’t feasible this year.

Those interested in the Winnipeg Ghost Walk can book a private tour with a maximum of ten people, including the tour guide. People can reserve their spots online at squarepeg tours.ca. Komus said the limit of people in a tour could change as restrictions adapt, and updates will be available on their website at winnipegghostwalk.com.